The Book of Colossians #6



Colossians 1:24-29
If I could tell you a secret which would explain how you could be everything you
ought to be and everything you want to be, would you be interested? All of us are
interested in being in on a secret. Most people can keep a secret, it just takes a lot of us to do it. 
A secret is something is wonderful and you enjoy being a part of it. The Apostle Paul is writing here about the Christian life and how it works. He is writing about the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ and the ministry that God had given to him. Right in the middle of all that kind of writing Paul says, “I have a mystery for you. I have a secret
for you.” Twice in these verses, in verse 26 and 27, he uses the word mystery.
That’s not what we think about when we think about a mystery. We think in terms
of a who-dun-it. We think about a Sherlock Holmes or a John Gresham or an Alfred
Hitchcock. But when the Bible uses this word, mystery, it was a word that really would have caught the attention of the New Testament writers. 
In those days they had what they called mystery religions. These were religions that were only for a select few. Only the initiated could get into these mystery religions. 
Paul had a way of taking the very words these mystery religions used and use them as ammunition against them. One of those words is the word, mystery. It’s really where we get our word, mum. We say, “Mums the word.” It means to close the mouth. It means you have a secret. 
So, the mystery religions had secrets--things that only their initiated could know anything about. Paul takes this same word, mystery, and uses it to refer to a secret of God which we could not know unless God revealed it unto us.
In Deuteronomy 29:29 it says, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
God has some secrets. There are some things that we will never know. There are some things we will never fully understand.
They are secrets that are in the heart of God for all eternity. Yet, the Bible says there are some secrets--some mysteries--that God has chosen to reveal to man.
There are a number of them in the Bible. There’s the mystery of the cross. We would never have understood the cross if God hadn’t revealed it to us. There is the mystery of the church. How God takes people from all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of cultures and brings them together in one body--the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In these verses Paul says I want to tell you a mystery--a secret of God you would never understand unless God revealed it. It is the secret of how the Christian life is lived successfully. 
Verse 27
Then he tells us what the secret is. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Every word in that little statement is a monosyllable except one. In that simple little statement is the secret that God reveals to us that makes possible what the Christian life really ought to be.
That statement means -
I. The PRESENCE of Jesus Christ is in Your Life.
That is an astonishing statement. That is an astounding concept. He has just said that Jesus Christ is the creator of the universe.   He has previously said that Jesus Christ is the Savior who died on the cross for our sins. 
Now he says this same Jesus, at salvation, comes to be present in your heart. That just takes your breath away when you really begin to think about it.
We probably understand that when we come to Jesus we are “in Christ.” Back in chapter 1, verse 2, it says, “to the saints and the faithful brethren in Christ.” Our spiritual location at salvation is in Jesus Christ. 
Now, he says not only are we in Christ, but Christ is in us. Think about that. We come to Christ. We are in Him, but Jesus Christ comes to live in our hearts.
Turn to the book of John 14. Let’s look at a couple statements of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
In verse 20 Jesus says, “And at that day you shall know that I am in the father and you in me and I in you.” Jesus present in our life.
Jesus says in verse 23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me he will keep my words, and my father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” Jesus Christ is present in your life. Jesus Christ comes to live in your life.
A lot of people get the idea that after they trust Jesus as their personal Savior they are on their own from then on out. Somehow they can accept Jesus and He will save them, but then they have to handle the Christian life themselves. 
People read their Bible, go to church, try real hard to do what they ought to do and live the way they ought to live on a daily basis. But this verse of Scripture says it’s an altogether different approach. It is not something you have to do. It is not an energy or a presence that you have to generate in your life. Jesus comes to live in your heart.
When we look at the Christian life and our temptations and the problems we encounter on a daily basis there is no way you and I can live the way we ought to live ourselves. But Christ in you means that the presence of Jesus is in your life. How does this presence come into our lives?
Jesus comes to live in your heart by faith. Becoming a Christian is receiving Jesus Christ into your heart by faith.
How can someone as great as Jesus come to live in a heart and a life so small as mine? 
Think about the sun: Every day, the sun will be out. That sun is millions of miles away and far larger than this earth and certainly far larger than you and I. Yet, if that sun is out we can open up a window and the rays of that sun can come flooding into this room. 
The window of faith brings the presence of Jesus Christ into your heart and life. You become a Christian by receiving Jesus by faith. You live the Christian life by releasing this presence of Jesus in your life every day.
I want to be as practical and understandable as I can possibly be. Jesus is in your life. The presence of Jesus is in your life. That means if you will turn your life over to Jesus every day, Jesus Christ will live through you the life that He would live if He were on this earth right now. Think about that.
