Christ in You
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”— Colossians i. 27.
THE gospel is the grand secret: the mystery of mysteries. It was hidden from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to the saints. To the mass of mankind it was utterly unknown; and the chosen people, who saw something of it, only perceived it dimly through the smoke of sacrifices and the veil of types. It remained a mystery which wit could not guess nor invention unravel; and it must for ever have continued a secret had not God in his infinite mercy been pleased to reveal it by the Holy Ghost. In a still deeper sense it is even yet a hidden thing unless the Spirit of God has revealed it to us individually, for the revelation of the gospel in the word of God does not of itself instruct men unto eternal life: the light is clear enough, but it availeth nothing till the eyes are opened. Each separate individual must have Christ revealed to him and in him by the work of the Holy Ghost, or else he will remain in darkness even in the midst of gospel day. Blessed and happy are they to whom the Lord has laid open the divine secret which prophets and kings could not discover, which even angels desired to look into.
Brethren, we live in a time when the gospel is clearly revealed in the word of God, and when that word has its faithful preachers lovingly to press home its teachings, let us take care that we do not despise the mystery which has now become a household word. Let not the commonness of the blessing cause us to undervalue it. You remember how in the wilderness the Israelites fed upon angels’ food until they had enjoyed it so long, so constantly, and so abundantly that in their wicked discontent they called it “light bread.” I fear me that many in these times are cloyed with the gospel like those who eat too much honey. They even venture to call the heavenly word “common-place,” and talk as if it were not only “the old, old story,” but a stale story too. Are not many hungering after novelties, longing for things original and startling, thirsting after the spiritual dram-drinking of sensational preaching, dissatisfied with Christ crucified, though he is the bread which came down from heaven? for us, let us keep clear of this folly; let us rest content with the old food praying from day to day, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” May it, never happen to us as unto the Jews of the apostle’s time, who refused utterly the word of life; so that the truth became to them a stumbling-block, and those who preached it were compelled to turn to the Gentiles. If we despise the heavenly message we cannot expect to fare better than they did: let us not incur the danger of refusing him that speaks from heaven. If there be life, rejoice in it; if there be light, walk in it; if there be love, rest in it. If the Lord God Almighty has at length set open the treasures of his grace, and put eternal bliss within your reach, stretch out the hand of faith, and be enriched thereby. Turn not your backs upon your God, your Saviour; for in so doing you will turn your backs on eternal life and heaven. God grant that none of you may do this.
In our text we have in a few words that great mystery with which heaven did labour as in travail, that mystery which is to transform this poor world into new heavens and a new earth; we have it, I say, all in a nutshell in the seven words of our text: the riches of the glory of this mystery may here be seen set out to open view— “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
By the assistance of the divine Spirit, I shall speak upon this mystery in three ways: The essence of it is “Christ”; the sweetness of it is “Christ in you”; and the outlook of it is “the hope of glory.” The words read like a whole body of divinity condensed into a line,— “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
I. The eternal mystery of the gospel, THE ESSENCE OF IT IS CHRIST. I hardly know what is the antecedent to the word “which” here: whether it is “mystery,” or “riches,” or “glory”; and I do not greatly care to examine which it may be. Any one of the three words will be suitable, and all three will fit best of all. If it be “the mystery,” Christ is that mystery: “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.” If it be the word “glory,” beyond all question our Lord Jesus wears a “glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Is he not “the brightness of the Father’s glory”? If we take the word “riches,” ye have often heard of “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Oh, the riches of the grace of God which it hath pleased the Father to impart unto us in Christ Jesus! Christ is the “mystery,” the “riches,” and the “glory.” He is all this; and blessed be his name, he is all this among us poor Gentiles who at first were like dogs, scarce accounted worthy to eat the crumbs from under the children’s table, and yet we are now admitted into the children’s place, and made heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ Jesus. Riches of glory among the Gentiles would have sounded like a mockery in the first ages, and yet the language is most proper at this day, for all things are ours in Christ Jesus the Lord.
