To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you…
I. THE SUBJECT of the Apostle's declaration.
1. "Glory" refers to the felicity of a future life as discovered by the gospel; "the hope" is that "laid up for us in heaven." Of a life after death the Gentiles knew nothing with certainty, and the Jews only dimly. "Life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel."
2. This glory was one of(1) character, "a glory to be revealed, in us" — a personal perfection to adorn the world, "wherein dwelleth righteousness."(2) Condition and place. It refers to the light and participation of that incomparable splendour which emanates from the throne and pervades the residence of Deity. God is light, and "dwelleth in a light Which no man can approach unto." In consistency with this the heavenly mansions are "the inheritance of the saints in light"; all the luminaries of heaven are excluded as unnecessary appendages in consequence of the surpassing splendour derived immediately from God and the Lamb.
II. THE MEDIUM of this hope: Christ. He was the author and bestower of it. He had not only revealed the object, and imparted knowledge respecting it, But had opened the way to its enjoyment. He was "the way, the truth, and the life," and they needed nothing besides. It was inconsistent with His grace and truth, omnipotence, love, and with the perfection of His work on earth, for Him to have recourse to Jewish ceremonies, personal suffering, or philosophic speculations, as a means of augumenting their confidence, or securing their possession of the anticipated eternity.
III. THE SENSES IN WHICH CHRIST IS IN US PERSONALLY AND EXPERIMENTALLY.
1. Faith in Christ as the great sacrifice. It is thus that the life is derived that can never perish, and that a union is established with Christ which will lead Him to remember us when He cometh in His kingdom. "I am crucified with Christ," etc. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
2. The influence of His Spirit who effects that change in our nature which "makes us meet for the inheritance," etc.
3. The habitual remembrance of His laws and the consequent exhibition in affectionate obedience (John 15:4, 7, 10, 11).Lessons —
1. The unspeakable importance and value of religion.
2. How delightful to have such a hope of glory to cling to; an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, among the billows and eddies of that turbulent stream on which we are embarked.
I. GLORY, another word for heaven, setting forth —
1. Its excellence. Nothing is esteemed glorious but what is of transcendent worth. The Jews felt this, hence the Hebrew word signifies also weight and substance; So heaven is called "an exceeding weight of glory."
2. its magnificence. Mere excellence is not glory, to be that it must be known and seen. The sun is not glorious behind a cloud; a diamond must be brought forth and polished to be glorious. So the glory of heaven consists in the discovery of its excellencies — the Father in His majesty, the Son — "His grace and love, holiness," in its perfection and beauty, etc. "Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty."
II. THE HOPE OF GLORY. This brings us down to earth, but still with heaven in our sight. But there is a hope even of heaven not worth the having. We read of a hope that perishes, that shall be cut off like a spider's web and the giving up of the ghost. May that be destroyed, for a false hope is worse than none at all. The true hope is distinguished from this by three marks.
1. It comes down from heaven. We cannot create it; no fellow-creature can persuade us into it. It is the gift of the heavenly Spirit to the renewed heart. It resembles faith and rests on the same foundation, yet it differs from it. "There is a world of glory," says faith. "I am going to it," says hope.
2. It longs and looks for heaven. It is an "earnest expectation" like that of the storm-tossed mariner for the desired haven.
3. It carries the soul on towards heaven and makes meet for it. "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself," etc.
III. CHRIST. He is connected not with the glory but with the hope, as its foundation. Take Him away and there is no hope.
1. Christ has purchased glory for us. As sinners and rebels we were farther from it than any beggar is from a crown. But He has paid the ransom which delivers us from condemnation, and which entitles us to glory.
2. He has actually taken possession of glory for us. Hence the believer's hope is connected with the ascension — "The anchor of the soul," He.
3. Christ has pledged Himself to bring believers to glory.
IV. CHRIST IN US. What this means is more than we can tell. Picture to yourselves a house, comfortless within, and falling to decay. Let a stranger enter it, he may act in two ways. He may secrete himself in some dark corner, and, watching his opportunity, do much mischief without its inhabitants even knowing he is there. Thus Satan is acting in the hearts of thousands, who little think he is near them, much less within them. But suppose that stranger to be a man of another character, and, as soon as he goes in, to throw open the windows, and to let in the air and light. See him then discovering himself to the inhabitants of it. "I am come to live with you," he says, "if you will let me, as your friend and brother. But this filthiness I cannot bear, nor this disorder. I love comfort and cheerfulness." And then he sets about cleansing that house, putting it in order, adorning and repairing it, strengthening its walls and closing up every fissure, so that when the wintry storm heats, no wind or rain can enter it, and nothing shake it. And then while he is doing this, he goes about enlivening it with his presence, and making the voice of joy and praise to be heard from day to .day in every room of it. Oh, you would say, what an altered house! What a blessed guest has that man proved in it! Now the Lord Jesus when he enters a sinner's soul acts exactly thus.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: