Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Hope of Glory

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily" (Colossians 1:27-29).

Paul said that the mystery of the purpose of God was revealed to him, and that he was called to declare this mystery. The mystery that was hidden but now has been revealed is this: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." These words are probably very familiar to most of us, but has the revelation of this truth gripped and controlled us? When Paul uses the term "hope," he does not mean that we are hoping something will come to pass--but not quite sure. Those who are in Christ Jesus have a hope that is as sure as God himself! The reason it is sure is that Christ is in us (and we are in Christ). We have been brought into union with God.

Describing this hope, he says that it is a "hope of glory." Everything about our hope is glorious. It is glorious now because we are experiencing the presence and power of a risen Christ. It is a glory in the future, because we have been united with Christ and we will be with Him in His glory for eternity. It is a sure hope, because we have been brought into the grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Our righteousness is now of God, not of our own efforts. God is at work within us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

There are vast implications to this truth. The first question we must ask is this: Have we entered into union with God? Being aware of the teaching or believing it does not necessarily mean we have entered in. Someone may have told you that Jesus dwells within you, but has God told you? The relationship is personal, and only the anointing of the Holy Spirit within can give the witness that Christ dwells in your heart. "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him'" (John 14:23). He comes within by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There must have been a divine transaction with God at some point, where I asked Him to take up residence in this vessel of clay, and I must know for sure that He answered.

Do we think of God as far off, or are we aware of Him dwelling within? This is critical. If we think of God as separate from us, we will be robbed of the glory. Many people believe in God, but their God is far away. They do not know the Jesus who said He would come and abide. They hope for union with God someday, but that is not their "hope of glory" now. The promise is not just for the future; it is for today. It has a greater fulfillment in the future when we see Him face to face, but we need not wait. We can know the glory today--and not only that, but we can know this glory together.