The essence of this mystery is Christ himself. In these days certain would-be-wise men are laboriously attempting to constitute a church without Christ, and to set forth a salvation without a Saviour; but their Babel building is as a bowing wall and a tottering fence. The centre of the blessed mystery of the gospel is Christ himself in his person. What a wonderful conception it was that ever the infinite God should take upon himself the nature of man! It never would have occurred to men that such a condescension would be thought of. Even now that it has been done it is a great mystery of our faith. God and man in one person is the wonder of heaven, and earth, and hell. Well might David exclaim, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” The first thought of the incarnation was born in the unsearchably wise mind of God. It needed omnipotent omniscience to suggest the idea of “Immanuel, God with us.” Think of it! The Infinite an infant, the ancient of days a child, the Ever Blessed a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief! The idea is original, astounding, divine. Oh, that this blending of the two natures should ever have taken place! Brethren, the heart of the gospel throbs in this truth. The Son of the Highest was born at Bethlehem, and at his birth, ere he had wrought a deed of righteousness or shed a drop of blood, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men,” for they knew that the incarnation had within itself a wealth of good things for men. When the Lord himself took our manhood it meant inconceivable benediction to the human race. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,” and in that child and son we find our salvation. God in our nature can mean for us nothing but joy. How favoured is our race in this respect! What other creature did the Lord thus espouse? We know that he took not up angels, but he took up the seed of Abraham; he took upon him human nature, and now the next being in the universe to God is man. He who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death is this day crowned with glory and honour, and made to have dominion over all the works of Jehovah’s hands. This is the gospel indeed. Do not sinners begin to hope? Is there one in your nature who is “Light of lights, very God of very God,” and do you not perceive that this must mean good to you? Does not the “word made flesh” dwelling among men arouse hope in your bosoms, and lead you to believe that you may yet be saved? Certainly, the fact of there being such an union between God and man is the delight of every regenerated mind.
Our Lord’s person is at this day constituted in the same manner, He is still God and man; still he can sympathize with our manhood to the lull, for he is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; and yet he can help us without limit, seeing lie is equal with the Father. Though manifestly divine, yet Jesus is none the less human; though truly man, he is none the less divine; and this is a door of hope to us, a fountain of consolation which never ceases to flow.
When we think of our Lord we remember with his person the glorious work which he undertook and finished on our behalf. Being found in fashion as mail he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, he took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, because we had failed in our service, and could not be saved unless another did suit and service on our behalf. The heir of all things girded himself to be among us as one that serveth. What service his was! How arduous! how humble! how heavy! how all-consuming! His was a life of grief and humiliation, followed by a death of agony and scorn. Up to the cross he carried all our load, and on the cross he bore, that we might never bear, his Father’s righteous wrath. Oh, what has not Christ done for us? He has cast our sins into the depths of the sea: he has taken the cup which we ought to have drunk for ever, and he has drained it dry, and left not a dreg behind. He has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; and now he has finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness, and gone up to his Father’s throne within the veil, bearing his divine oblation, and making everything right and safe for us, that by-and-by we may follow him, and be with him where he is. Oh yes, brethren, Christ’s person and finished work are the pillars of our hope. I cannot think of what he is, and what he has done, and what he is doing, and what he will yet do, without saying, “He is all my salvation and all my desire.”
My brethren, every one of our Lord’s offices is a well-spring of comfort. Is he prophet, priest, and king? Is he friend? Is he brother? Is he husband? Is he head? Every way and everywhere we lean the weight of our soul’s great business upon him, and he is our all in all. Besides, there is this sweet thought, that he is our representative. Know ye not that of old he was our covenant head, and stood for us in the great transactions of eternity? Like as the first Adam headed up the race, and stood for us— alas, I must correct myself— fell for us, and we fell in him; so now hath the second Adam taken upwithin himself all his people and stood for them, and kept for them the covenant, so that now it is ordered in all things and sure, and every blessing of it is infallibly secured to all the seed. Believers must and shall possess the covenanted inheritance because Jesus represents them, and on their behalf have taken possession of the estate of God. Whatever Christ is his people are in him. They were crucified in him, they were dead in him, they were buried in him, they are risen in him; in him they live eternally, in him they sit gloriously at the right hand of God, “who has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” In him we are “accepted in the Beloved,” both now and for ever; and this, I say, is the essence of the whole gospel. He that preaches Christ preaches the gospel; he who does not preach Christ, preaches no gospel. It is no more possible for there to be a gospel without Christ than a day without the sun, or a river without water, or a living man without a head, or a quickened human body without a soul. No, Christ himself is the life, soul, substance, and essence of the mystery of the gospel of God.
