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Monday, April 22, 2013
Unity # 36: Christ in us, the Hope of Glory
Unity # 36: Christ in us, the Hope of Glory
Your throne, O God Christ, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of Your Kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions. You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed, but You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end. (Heb 1:8-12)
In Jesus Christ’s Name,
If it is true that Christ has surely worked for us such a great salvation, and that He truly is who He says that He is, then to each person, He must be everything or He has no place in our lives. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? How is it that many hold Christ as a peripheral Presence within their lives, rather than the true and exclusive source of illumination of all things great and small? If He is not our only hope, can we say that we have died with Him, and have been raised with Him and seated in the heavenly places with Him?
Where is our hope?
Do we hope for those momentary pleasures, securities, and reliefs? Do we hope to acquire something visible, some placement within the fading ranks of this world? Or is our hope in Christ? If He is not everything to us, then He is nothing to us and we are damned. Our great salvation is comprised of our justification and our regeneration. And if the latter has happened, then Christ has become everything to us. Yes, even for us, our lives fall short of His perfection, but our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. All other ground is sinking sand. It is a hope that changes everything. It is a sure hope, not in something that perchance may not be fulfilled, but in an unshakable God, yes, even an unshakeable Kingdom. And faith, true faith, is the assurance of things that we have hoped for. This is the only saving faith, and it changes everything. The Christian’s hope is entirely in Christ. He looks forward to only Christ. His heart’s cry is, “That I may know Him!”
This letter is about Christ in us, our hope of glory. The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col 1: 26-27) Dear saints, if we are truly His, Christ is in us, and He is the hope of glory! So then, may the eyes of our heart be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power towards us who believe. (Eph 1:18) For the saints, their blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed them with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3). In the ages to come He will show us the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:7). What will happen to the saint from the moment he is regenerated until the day that he sees Christ Face to face is incredible. The process of the saint realizing the desires of his regenerate heart, realizing that Christ is in him, and that the faith granted to him by the Father is an unshakable one, is glorious. As earthly time passes, the regenerated saint is realizing that Christ is in him! For with every trial, every testing, every fall, every persecution, he comes forth again and again. Why? Because Christ is in him! And he hopes for Christ to reveal His glory more and more and more and more.
What kind of hope do we have?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for us, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet 1:3-5)
Faith that Remains through Trials
In this we greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, we have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of our faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though we have not seen Him, we love Him, and through we do not see Him now, we believe in Him, and greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of our faith the salvation of our souls. (1 Pet 1:6-9)
Seeing that Christ is in us
Paul tells the Galatians, “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—“ (Gal 4:19) What does Paul mean that he was in labor until Christ was formed in the Galatians, as if Christ would leave them or be destroyed within them. Certainly not. He never leaves us forsakes us, and He has died one death, rose to life, and is never to die again for death has no hold on Him. Paul referred to the return of their thoughts to Christ, to the realization that Christ was in them, that He is their only hope of righteousness, their only joy, their only glory, their only source of love…the return to the subjection of their heart, soul, mind, and strength to the Lord of the Gospel. This is the transformation that occurs by the renewing of their minds back to who Christ is and who they truly are in Him. Therefore if we have been raised up with Christ, we must keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. For we have died and our life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col 3:1-3) Paul tells the Colossians not to lie to one another, since they have laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. (Col 1:9-10) Indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed towards us. (2 Cor 13:4)
“Test ourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” ( 2 Cor 13:5)
If Christ surely is in us, He is our hope of glory, and when we test ourselves, we will find that He is in us. He is faithful to reveal to our souls that Christ is in us. May we never be afraid to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith, to examine ourselves carefully. If Christ is in us, we have nothing to fear. He will be formed in us again and again, that is, the Spirit will testify with our spirits that we truly are the children of God. He will take from what is Christ’s, His glory, and disclose it us again and again. Remember, He is our hope of glory!
And if Christ is not in you, as He very well may not be, then you must seek Him with all of your heart that He may be found by you. He will not turn away any who come to Him. His will is that all who behold the Son are granted eternal Life, and they will never perish, but will have the Light of Life! You cannot come to Him unless it has been granted you by the Father (John 6: 65). You cannot choose to have saving faith on your own. You cannot choose to repent on your own. He must grant them to you. So turn to Him! Seek Him and live! Turn to Christ! When He is lifted up He draws all of His people to Himself.
Christ in us, the Hope of Glory: the Morning Star
We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which we do well to pray attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in our hearts (2 Pet 1:19). Christ is the Morning Star! He said, “I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the bright Morning Star” (Rev 22:16). We must pay attention to the prophetic word so that we do not drift from it (Heb 2:1) For those who fear His Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and we will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. We will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of our feet on the day the Lord of hosts is preparing. (Mal 4: 2-3) To those who overcome, He promises to give them the Morning Star. Yes, He promises to give us Himself if we overcome by not drifting away. And it is His power, the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony, the result of His gracious gift of faith bought with His blood, by which we will overcome. When Christ who is our life appears, we also will appear with Him in glory (Col 3:4). If our hearts have truly believed that He is raised from the dead, the effect of our understanding of the implications of His resurrection is infinite, transcendent, glorious, and life-changing. Our Christ is alive!
Beloved, everything in His Word is certain. It is true. God has crowned His Son with glory and honor, and has appointed Him over the works of His hands; He has put all things in subjection under His feet. In subjecting all things to Christ, He left nothing that is not subjected to Him. (Heb 2:7-8) You must kiss the Son, lest He be angry and we perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled; blessed are all who take refuge in Him (Ps 2:12).
The Prayer Meeting Sermon by Bob Jennings
Knowing God as Father Sermon by Charles Leiter
Victory over Sin Sermon by Nathan Rages
Sermons by Rick Steen We met Pastor Steen this past Sunday after he preached at Anand’s church on Hebrews 1-2 about not drifting away, but rather clinging to the Gospel of Christ.
The Narrow Way of the Regenerate by Paul Washer (9 min; please see)
Love in Christ,