Colossians 1:27 (ESV) … the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The deception of modern ‘christianity’ (small c) is that religious rituals or church membership equals saved. Such beliefs, promoted by the pharisees and Roman Catholicism, are the very beliefs the early church and the reformers fought against. Yet now they have again become the human stamp of what a christian is. As such self-evaluation is comparing one’s self with others and by this determine they are ‘saved’.
Salvation however, comes through ‘faith’ in Christ alone. If, through repentance and faith in Christ salvation comes, then salvation is not an affidavit but a radically transforming encounter. It is proceeded by the entrance of Christ Himself into the life of the faithful. This is what the reformers died for.
Colossians 2:9–10 (ESV) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Those who are saved are redeemed not because of their affiliations, but because of the indwelling Jesus christ.
If christ is in you as the hope of glory, then the fullness of the Godhead has the lead to effect all that you say and do.
This transforming work of Christ reproduces His counter-cultural ministry. Jesus’ revolutionary ministry can be described as apostle or ambassador, prophet, evangelist and shepherd teacher.
Ambassador – As Apostle Jesus’ life was controlled fully by the will of His father. Ambassadorial service exists for the good of the represented – in this case the Kingdom of God.
Prophet – He clearly distinguished between and revealed good and evil. Capable of recognising the institutions that were ostensibly good but actually evil. He saw the heart of man and was not filled by political correctness. He recognised the advancing Kingdom of hHeaven.
Evangelist – He spoke as one seeking to rescue people from the evil. The only way to be saved was through faith alone, in Himself/Christ alone.
Shepherd teacher – As the good shepherd, he never just ‘loved on people’ rather He called them to follow Christ. His teaching produced a counter-cultural revolutionary people who rejected the philosophies of the world in which they lived. The religious, the cultish and the atheistic. His teaching was to righteousness not to earthly comfort.
Christ is in you is the greatest underserved, unmerited privilege. Such glory surely will burst out of any vessel it resides in, producing abundant witness and ministry.
John Wesley once called this effect the “effectual power of a greater affection”.
As ambassadors of Christ, captivated by His love and mercy, His will alone demands our hearts and our action are conformed to His image and will.
As Prophets, we are not fooled by the deceptive reasoning of antichrist or the slanderous propaganda of the god of this age and are able to discern The advancing Kingdom.
As evangelists we will only be content with the Word of Christ as gospel.
As shepherd teachers every radical disciple of Christ seeks to influence others to become counter-cultural revolutionary.
The riches of the glory of the mystery of the gospel is this – Christ in you the hope of glory.