The Divine Presence
The Presence of Christ Within Us
The day was dreary; rain splashed in the streets of the great metropolis as hundreds of workers, dressed to match the dull and colourless weather, made their way past the palace into the throbbing heart of the city to begin work for another day.
It was war-time, and London was being sorely blitzed. The strain of wakeful and terrifying nights of noise and fear left its mark on the drawn faces of the people.
Buckingham Palace stood out severe against the low clouds scudding across the sky, and as the busses rattled past, not a few of the passengers lifted their heads out of the morning edition to glance at the stern grey walls and the guards in battle-dress blended into the dreary scene. A grey war-time sight indeed, yet, it had about it a speck of colour. The Londoners seeing it, knowingly nodded to one another with an expression of satisfaction. A little patch of colour fluttered bravely in the blustery wind. It was the royal standard which meant only one thing, the king was in residence.
Our two previous considerations of the Divine Presence, portrayed the Lord Jesus Christ in His ministry as prophet and priest. In the text, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 2:27), the Lord is seen as the royal resident, King of our lives.
Three essential qualities for a fruitful Christian life are faith, hope, and love. The degree in which these are manifested in the life will govern the measure of our fruitfulness and usefulness to God and His people.
A richer and more experiential appreciation of the truth of the Divine Presence in us will assist us in the development of these three facets of our spiritual life.
The Life of Faith
The Apostle who penned these words in Colossians knew the value of this and wrote to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Paul appropriated for himself the faith of the Indwelling Christ; therefore, he could say with exuberance, “The life which I now live.” The life which he thus lived was vibrant with the faith of the Son of God.
He well knew the words from Habbakkuk, “The just shall live by his faith.” Moreover, he knew that little faith meant a narrow life and that much faith meant an abundant life. “According to thy faith,” was often the measure of blessing from the Lord while He was here on earth.
“But”, says someone, “My faith is so weak and small.” The advice then is to appropriate the faith of the Son of God, the Indwelling Christ, until you too can say, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
The Life of Hope
Our verse in Colossians reads, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” The hope of glory for whom? Glory for Christ. The fact of the indwelling of Christ in the believer is the guarantee that Christ will be admired in everyone of them.
That glorious day will surely dawn with a brilliance that shall never wane, for the countless hosts of angels, cherubim, and seraphim will turn to see the Church as she appears in His glory. There the one time scoffers, rebels, and rejectors who have been redeemed will shine forth with immortal glory, the very glory of Christ. Those celestial beings will gaze on us and admire Christ in us, and He will receive all the glory.
Yes, glory for Christ, but, furthermore, Christ in us is the guarantee that we shall be glorified with Him; for whom He justified, them He also glorified. Weary today? Discouraged because of the way? Then fasten on this blessed truth, that within the framework of your being there dwells in all His imperial majesty the King of Kings, the Sovereign of the skies, your life and your hope of glory.
Take a look at your hands, those fingers, those very same only changed will handle the fruit of the Tree of Life. Look in the mirror, into those eyes of yours from which has tumbled many a tear; those very eyes — transformed — will gaze at length on the Fairest of all and see Him as He is. Well might we burst into the strains of the old song, “Oh that will be glory for me!”
More, Christ in you is the hope of glory for the unsaved! What was that? Yes, the fact that within that temple of your body there deigns to dwell the royal Son of God is hope that others too may be saved and one day glorified. When we think of the years of rebellion during which we preferred to scatter our love on a thankless joyless world and to leave God’s lovely Son outside, our hearts are humbled within us. Thank God, He still knocked and waited until at long and weary last, sick of sin and filled with fear, we threw open the long-shut door and found Him still there waiting. We bade Him enter and He came in. If He then will stoop to dwell in such sinners as we, then there is hope of glory for that long prayed for soul, unsaved as yet. Do not give up, for Christ in you is hope of glory.
The Life of Love
How we need this eternal virtue to saturate, to fill, to overflow our lives! What battles would not be fought! What hearts would not be broken! What power would be displayed, if only we knew more of a life of love!
Well might we long for the answer in our lives of the Lord’s prayer, “That the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:26).
If this great love was appropriated and unleashed by Christians in the world today, God would be worshipped as He ought, and our worthy Lord would enjoy greater devotion from His people. Furthermore, perishing prisoners of Satan in devil-ridden villages and iniquitous cities would hear the gospel from the lips of loving men who would fill up the great gaps on the mission fields. Embattled saints would be comforted and encouraged, and the pettiness and the paltriness which are seen among many of God’s people would be gone. Our eyes would be lifted up from our tiny circumstances to behold the fields white and ready to harvest, and the love of Christ would constrain us to accomplish great things for God.
“The veil, that is to day, His flesh” (Heb. 10:20), are words which explain the humanity of Christ. How thin betimes did that veil appear! Even the enemies of Christ seemed to catch a glimpse through it of His glory. His disciples certainly did when they were with Him on the mount.
Now think of our flesh; different, of course, in nature and meaning, for our flesh is that evil force that opposes the Spirit. What a veil our flesh can become! If there was less of this fleshly veil about us, the world would see more of Christ and His glory when they looked at us. They would peer through the veil, and see, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”