We have seen that grace moved God's heart to give us a gift, Jesus earned it for us, and the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. So what is this gift, this great mystery that God had planned and has now revealed? What is the great gift of His grace?
25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
Paul the apostle is speaking here about the ministry or stewardship God gave him to preach the word of God. What does he call this word he preaches? He calls it the mystery that had been hidden but is now manifested to the saints. Why did God make this mystery known to His saints (believers like Paul)? He told them about it because it was His will and desire that they share the glorious riches of this mystery with the Gentiles. That means God revealed the mystery to the early Christians, who were Jews, so that they could share it with the rest of us, the Gentiles. This is a mystery, which isn't a mystery any longer but a wonderfully revealed message of God's gift to us, is meant to be known by the whole world!
I notice how this mystery is described as glorious, full of riches, full of glory! It is something wonderful, a wonderful gift that is glorious, a gift that makes one rich and full! What is this mystery gift of grace? It is Christ in you, the hope of glory! What is the effect of having this gift in us, revealed to us - what is the effect of Christ in us? He gives us hope or expectation of glory, the glory of being in and radiating God's presence! And it makes people complete and whole!
The wonderful secret gift and plan hidden for ages but now revealed is the gift of Christ to be in us, giving us hope of glory! Christ in us is what makes us rich! Christ in us gives us the glory of God! Christ in us is the wonderful gift given freely, that we don't have to work for, earn, merit or deserve! Christ is the gift given on God's initiative, not because of anything we'd done to make Him give, but just because of His heart of love and kindness toward us! He favored us! That is grace! He was on our side and wanting to do us a favor, to bless us and do us good, without there having to be any merit or works by us to bring it to pass. He brought it to pass and gave it to us, not by our doing, but by Christ's doing. Christ became poor so we could be rich. And the Spirit was sent to show us how this was done and to reveal to us the One who is inside us, Christ Himself, and to help us understand all that it means to have Christ in us!
Christ in us, the hope of glory! This is the fulfillment of God's grace plan for us, this is the message of the gospel of grace, this is the heart of God for all people! There is so much to know about what it means to have Christ in us. We have truly been made rich by this gift of grace, and there is so much to unwrap and enjoy in this treasure that has made us so rich, Christ Himself! The gospel is just the good news of Jesus, what He's done to bring about the gift of Himself being in us, all because of God's heart of love that wanted to give this wonderful gift. For now that Christ is in us as a free gift, God has what He has wanted and longed for all along - communion with man in perfect harmony and fellowship! He has longed for this deep and intimate relationship with man, and He has given it to us freely through Christ and in the gift of Christ to be in us! This is all done by grace and shows me the way God acts in grace toward me!
The good news of grace is all about Jesus Christ. He is the free gift. He is what it is all about. He is the grace gift God has given us. I can't wait to spend much more time unpacking and reveling in this gift, the process Jesus went about to deliver it to me, and all that is within this gift! We are rich indeed in Christ!
But first, I would like to study a little more on what the word grace means, beginning with the idea of grace in the Old Testament. This will shed light on grace in the New Testament and help me understand even better God's nature and the gift of Christ in me.