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Christ in Us: The Hope of Glory!

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Christ in Us

The Hope of Glory!

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In Colossians 1:26-27 we read, "The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery [including] the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (emphasis added throughout).

What is meant by "Christ in us," and why do people not understand?

Jesus explained this to His disciples when they asked Him, "Why do You speak to [the people] in parables?"

" He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him'" (Matthew 13:10-12).

Have what? The Spirit of God in them—a spirit of power, understanding, trustful obedience, love and godly character (Ephesians 1:13).

Jesus went on to explain, "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive. For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them'" (Matthew 13:13-15).

What would be wrong with that? Wouldn't it be good for their minds to be healed? The answer lies in the fact that they are not ready. They have not been called and they have not been given the Holy Spirit that makes salvation possible. Salvation is now open only to those that the Father calls out of this world, just as He did the patriarchs and the disciples. When He does so, He adds these to the Body of Christ. That Body or Church is led by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus explains, "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God' [Isaiah 54:13; see also Jeremiah 31:34 and the introduction of the New Covenant]. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life" (John 6:45-47).

Those who believe in Him also obey His word as it is written in the Holy Bible. Quoting Jesus: "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death" (John 8:51). He said also, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

Jesus said, "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great" (Luke 6:47-49).

The Passover: Welcoming Christ Into Our Lives

When we take the Passover recognizing Christ's sacrifice, the bread and wine not only symbolize forgiveness of sins, they picture Christ entering into our lives.

Jesus said, "Take eat, this is My body." This physical act symbolizes a spiritual happening. When we take these they are digested and literally become part of our physical body, as He becomes part of us spiritually when we continually obey Him and do His will in all areas of our lives.

But Jesus is speaking spiritually, so this symbolizes His uniting with us spiritually. When we eat the bread and the wine at Passover, with conviction, in the manner that Christ instructs, He becomes part of us. Symbolically, as we ingest the bread and wine, we welcome Christ into our lives to be part of us (Revelation 3:20). Once there, through the power of His Holy Spirit, He guides us with understanding in a way that we cannot follow on our own. This is "Christ in us: the hope of glory."

The glory spoken of in Colossians 1:27 at the beginning of this article is God's glory shared with those who become sons of God in the family of God. It is an eternal, spirit Kingdom. All of its inhabitants will be holy spiritual beings and members of the God family. They will be without sin.

God the Father will be the head; and Christ, His oldest and greatest Son, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will be its administrator—just as He has always been since the creation of mankind.

The Scriptures make this clear:

" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it...

" That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1-5, 9-14).

Those called today as firstfruits, who become glorified at Christ's second coming, will rule with Jesus Christ for a thousand years and help teach, guide and comfort those living then while they are being taught, trained and proven (Revelation 20:6).

The "hope of glory" represents the desire to become the sons of God who inherit riches and blessings jointly with Jesus Christ from our Heavenly Father, who shares all His riches and blessings with His sons. All will be living within the royal family of God for eternity. This is clearly outlined in the book of Romans:

" For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit [itself] bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together" (Romans 8:14-17). At this time, while still in the flesh, we are only heirs. In the resurrection we will be born again as spirit beings—holy, righteous sons of God.

Threefold Plan

God's plan is threefold: First, He created mankind in His own image, including intelligence and abilities far above any of His other physical creation.

Secondly, He creates within these physical beings who are made like God a spiritual, righteous, trustworthy, loving character like His own. As free moral agents, we all have the choice of living God's way or doing our own thing according to our own desires and understanding. One way leads to eternal life and God's glory. The other leads only to being left out of God's plan and ultimately eternal death (Deuteronomy 30:15-19).

The third step is glorification as sons of God—the purpose for which we were created. Our loving and outgoing Father is increasing the numbers and joys of having a large, harmonious family. This is the great mystery that Christ came to preach to all who can hear (Mark 1:14-15). God is building His family (Hebrews 2:10)!

Those who have died without understanding these things will come up in a resurrection often called the White Throne Judgment. There, before God, they will have their first chance to know God. This is the second resurrection when the dead are raised—those who never really knew Jesus the Christ or understood His message. They will come to understand and will have plenty of time to prove their faithfulness to God in that time of judgment.

Like everyone before them, they will be given the chance to prove their allegiance to God. They will be judged by the same guidelines, process and laws that the firstfruits were. This process is briefly outlined in Revelation 20:12-15:

" And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."

Found in the Book of Life

These books that we are all judged by are the books of the Holy Bible—the Word of God. Those who believe Jesus obey His word. Furthermore, God keeps a symbolic book of record—the Book of Life—including each one whom He calls. If our name is not blotted out because of rebellion against Him, it remains and we will live forever as sons of God.

Our Father is a fair, faithful, loving God. It is His will that none perish (2 Peter 3: 9), but He does not compromise with sin and evil (Psalm 5:4).

Jesus gives us the conclusion of it all: "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world" (John 6:48-51).

The Father calls each one of us in His own time. No one will be left out of the process. Those who come to believe in Jesus Christ to the full extent of trust and obedience will become the sons of the Father and brothers of Jesus Christ and live in the family of God for eternity. When Jesus' word and spirit come into our hearts and minds, we are on our way to living by it and proving that we will be loving and loyal children forever.

Thus, the mystery is revealed—it is Christ, living and working God's will within us, preparing us to be in God's family. This is our hope of glory. UN