Some may wonder, is there a pinnacle of insight to becoming a mature Christian? Most in their churches assume it's thru mastering their denomination's brand of salvation, while many Identity Christians assume it is by becoming or following an expert on the racial aspect of the Gospel. Then there are those who somehow come to know it must be something else. How important is it for you to hear the words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant"? Let us now approach a 'Mount Everest' in the Scriptures which provides the wisdom of how to hit the mark of God's perfect glory.
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
THERE'S NO NEED TO GO ON, UNTIL WE KNOW FOR SURE WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD THROUGH CHRIST. According to the Apostle Paul, "peace" for you has been made "through the blood of his cross... to reconcile all things unto himself". Evidence that you've accepted this is recognizing that anything you've done yourself to make peace with God was nothing more than "wicked works" compared to Christ's perfect work of redemption. "In the body of his flesh through death" Christ already "made peace" for us; it's that simple.
You'll then know if you have peace with God "If ye continue in the faith". For each of us, it all hinges upon how firmly we take hold of "the hope of the gospel" which is contained in the mystery we will see. This isn't just making enough effort to come to the right collection of beliefs. It is wanting to be built up in Christ to where you are "not moved away from the hope of the gospel". We must be "grounded" in our faith, which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #2311, to be erect. FAITH IN CHRIST PROVIDES US THE ABILITY TO STAND. No matter how big and bad the opposition may be, you can stand and be "settled" in your faith which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1476, to become immoveable. If you receive the mystery Paul is about to reveal, you will stand tall and firm in the power of God, no longer to be shaken. OUR FAITH IN THE GOSPEL IS WHAT HOLDS US TOGETHER. With Christ alone as our peace, having our faith only in Him, we will not be moved.
The cumulative affect of being grounded (erect) and settled (immoveable) is to "continue in the faith", Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #1961 which is to remain... persevere. ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE PEACE WITH GOD WILL BELIEVE TO THE END. The peace of God gives you control of your mind, detering all doubts, fears, and worries. Continuing in faith then is not letting go of Christ, even when the road gets tough. Are you ready to go beyond just having beliefs in historical facts about Jesus and the Bible? We must "continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel". Your reaction to the manifestation of this mystery will show you what's in your heart.
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
True ministers of God are willing to suffer for the "sake" of others. Understanding that Christ died for "the church", Paul knew going through "sufferings" and "afflictions" was just a part of the ministry. Seeing others growing and serving God makes it worth going through whatever you must to encourage and teach them. Paul talks about how he lived to "fill up that which is behind" within himself, with "Christ". Yet it wasn't just for his own benefit, but for "the church". When the needs of others become more and more a priority, it is an indication that we are truly growing. CHRIST ALREADY WENT THROUGH IT FOR US- NOW WE GET TO GO THROUGH IT FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S BENEFIT.
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Paul knew God's blessings weren't just for him. A true minister takes more joy in giving than he does in receiving. In keeping with this, realize there are certain people we are all meant to reach "according to the dispensation of God" which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #3622, meaning administration... stewardship. True ministers see themselves as mere stewards (not owners) of whatever God provides for them. When it comes to recognizing a true minister of the Gospel, look beyond just their knowledge and abilities, to the way they treat others.
God's "minister" wants to, as the New Revised Standard Version puts it, "make the word of God fully known". He realizes he is just the messenger, with no license to adjust what he teaches to condemn others. For no one just becomes or makes himself a minister by taking up preaching or teaching, like starting a business. PAUL SAYS TRUE MINISTERS ARE "MADE" BY GOD. Saul (before he was Paul) for instance, was a tremendous scholar long before he was humbled. Yet he here credits God alone for his calling.
