And the Secret Is…

For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. Col 1:27

We were able to spend a month at the beach, one of the joys of being retired!  We had a lovely little home to enjoy.  From the back screened porch, I could hear the waves roaring.  I couldn’t see the waves, but I knew they were just beyond the trees.  The wind gently moved the palm trees as the birds sang.  It was rather magical.  

Of course, the first night, as we arrived and had to find our way around a new house- it didn’t feel as magical.  No, it felt a bit frustrating.  Which of the multitude of light switches worked for which light?  Which cupboard held the plates and cups?  Were any of the cupboards free for groceries?  Which of our many bags hid the soap we brought with us?  It was all relatively unfamiliar and perplexing.  

But as I sat on the porch that first morning in the calm of the light and with a bit more knowledge of the lay of the land- everything seemed more tolerable, more familiar, and even more pleasant.  What was once a bit of a mystery had been revealed.  The light of day and the increasing understanding and vision of our surroundings had made all the difference. 

There are times when Christianity seems mysterious, unfamiliar, and perplexing.  For many believers today, what we know about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross is limited.  With some help from Timothy, Paul wrote Colossians and is an excellent place to find out more about this beautiful mysterious truth called the Good News. 

The first half of Colossians is one of the best places to learn about what happened on the cross that day so long ago.   You see, this idea that Jesus’ death on the cross was ENOUGH was a bit unfamiliar for the folks in Paul’s world.  They had always trusted in what they did-their good actions.  Just like today, many thought they had to do something to earn their way to salvation.  

But the mystery of the cross, was as true back then as it is today, and is rather simple; Jesus’ death on the cross transferred those who believe out of darkness and into light.  Christ’s death purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.  And with that sacrificial act came a glorious truth- a simple truth-a mysterious secret of sorts- the good news that if you trust the provision of the cross and believe this truth, then Christ lives in you! ….The secret is: Christ lives in you! 

Doesn’t that one fact change everything?  Paul wanted to be sure that the people of Colossae never drifted from the truth of the Good News. And we too, need to understand this incredible mystery of the Good News: Christ lives in you!  Rom 8:11 puts it this way, The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God.  He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”  AW Tozer

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