“…I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 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.” Colossians 1:25-27
There is one thing that Christian fellowship produces that no other affiliation in the world can—a display of what Christ is like! The Christian fellowship reveals, “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” We can witness this value simply by looking into the eyes of one another and seeing Jesus.
While growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He would take me with him on adventures and activities. After he passed away, my great uncle, his younger brother, began inviting me to do some of the same activities. One day as we sat in his den, I remember looking up at my great uncle and it was as if I were gazing into the eyes of my grandfather. He looked and acted so much like him the memory brought tears to my eyes and I had to look away.
That’s what we are in this world. Christian fellowship is looking and acting like Jesus in this world. When I’m with you, I’m more inclined to see the aspects of what Christ is like working through you than anything else. And each one of us has some reflection that amplifies Christ.
Now, if all I’m going to look at are the different personalities and idiosyncrasies, I’m going to become frustrated and loose the value of our Christian fellowship. But, what no other fellowship can offer to this world is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There are two ways in which Jesus is manifested through our lives every time we come together.
1. His Life is in You!
What I mean by that is you are becoming like Him in behavior. He is changing us to act like Him—more holy. We see this process written of in Hebrews 12, verse 10. In context of why God disciplines us the author of Hebrews writes:
“…disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.”
See that! We are in the process of learning to share in His holiness. We are becoming holy like Him to display Christ, the hope of glory. This is not immediate but happens through the time-honored tradition of discipline and instruction. There are areas in our lives that don’t look too much like Jesus—He’s working on those things. But, there are also areas that look exactly like Him! Those are the valuable things I look for when I see you. If all I look at is the stuff that bugs me, I’m in trouble and will grow negative. I will never see Jesus in our midst if all I do is see everyone problems.
2. His Gift is in You!
The second practical way I see Christ in you is by the gift He’s given you to contribute with—His gift in you. Everyone has a gift! Whether you received it by birth or learned it through other means. A gift is still a gift no matter how you get it. Peter puts it this way in 1 Peter 4:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
As you use that gift in the Christian fellowship, Christ is displayed. And we discover that the gift God has given you is for the service of one another. And that gift God gave you is a value to the Christian fellowship and displays Jesus more perfectly to this world. It is something you can get nowhere else in this world!
J. Robert Hanson