"Christ in you, the hope of glory."
(Col.1:27). Read the whole verse carefully, fragment by fragment, to
the full import of its wonderful truth: "God was pleased to make known
- what is the riches of the glory - of this mystery... which is, Christ
in you." The riches of the glory, Christ in you!
"Know ye not as to your own selves,
that Jesus Christ is in you?" (2 Cor. 13:5). That interrogation of the
Apostle is not without point, "Know ye not as to your own selves" -
ye not that Christ is in you? Do you not know this wonderful thing?
"My little children, of whom I am
again in travail until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. 4:19). "Till
be formed in you"; this is a step on.
"Whom He foreknew, He also foreordained
to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). Marvellous words!
No man would dare to say this; they are here by revelation of the Holy
"Unto each one of us was the grace
given according to the measure of the gift of Christ... till we all
unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God...
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:7,
ARV). "The measure... of the fulness of Christ."
We want immediately to focus everything
in and upon the Lord Jesus Christ for it is He who is in view. What we
have before us is not teaching or truth; that is, to be possessed of
knowledge of truth; it is not service; but it is the Lord Himself.
The object of the Father from first
to last is that the Son, the Lord Jesus, shall fill all things, and all
things shall be filled with Christ. The value of everything in the eyes
of God is according to the measure of the manifestation of Christ in
It is from that standpoint God determines the importance of everything.
If we become focussed there, it will
make a great difference, much will have to go because it is not
the Lord Jesus. We must understand that the Father has set the Lord
before His eyes, and the Father's eyes are full of only one object,
is the Beloved, His Son; and in the eyes of God the value of everything
is determined by the measure in which His Son is manifested and
that is His end and that is His object.
The All-Inclusiveness of Christ
Spiritual service, vision, vocation,
glorification, have no existence apart from Christ; they are not things
as things, and cannot be had except in the Person of the Lord Jesus.
To many salvation is as a thing.
It is detached and regarded as something by itself; to be given by
for the good of those who receive it. Sanctification is wrapped up in
same way. So often we think of salvation and sanctification in relation
to the persons in view, and so some thing for them, but it is Christ
who is salvation, He is sanctification, and He is within as these.
It is the same with service and vocation;
these are often seen only in regard to the persons themselves. "Saved
serve" is only part of the truth and is a dangerous slogan, for the
so often, is the service itself and not the Lord. You may be so driven
with the service that He is left out. We have detached the thing from
Person, and we find we are gripped and wrapped in the claims of
it becomes the drive of service, and in the end it breaks us. And
when service becomes hard and difficult we say we will give it up, we
resign, thus showing we have separated service from the Person, and
been occupied, day in and day out, with it, the work, and not with the
And so with glorification; yes, this
stirs us, we love to sing hymns about our glorification; but God means
it to begin now and it must begin now. What is glorification? It is the
full manifestation of Jesus Christ in us. God regards salvation,
vocation, service, glorification, as related to His Son, and of no
apart from Him; He is salvation, He is sanctification, etc.
Salvation and sanctification are
often held up to people as things to be received for their good; the
being for them to benefit from something received; often it is
for salvation's sake. God has not saved a single soul for salvation's
God is not after salvation as an end in itself, but for the sake of the
Saviour, for the glory of His Son. It is not salvation that is in view,
but the Saviour. If people are rejoicing in salvation merely as
received for their own benefit, the full end will be hidden by the
step. Is not this the cause of arrest and hold up?
The worker has to be brought, by
the way of seeing no deep fulness of result from his work, to the place
where he cries out, "I can do nothing." So he comes to see the true
of salvation, and that to save another soul is utterly beyond him, and
is the work of God. So he comes to see God's object in salvation, which
is the glory of His Son. Salvation is not something, it is the mighty
of a Person; "He that hath the Son hath life"; (1 John 5:12). "To as
as received Him" (John 1:12).
This is also true in the matter of
sanctification and service. Any service that is not fulfilled on the
of the indwelling Christ as the Worker cannot effect the purpose of
for only the Lord Jesus by His Spirit can do the work of God. Yes, you
are called to be a servant in a service you can never fulfil! Service
the bringing of the Lord Jesus into view, and any service that does not
do that is not the service of the Holy Spirit, but man's service which
does not fulfil God's ends; it will be tested by the fire, and proved
Christianity is not a doctrine, not
truth as truth, but the knowledge of a Person; it is knowing the Lord
You cannot be educated into being a Christian. Christianity is the
within of a Person, knowing Him as dwelling within us.
The Universality Of Christ
God has singled out a Person, and
gathered into that Person all the Divine perfections; everything is
bound up with His Son; He has put all the fulness of eternity and of
universe into that Person, and bound up all the fulness in Him; not a
can be had apart from Him; that which is to characterize the new
is in Him. The predestined end of God is a full presentation of the
of Christ - "The church, His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all
in all" (Eph. 1:23).
