To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you…
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.
I. IN ORDER THAT HE MAY BE MY CHRIST HE MUST BE ONE IN WHOSE HANDS IS THE WHOLE SPHERE IN WHICH I LIVE AND ACT. Lord over all the causes which are influencing me.
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.
II. IN ORDER TO MEET THE EXIGENCY OF MY NATURE AND EXPERIENCE I MUST HAVE A CHRIST WHO LOVES ME.
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.)
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: