Devotion for Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Continuing our theme on the identity of the Christian, we turn to Paul’s words in Colossians 1. This chapter is one of the highest praises of Christ Jesus in all of Scripture. We see Jesus as the “firstborn over all creation…all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (v. 15, 16) Jesus is the one who has reconciled sinful humanity to the righteous, holy God “through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him.” (v. 22)
This great truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel is the driving force in Paul’s ministry. He rejoices in his sufferings so that the church might be edified, and the gospel preached, that God’s administration and mystery might be preached to all nations. This mystery compels Paul to endure all things to share Jesus and grow His church. What is this mystery, the administration of God’s grace?
The great mystery is that “the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (Eph. 3:6) So, the administration of God’s grace is that the “incalculable riches of the Messiah” might be made known to all people! (Eph. 3:8) Paul is blown away by the great wisdom of God that now, everyone has access to the grace of God – from every tribe, people, tongue, and nation. Are you captivated by that truth? Remember the lyrics of the song – “’Freely come drink,’ words the soul to thrill! Oh, with what joy they my heart do fill! For when He said, ‘Whosoever will,’ Jesus included me, too.”
If Jesus included you, then he has included whosoever will. That enraptured Paul. May it compel the church!
But then Paul highlights the second aspect of the mystery of God’s administration of grace. Colossians 1:27 says, “God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Not only are the Gentiles (everybody – all people, the nations) invited to respond to the good news of Jesus, but Christ will also INDWELL those who do come in faith! The fact that we become identified with Christ, that Jesus abides in us (John 15:4), this fact IS the HOPE OF GLORY – it is the ultimate outcome, the purpose of life! This is what Paul labored for, “striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.” (Col. 1:29)
Yes, our days are short and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Nonetheless, may we never lose hold of the truth that within the believer of the gospel, the first-born over all creation, the image of the invisible God, the creator of heaven and earth – DWELLS! And there Christ shall ABIDE, REMAIN – with us, for us, empowering us. That is the power of our new identity in Christ. Pray that this will be made evident to you today!
Pastor, Sharon First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy of Jan Tinneberg via unsplash.com