Jesus in me. The presence of Jesus is working in and through me. That means I can live the way I ought to live because Jesus lives in me. That means I can love the way I ought to love because I let Jesus love through me. That means I can work for Him the way I ought to work for Him because I let Jesus work through me.
So “Christ in you the hope of glory” means the presence of Jesus is in your life. It also
II. The POWER of Jesus Christ is in your life.
All the power that Jesus has is now available in your life. Turn back to the Old Testament to a beautiful passage of scripture, Isa. 40:31. This is such a good verse, I hope you’ll hold on to it. “But they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk
and not faint.” Isn’t that a beautiful verse?
The idea is of the eagle replacing those old feathers for new feathers. It’s the idea of exchanging for something better. He is saying, “Those who wait upon the lord shall exchange their strength.” 
You can exchange your puny, weak strength for His Almighty, Omnipotent strength. An exchange of power.
 “Christ in you.” “They that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength.”
There are times when you have real difficult situations in life. There are times when you need to fly. There some times when you need strength which is above your ability. You need to mount up with wings as eagles. I’ve got good news for you. Christ in you, the power of Jesus, is available to you for those times when you need to fly.
“They shall run and not be weary.” These are those days when you are on the run. 
Some of you mothers feel like you are primarily taxi drivers. Running here to deliver this one. Running over here to deliver this one. Running over here to go to that activity. You feel like you are in the road all the time running. The power of Jesus Christ is available for those running times in life. 
Paul said in verse 28, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (mature or complete) in Jesus.” 
He was on the run. 
How did Paul do that? He did it in the power of Jesus. You are on the run. How do you live successfully? You do it in the power of Jesus.
Here’s the hard part. “They shall walk and not faint.” Sometimes the walking is the hardest of all. Just the mundane, ordinary activities of life. Do you find it’s easier normally to draw on the power of Jesus in the real crisis times than it is in some of the smaller occasions?
Your have some crisis and you draw on the power of Jesus and you are amazed how you turned that situation over to the Lord. Then your washing machine breaks and you just go to pieces. Sometimes we blow it in the little things.
We need the power of Jesus not only for the big things, but we need the power of Jesus for the little things. Christ in you! The presence of Jesus is in your life. The power
of Jesus is in your life. It’s available.
III. The PROSPECT of Jesus Christ is in Your Life.
“Christ in you the hope of glory.” 
Bringing to you all the glorious things that God has in store for you. This is why this verse is so important in the Christian life. It is important because it deals with the problem of loneliness and problems of self-esteem.  
The presence of Jesus is in your life means you don’t have to be alone. You are never alone. Jesus is there. You don’t have to feel like you are a nobody. Jesus Christ honored you by coming to live in your heart. His presence is the solution for loneliness and low self-esteem.
It’s also the solution for problems of temptation and living the way you ought to live. 
Then, it turns our attention to the future. The future fills us with some anxiety and apprehension. What’s out there in the future? The older you get the more aware you become of how these bodies are so weak. The older you get the weaker your body gets. 
More things go wrong with us. More trips to the doctor. These bodies have a tendency to wear out and break down. 
All of the problems of old age begin to creep up on you. I’ve just been listening in the office to what the others say! The b’s of old are: baldness, bifocals, bunions and bay windows. There’s another b that comes in there -- burials. We do everything we can to take care of them but it’s a losing battle.
Disease is constantly battling these old bodies. We take medicines and exercise and eat properly trying to fight off these diseases that are constantly assailing your body. Then one day one of them gets in there and you fight and resist it, but is gets there and persists. It lays hold of your body and you can’t seem to shake it. It gets its grip on you. Maybe it’s heart disease. Maybe it’s cancer. 
It takes hold on you and gets the best of your body and becomes even more of a losing battle. That old body just gets weaker and weaker and goes down and down and down. Finally, death comes. And a grave. And a burial. Does this Christian life and Christ in you do anything for us in that time? 
Oh, yes. He is saying that out in the future God has something glorious in store for you. Salvation not only includes the spirit, it also includes the soul and the body. 
Christ in you the hope of glory. Christ in you the guarantee of resurrection. One of these days these bodies are going to be resurrected. A person goes to sleep one night and the next time they open their eyes, they hear shouts of victory they have never heard before. They hear such singing as they have never heard before. 
They say, “Where am I?”   Someone says,
“Welcome home, pilgrim.” You find that you are in the presence of God. You find that you have a resurrection body. Christ in you the hope of glory. How wonderful that’s going to be.
Psalm 17:15 is one of my favorite verses in all of the Bible. “As for me I will be hold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” He is saying that one of these days in the future we are going to see Jesus. One of these days we will leave these earthly confines and we will go into the presence of Jesus. 
Christ in you the hope of glory. That’s going to be wonderful to behold.
Christ makes it all come out just right. It’s the great secret of the Christian life.
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