Christ in You

Bible Book: Colossians  1 : 20-29
Subject: Jesus, Indwelling of; Victory; Christ In You
Introduction

Paul speaks of Christ in the believer as the hope of glory, but so few people understand just how important this statement is and how deeply it reaches in the divine/human relationship. Today I want us to think about this one phrase – Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Every person wants life to have meaning and purpose. We all want life to contain some “glory” – some significance beyond just living and dying. We desire a life that is more than a moment of success or pleasure here or there. The question for mankind is this: Where can I find the glory in living? Is it in money? Is it in pleasure? Is it in fame? Is it in success? Where is the “glory” of being alive? We all want it but how do we find it?

It is a widely held belief that man needs three things to make life wholesome and happy.

i. First, he needs significance. He needs to feel that his life counts for something worthwhile.
ii. Secondly, he needs his needs met. He needs to know that shelter, food, clothes and the basic needs of life will be available.
iii. Thirdly, he needs security. He needs to know that there is something beyond this life - something beyond death - that this little time on earth is not all that there is to his existence.

Now who made you with these needs? God did. He made you, He created you and He knows you need them. Certainly Satan is going to attack you at this point in order to disrupt your relationship with your Creator. In reality no one will ever find true meaning in life outside of the Creator, and specifically outside salvation through Jesus Christ.

Robert McGee wrote a book dealing with these issues a few years ago entitled, “The Search For Significance.” He pointed out that people have a problem of sensing meaning in life because of some basic problems. He said that people are caught in psychological traps. These traps consist of trying to be accepted or make life meaningful in wrong ways. We try to seek meaning in performing better than others. Or, we try to get approval from other people and without their approval we feel we are failures. Again, some people lack a feeling of significance because of guilt. They know they are not what they should be or could be, so they live with a terrible sense of guilt. Such people feel unworthy of love and acceptance. Finally, there are those who just accept situations the way they are and feel that they can never be happy and destined for a life without meaning.

Paul wrote to the Colossians Christians to say that Christ in you is the hope of glory and that is your significance. If you have been saved, if you belong to the Lord, you need to know that certain things apply to you and that these are important for you to appropriate.

I heard about a woman whose husband died. About a year later, she went by the insurance office and told them she needed to drop her husband’s life insurance. They asked why. She told them that since he died her income had dropped and she could no longer afford the premiums. They looked at her with amazement. She had not reported to them that he had died. She had never collected the insurance she was due. In fact, not understanding how insurance works, she had continued to make payments. Needless to say, she was amazed to learn that she was not to pay but rather she was to receive a large sum of money. Is that story true? It certainly doesn't sound like it, but it was told as truthful. I'll tell you something that is true, many Christians live their spiritual lives as if they paying for something that has already been paid for. They fail to know what they have and so they live in a kind of spiritual poverty. All you need is yours in Christ!

I want you to know the joy that is yours in Christ. I want you to know what Jesus did when He died for you at Calvary. It is my prayer that God will speak to you today and tell you who you are in Him and who He is in you!

I. Realize the Presence of Christ in You

Once a person is saved, Christ is in that person and that person is in Him. Our position is one with glorious meaning. To truly recognize how important this is we need to remember two important facts from scripture.

A. Look at who you Were

It is a good thing for those of us who are saved to look back and remember who we were before we accepted salvation through Christ. The Bible reminds us from time to time of our past so we can appreciate our present and future state of being.

1. Estranged

When we were in our sin, we were estranged from God - we were far away from Him and lost. Our sinful nature had created a great gulf between us and our Creator and we had no way of getting across that abyss on our own. Simply put, we were separated from God.

2. Enemies

There was more than just a thought of separation, we were in fact at war with God. I know there are those who are unsaved and say, "I don't have anything against the Lord, and those that want to serve Him ought to." My dear friend, those who are not with the Lord are against the Lord. There is no demilitarized zone in the spiritual world. When we were lost, we are enemies of God and our sins crucified His Son. That is serious business and a dangerous position to be in for anyone!

3. Evil

Note that the Bible clearly states that we were living in sin and were evil in our ways. It is a strange truth that one never realizes the depth of his sin till he comes face to face with Jesus. When we turn to Him in faith and accept the sacrifice He made for us at Calvary, there is a sudden awareness of the darkness of our souls. We call out for salvation and the light appears and the darkness is gone. He takes the weight from our hearts because he burden is easy and light. Christ in you - Christ in me - the hope of glory, indeed!

