“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:27 ESV
The mystery of Christianity is summarized in this verse-“Christ lives in you”. The Almighty God who dwells inside of me!!!
Not ‘I’ but ‘Christ’ in me.
Many times we struggle to live a life that is pleasing to God. And by the end of day we feel like I am not a good enough Christian, I am not doing well in my spiritual life, I am not able to pray and meditate on God’s word as I desire. I felt like this so many times. But once you truly understand this mystery all this will change. It is because we are trying to do this ourselves, by our strength and will power and forgetting the greatest truth that Christ who is living in us is the source, not us. You just have to trust him and be in step with Him.
In this verse apostle Paul clearly says a mystery was hidden to the Old Testament saints. Abraham, Joseph, David, Elijah,Daniel, Isaiah, Debora, Rehab, Job none of them knew this, because God didn’t make it known to them. But for us this wonderful , glorious mystery is revealed. And the mystery is that the God of the universe is living inside of us. It is not just Christ ‘with me’, ‘for me’ or ‘and me’ but it is ‘CHRIST IN ME’! .
It was really surprising to me when I read in a devotion, that Paul talks about this mystery of ‘indwelling of Christ’ in us 216 times in his epistles and John talks about this 26 times.
Paul says in Galatians 2:20 that it is not I who live, but Christ lives in me!
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 ESV
As Paul says in the second part of the above verse the life that I live in this flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Jesus Christ who is living inside of us is telling us to have faith in Him, He says He loves us and even proved His love for us by giving Himself up for us. But instead of trusting Jesus, we avoid His voice or do not discern his voice and try to do everything by our strength. And in the end we get exhausted and tired and come to Jesus for help. That is what happens when you try to do Christian life with ‘Christ with me’ knowledge. But when you understand He is living in us and He is the source and energy, ‘I’dies and Christ takes over. It is not our power and energy but His power and energy works within me ( Colossians 1:29). In Romans 8:10 we read like this ‘If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness’.
We are called to be different!
In message version; second part of Galatians 2:20 reads like this,
“Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about”.
This reminds me of this quote by A.W Tozer,
“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strong when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passes knowledge.”
And Jesus told his disciples,
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
John 15:18-19 ESV
People in the world see the difference in us. For them we are odd people. This is because of we have the presence of Christ in us. We are meant to be and called to be, different and we are in good company.
When apostle Paul understood this great mystery we read in his epistle to Galatians that, he feels like a mother in childbirth, until he could see Christ is formed inside the Galatians. Paul says in Galatians chapter 8 that when they have that experience, they will be ardent in doing good, not just when Paul is with them but also when he is away from them.
“my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!”
Galatians 4:19 ESV
When we realize the presence of Jesus inside of us, we will be able to passionately and enthusiastically live a life that is pleasing in God’s eyes. It will not be a life of constant failure to sin, but instead it will be a victorious Christian life. We will walk in step with the Spirit, will know and discern God’s will. Not only that the pleasures of this world will no longer be our desire. We will have complete joy and satisfaction in Christ because Christ, hope of glory is in us.
This is not an optional experience but it is a necessity.
Without His presence in us we will not be able to live a victorious Christian life. Scripture actually calls us to do a regular examination on this.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
In the above verse Paul says we have failed the test of faith if we do not have Christ living in us. We should regularly check ourselves and make sure that we are solid in the faith. We need to show by our life , Christ living in us. We have to test it out and if we fail the test we have do something about it.
How can I make home for Jesus in my life?
Paul in Ephesians 3 wrote down this prayer for the spiritual strengthening of believers. He prays that Christ will make His home in our hearts as we trust Him. Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, we accept him and invite him into our hearts. We make the word of God dwell richly in us (Colossians 3:16). When His word dwell in us we will know and discern His will. And we live this new life of having Christ in us, by faith in Him. And as we acknowledge His presence in us, we will be eager to do His will and day by day we will grow attaining that spiritual maturity where we will be truly transformed into the image of Christ. As apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1, God has given us everything that is needed to grow into the image of Christ. He has given us His precious and very great promises. When we put our faith in Him, we will be able to escape the corruption in this world caused by the sinful desires, and we become partakes of His divine nature.
Prayer: Abba Father, we praise you . Thank you Jesus, for your presence in us. Help us to trust you completely and walk in step with You. Help us to know and discern and do Your will. Holy Spirit of God help us and strengthen us to lead a victorious Christian life. Reveal your greatness in our life. Lead us in the path of righteousness. May Your divine will be our heart desire. In Jesus name, Amen.