We also see in the Book of Acts and in all his Epistles that Paul wasn't so hung up on one aspect of the Gospel that he neglected or tried to deny the rest of it. If we assume the racial aspect of the Gospel is the only mystery in the Bible, we have not had the Word of God made fully known to us. The New American Standard Version expresses Paul's words in our text this way: "that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God". It appears through his Epistles he was able to do this with the Colossians and others, as opposed to what we read in his Epistles to the Corinthians or even the Hebrews. Yet it wasn't because Paul didn't want to. He actually expressed to them that they were too immature:
I CORINTHIANS 3:1-2
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Every good minister longs to see God's people grow to where one day they are "able to bear" deeper teachings or the "meat" of the Word. The racial aspect of the Gospel is essential but it is only "milk" for "babes in Christ". Are you satisfied to remain a "babe" or do you want to be a "spiritual" Christian? Hopefully you recognize by now the only other option to being "spiritual" is remaining carnal (Romans 8:5-6). God gives us the milk to strengthen us enough to where we can eventually receive the meat and become mature. The Hebrew Christians received similiar reproof:
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Paul says "for the time" these Hebrews had spent in the Word, they should "be teachers" rather than still sitting around. He was telling those who do not understand "the word of righteousness", you still "have need that one teach you". But those who are not tripped up by the deeper things of God reveal it by partaking of "strong meat". Like all true ministers who love their people, Paul's motive was to fully carry out the preaching of the word of God to them, not just make them think they must keep following him.
As we know, the most important aspect of our identity isn't just that God created us with white skin. For we are about to discover from the Scriptures that having God's Spirit means even more than what we originally thought. SET ASIDE THE MILK AND PREPARE TO PARTAKE OF THE MEAT OF THE WORD.
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the
Gentiles nations; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Without a doubt, we can understand why Paul established that Christ was God previously in this Epistle. For it "now is made manifest" that "Christ (is) in you", therefore since Christ was God, Paul is proclaiming, God is "in you". That's right, Paul said "Christ" Who is God is "in you". Who was this addressed to? It's "to his saints: To whom God would make it known... among the nations". GOD IS MAKING THIS MYSTERY KNOWN TO DISPERSED ISRAEL THAT CHRIST IS IN EVERY ISRAELITE. THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD WHO IS IN ALL OF HIS PEOPLE. This is "the hope of glory" as you will see. Was this Paul reading too much into something or thinking he had figured something out on his own? Absolutely not. This is "the wisdom" God had given to Paul which Peter acknowledged was "in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood" (II Peter 3:15-16).
We will explore only a few of Paul's Epistles, Christ's words, and even a Psalm to expound further upon this profound mystery. Though it wasn't "made manifest" for many "generations" and for "ages" or hundreds and hundreds of years, it is "now" thrown wide open for you to receive. Are you ready?!
First of all, here's something familiar to us Paul said in his Epistle to the Philippians:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Let's look together into the "mind" of Christ. This is the same context as back in Colossians. Paul uses an equivalent expression for "Christ Jesus" being God here, by describing Him as "being in the form of God". Yet Paul emphasizes Christ's own self-awareness. Christ knew He was "equal with God" and that He "thought it not robbery" or did not consider being God as taking on something that wasn't already His. JESUS CHRIST WAS GOD AND HE DID NOT DOUBT IT. This is the mind of Christ's acceptance of His own essence and identity as being God. Paul is telling us to "Let this mind" of Christ "be in" us concerning the way we see ourselves and our brethren. We receive and apply the truth of this mystery when we let the mind of Christ be in us. Paul is clearly telling us to allow this mindset of One Who knew He was "equal with God" to "be in" us. Why would he tell us to do this if it was not possible or if all of it could not apply to us?