Christ himself, again I say, and no other. I have been trying to think what we should do if our Lord were gone. Suppose that a man has heard of a great physician who understands his complaint. He has travelled a great many miles to see this celebrated doctor; but when he gets to the door they tell him that he is out. “Well,” says he, “then I must wait till he is in.” “You need not wait,” they reply, “his assistant is at home.” The suffering man, who has been often disappointed, answers, “I do not care about his assistant, I want to see the man himself: mine is a desperate case, but I have heard that this physician has cured the like; I must, therefore, see him. No assistants for me.” “Well,” say they, “he is out; but there are his books; you can see his books.” “Thank you,” he says, “I cannot be content with his books, I want the living man and nothing less. It is to him that I must speak, and from him I will receive instructions.” “Do you see that cabinet?” “Yes.” “It is full of his medicines.” The sick man answers, “I dare say they are very good, but they are of no use to me without the doctor: I want their owner to prescribe for me, or I shall die of my disease.” “But see,” cries one, “here is a person who has been cured by him, a man of great experience, who has been present at many remarkable operations. Go into the inquiry-room with him, and he will tell you all about the mode of cure.” The afflicted man answers, “I am much obliged to you, but all your talk only makes me long the more to see the doctor. I came to see him, and I am not going to be put off with anything else. I must see the man himself, for myself. He has made my disease a speciality; he knows how to handle my case, and I will stop till I see him.” Now, dear friends, if you are seeking Christ, imitate this sick man, or else you will miss the mark altogether. Never be put off with books, or conversations. Be not content with Christian people talking to you, or preachers preaching to you, or the Bible being read to you, or prayers being offered for you. Anything short of Jesus will leave you short of salvation. You have to reach Christ, and touch Christ, and nothing short of this will serve your turn. Picture the case of the prodigal son when he went home. Suppose when he reached the house the elder brother had come to meet him. I must make a supposition that the elder brother had sweetened himself, and made himself amiable; and then I hear him say, “Come in, brother; welcome home!” But I see the returning one stand there with the tears in his eyes, and I hear him lament, “I want to see my father. I must tell him that I have sinned and done evil in his sight.” An old servant whispers, “Master John, I am glad to see you back. Be happy, for all the servants are rejoiced to hear the sound of your voice. It is true your father will not see you, but he has ordered the fatted calf to be killed for you; and here is the best robe, and a ring, and shoes for your feet, and we are told to put them upon you.” All this would not content the poor penitent. I think I hear him cry— “I do not despise anything my father gives me, for I am not worthy to be as his hired servant; but what is all this unless I see his face, and know that he forgives me? There is no taste in the feast, no glitter in the ring, no fitness in the shoes, no beauty in the robe unless I can see my father and can be reconciled to him.” Do you not see that in the case of the prodigal son the great matter was to get his head into his father’s bosom, and there to sob out “Father, I have sinned”? The one thing needful was the kiss of free forgiveness, the touch of those dear, warm, loving lips, which said, “My dear child, I love you, and your faults are blotted out.” That was the thing that gave his soul rest and perfect peace; and this is the mystery we come to preach to you— God himself drawing near to you in Christ Jesus, and forgiving you all trespasses. We are not content to preach unless Jesus himself be the theme. We do not set before you something about Christ, nor something that belongs to Christ, nor something procured by Christ, nor somebody that has known Christ, nor some truth which extols Christ; but we preach Christ crucified. We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and we say to you, never be content till you clasp the Saviour in your arms as Simeon did in the temple. That venerable saint did not pray to depart in peace while he only saw the child in Mary’s bosom; but when lie had taken the dear one into his own arms, then he said, “Lord, now lettest than thy servant depart in peace.” A personal grasp of a personal Christ, even though we only know him as an infant, fills the heart to the full; but nothing else will do it.
