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366 devotional readings that will unlock the secret power to Abiding In Christ

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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

"The Secret Is Out"

By Pastor Reimar Schultze

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 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.”

—Colossians 1:26–27

The apostle Paul here speaks about a mystery that has been hidden from all the ages, from all the generations since the beginning of time.  Now, what is a mystery?  The New Testament Greek word for mystery is musterion, and it means secret.

God had a secret, and he kept it a secret from the beginning of time until the days of the apostle Paul.  It was the best kept secret in all of history.  It was the longest kept secret in all of time.  It was the most blessed secret there ever was!

This secret was so great that I marvel at God’s restraint for not having told it to somebody—not even to the most intimate, like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David or Isaiah!  God kept the secret at the devastating fall of man.  God kept the secret during Noah’s flood and from Moses when he was about to destroy Israel for having made a golden calf; and God kept the secret from the prophets when he had to send his covenant people into the Babylonian captivity.

Can you keep a secret?  How long can you keep a secret?  How long can you keep a good secret?  Suppose you were entrusted with the greatest secret there ever was, the most promising secret, the most encouraging secret, the most powerful secret that would lift every soul to jubilant ecstasy—how long could you keep such a secret, without ever giving a hint to anybody that you had such a secret?  Could you keep it for ten years, or twenty, or a lifetime?

Oh, I marvel at this secret, at the mystery that had been hidden through the ages and from the generations.  I marvel at the God of this secret.  Our text says it was hid.  God hid it, and when God hides something, no man can find it.  Now, then, what is this secret, this great mystery but:

Christ in You, the Hope of Glory.

I still remember when I was a young father taking my family to a camp in a forest of the Rocky Mountains .  As I witnessed to another camper, he asked me, “Are you full gospel?”  My response was, “Of course I am.  I have never met anyone who was half gospel.”  He was somewhat startled at my answer.  But what I was really saying is that if we have Christ in us, we have the full gospel.  You cannot possibly cram more into a human soul than Christ himself.  And you can never have half of Christ or a third of Christ or a quarter of Christ.  You either have all of him or none of him.  And if you have all of him, you are full gospel.  And if you only preach conversion without preaching that conversion is the way to “Christ in you,” you preach a different gospel than the apostolic gospel.  To preach conversion short of “Christ in you” is like a train that stops short of its destination.  Nobody will arrive at the station, and the passengers will soon die for lack of food and water in the cars.  The apostolic gospel is “Christ in you.”  That is the good news!  And until we have that, we have no good news, because without Christ in us, we will still be in our sins.  Carnality—selfishness, jealousy, backbiting, lust, greed, anger, bitterness, and pride—will still reign within us.  But “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).

You might be a faithful church member, by common standards you might be morally upright; you may have your daily prayer and pay your tithe, but if you don’t have Christ in you, you have nothing of true Christianity.  We must preach that Christianity is nothing short of Christ in us.  We must preach and teach it everywhere.  This is what Paul said, “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).

What does it mean to have Christ in us?

1. Christ in You Means a Christlike Life.

To have Christ in us means that the same Jesus who lived in his body two thousand years ago now lives in our body.  And it is only when we see things from that perspective that we understand 1 John 3:9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

This piece of Johannine theology makes no sense whatsoever unless Christ is in us.  This does not mean that with Christ in us we will not be tempted.  Jesus was tempted in all things as we are.  But it means that we will not yield to temptation.  Temptation is not sin.  Jesus was severely tempted—more than any man—to do all kinds of things, but he never yielded.  Don’t let the devil tell you that temptation is sin, that if you were holy enough, you would not be tempted.  It is the opposite.  The holiest are the most tempted, but they do not yield.  These saints resist the devil, and he flees from them.  And yet, if they do yield, they come to immediate repentance (1 John 1:9), knowing that sin begets death and death begets everlasting damnation.