In light of Jesus having no doubt He was equal with God, He "made himself of no reputation" or did nothing just for the sake of drawing attention to Himself, "and took upon him the form of a servant"- there you go. Jesus was humble and approached His brethren as their Servant, though He fully accepted that He was God- is this not the mindset Paul is telling us to allow? Absolutely. If the only part of this that applies to us is about being a servant, why did Paul go into so much detail about Christ's self-awareness of Him being God?! For Israelites (whites) have never had any problem taking on the mindset of a servant or a slave mentality. But here we see within the mindset of Christ (as Paul outlines for us), ranging from the perspective of One Who is God in the flesh, He humbled Himself to become a Servant. We must take all the information Paul gives here on the mind of Christ as equally applicable to us, not just the last part about being a servant. Paul gives no indication that any part of what he has put under the heading of the mind of Christ doesn't apply to us.
Similiar to the way we let go of the whole second-class, goy, gentile mindset when we learned we were Israelites, we can begin letting the mind of Christ be in us as this is about more than just becoming a servant or slave. Think about it, only applying the part of us becoming a slave (as we've been taught) doesn't involve the mind of Christ or require any special wisdom from God at all. But knowing you are a son of God and humbling yourself to become a servant, now that involves wisdom and is a great mystery. The full mindset Paul conveys for us to allow in us is how Jesus had no doubt Who He was and humbled Himself for the good of His people and glory of God. Paul's wisdom is passed on to us when we know who we are and allow Christ's mindset to prevail in us.
BY LETTING THE ENTIRETY OF WHAT PAUL TAUGHT ON THE MIND OF CHRIST BE IN US, IS THE ONLY WAY CHRIST IS EXCLUSIVELY ISRAEL'S EXAMPLE. For if all that pertains is becoming a servant or slave, even non-whites can do that. Those who apply all that Paul taught on the mind of Christ, will understand and receive this great mystery.
Notice what Paul says in his Epistle to the Ephesians:
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope, of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
As all Paul's Epistles are, this was written to those of the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12). The Apostle makes it simple to understand for those who let the mind of Christ be in them. This mind comprehends the Scriptures for what they say, not by how men try to translate, twist, or explain them away. There's alot here, but let's focus on, "One God and Father of all, above all, and through all, and in you all." PAUL IS PROCLAIMING THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD AND HOW IT WORKS FROM BEGINNING TO END. With Paul so plainly declaring this, we can make this statement: God is not only the Father of Adam and of Jesus, but "of all" Adamites therefore, "of all" Israelites. God's Law of Kind after Kind indeed does apply, as the "Father of all" breathed into Adam, putting Himself into him, "and through all" pure Adamic parents God is just as much our Father as well, as Paul says He is "in you all". GOD MADE THE MYSTERY KNOWN THROUGH PAUL THAT HE IS THE FATHER OF ALL ISRAEL AND THAT HE IS IN EVERY ISRAELITE- THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD WHO IS IN ALL OF HIS PEOPLE. So as we stated earlier, the purpose for Paul establishing Christ's Deity before he manifested the mystery "Christ in you, the hope of glory" was to communicate this very truth to Israel, that THE ONE TRUE GOD IS "IN YOU ALL".
When you read this with the self-awareness of the mind of Christ, you will not minimize what it says concerning you and your race. The wisdom God gave Paul to manifest this mystery includes the overall perspective that Yahweh God created Israel to be "one body" or race of gods, with our Father "above all" and Jesus Christ our "One Lord" (I Corinthians 11:3) And not just certain Israelites, but "all" Israel and we are to serve one another as gods with the mind of Christ. This is the manifestation of this mystery in general and it will become even more clear and evident as we continue.
So receiving this does not mean you feel like anyone should be worshipping you, since it pertains to every Israelite. Receiving the manifestation of this mystery properly, does not puff you up but builds you up inwardly into being all you can be- "Christ in you, the hope of glory". As did James, Paul later in Colossians goes on to emphasize how we are not to be partial toward or to be a respecter of persons when it comes to our brethren. So this gives none of us any reason to feel superior to our brethren, rather we have an ever-expanding consciousness of how much potential we have as Israelites.
One may assume to say we are gods is blasphemy. The Pharisees accused Christ of blasphemy for saying the exact same thing in His day, but He never backed down:
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
Here we see Jesus Himself supporting the case that He was God in the flesh. For why would they be picking up stones if Jesus wasn't claiming to be God?! He replied to them: "Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Does Christ then deny it? No. How then does Christ choose to assert and prove that He wasn't ashamed of being equal with God? By telling them WE are gods: "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" To "whom" did the Word of God come? We know the Word of God only came to Israel (Psalm 147:19-20). CHRIST IS USING THE FACT THAT ISRAEL IS A RACE OF GODS TO SUBSTANTIATE HIS OWN DEITY. Christ is quoting the Old Testament here concerning this:
1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Whether or not you receive this or call it "blasphemy", doesn't change the truth of it! IF YOU ARE AN ISRAELITE, YOU ARE A GOD ACCORDING TO CHRIST. Concerning Israelites, Christ Himself, quoting the Old Testament Scriptures declared, "Ye are gods", all in the context of His own Deity. THEREFORE, WITH GOD BEING IN CHRIST AND CHRIST BEING GOD, WITH CHRIST BEING IN US, CHRIST SAYS "YE ARE GODS".
For one to deny this is to call Christ a liar, for He said "the scripture cannot be broken". While those who receive it are merely believing words Christ repeated from the Old Testament! So out of fear, you can deny these two clear witnesses in the Scriptures that "Ye are gods" in Psalm 82 and in John chapter 10, or you can continue on in the faith by receiving and rejoicing that Christ is in you.
Way back, God Himself did this, hid it, and now it is being manifested to you. If you want to believe the Scriptures, you will receive it. IF YOUR TOP PRIORITY IS "THE HOPE OF" ONLY GOD'S "GLORY", YOU ARE REJOICING IN IT. Those who want to explain away the Scriptures by denying this, take away from the glory of God, are interested in showing what they think they know, and are secretly concerned about their own glory. Obviously, when one surrenders to this truth, everything he or she achieves brings glory to God. This is beyond intellectual arguments or scholarship, but who is humble enough to allow the Word of God alone to speak to the hearts of God's people. PAUL SAID, "CHRIST (IS) IN YOU", "LET" HIS "MIND BE IN YOU", AND CHRIST SAID OF ISRAEL, "YE ARE GODS." Oh what a mystery!
Let's look at this again, paying close attention to the "mind" or attitude of Christ. Notice how easy it is to tell that neither Him being God or Him calling us gods was at all ridiculous to Him, in His mind: "The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" Even the casual observer senses no hesitancy or reservations in the way Christ responds to them, with a rhetorical question- "Is it not written in your law... ?"
In light of their ignorance, how ridiculous it was for them to accuse Him of blasphemy, since Psalm 82 was written hundreds of years prior. If you'll notice, He's actually using what was written ABOUT US BEING GODS, to show how ridiculous it was for them to queston HIS DEITY- amazing, isn't it?! For Christ to do this, one truth must have been as sure IN HIS MIND as the other- "Let this mind be in you". Once again, on top of that, Christ wasn't using His Deity to prove we are gods, He was using God having already stated that we are gods to support He was "the Son of God". THIS IS THE PART OF THE MIND OF CHRIST WE'VE BEEN TAUGHT (BY THOSE WHO YELL "BLASPHEMY" THE LOUDEST) TO IGNORE.
So Christ only went into us being gods to support His being God in the flesh. As was in Philippians chapter 2, the context here is the same as with our text in Colossians with this mystery- "Christ in you". We see both Christ and Paul showing the unbreakable relationship between Christ being God and us being gods. THE DEITY OF CHRIST AND "CHRIST IN YOU" OR "YE ARE GODS" STAND AND FALL TOGETHER. Therefore to deny one is to deny the other in the mind of Christ, as our God knows the end from the beginning. To deny "Ye are gods" or "Christ in you" is to deny that Christ was the Son of God, was equal with God, or that He was "the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHETHER YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD.