I go a little farther still. As it must be Christ himself, and none other, it must also be Christ himself rather than anything which Christ gives. I was thinking the other day how different Christ is from all the friends and helpers that we have. They bring us good things, but Jesus gives us himself. He does not merely give us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; but he himself is made of Cod all these things to us. Hence we can never do without him. When very ill you are pleased to see the doctor; but when you are getting well you say to yourself, “I shall be glad to see the back of the good man, for that will be a sure sign that I am off the sick list.” Ah, but when Jesus heals a soul he wants to see Jesus more than ever. Our longing for the constant company of our Lord is the sign that we are getting well: he who longs for Jesus to abide with him for ever is healed of his plague. We never outgrow Christ; but we grow to need him more and more. If you eat a meal you lose your appetite, but if you feed upon Christ you hunger and thirst still more after him. This insatiable desire after him is not a painful hunger, but a heavenly, pleasant hunger which grows upon you the more its cravings are gratified. The man who has little of Christ can do with little of Christ; but he that gets more of Christ pines for a yet fuller supply. Suppose a wise man were to instruct you: you would learn all he had to teach and then say, “Let him go on and teach somebody else;” but when Jesus teaches we discover so much of our own ignorance that we would fain keep him as our life-tutor. When our Lord taught the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, he opened the Scriptures and he opened their minds until their hearts burned within them. What next? Shall the divine teacher pass on? No, no; they constrain him, saying “Abide with us: it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” The more he taught them the more they wished to be taught. This is ever the way with Christ: he is growingly dear, increasingly necessary. Oh my brothers, you cannot do without him. If you have your foot upon the threshold of pure gold, and your finger on the latch of the gate of pearl, you now need Christ more than ever you did. I feel persuaded that you are of Rutherford’s mind, when he cried to have his heart enlarged till it was as big as heaven, that he might hold all Christ within it; and then he felt that even this was too narrow a space for the boundless love of Jesus, since the heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and so he cried out for a heart as large as seven heavens, that he might entertain the Well-beloved. Truly, I am content with what God has given me in all points, save that I long for more of Christ. I could sit down happy if I knew that my portion in the house and in the field would never grow; but I am famished to have more of my Lord. The more we are filled with Christ, the more we feel our own natural emptiness: the more we know of him, the. more we long to know him. Paul, writing to the Philippians, when he had been a Christian for many a year, yet says, “That I may know him.” Oh, Paul, do you not know Christ yet? “Yes,” says he, and “No”: for he knew the love of Christ, but felt that it surpassed all knowledge. “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full”: this is not our case in one respect, and yet it is in another, for all the streams of grace and love and blessedness flow into our souls, and we are full; yet, being full, we are longing for more. Not thy gifts, Lord, but thyself: thou, thou art the desire of our hearts.
Christ alone is enough. Mark this. Nothing must be placed with Christ as if it were necessary to him. Some hold a candle to the sun by preaching Christ and man’s philosophy, or their own priestcraft. When the blessed rain comes fresh from heaven they would fain perfume it with their own dainty extract of fancy. As for God’s blessed air fresh from the eternal hills, they dream that it cannot be right unless by scientific experiments they load it with their own smoke and cloud. Come, clear out, let us see the sun! We want not your rushlights. Away with your gauzes and your fineries, let the clear sunlight enter! Let the holy water drop from heaven; we want not your scented essences. Out of the way, and let the fresh air blow about us. There is nothing like it for the health and strength of the soul. We rejoice in Christ and nothing else but Christ: Christ and no priestcraft; Christ and no philosophy; Christ and no modern thought; Christ and no human perfection. Christ, the whole of Christ, and nothing else but Christ: here lies the mystery of the gospel of the grace of God.