Every corner of the universe will
speak audibly of Jesus Christ; so that we shall not be able to go into
a place, or touch a life, without finding an expression of the Lord
"Christ in you, the hope of glory"
- this is heaven. You walk in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Think of
the whole universe like that; a universal expression of His Son in
That is the end God has in view, that Christ shall fill all things;
looking into everything, it shall be found to be full of Christ. All is
made for Him, and in the new creation all will speak of His presence
show forth some characteristic of Him. Oh! the joy, even now, when you
touch a life and find immediately that life is full of the Lord Jesus,
and the Lord Jesus is the fulness of that life; what a benediction it
God has singled out a Person and
set Him forth to be seen of all - the Man Christ Jesus.
The Universality Of The Church
You cannot go outside of A and Z
in the realm of literature; you box the compass of language with A and
Z; likewise Christ Jesus is First and Last of God's new creation, and
that is in between; you cannot get outside of that. We must never think
of anything as outside of Christ; He Is Salvation; He Is
He Is Redemption, Justification, Peace; Wisdom, Love, Heaven. "Know ye
not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you," this Christ -
in you! Do you see the possibilities and the tremendous reach of this?
God will transform His universe,
not from without, but from within. How? By putting Jesus Christ within
the believer by His Holy Spirit; and thence there will be a two-fold
- being conformed to Him by His Spirit, and He being formed in the
thus He is going to make His new creation.
"Christ in you, the hope of glory"
(Col. 1: 27). "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in
Son. He that hath the Son hath life" (1 John 5:11, 12).
"If any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of His" (Rom. 8:9).
"The Lord Jesus Christ: who shall
fashion anew the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to
body of His glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to
subject all things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:20b, 21; ARV).
"Put on the new man, that is being
renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created Him: where
cannot be Greek and Jew... but Christ is all, and in all" (Col. 3:10,
"The church, which is His body, the
fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:22b, 23).
Growing Up Into Him
The Christian life is not by effort,
and not by struggle; not merely by trying to put into practice certain
maxims, or by trying to attain to a certain measure; but from beginning
to end, and all together, it is a matter of knowing the Lord Jesus
Of course this implies response to Him, and a continual yieldedness to
His working by His Spirit within, and so co-operating with Him in His
of conformity to His image.
We have all grown since we were born.
How did we grow? Not by sitting down and considering that we ought to
our stature; not by determining to grow so much to-day, and a little
to-morrow; not by painful efforts to increase our dimensions, and so
but we "just growed!" - like Topsy. But while we "just growed", we had
to respond to the laws of growth. So in the spiritual realm, we have to
recognize the laws of growth, and where these are not responded to, or
are violated, there can be no growth, but arrest, weakness and loss.
Why is spiritual growth so slow in
some and so gloriously quick in others? Because some kick and question,
or argue with God; go round and round the point asking, Does it mean
Must I do this? Is it necessary? Can I, may I do this? and so on. Yet
very people are loudest in saying they want only the will of God; but
very affirmation often shows a struggle is going on, and their growth
fraught with a good deal of friction.
Others in a beautiful sincerity and
purity of spirit are immediately letting go to the Lord, so He is able
to lead them on, without waste of time in controversy with the will of
God; and there is no weakness through there not being an utter
and whole-hearted obedience and surrender to that will. There is a
for the Lord Himself, and for Him to have His full way at whatever cost.
It all depends on our appreciation
of the Lord Jesus. When we get a true value of Him, and see all that He
is for us to the Father, and as by faith we appropriate Him, we quietly
grow - "Beholding... the Lord, are changed (transformed from within)
the same image, from glory to glory" (2 Cor. 3:18).
The hindrance to growth is the regarding
things as apart from the Person, the Lord Jesus. We would never walk
the Scripture, as we sometimes do, debating whether we would or would
if we had a full appreciation of Him, if our passion was for Him to get
the fullest glory possible; we should instantly yield, that Christ
get more glory.
Is not the difficulty often in our
regarding aspects of the Christian life as something in themselves?
An adequate appreciation of the Lord
Jesus gets rid of all the strain of spiritual growth. Christ is most
where Christ is most in the heart. Growth is bound up with the Beloved
One; and growth is the outcome of being occupied with Him, giving the
Jesus His place in everything; He the first, and He all, and in all.
it is a matter of the measure of Christ, we must see that everything is
bound up with the Lord Jesus Himself.
Everything is a matter of knowing
the Lord in our hearts, then the Lord has a clear way in us, and
Get focussed on Him, and see that
He Himself is everything.
The Gospel of God is that we are
saved to be conformed to the image of His Son; to come to the fulness
the "measure of Christ," "unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of
stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).