Colossians 1:27 is a powerful verse:
“God has chosen
to make known among the Gentiles
glorious riches of this mystery,
Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Let’s start by clarifying that the apostle Paul is
writing to believers in Jesus Christ—the “you”
whom he addresses.
He calls them “the Lord’s people” in the previous verse
The “Gentiles” are non-Jewish people.
A “mystery” in the New Testament is simply
something that was hidden
in times past but has
now been revealed by God.
The former mystery, now understood, is that
Christ in us is the hope
our future glory.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people to empower them for service, but then He would leave again. New Testament believers have a different experience, as the Spirit indwells us permanently. The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit given to New Testament believers was a “mystery” to the Old Testament saints.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to live within us, never to leave (John 14:16–17; 16:7). Jesus told His disciples,
"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father . . .
and I am in you”
The Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption
In other words, the Spirit’s presence
in our hearts guarantees
our ultimate salvation.
Though we are in this world, we are not of it (John 17:16).
"The secret is simply this: Christ in you! Yes, Christ in you bringing with him the
hope of all glorious things to come.”
The hope of glory is the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore us and all creation (see Romans 8:19–21 and 1 Peter 5:10). This hope is not a wishful thought, but the confident, expectant, joyful knowledge that we are being changed by God and will one day see Christ face to face, having been conformed to His image (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2).
The hope of glory includes our resurrection:
"If the Spirit of him who
raised Jesus from the dead is
living in you,
he who raised Christ from the dead will
also give life
to your mortal bodies because of
his Spirit who lives in you”
It includes a heavenly inheritance:
“In his great mercy he has given us
new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3–4). The Spirit of Christ within us is the “deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14).
Christ’s presence in us
is the hope of glory,
and this truth is full of “glorious riches.”
Our once dead, darkened spirits are made alive.
Christ is in our hearts, and we know that there is life
beyond this earthly existence—a life that
will be glorious beyond all imagination.
Jesus spoke of
the importance of motivation
contrasting the hireling and the shepherd
The hireling will take care of the animals because he wants to get paid.
But as soon as he sees danger (that is, when wolves appear),
he abandons the sheep to protect himself.
The shepherd, on the other hand, not only takes care of his flock,
willing to put his life on the line to keep them safe
When the apostle Paul wrote,
"The love of Christ compels us,”
he was describing the
powerful, Spirit-filled motivation that drives followers of
share the gospel
in ways that persuade people to commit their lives to Jesus.
When Paul explained this motivation to the Corinthians,
he wanted them to
not be ashamed of either him or the message
of reconciliation that
brings life to those who embrace it
(2 Corinthians 5:11–15).
Paul understood the futility of life without
righteousness through self-effort.
Even though the people to whom he preached
often hostile to him, and even called him crazy, the
love of Christ compelled him to keep putting
message of hope in front of them.
Paul knew that his detractors were starving
for a sense of
meaning, purpose, and significance
in the world-- much like we see today.
love of Christ
compelled Paul to share the gospel.
The phrase the love of Christ could be interpreted in two ways:
Christ’s love for people, or the
apostles’ love for Christ.
Either provides motivation to take the gospel
to distant lands in the face of opposition.
The great love of Christ was such that “Christ died for all” people
(2 Corinthians 5:14, NLT).
Paul’s love for Christ was such
that he was willing to die to self
(see Galatians 2:20).
This testimony of Paul’s encourages us to
“What motivates us to share the good news of Jesus with others?”
Are we driven by
genuine love and affection for Christ,
Christ’s love for the lost, or merely by a sense of duty?
What motivates us will make all the difference.
When we possess this compelling,
Spirit-driven motivation of Christ’s love,
we are zealous
in seeing the lost reconciled with God.
We go to the lost, rather than letting them come to us. We are willing
to make ourselves
"a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible”
(1 Corinthians 9:19);
we “become all things to all people so that by all possible means [we]
might save some”
The love of Christ compels us to
love the lost enough to
share the good news of salvation with them.
Testimony to truly witnessing Christ
Is the meaning and purpose in life
that fulfills and sustains me