And what is Christlikeness, you ask?  It is nothing more nor less than doing the will of God, just as Jesus did his Father’s will while he was on earth.  And as you do his will, you abide in his will, you abide in him and he in you, and his spiritual graces will flow through you.

2. Christ in You Means You Are Wealthy.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Ask me who the wealthiest person on earth is, and I will tell you it is the Christian.  No one carries more treasure within himself—no billionaire, no potentate, no king nor governor.  Yes, the Christian may be a janitor in a king’s palace, but he is wealthier than the king he serves.  You may put a Christian in prison, and he still is the wealthiest man on earth.  You may afflict him with poverty or cancer or put him in a wheelchair, and he still is the wealthiest person on earth.  No one can exceed the Christian in wealth, because Christ in us is God in us, and we belong to Christ and to God.  Further, the Christian is the only person whose wealth cannot be taken from him.  Nothing can take it away from him.  He only loses his wealth, this treasure in an earthen vessel, if he forsakes that treasure and goes into sin.  So it is entirely up to the Christian whether he keeps his wealth or loses it.

When you get into trials, remember how wealthy you are.  Paul said we have this treasure in earthen vessels, and then he continued by saying, “We are troubled on every side...” (v. 8).  When you are troubled, remember your treasure.  That is why Paul continues, “troubled...yet not distressed...perplexed, but not in despair” because he still had this treasure, Christ in him, the hope of glory.  This knowledge of Christ in us lightens every burden, and gives light even in the darkest of hours.

3. Christ in You Means You Are Wise.

“...and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2–3).

So, you have Christ in you.  That is a secret the prophets never dreamed of.  You have “this treasure,” but what is in it?  What is in Christ?  Will you begin to explore him?  If so, will you ever come to the end of your exploration?  Will you ever come to the point where you say, “I have found all that is in Christ; there is nothing more to find”?  Oh, dear one, you will never come to the end of all that is in Christ—never, not even in the eternity of the eternities!

Now, two of the things you find in Christ are wisdom and knowledge.  Show me the wisest man on earth, and he is a Christian.  God scoffs at the wisdom of man.  He says, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19).  The Christian’s wisdom is not of this world—it is found in Christ, in this treasure.  It is divine wisdom, it is divine knowledge.  The unbeliever does not know where he came from, why he is here, and where he is going.  He is totally disoriented.  But the Christian knows that he came from God, that he is here to glorify God, and that heaven has a mansion for him.  Anyone who does not know this, knows nothing that is worth knowing.

4. Christ in You Means You Are Powerful.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20).

What Christ can do in the life of a Christian is “exceedingly abundantly above...”  That means it cannot be measured.  The power at the disposal of the Christian is unmeasurable, it is infinite.  The Christian is the most powerful person on earth, and not even the greatest saints of the Old Testaments can compete with the power of the humble, normal, modern-day saint.  This power is because of “this treasure in earthen vessels.”

The Christian has salvation power (Rom. 1:16).  He has power to abound in hope when there are no signs for hope (Rom. 15:13).  He has power to believe in all circumstances (1 Cor. 2:5).  He has resurrection power (Phil. 3:10).  He has power to live as Christ lived (2 Cor. 13:4).  He has power to be patient and long-suffering with joyfulness (Col. 1:11).  He has power to endure affliction (2 Tim. 1:7).  He has keeping power, power to prevent him from falling, to be presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (1 Pet. 1:5 and Jude 24).

Is there anyone more powerful than a Christian?  Absolutely not!  Because this power is Christ’s power in his earthen vessel.

So, then, aren’t you glad the secret is out: it is Christ in you.  Abraham, Moses, David and Isaiah would have been hot with godly jealousy had they known such a thing would ever exist.  Oh, the marvel and the wonder of the great mystery finally having been revealed.  Show me a Christian, and I will show you the greatest marvel of all time and creation!  So, friend, if you are not a Christian, wouldn’t you like to become one today?