Christ, the Hope of Glory
By Dean E. Boelt
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). At the outset we should mention how that Christ is in us. The Scriptures speak of God the Father being in us (I Jn. 4:12, 15), the Son being in us (Col. 1:27), the Holy Spirit being in us (Rom. 8:11). Christ dwells in us by the Holy Spirit. Hear the word of the Apostle Paul in this connection: “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom. 8:9).
If this hope is not kept strong, “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4) will consume us. He has power to blind the eyes of them which do not believe. It is imperative that we know the truth because it is the truth that makes us free. There are degrees to understanding God’s will and of knowing the truth. And this was the prayer of the Apostle Paul that the church might be filled this understanding. As he said, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10).
Here are two noteworthy equations to be considered. Ignorance is equal to bondage, and truth is equal to liberty, and it is by degrees in both of these equations. The degree of ignorance of the Father and the Son determines one’s bondage, and the degree of believing and understanding the truth, as it is in Jesus, determines one’s liberty. As the Lord Jesus declared, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32).
As “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (II Cor. 4:7), the truth must keep coming into the vessel, because the container is made of clay (cf. Job 4:19). This earthen vessel that we are in is not an adequate container for the truth. The truth soon loses its luster and vitality while it is in storage in this container. For this reason truth must be continually lived in and walked in (cf. Ps. 26:3; 86:11; II Jn. 4, III Jn. 3-4). It is not a static situation. And the treasure presently being in the earthen vessel is to this end, that “the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Cor. 4:7).
The mind, with regard to the things of this world, is like a sponge, and with respect to the things of God, it is like a sieve. In the wisdom of God it is this way. But the simultaneous sponge-like and sieve-like nature of this situation demands that a constant filling of the truth and spiritual understanding is imperative if we are to overcome the world. Without this filling we are defeated. And that is because we are in Satan’s domain, which is an exceeding jeopardous locality. Consequently, it is essential that the “inward man” be “renewed day by day” (II Cor. 4:16), if men are to overcome the world, of which the Devil is the prince.
To have any hope of escaping this sin-filled, Satan-dominated world, we must be in Christ, and have “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27; cf. Rom. 13:14). Without Christ being in men there is no hope of glory! Let those, therefore, who are yet outside of Christ, earnestly devote themselves to the matter of obeying the gospel, being baptized into Christ. And may those who are presently in Christ continually give themselves to abiding in Him until the day that He shall appear in the clouds of heaven. “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (I Jn. 2:28).