Colossians 1:27


1. It brings a hove. All men who live at all live in the future. The past is irretrievable. The present is but a passing moment. Life reaches out to what lies before it. For this we need to be buoyed up by some hope -

"Ever by a mighty hope
Pressing on and bearing up." The man without a hope is as good as dead. Who will care to walk on over the weary path of his pilgrimage if no light cheers him in the distance, if only deepening gloom besets his uncertain footsteps? It is the glory of the gospel that it speaks of a hope of glory.

2. The object of the Christian hope is glory. It is more than bare escape from ruin; more than mere gladness. There is something ennobling and elevating in the best sense of the word "glory." It not only includes the greatest blessings; it calls us off from low, selfish, epicurean conceptions of future happiness, and points to a pure and lofty aim for our aspirations.

II. THIS CHRISTIAN HOPE IS FOR ALL. The emphasis of the phrase lies on the word "you." "Christ in you," etc.

1. All nations are included. The narrower Jew kept the glory of redemption to himself, though he would allow some of its minor blessings, overflowing from his own full cup, to spread among the Gentries. Christ brings the richest blessings to all peoples without distinction.

2. All characters are included. St. Paul has just been describing the early conditions of the Colossians. They had been alienated and enemies to God in their mind (ver. 21). Yet these men have the hope of glory. Thus there is a wonderful revelation of the love of God in the thought - even to you, Colossians, once great enemies to God, Christ is the Hope of glory. And so always the worst sinners, when redeemed by Christ, may anticipate, not only pardon, but the highest glory.


1. It is first of all based on the atonement of Christ. By his shame comes our glory. He first reconciles us to God and then leads us on to glorification.

2. The hope of glory for Christians is dependent on the glory of Christ. He wins glory through his triumph over sin and death. But he does not keep the glory to himself; he freely shares it with his people. Then the Christian glory is just a share of this glory of Christ's. It is no selfish thing, much less is it an earthly, corrupt thing like much that degrades the name of glory among men.

3. Christ himself is the Centre of this glory. Christ is the Hope of glory, not merely the teachings of Christ, the work of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ. In him is glory - the glory of the Only begotten from the Father (John 1:14). He is the glory of his Church.

IV. WE ENJOY THE HOPE OF GLORY BY RECEIVING CHRIST SPIRITUALLY, Christ in you is the hope of glory. So long as we are separated from Christ we dwell in darkness and no ray of his glory is ours. No external relations with Christ will make the hope ours. We must enter into personal relations with Christ; we must receive him into our hearts. When he dwells in our hearts by faith he brings to us his own life, and with this the glory that belongs to it. - W.F.A.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery.
The gospel is the grand secret. To the mass of mankind it was utterly unknown, and the chosen people only perceived dimly through the smoke of sacrifices anal the veil of types. It must ever have been a mystery out for revelation, and must be so still unless Christ comes to dwell within. Then all is clear.

I. THE ESSENCE OF THIS MYSTERY IS CHRIST. It is uncertain what is the antecedent to "which" — "mystery," "riches," or "glory." If it be mystery, then Christ is "the mystery of godliness"; if glory, Christ is the brightness of His Father's glory; if riches, there are "the unsearchable riches of Christ." The essence of this mystery is —

1. Christ Himself: God-Man, in which connection we must remember the glorious work He undertook and finished on our behalf; and (2) His offices, prophet, priest, king, friend, brother, head, dec. Whatever Christ is His people are in Him: crucified, dead, risen in Him; in Him we live eternally, and sit in heavenly places. This is the essence of the whole gospel, He who does not preach Christ preaches no gospel. There is no more possibility of a gospel without Christ than a day without the sun or a river without water.

2. Christ Himself and no other. Never be put off with books or conversations. Nothing short of reaching and touching Christ will serve your turn.

3. Christ Himself rather than anything which Christ gives. How different He is from all our other friends and helpers. They bring good things, but Jesus gives us Himself. He does not merely give us wisdom, righteousness, etc., He Himself is made of God all these things to us. When you are ill you are glad to see the doctor, but when you are well you want to get rid of him; but you can never do without Christ. When cured we want to see Jesus more than ever.

