|Posted on May 31, 2018 at 2:55 PM|
In describing the "mystery" of the gospel that he was explaining to the Colossians Paul said it was "Christ in you, the hope of glory". It may seem a bit nit-picky, but I was wondering why he didn't say "Jesus in you" instead of "Christ in you". I know that he was talking about Jesus Christ and that Jesus is the Christ, but I think there must be some significance to the use of his title as Christ rather than just the name Jesus. At his birth the angels told the shepherds that a Savior (which is the meaning of the name Jesus) was born unto them in Bethlehem and added that he was "Christ the Lord". So why did Paul describe this mystery of the gospel as "Christ in you"?
Giving his own testimony to the Galatians Paul said that he was crucified with Christ but continues to live then quickly adds, "Yet not I, but Christ lives in me". Likewise, the apostle makes a similar transition in his letter to the Romans referring to us having the Spirit of God living in us (Romans 8: 9, 10). He calls the Spirit of God the Spirit of Christ in verse nine and refers to that Spirit of Christ as simply "Christ in you" in the next verse. While I don't want to read too much into this use of the term "Christ in you" it seems that Paul had a specific reason for using it as opposed to simply "Jesus in you" or even "the Spirit of God in you".
Perhaps the use of "Christ in you" conveys an idea that is different than either "Jesus (Savior) in you" or "the Holy Spirit in you". While both terms refer to us being one with our God, "Christ in you" seems to indicate a special authority from God as used in the Old Testament scriptures. The word "Christ" is derived from the Hebrew word for "anointed" which, when used of Jesus, is equivalent to "the Messiah". Using the phrase "Christ in you" is the same as saying "the Messiah in you" which suggests the power and authority of God working in you to fulfill his eternal plan. Just as the Old Testament prophets were called "the anointed men of God" the use of "Christ in you" seems to convey the same anointing. While the apostle John does not use the term "Christ in you" in his writings, he does state, "But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things" (1John 2: 20). "Christ in you" and the "unction from the Holy One" seem to be the same idea.
For me the use of "Christ in you" gives me a personal sense of significance. Being "anointed by God" implies an important mission with real meaning and purpose as well as the authority to fulfill that mission. While having the indwelling Spirit of God gives me the personal comfort and assurance of being secure in God's love, having the anointing of Christ in me provides me with the encouragement and confidence I need to fulfill his calling. Regardless of how we might interpret this statement, it is clear that Paul means for us to be encouraged by the resulting "hope of glory" that follows.
The biblical hope he associates with "Christ in you" in not mere wishful thinking, but a sure and confident expectation concerning our future. Because we are anointed by God there is no way possible for us not to complete our mission. The "glory" that follows has little to do with any kind of recognition from man, but the exceeding joy and rejoicing we experience from the Master's statement, "Well done thou good and faithful servant".