Friday in the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Colossians 1:26-29

The Mystery which Is Christ in You

The Christian faith is full of mysteries.  Now we must define our terms.  By “mystery,” we do not mean anything having to do with Sherlock Holmes or tales one might read about.  A mystery in Scripture is some deep truth that has been revealed by God yet remains somewhat obscure—and that because of our inability to fully understand divine matters, both because of the nature of the truth which is too deep for human understanding and because of our sin which ever clouds our minds.  Such truths include: the doctrine of the Trinity—that God is three in one and one in three; the Incarnation—that our Lord added our humanity to his divinity; the doctrine of election—that God brings his chosen ones to saving faith without violating their freedom of will.  These are just a few.  Our God being so far beyond human comprehension cannot disclose to us all the magnitude of His truth and glory; we must settle for what He does reveal which is enough to save us; indeed, even more, for in Christ whose mind is revealed to us through the Spirit’s enlightenment in the pages of Scripture are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Paul proclaims another mystery of the faith in this passage, simply that “God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  In other words, that God had ever intended to save not only Israel but the nations as well.  This mystery was foreshadowed in Genesis 12:3 when God promised to Abraham “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  This was a veiled reference to the coming of the Messiah who would come from Abraham’s loins for the sake of the world.  In Christ, this prophecy was fulfilled.  And so now, this mystery is revealed—and what a revelation: Christ in us, the hope of glory!  We take this for granted but every Gentile (that’s us) should lift his hands in praise.  This is not of ourselves but the gift of God.  And yet, Christ in us, is still a mystery.  Yes, he indwells us through his Holy Spirit, but still, is it not mind-boggling?  And how much do we know of this “hope of glory?”  We read wonderful things of it in Scripture, but we can only imagine how it will be.

And for this mystery—the gospel of Jesus Christ—Paul preached, warned, exhorted, and encouraged God’s people to grow into maturity.  And this is the work of every pastor, that with all wisdom and sound teaching and preaching, he admonish the faithful to cling to Christ and make Christ their very life, their hope of glory.  And this mystery beats Sherlock Holmes hands down.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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