26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
It has always seemed peculiar to me that the gospel would be “hidden.” This glorious salvation in Jesus was hidden for ages past. As God sought-after man and the prophets proclaimed His glorious redemption, mankind persisted in seeking to justify himself by doing what was right in his own eyes. Every individual rejected the message of salvation that seems so plainly declared to those who believe. A willful blindness kept the mystery hidden. Willful in that no one sought to know God and thereby find righteousness (Romans 3). Blind in that they could not see (Isaiah 6).
Now, no longer are we blind! The Saints have seen the glory of God and His proclamation of love. The mystery that so plagued the desperate soul of mankind – the answer to that deep separation from God’s mercy and love – has now resolved in Jesus. This mystery is revealed, in Jesus, to the saints. The mystery remains hidden from the eyes of those who do not believe in Jesus. But to the saints, God has chosen to reveal His Glory. It is God’s prerogative to reveal Himself. So it is that God has determined that He would reveal Himself, not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles.
Consider for a moment the answer to the mystery – “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Jesus makes His residence in you. In His death, your sin and it’s nature is utterly obliterated (Romans 6:6). You have been rescued and a new nature has been placed within you (Colossians 3:10). Along with your new nature, the Holy Spirit lives within those who believe. Further, not only is Christ’s Spirit taking up residence within you, He has also covered you with His own righteousness. This covering is not merely a blanket that covers you but is a full replacement. He has taken your unrighteousness and put within you His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). In doing so, you have been enabled to stand before the Holy King! Finally, His presence within you is the “hope of glory.” His spirit is the guarantee of heaven and life for you (Ephesians 1:13-14). Isn’t it wonderful to know that the guarantee is based on His actions and not on our own?
This is the gospel – Christ died on the cross, taking the sins of those who trust in Him upon Himself; then, through the resurrection, He granted life to those who trust Him; He has taken up residence in those who trust Him, and works within them to conform them to who they have been designed to be. Paul states that this is a warning. Death exists as the first state of every soul on earth. There is the warning. You are dead and need life! The life that can only be found through faith in Jesus. Salvation is the message that Christians proclaim. Not health. Not financial gain. Not peace of mind. Not balance. But life! Life with Christ versus death without Him. So, we teach the Bible. Faithfully and consistently. We teach carefully, with “all wisdom.”
Too often in modern churches, we have forgotten this responsibility. We have traded the sound and faithful teaching of the gospel for the entertaining engagement of a crowd. Yet, Paul reminds us of our goal: “to present everyone as mature in Christ.” Woe to the pastors who lose sight of this commission. Our goal as Christians is not to gather crowds. It is not even to work to gather converts. It is to present to God mature Christians. How glorious would the community of faith be if our focus was on maturing as obedient Christ followers!? Keep this ever before your eyes! You are given the mission to make disciples and present them as mature to God.
It is not gathering crowds that Paul strives towards, It is so much greater! It is training and teaching the Gospel in a way that changes the soul and challenges the norm. It is developing disciples for His name and His glory!