To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.
Mystery religions were popular in Paul’s day. Only elite insiders were privy to the secrets of their chosen deities. I liken it to an exclusive club for religious pretenders. And since Paul was talking to a predominantly Gentile group of believers, he spoke in terms they could understand.
The one true God has a gloriously rich mystery which He chose to “make known among the Gentiles.”
In Old Testament times, before Christ’s victory over death, the Holy Spirit occasionally came upon chosen individuals to empower them for God’s specific purposes. At no time had God indwelled all of His followers, and certainly not the Gentiles. The Lord taking up residence in believers was unthinkable, a mystery hidden from the ancients, but revealed in the age of grace.
The God who was once unapproachable except through prayer, whose face could never be looked upon, and whose name was never actually spoken — now inhabited Jesus’ followers. People once considered unholy, unclean, and unrighteous were now cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus and made fitting vessels for the spirit of Christ to reside.
In 1986, I was asked to emcee an appearance by President Ronald Reagan at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. Before I could stand on the stage with the President, I had to be carefully vetted. That meant filling out forms, a background check, and an interview with a secret service agent. Ultimately, the U.S. government was satisfied that I was fit for the task.
Think of what it took for you and me to gain the enormous privilege and honor of a close personal 24/7 relationship with the heavenly Father. Because of sin, we could have never passed the vetting requirements, no matter how hard we tried. Only Jesus’ sacrificial death could satisfy God’s demands.
Christ in you. It is a thought that is so lofty and so amazing that it is difficult to fully comprehend. But because Christ is in us, we have His continual help preparing us for glory.
What does Paul mean by the “hope of glory? In Chapter 3 at verse 4 in Colossians, the Apostle declares: “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
We share glory with Christ (Romans 8:18). If we die before His return, we will be raised in glory (1 Corinthians 15:43). Glory is eternal (2 Timothy 2:10), yet to be revealed (1 Peter 5:1), and when the Chief Shepherd appears we “…will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:4)
Here in Alabama, we know a lot about winning championships, at least in football. That national championship trophy is something to behold. Our world places a lot of emphasis on winning. And the bigger the prize, the greater the glory. However, the glory is temporary and it fades.
Christians are in line for the greatest prize and glory of all — the eternal reward won for us by Christ. Nothing can compare with God’s permanent and unfading glory through Jesus. Glory is our inheritance, our future, our eternal home, and our forever state of being with God.
For additional info on this topic, check out this article: Will We Know Our Loved Ones in Heaven?
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September). Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.