Here's the last example we will use from Paul's other Epistles. The following sheds further light on this mystery from God's overall perspective and describes how "godliness" leads to "glory":
I TIMOTHY 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the nations
Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
There's only one way this verse is "without controversy"- when you understand "the mystery". The Apostle emphasizes how "great" this is to young Timothy, calling it here "the mystery of godliness". Though it has been taught as such, this verse is not just an abstract or random list of accomplishments on the part of Jesus Christ. The scope of this verse is much broader, as it depicts God's overall plan of "godliness" hidden within our race from the very beginning- how do we know? Mainly because of the order of the phrases, specifically the placement of the phrase "received up into glory". This phrase cannot be in reference to Christ's ascension, since He ascended before God (through the Gospel) was "preached unto the nations" and was "believed on in the world", not after, as it is given here.
If this was intended to be a chronological rundown of Christ's ministry, the phrase "received up into glory" would have come before the phrase "preached unto the nations" not at the end. This shows that Paul did not intend for this to represent just Christ, but "the mystery of godliness" as he called it. Besides, the order of the events of Christ ministry are not at all hidden, openly available in the New Testament, being no "mystery" at all.
THIS IS "THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS" WHICH IS GOD'S HIDDEN PLAN FOR ISRAEL'S PRESERVATION AS A RACE OF GODS. The structure and meaning of these phrases, show the development of how "God" has preserved godliness through our race, veiled in mystery: "God was manifest in the flesh, (God was) justified in the Spirit, (God was) seen of angels, (God was) preached unto the nations, (God was) believed on in the world, (God was) received up into glory". "God" has, is, and will experience all these things through us. This is the only way to understand "the mystery of godliness" in the order which Paul gives "without controversy"; with no doubt or confusion.
No Christian doubts that "God was manifest in the flesh" in Christ, but where's the mystery? Yet "God was manifest in the flesh" first through Adam, and therefore in all who are of the Adamic race- there's the mystery (Luke 3:38). Of course God was "justified" or declared righteous "in the Spirit" through Christ, everyone knows that through His sinless life to His resurrection- no mystery there. But God is also "justified in the Spirit" in our race because His Spirit within us never sins (I John 3:9). Christ was "seen of angels" while He was here, of course. But come to find out, long before, during, and after He came, angels were involved in watching over our race (Matthew 18:10). The "mystery of godliness" here is the same mystery we have in Colossians "but now is made manifest to his saints"!
Christ's ascension took place before God was "preached to the nations" and "believed on in the world" through and in His race (Acts 1:8-9). Everyone already knew before Paul even wrote this that Jesus ascended up to heaven- no mystery. Yet while He was here, Christ Himself revealed that no one is "received up into glory" or heaven unless first they came from there and of course, with our race being born from above, this applies to us. In fact, Christ Himself spoke of being the One Who would receive us (John 3:3, 13; 14:3; I John 3:9). It's not that Christ isn't a big part of this, just that it's not only about Him.
This is Paul expounding upon this same mystery. The only way to properly interpret this "without (any) controversy" is with the mind of Christ. THE GREATNESS OF "THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS" IS MANIFESTED THROUGH "CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY".
What we are sharing are just some of "the riches of the glory of this mystery". Continue in the faith by receiving the meat of the Word and be grounded and settled. Do not fall for the shallow schemes of those who will cunningly mischaracterize this truth as 'new age' when we see that God kept it "hid from ages and from generations". Do not be fooled into thinking this is some blasphemous teaching, when through Paul's wisdom, God has made this known to us Himself. Do not be like those that do not understand what Paul taught which Peter described who "are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (II Peter 3:16). It is our privilege to hear it, to accept it, and to rejoice in it. Let the mind of Christ be in you.
It all fits together and balances out: Christ was God, God is in each of us, and we achieve His glory by faith through serving one another. We must all believe in something or Someone greater than ourselves. The difference with this is, the One you believe in, is living in you.