The Mystery of Christ in You, the Hope of Glory

“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)

Throughout the Word of God, the Bible refers to Jesus Christ with several different comparative names or descriptive titles to help us know and understand Him better.

The Bible tells us that He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer, and the Savior.

Jesus is the Messiah because He is the anointed and consecrated prince whom God promised through Daniel’s prophecy that He would send.

He is the Christ because He is the anointed fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in the New Testament.

Jesus is the Redeemer because He is the kinsman who purchases back the lost possessions in the Old Testament and He is the fulfillment of the kinsman in the New Testament.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)

He is the Savior because He is the One who sets free in the Old Testament and the Deliverer in the New Testament.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat. 1:21)

Jesus is also referred to as the Word of God, the Lamb of God, and the spiritual Rock.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36)

“Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Rev. 5:12)

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4)

Although each of these names and references for Jesus gives us a description and a better understanding of His nature, abilities, and purpose, it is the description of Him as the spiritual Rock that helps us to better understand Him as “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

“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 when the Bible says in First Corinthians that Jesus is that “spiritual Rock”?

Throughout the Word of God, the rock is symbolic of and references a place of safety and security.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.” (Psalm 27:5-6)

In the Old Testament, the Rock was a symbol of God because the Lord God Jehovah was the place of safety and security for the children of Israel.

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deut. 32:4)

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the Rock (1 Peter 2:8) and the revelation of Him is our place of safety and security.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:16-18)

Jesus had asked His Disciples, “Who do you think that I am?”

Simon (Peter) was the only one to answer Him and say, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus looked back at Peter, and using his given name Simon Barjona, said that he was blessed because God had revealed this unto him.

Then Jesus changed his name because of this revelation.

He said, “Thou art Peter (the Greek word pet’-ros meaning a piece of a rock or a little stone), and upon this rock (the Greek word pet’-ra meaning a mass of rock) I will build my church…”

If we rightly divide the Word of God, we see that Jesus did not tell Peter (the little stone) that He would build His church upon him, but Jesus told Peter that He would build His church upon the rock (the large mass of stone) which was the revelation that God had given him.

The revelation that,

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And as Jesus said, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

When the Bible in First Corinthians chapter ten refers to Jesus as that “spiritual Rock that followed them”, it is referring to the two times in the Old Testament that Moses provided water out of the rock for the children of Israel in the wilderness.

“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4)

“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exo. 17:6)

“Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” (Num. 20:8)

The first time that God gave them water out of the rock to drink, He told Moses to smite the rock with his staff. Moses did as God told him and water sprang out of the rock, enough water to satisfy the thirst of over a million people.

The second time God gave them water out of the rock, He told Moses to speak to the rock. Moses was angry with the people and being lifted up with pride, he struck the rock instead of obeying God and speaking to it.

He said, “Hear now ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?” and Moses struck the rock a second time. Although Moses had disobeyed Him, God in His mercy provided water out of the rock for His people.

God told Moses that because he disobeyed and did not sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people, he could not go into the Promised Land.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Num. 20:12)

How did striking the rock the second time not sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people? How could one seemingly insignificant act of disobedience erase a lifetime of obedience and keep Moses out of the Promised Land?

The Bible says that the things that happened in the Old Testament were examples for us who believe under the New Testament. The Bible says that these things were types and shadows of better things to come.

They are mysteries hidden by God for the Holy Spirit to reveal unto us as we study His word. This gives us a deeper understanding of Christ and causes faith to grow so that we might be conformed into His image.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:28-29)

God was using the rock in the wilderness to provide a picture of Christ, stricken once (the cross) and forever after spoken to, never to be struck again.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)

Jesus was the preincarnate Christ that stood upon the rock as Moses struck it the first time and then followed them in the wilderness to be spoken to the second time.

Jesus Christ is that Spiritual Rock. By studying the Word of God to understand what the Bible says about that Rock, our faith will grow to better understand and believe the mystery of “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

Next- The Spiritual River of God

"How to Walk with Christ in You the Hope of Glory" by Raymond Candy is available now for $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, at the iBookstore for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all other e-reading devices

“How to Walk with Christ in You the Hope of Glory” by Raymond Candy is available now for $2.99 at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, at the iBookstore for the iPad, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all other e-reading devices

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