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God’s Word for You

Colossians 1:27 Christ’s constant presence among us

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

27 God was willing to make known to them the greatness of the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The “them” in the beginning of the verse means all the saints, the group mentioned at the end of verse 26. These are all those who trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and life, both Old Testament believers who looked ahead to Christ, or us of the New Testament, who know the historical Jesus Christ and know precisely how he gave himself up for us on the cross.

Paul says that God “willed to make known to them” (literal Greek) the gospel. We must not forget about the rest of the Bible, which tells us that God wants all people to be saved, to become his saints (Isaiah 45:22). “God wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). So here Paul must be stressing God’s willingness to extend his saving message also to the Gentiles.

He describes the message as “the greatness of the glorious riches of this mystery.” Those are remarkable words, piled higher and higher one atop the other to focus our minds on knowing that this is truly the very point of the spire; the pinnacle of possible knowledge; the final revelation of the mystery: Christ is in you! Not that you are Christ, but that Christ dwells within you through faith which is the hope or anticipation of glory.

What God requires of you is something you carry around with you: It is Christ. Your faith connects you to the Son of God, who is both seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; Colossians 3:1) and at the same time present everywhere. Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).

Christ’s constant presence among us and in us is taught both as a warning and as a comfort. It is a warning because it shows that there is nothing God does not see; nothing we do that God does not witness. “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:24). But it is also a comfort, because Jesus is with us to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20), and we don’t need to fear any danger up to and including death itself “for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). He gives us the hope of glory. It is a hope, not because there is a chance that we won’t share in it, but simply because the great fullness of his glory remains in our future life in heaven. While we linger on this earth, we wait patiently for the glory to come, reassured by Christ’s presence with us and within us, and we trust in him for forgiveness and everlasting life.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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