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"The mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations,
is now made manifest to his saints;...which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory."—Col. 1:26,27 .
THIS expression in various slightly different forms occurs many times in the New Testament. The consecrated children of God are spoken of as being "in Christ Jesus," whom God gave to be Head over the Church which is His Body. We are "baptized into Christ." This the Apostle explains as the Mystery hidden from the Ages, but now made known to us—that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.—2 Cor. 5:19; Col. 1:26.
This Christ is composed of many members. (I Cor. 12:12.) The Greek word Christ corresponds to the Hebrew word Messiah. In either language the significance of the word is, The Anointed. In olden times the Priests were anointed with oil, as were also the kings of Israel. This ceremony seems to typify the anointing of the antitypical kings and priests. The Messiah, therefore, is the anointed King and Priest, whom God hath foreordained from before the foundation of the world—for putting some down and lifting up all who will be obedient to His arrangements.
This Gospel Age is the time in which the Messiah is prepared. The Head of the Messiah, therefore, very properly, is first; and following Him the Apostles and all down through the Age the various members of the Body. This Age will end when the full number of the "elect" shall have been found and tested. Then the Body will have been completed. When The Messiah is complete, The Christ will be complete.
This part of God's Plan is hidden from the natural man, who sees nothing in it. Only those who reverence God sufficiently and who are in close touch with His arrangement can see. It was hidden from the Jews, who saw not that Jesus was the Head of this Messianic Body, and was to be a Spirit-being, not human; and that God is taking from them and from all nations those who shall compose this Body.
In view of the various statements of Scripture relating to this subject, we see how Christ is represented in us. In proportion as we have the Holy Spirit, in that proportion we are faithful members of His Body, and have the anointing in us. As the Apostle says, "The anointing that ye have received of Him abideth in you"; "Ye have an unction [or anointing] from the Holy One, and ye all know it." (I John 2:27,20.) It manifests itself to us as it would not to the world. We know that we have the mind of Christ—the opposite of selfishness. This we can more and more discern in others—better than in ourselves. As every good seed will bring forth good fruit, so we, if we abide in the Vine, shall bring forth the fruits thereof—meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness, long-suffering, love.
Christ in you is the hope of glory in the sense that to this Christ, this Anointed One, God has promised glory, honor and immortality, the divine nature. Only those who possess this anointing, the Spirit of Christ, can properly possess this hope; for what we now have is merely an earnest of our inheritance and a foretaste of what is to come. But this call is to ignominy now. "They shall say all manner of evil against you" who have this anointing. The world will know you not, even as it "knew Him not." (I John 3:1.) This, which we have now, is a bitter foretaste; but coupled with this there is a joy which the world cannot give.