But, we need to see something else ....

B. Look at who you Are

Look at Colossians 1:26. You will see a word there that tells you who you are - once you are saved you are “saints.” Not many of us think of ourselves that way, but that is who God says we are, and if God says that about us then saints we are. Someone once said, there are only two kinds of people in the world - Saints and Ain’ts! You are either saved and therefore you are a saint; or, you are unsaved and therefore you're an ain’t!

What is a saint? To be sure a saint is more than a person pictured in stained glass in a church window. A saint is simply a person whom God has saved, cleaned up and reconciled (see verse 22). Of course, it is important for the saved person to live like a saint. We can be and ought to be what God says we are in His Son. We must never use excuses for failure, but looking unto Jesus we must pay aside every weight and the sin that easily besets us and run with patience the race that is set before us. You are a saint of God, if indeed you are born again! Then, we must start thinking like it and acting like it.

II. Recognize the Potential of Christ in You

Look at Colossians 1:28. The desire of the Lord is to present us perfect in Christ. What does this mean? It does not mean that we live a life that is absolutely perfect, but it does mean that we grow up into all that He intends for us.

Occasionally a book or television program will tell the story of someone who had incredible potential but threw it all away. It may have been choosing the wrong friends, or getting involved in drugs that destroyed the great athlete or musician. It may have been laziness or crime that ripped success from the grasp of a person with so much talent. What about the Christian? What keeps the believer from becoming all that God has planned for him or for her?

A. God has a Plan for your Life

The firsts thing every Christian must realize is that God has a plan for your life beyond just getting you into heaven. Christ is in you! He does not dwell there just to keep you from perishing in eternity. He has work for you to do in the kingdom and He will provide you with the ability to carry it out.

When I fully surrendered to preach God's Word, I was 23 years old. I had known of God's call upon my life from the time I was a boy, but I ran as hard as I could from His will. Finally, I yielded and what joy filled my heart. Yet, I looked at His calling, what it was going to require and a great fear came over me. How could I, a married man with a three year old daughter, go to college and seminary? How could I take care of my family? How could I deal with the work required at a college leve, since I had been out of high school for five years? I will never forget the night my wife and bowed down by the sofa and prayed, "God we don't how we can do this, but that is your problem. You called me and here I am. I'm a little late, but I'm ready." Peace came over me. Four years later I graduated from college (cum laude), with the colletge president's Greek Honor Student Award. I was also free of debt the day I finished college! Oh, it wasn't easy and there were days we wondered how we could face the next day, but God was always there. He is IN me and not just with me. I learned to believe Philippians 4:13 as real and not just a nice sounding verse of scripture.

God has a plan for everyone Christian. Your calling in your home, at work and in your church is every bit as important to the kingdom as that of Billy Graham or your pastor. Signficance is found when we simply agree with God and say, "God, you lead and I will follow, even it means the way is uphill and in the dark." Trust Him, He will not fail you. Follow Him, He will not leave you. Obey Him, He will not misguide you. Love Him, He will not disappoint you.

B. God has a Provision for your Life

Look at the “riches” that are mentioned in verse 27. God’s has the provision for your life and He will not ask you to do what He will not provide for you to do.

Look at Ephesians 1:3-4. God has given you every spiritual blessing in Christ. He knows who you are and what you need. He knew you before you were born. He had plans for you and He has the ability to make them work out exactly in the way that is best for you and the kingdom of God. We have to be willing for Him to work in us.

Gerald Harris, the editor of The Christian Index, tells the following story:

