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I would like to present to you the unlocking of a mystery that was hidden, but has now been revealed.

This mystery was also hidden from the religious leaders of the day when Jesus walked this earth in the form of a man and I would also venture to say, that this mystery still remains hidden in varying degrees from today's religious organisations and institutions.

In the Bible verse, Colossians 1:26,27 "The mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
This must be glorious to you, it certainly is to me, that God has now revealed a great mystery to mankind, this mystery in a nutshell is
"Christ in you, the hope of glory."

.....the message to mankind is this, the mystery is now revealed to His saints - which is "Christ in you, the hope of Glory"

We see that there was a mystery that was hidden and at an appointed time was revealed to the saints by God. An understanding of this mystery is now necessary for mankind to receive the very purposes of God and His love towards His creation, all men and women.

A foundation to understanding this truth of the mystery, is to receive by faith.
Then, we need to know what is the difference between operating by faith to receive from God and attempting to receive from God, by the works of our own resources.
Faith is the way we are to approach God and the way we must receive from Him, through what Jesus provided for us.
Hebrews 11:6 "without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

In the bible verses in Colossians we are told what the mystery is "Christ in you, the hope of Glory". However, without an understanding of what this means, we truly won't be able to receive all of what God has for us and benefit from His love towards us.

Understanding, will unlock knowledge of these truths and empower us to activate and participate in the essence of "Christ in us".
We need a foundation to build upon and act upon, that will stand up and produce what the desired finish should be in Christ.

Now, the very mention of these truths will no doubt raise many questions in your mind, when we try to fathom God's ways which are higher than our ways.

We must look at the difference between a religious approach to be good and then an operation of faith to achieve righteous acts. From this study we will arrive at the very foundation of faith and how God works with the sin problem in mankind.

FOUNDATION TO FAITH:-

In order to see why we need faith to approach God, we will need to examine a background of who we are, without Christ in us!
Romans 5:12 "Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned,"
Firstly, what is the purpose of the law, which is the ten commandments which God gave to Moses?

Why did God give these instructions of ordinances and commandments as a standard of righteousness to Moses and then Moses as a spokesman from God instructed the people of the nation of Israel in these laws?

Romans 3:19,20. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
We see that the purpose of the law is:- " by the law is a knowledge of sin." Mankind in its fallen state are now made aware, that we are all guilty before God, of unrighteous acts and our sinful condition is the nature of flesh, as no flesh will be justified in His sight.
If man doesn't think he has a problem, then he wouldn't repent, but as it is, when we are faced with trying to fulfill the law, we come to the realisation that we are sinners in need of a saviour.
In other words, when we are faced with the law and having to fulfill this standard of perfection, we all suffer the same outcome of missing the mark.
As tough as it is, to acknowledge this glaringly obvious truth, this is how it is.
Whether the psychologists come up with a different outlook or not, they are only spouting forth their hypothesis and speculation, that we are born in a state of innocence, the truth remains, we are born with a sinful nature and are separated from our God and that is why Jesus came.

Romans 3:21-24 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (the word of God), even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Jesus Christ."

So, by the law we can see, that all have fallen short of the glory of God, but now, when Jesus came, having rose from the dead and took the punishment that was due to us as sinners;
a righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed.

Notice we read it is a righteousness of God and not man's righteousness and it is through faith in Jesus, that we now have been justified by His grace.

Galatians 3:10 - 13 says much the same as Romans. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident for the just shall live by faith Yet the law is not of faith, but the man who does them shall live by them Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written cursed is everyone who hangs on the tree)."

We see that our first step into the Kingdom of God works this way, by faith in what Jesus did for us. We are redeemed from the curse of the law because, Jesus took the curse of sin upon Himself, to redeem mankind from the condition of sin.
Now if anybody does want to live by the law, we find that it is a curse to live this way, because, to live by the law means that we must continue to do all that is written in the law.
This is not possible, due to the sinful condition we all have, when we enter this world.
Now faith says, although we all fall short of God's righteousness, we need a saviour and the free gift offered to us by our saviour, to be justified before God and to live right by God.

Now, we read that the "just shall live by faith", this would tell us that it is a continuation process of how we live as Christians, by faith in His grace, which is freely given to us, we find that when we live by faith the mystery is revealed, which is "Christ in You". Christ is now living in us.

Now, if we have received salvation as believers by faith, accepting the free gift offered to us, when we were in a sinful condition and this act translated us out of the Kingdom of darkness and made us a new creation in Christ, would we not continue in this way by faith, as we are changed, from glory to glory, being transformed into His likeness?
Now if we attempted to live a righteous life doing works from our own strength, would we not fall from grace and no longer appropriate the blessings of God, which are available only by faith?

Galatians 3:1-3 "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?"

In the Galatian situation the church was subjected to a cunning scheme of teaching with the purpose to put the believers saved by grace, back under the law and works programs, which only have the appearance of pleasing God, but deny the power of real transformation into the image of Christ. These are religious practices, brought on by the doctrines and reasonings of man and will not stand against the truth and the righteousness that is of God.
"The just shall live by faith", if we are to stand in His grace and receive change, or His power in our lives, we need to continue in faith and not be swayed by the doctrines of man, that will rob us from all that Jesus came to provide; including walking into God's plan for our lives and having the enabling to fulfill it.

Romans 9:30-33 "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith, but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at the stumbling stone. As it is written Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

If you are offended by this article, I may suggest that you have stumbled and you need to pursue God by faith and then you will be justified, when you have "Christ in you" working in you.

Where has Israel missed it? They did not seek the righteousness of God by faith, but by the works of the law.
Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
Colossians 2:20-23 "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations- Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things have an appearance of wisdom in self imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh."

The use of the word world, refers to the thought patterns and system of the people of this world, who were born into it, with a sinful nature, that is separate and is incapable to do what is right, as compared to the righteousness of God.
In other words, what Paul is saying to the Colossians, is that you are unable to live in what Christ has done for you, if you live according to teachings of men and self imposed religious activities, which will never activate by faith in Christ, the true workings of God in your life.
We do not want to fall into the snare of self righteousness. We see that religious thinking was a great threat to the early church, such as in the Galatian church and they had received the teaching from Paul the Apostle and were saved and then, after the church was established, Paul had to then address this false teaching to go back under the law to please God and attempt to achieve, righteousness.
We see that religious thinking and the doctrines of men had crept into the church, which were cloaked by clever devices with an appearance of good.
I would have to say that this is also, a very real problem in the church today. If we are under the impression that we believe that, we are doing what's right, when in fact, we have fallen from grace into works, we are defeated and are out of our rightful position to receive the blessings of God and to grow up as Christians, in the image of Him.

How do we then serve Him?
Romans 7:6 "But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter of the law."

Or, how do we now live to God, or submit to Him, surrender our life to Him as Christians saved by grace and living by faith?

We live in the newness of the spirit, not the oldness of the letter. We don't attempt to fulfill the letter of the law, in our own strength.

The purpose of the law is to reveal to us that we have sinned and fallen short of the righteousness of God. We need good news, we need a saviour.

Now we are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption we have in Jesus Christ.

So we now live by faith.

Christ in you - the hope of Glory.

If you have not received God's unsurpassed love and have not yet become reconciled to Him, I invite you to be changed forever and be born again. Click here to find out more on born again - the first step of entry into God. Take action now and believe in your God who wants you to know Him and be with Him forever.

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