4. Christ alone is enough. Some hold a candle to the sun by preaching Christ and man's philosophy or priestcraft.

II. THE SWEETNESS OF THIS MYSTERY WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU. This is a grand advance. Christ in heaven, Christ free to poor sinners is precious, but Christ in the heart is most precious of all. A loaf is a good thing, but if we could not get it within us we should die of starvation. A medicine may be a noble cure, but if kept in the phial would do us no good. Christ in you is —

1. Christ accepted by faith. It is a wonderful thing that Christ should enter a man, but still more wonderful that He should enter by so narrow an opening as our little faith. There is the sun, yet it can come through the narrowest chink; but we should pull up the blinds, and let him shine in in all his glory. Grow in faith, then, and take in Christ more fully.

2. Christ possessed. Nothing is so much a man's own as that which is within him. Men may question whether an acre or a house is yours, but not yesterday's meal.

3. Christ experienced. There may be a valuable medicine, but it is of no efficacy to a man until it is within him. When it commences to purify and strengthen, he knows it without the testimony of others. When Christ is in you curing your sin, and filling your soul with love to holiness, then will you know the Lord.

4. Christ reigning.

5. Christ filling.

6. Christ transfiguring. You thrust a bar of iron into the fire, and keep it there till the fire enters it, it is then like fire itself. "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."


1. Glory. Surely that belongs to God only. Yes, but Christ says, "The glory Thou hast given Me I have given them."

2. How do we know that we are to have glory?(1) Christ makes us glorious now by His coming, which is a pledge of future glory.(2) Christ has entered into covenant with God to bring His people home to glory.(3) The Christ who has come to live with us will never leave us till we are glorified.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. CHRIST IN YOU means Christ embraced by faith as our righteousness and strength. This is the sure ground on which we may hope for glory (Ephesians 3:17). When a sinner's heart is opened to see the excellence of the Saviour, it inwardly embraces Him, and every discovery renews this act of inward cleaving. Then every reproach, temptation, fall, affliction, makes the soul more fully embrace Him (see Galatians 4:19; John 15:4; John 17:23, 26).


1. The mind of Christ is formed in the soul (1 Corinthians 2:16). The believer thinks as Christ does, and so has the spirit of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Not, of course, that he has the omniscience and infallibe judgment of his Lord, but up to his light he sees as Christ does.

(1)Sin to be abominable.

(2)The gospel,, its glory and completeness.

(3)The world and its vanity.

(4)Time and its value.

(5)Eternity. As did Christ he sees everything in its light.

2. The heart of Christ.

(1)There is the same love to God in both.

(2)The same aversion to God's frown.

(3)The same love to the saints.

(4)The same compassion for sinners.

(R. M. McCheyne, M. A.)

When Christ once enters. into a soul, by degrees He occupies the whole of it. Did you ever hear the legend of a man whose garden produced nothing else but weeds, till at last he met with a strange foreign flower of singular vitality. The story is that he sowed a handful of this seed in his overgrown garden, and left it to work its own sweet way. He slept and rose, and knew not how the seed was growing till on a day he opened the gate and saw a sight which much astounded him. He knew that the seed would produce a dainty flower and he looked for it; but he had little dreamed that the plant would cover the whole garden. So it was: the flower had exterminated every weed, till as he looked from one end to the other from wall to wall he could see nothing but the fair colours of that rare plant, and smell nothing but its delicious perfume. Christ is that plant of renown. If He be sown in the soil of your soul, He will gradually eat out the roots of all ill weeds and poisonous plants, till over all your nature there shall be Christ in you. God grant we may realize the picture in our own hearts, and then we shall be in paradise.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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.


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.

(T. Binney.)

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.)

This strange thing once startled an emperor. Ignatius, who had assumed the name Theophorus to express this gospel truth, stood before him to vindicate his profession of Christianity. "Who is Theophorus?" haughtity asked the heathen monarch. "He who has Christ in his breast," said the martyr. "Dost thou, then, carry Him, who was crucified, within thee?" Raising his voice with holy animation, while an almost heavenly brightness played upon his pallid countenance, the Christian hero replied, "I do — I do; for it is written, 'I dwell in them, and walk in them!'"

(W. H. Luckenbach.)

1. Glory is the greatest word in our language. It is one of God's most magnificent titles. It is the object of the true believer's hope, and whatever else he relinquishes he will not part with this. He lives and dies in hope.

2. This hope arises from the indwelling of the Saviour. He is in us as the source of life and the principle of action.

3. This union is not essential like that which subsists between the sacred Three; nor is it personal like that between the Divine and human natures of our Lord, nor merely an operative or influential union like that between God and His creatures; but a mystical and spiritual union, a union of affection, interest, and design. It is also mutual and reciprocal. He dwells in us, and we dwell in Him (John 14:23; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 3:20).


1. Christ is revealed in the gospel as the hope of glory. In order that He may be received He must be outwardly proposed by the ministration of the Word (Romans 10:14; Revelation 1:2). By the discovery the gospel makes of Christ's ability and willingness to save, it opens a door of hope to the vilest (Romans 15:4; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 6:18).

2. Christ crucified is the foundation of our hope, by becoming the meritorious cause of it.

3. Christ is the hope of glory efficiently by the operation of His Spirit in our hearts (Romans 8:9). Without that any hope of salvation is visionary.

4. Christ dwelling in the heart is the evidence that He is to us the hope of glory, and by no other means can that hope be ascertained. He is our life; but in order to this He must live in us. After all that He has done and is doing for us, there is something continually to be done within (Romans 10:6-9).


1. Christ being in us is the best evidence of our being in Him, and the testimony of an angel could not make it more satisfactory (1 John 5:11-12; Ephesians 1:3-4; 1 Timothy 1:9).

2. Christ in us is the nourishment of our hope. "Greater is He that is in you," etc.

3. Christ in us is the pledge and earnest of our hope. To have Christ in us is the life of grace; to be with Christ is the hope of glory; and the two go together.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)

New Testament Anecdotes.
The late Isaac Pitt was suffering from what appeared to be an attack of rheumatic gout, from which no serious danger was apprehended. His friends were startled by the announcement of the physician, "There is no hope." Another medical man was called for consultation. "Doctor," said the sick man, "I wish to know the very truth; do not conceal anything. Do you think I shall recover?" "We will do all we can, but we fear there is no hope of recovery." "Thank you," he rejoined, "I should like you to do all you can; but if not successful, I have a hope. A ransom has been provided, a Saviour has been sent: I accept the ransom, I believe in the Saviour." When the doctor says there is no hope for the body, this hope of glory is an anchor for the soul.

(New Testament Anecdotes.)

David Hume, the great historian of England, and noted enemy of the Christian faith, once overheard his servant-man John repeating the text, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." "You know that's all nonsense," said Hume; "I wonder that a sensible man like you can believe it. If Christ be in heaven, as you say, how can He be in you? He can't be in two places at one time. And then to be 'in you,' I don't understand it." "David Hume," said John, "you wrote the 'History of England,' and I read it page by page with great delight. You say in that history that the one redeeming feature in the life of 'Bloody Mary' was, that when she was dying, the news came to her that Calais had been captured, and that on that occasion she raised herself up in bed, and said to her maids of honour, 'When I die, take out my heart, and you will find "Calais" written on it.' Now, what more Calais written on Mary's heart, than Christ on mine? Take out my heart, and you will find Christ written on it."

(J. L. Nye.)

Congregational Remembrancer.

1. Christ is in you who truly believe in him. Faith brings Him into union with the soul.

2. Christ is in you as He engages your first affections.

3. Christ is in you as His likeness is impressed on your souls. Where this is there will be —

(1)Aversion to sin.

(2)Delight in the law of God.

(3)Zeal for the Divine glory.

(4)Habitual submission to the Divine will.

4. Christ is in you if His Spirit dwell in you — "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ," etc.


1. Their hope is founded in Christ (1 Timothy 1:1). Nor can the hope of a sinful creature rest anywhere else with safety.

