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Eternity 24 - Christ In You The Hope of Glory Part 2

(Colossians 1:26-29 NKJV) the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. {27} To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. {28} Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. {29} To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

To illustrate how Christ in us is the hope of glory imagine two balloons - one is a small dowdy looking balloon that slowly inflates as it is connected to an air line. The other balloon is magnificent, huge, and gilt-covered but it is disconnected from the air line and has an almost imperceptible leak in it.

Over time what is going to happen? The small balloon is going to get bigger and bigger as long as it remains connected to the air line. And eventually the big balloon is going to go flat.

Now think of ourselves as the balloon and Jesus as the spiritual source of growth. People connected to Jesus must grow. People disconnected from Jesus must go flat (because we all have the leak called "sin"). Thus even broken sinners who stay connected to Jesus can grow into magnificent spiritual beings while proud people who disconnect from Jesus will find that they "leak" and that over time their lives are "flat nothings".

This is what Jesus means when He says "may who are first will be last and many who are last will be first.". The sinners and prostitutes connected to Jesus will gradually grow in spiritual stature. In fact they will have eternity "connected to the air pump". This means that over the centuries in heaven they will become world-inhabiting sons of God, eternal beings clothed with imperishable bodies, astonishing in power, seated in heavenly realms with Jesus, full of light, love and glory.

On the other hand the respectable Pharisees who disconnect from personal relationship with God and who rely on their own righteousness become, according to Isaiah "an everlasting disgrace". (Isaiah 66:22-24).

Thus the starting point of our lives is not as important as the connection point of our souls.

A pure and good person who suddenly decides to connect to lust and debauchery will be filled with that and overcome, whereas a wicked person who repents and who connects with the righteousness of Christ will become a saint.

The thief on the cross made the right connection and was flooded with the love of God and entrance to Paradise. Christ in us is the hope of glory because He is our connection to the source of eternal life, love, wisdom, righteousness and truth.

Christ in us is not a static lump of spirit that just sits there. Christ in us is like a nuclear power plant in the soul of the believer.

Since Christ is God and is perfect then the changes he brings about in us as His life works in us will also be perfect. He will pass His perfection on to us as we abide in Him.

The living connection to Christ, the abiding in the vine , will allow His life to interpenetrate our life and His goodness to bear fruit in us.

This is not just a mystical connection - though it includes that. The connection is intensely practical and involves treating people well, loving others and obeying His commandments. You cannot abide in Christ and be selfish, mean and nasty at the same time. One excludes the other.

The keys to abiding and connecting include forgiveness, faith, mercy and putting away wrath and malice. We can only receive Christ in God-honouring and beautiful and loving ways. We can only grow as we open our hearts to mercy, love and grace and the forgiveness of others. More on this tomorrow.


John Edmiston


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