The Mystery of the Gospel

This mystery . . . is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

–Colossians 1:27

As Christians, we have been charged with sharing the gospel, which is a message of hope—a message Paul described as a “mystery” (Colossians 1:26). In verse 27, Paul revealed this mystery: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” I have to admit, this seems a little anticlimactic. This is the message we’re going to suffer for? Where’s the teaching about sin, salvation, the second coming, judgment, and heaven? Other passages in the Bible talk about those things, but the result of the gospel is this: Christ living in you is the hope of glory. That is the sum total of the gospel.

I want to focus on two words in this verse. First, the word “hope.” In the Bible, hope is not wishful thinking; it’s an assurance, a conviction, that something is going to happen. Second, the word “glory.” This is translated from the Greek word doxa, and it refers to the radiance, splendor, and everlastingness of God.

Here is our message: Jesus Christ living in you gives you the assurance that one day you will share in the splendor, radiance, and everlastingness of God.

To understand what a great message of hope that is, we need to contrast the everlastingness of God with the finiteness of man. No passage in the Bible does so better than Psalm 90, which was written by Moses. He began, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (vv. 1–2). God is eternal. But Moses continued, “You turn man back into dust and say, ‘Return, O children of men’” (v. 3). Compared to the eternality of God, you and I are nothing but dust.

Some years ago, one of my relatives died and was cremated. As we scattered the ashes, I thought, Eighty-five years of happiness, sorrow, trials, hard work, relationships—and it’s all reduced to a bag of dust. That’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?

But here is the result of the gospel: if you know Christ as your Savior, then the same splendor, radiance, and everlasting quality of Almighty God is now part of your life as well. That’s the message we are to share. This life has meaning and purpose—and, more importantly, there is hope beyond the grave. Christ living in us is our assurance that we will share in God’s everlastingness.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “You Gotta Have Hope” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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