2. Their hope is communicated by Christ.

3. Their hope is maintained by Christ. They cherish this hope as Christ is in them.Learn —

1. The happy condition of the believer. He may rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

2. The importance of earnest endeavours to know our state before God.

3. The fallacy of that hope that is not founded on the Saviour, and productive of conformity to Him.

(Congregational Remembrancer.)

There are four methods by which we .arrive at the knowledge of Christ.

1. The historical. Without this we cannot become acquainted with the true portraiture of Christ. It is true that one may study the Gospels intellectually, and derive from them a conception of Christ that is truly noble, but which is not vital and powerful: but this is the abuse of a right thing. The study of the work and character of Christ is antecedent and auxilliary to a true experience of Christ.

2. The theological. This is often carried to excess and abused, but none the less there is a place for it. It is a matter of transcendent interest to know whether Christ believed He was Divine. Views of the Divinity of the Saviour which run low will, averaging them through the ages, be productive of a low tone of spirituality and vice versa. Nevertheless a man may have a right theology of Christ, and yet not be possessed of Christ. It is auxilliary only.

3. The apostle taught that there was something more than this, viz., a living Christ who may be a part of our lives.


1. No man ever contests in himself and strives to release himself from what is low and base, and reaches toward the higher and nobler, if he does not feel the need of God. When we are looking down we are our own gods, but when we strive upwards we feel the necessity of supernal influences.

2. Now as when I hunger, my hunger says there is food, as when my eye was made it said there was light to match it, so I know that certain struggles and yearnings point to something higher.

3. These yearnings are met in Him of whom the previous verses of this chapter point. No man who is limited by specialities, physician, teacher, friend, etc., can give me the help I need. lie must be as He is, the embodiment of all power, and Lord over all.

4. But in order to this He must be mine, mine as really as if I were the only human being in the universe: not of course to the exclusion of others — but as my father was not less wholly mine because he was my brothers' too.


1. I cannot live without love; but human love is inadequate.

2. Yet how am I to be loved, and thus live. I can never hope to deserve it. Here the transcendent love of Christ comes in. He loves the loveless, and asks no more but that I let Him love me.

3. The consciousness of this unspeakable love is most potent and inspiring.

III. IT IS NECESSARY THAT CHRIST SHOULD BE IN ME, a Being whose love, power, and whole nature and influence I feel within developing in me the superior qualities of the spiritual elements, and giving authority and power to love and hope, and faith and conscience. And there is a direct sympathetic action of the Divine mind on ours. Indeed, we act on each other. If you sigh in the presence of another man, he will sigh; if you laugh, he will smile. And so if the heart be open and the moral nature .sensitive, Christ acts upon the thought and feeling" so that we are guided by Him.

(H. W. Beecher.)

There are three features which mark the relationship indicated .by the text.


1. It is not a mere sacramental relation. That may exist and be altogether an external thing, and leave the heart possessed entirely by another than Christ.

2. The relationship between Christ and His people is not exhausted by such images as shepherd, husband, etc., which are external, however intimate. Persons may be near and yet be utter strangers.

3. This relation is internal as the branch is in the vine, than which nothing can be closer.

II. AN ENDURING RELATION. All other relations, parent and child, husband and wife, teacher and scholar, are terminable; but this is not affected by the vicissitudes of time. It is everlasting; by faith now, by sight by and by.


1. There are many relations that are merely nominal and honorary, gratifying to ambition, but conveying no substantial good. It is not so with this. For Christ is in His people.

1. As the ground of their pardon and acceptance.

2. As their best Friend. We turn to a real friend —

(1)To counsel us in perplexity.

(2)To lessen our sorrow.

(3)To heighten our joys.Jesus does all this as the best earthly friend can never do. Conclusion: The subject suggests its proud point of distinction between the man who is a Christian and the man who is not.

(R. Newton, D. D.)

is —

I. IN THE SOUL. He is not the Christ of the Book and the creed merely. He is in the soul —

1. As the chief object of love.

2. The chief subject of thought.

3. The chief sovereign of activities.


1. Directed to the highest object, "glory." The glory of goodness, of moral assimilation with God. Hope for goodness is the virtuous hope.

2. Based on the surest foundation — Christ's word and influence.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

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