I heard about this preacher one time that was the guest preacher in another church. Before he preached, he went out into the congregation and he sat down beside this lady in the church. She had her Bible on the pew beside her. When she turned around to speak to someone else, this preacher put a $5 bill in her Bible, way over in the book of Obadiah or Habakkuk. Then he closed the Bible. Of course, you know it's not very easy to find a $5 bill in a Bible, particularly if it is closed and you don't know that it's there. He put the Bible right back down beside her. Then when he started to preach, he said, "O, I need a volunteer. I want somebody to come up here and I want you to bring your Bible with you." He looked at that lady, and he said, "How about you? Would you come up here and stand by me?" He knew who she was, but she really didn't know what had happened. So this preacher said to the lady, "I want to ask you a question. Do you believe that I am a man of God?" "Yes, sir." "Do you believe that I am a truth-speaker?" "Yes, sir." "Do you love me?" "Yes, sir." "If I were to ask you right now to do something for me, and you could do it with no difficulty at all, and you could do it right here and right now, and I promise you that you could do it, would you do it?" "Yes, sir." "All right," he said, "give me $5." She said, "But I don't have $5." He said, "Now, wait a minute. I want to ask you a question. You said that you believed that I was a man of God?" "Yes." "You believe that I am a truth-speaker." "Yes." "Didn't I tell you that I wouldn't ask you to do anything that you couldn't do?" "Yes." "Then give me $5." The lady turned to call for her husband, and he said, "No. I said you could do it right here. Give me $5." She said, "But I don't have $5." "Didn't I say that I wouldn't ask you to do anything that you couldn't do?" "Yes." "Didn't you say that you believe that I am a man of God?" "Yes." "Didn't you say that you believe that I won't lie?" "Yes." "Well, give me $5." "I can't." "So you think I'm lying?" "Well, I wouldn't want to say that, brother preacher, but I can't give you $5." He said, "Is that your Bible?" "Yes." "May I see it for a moment?" "Yes." He reached into the book of Habakkuk and he pulled out $5. She said, "How did that get in there?" He said, "I put it in there." Well, my friend, I want to tell you something. Anything that God demands of you, He has already given you.

III. Rely upon the Power of Christ in You

Look, finally, at Colossians 1:29. Note that Paul was not depending on Paul-Power, rather he was depending of Jesus-Power. Where is the strength to do His will and serve Him? It is His strength that powers us.

A. I have the Power of His Love for Me

Christ did not save me so He can love me; He loved me so He could save me. The same truth applies now. He loves me where I am. If He could love me before I was saved, He surely loves me now that I am His own. You are loved. Your life matters. You have the hope of glory in you and all over you. He has made you life matter! His love is a power in you and for you. Yes, I know you don't deserve it. I know that I don't deserve it. But, again, if He loved me before I was saved, do you think He does love me now? Surely He does. The question is, am I ready to acknowledge that love and give love back to Him. That is what one might call a power connection between God and man. When I love Him because He first loved me, something powerful happens. It is Christ in me, the hope of glory!

B. I have the Power of His Life in Me

Bob George, in his book "Classic Christianity," tells this story: A small boy, not quite three years old, skipped down the imposing corridors. Armed servicemen, the best of the best, took no notice of the child who ran past their assigned posts. The boy passed several staff members on his way who likewise took little notice, except for an occasional smile. Passing a secretary's desk, the little boy did not acknowledge her wave, intent as he was on his goal. In front of the door stood another armed sentry, but the guard made no movement to hinder the progress of the child who opened the door and went inside. With a grin the boy ran across the carpet of the oval office and climbed into the lap of the most powerful man in the world. Influential cabinet members had to wait to continue their discussion as President John F. Kennedy and his son John-John exchanged good morning hugs and kisses.” No one would dare stop the boy because he was the son of the President.

Likewise, we belong to Jesus. He dwells in us. We are His beloved. The greatest angels in heaven simply stand back when we enter the throne room of the Lord because we belong to Him.

Conclusion

Someone here is living in defeat. You are troubled by life and circumstances. You feel as if God does not love you as much as He loves others because things are so hard for you. Listen to me - if you saved, you are as blessed as any one else in this world. He is in you. He loves you. He has a purpose for you. Now, it could be that His purpose for you is to go through a valley right now. Paul went through many valleys, and even in prison he praised God. We must not think that God's blessings are all found in high places and joyful experiences. Renew your commitment to Christ this very day. Lift up your head. Look to Him. Joy will fill you afresh.

Someone here has failed in God's purpose for you and you know you have. Peter failed the Lord the night he denied the Savior three times. But, our God is the God of the second chance. He loves you. Come to Him right now and ask Him to pick you up and place you on the path that He hs chosen for your life.

Yet, someone here is unsaved. You have never trusted Christ. He is not in you for you have kept the door of your heart locked. He is knocking today and He desires to come in and grant you a cleansed, new and everlasting life. Come to Him now.