Many of the fundamentals of Christianity are discovered in the epistles of Paul, for he received certain truths directly from the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ – mysteries which had been hidden in ages past. Even Peter, who was Christ’s leading apostle (who was chosen by God to unlock the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles at the home of Cornelius the centurion), found some of the mysteries given to “our beloved brother Paul,” difficult to understand.
But the riches of God’s grace which were given to the Church through Paul, are some of the most staggering truths which could not be conceived of by the human mind, and which continue to be difficult, if not impossible to understand by human reasoning. Nonetheless, God Himself chose to make known to the Christian Church the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The Church of the New Testament is not the same as the Israel of the Old Testament, but is made up of Jews and Gentiles from every race and tongue and clime in whom the Holy Spirit of God resides and through whom the new born-again life-of-Christ within, is being conformed into the image and likeness of Christ, by which we move from one stage of glory to the next.
This process of Christian maturity moves from one stage of God’s grace to the next sphere of God’s grace. It progresses from one stage of imputed glory to another. As Christian who are maturing in the faith, we proceed from the glory of justification through the many stages of sanctification, until we finally arrive at our heavenly glorification; spirit, soul, and body, when at last we shall be with the Lord Jesus forevermore.
The mystery which was given to Paul for us is: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The Church was brought into being by means of faith in the finished work of Christ. Those who trust in Him for salvation are given a new life and are destined to live with Christ forever and share His glorious inheritance. Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body, and in Him, the believer receives all that is needed for life and godliness.
At salvation, we are positioned IN Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places. At salvation, we become a new creation IN Christ and He gives us His life, a new born-again life. At salvation, we receive the same eternal life of Jesus Christ Who rose from the dead in power and great glory, and triumphed over Satan, sin, and death. At salvation, we were imputed with Christ’s righteousness so that IN Him and THROUGH Him and BY Him and FOR Him we have power over sin, Satan, our old, fleshly Adamic nature, and are set free from the law, sin, and death.
In Christ, we receive life and health, daily nourishment and eternal glory. Not only does the Spirit of God come to take up permanent residence within the body of each believer, but also the resurrected life of Christ is given to each one that has been saved by grace through faith in Him. In Christ, we become citizens of heaven, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, and the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: “Christ in you the hope of glory.”
The wonderful mystery that was given to us through Paul and which was hidden in ages past is: Christ IN you; Christ IN me; Christ in us; Christ in every member of the Body of believers: “Christ in you the hope of glory.” This is a glorious truth that is worthy of our everlasting thanks and praise. Let us live each day as befits this worthy position, to His praise and His glory.
Heavenly Father, I stand increasingly amazed at the privileged position that You have bestowed on sinners such as I, who by grace through faith in Christ, have been given the riches of the glory of this mystery that was hidden in ages past, but which was revealed to us through Paul. May I live and work to Your praise and glory, for You alone are worthy. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: