Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Oct 5 2013 - Colossians 1:24-2:5 – Christ in you, the hope of glory

Today we need to pick up the thread where we left it yesterday as we continue to read what Paul has to say to the Christians at Colossae.

God's purpose in Christ is to reconcile to himself all things in heaven and upon earth. And this includes you, says Paul. The Messiah came not just for Jews. This is the wonderful message of the gospel that is now being "proclaimed to every creature under heaven" (Colossians 1:23). You who have come to trust in Jesus Christ have been reconciled to God through his death. God's plan is to present you "holy in his sight and free from accusation" (1:22).

That's a lovely thought, we might reply, but I can't see it happening. There is still so much in my life that is not what it should be. I will never be fit to stand before God. But Paul wants us to understand that God never leaves off a work part done. He gave his Son for us. He was accused in our place so that we might be free of accusation. Nor is Christ finished with us yet. He who died for us is raised for us. By his Spirit we share in his resurrection life; Christ lives in us, and it is Christ in us that is our hope of glory. Left to ourselves we would be without hope, but we are not left to ourselves. He is Immanuel, God with us, Christ in us. He is our life. He is our hope. He will bring us to the place he is preparing for us. "Christ in us, the hope of glory."

To be sure, there is much more work to be done in our lives. Paul knew this. His ministry involved more than simply bringing people to faith in Christ. He wanted to see Christians grow and mature: "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect [complete/finished] in Christ" (1:28). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith: we begin with him; we go on with him; we end with him. He is our hope, our hope of glory.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great High Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of my guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of Glory and of Grace,
One with Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Saviour and my God!

Christ for us – freed from accusation and condemnation. Christ in us – the hope of glory.

Father God, we readily confess that we have no hope in ourselves; our faith and our hope rest solely in Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us, he now lives to intercede for us in glory and his Spirit is at work within that he might present us to you holy and free from accusation. By the energy of Christ who so powerfully works in us, help us to graciously admonish and teach one another with all wisdom, that we may grow up and become mature in him and that we may make the glorious riches of his grace known to all.

Peter Misselbrook