Brethren, what else but Christ can satisfy the justice of God? Look around you when a sense of sin is on you, and the dread tribunal is before your eyes: what can you bring by way of expiation but Christ? What can you bring with Christ? What dare you associate with his blood and merits? Oh, my God, nothing will content thee but thy Son, thy Son alone. What else can quiet conscience? Some professors have consciences as good as new, for they have never been used; but he that has once had his conscience thoroughly exercised and pressed upon with all the weight of sin till he has felt as if it were better for him not to be than to be guilty before God— that man acknowledges that nothing but Christ will ever quiet his agonized heart. See the bleeding Lamb, and you will be pacified! See the exalted Lord pleading his righteousness before the throne; and conscience is even as a weaned child; and all the storm within the spirit is hushed into a great calm. What else will do to live with but Christ? I do not find in times of pain and depression of spirit that I can keep up upon anything but my Lord. The mind can feed at other times on pretty kickshaws and fine confectionery such as certain divines serve out in the form of orations and essays, and the like; but when you are sore sick your soul abhors all manner of earthly meat, and nothing will stay on the stomach but the bread of heaven, even the blessed Christ of God. Think also, when you come to die, what else will do but Christ? Oh, I have seen men die with heaven in their eyes, the eternal Godhead seeming to transfigure them, because they rejoiced in Christ; but a death-bed without Christ, it is the darkening twilight of eternal night: it is the gloomy cave which forms the entrance of the land of darkness. Do not venture on life or death without Jesus, I implore you. “None but Christ, none but Christ,” this has been the martyr’s cry amidst the fire; let it be ours in life and death.
II. Secondly, we are to consider THE SWEETNESS OF THIS MYSTERY, WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU. This is a grand advance. I know that there are a great many fishermen here this morning, and I heartily welcome them. When you are out at sea you like to know that there are plenty of fish in the sea all round your boats. It is a fine thing to get in among the great shoals of fish. Yes, but there is one thing better than that. Fish in the sea are good; but the fish in the boat are the fish for you. Once get them in the net, or better still, safe into the vessel, and you are glad. Now Christ in heaven, Christ free to poor sinners is precious, but Christ here in the heart is most precious of all. Here is the marrow and fatness. Christ on board the vessel brings safety and calm. Christ in your house, Christ in your heart, Christ in you; that is the cream of the matter, the honey of the honeycomb. Gold is valuable, but men think more of a pound in their pockets than of huge ingots in the Bank-cellar. A loaf of bread is a fine thing, but if we could not eat it. and so get it within us, we might die of starvation. A medicine may be a noble cure, but if it is always kept in the phial, and we never take a draught from it, what good will it do us? Christ is best known when he is Christ in you. Let us talk about that a little.
Christ in you— that is, first, Christ accepted by faith. Is it not a wonderful thing that Christ Jesus should ever enter into a man? Yes, but I will tell you something more wonderful, and that is, that he should enter in by so narrow an opening as our little faith. There is the sun; I do not know how many thousands of times the sun is bigger than the earth, and yet the sun can come into a little room or a close cell; and what is more, the sun can get in through a chink. When the shutters have been closed I have known him come in through a little round hole in them. So Christ can come in through a little faith— a mere chink of confidence. If you are such a poor believer that you can hardly think of assurance or confidence, yet if you do trust the Lord, as surely as the sun comes in by a narrow crack, so will Christ come into your soul by the smallest opening of true faith. How wise it will be on your part when you see your Lord’s sunny face shining through the lattices to say, “I am not going to be satisfied with these mere glints and gleams, I would fain walk in the light of his countenance. Pull up those blinds; let the heavenly sun shine in, and let me rejoice in its glory.” Grow in faith, and enlarge your receiving power till you take in Christ into your inmost soul by the Holy Spirit; for it is Christ in you by faith that becomes the hope of glory.
By Christ in you we mean Christ possessed. You see nothing is so much a man’s own as that which is within him. Do you tell me that a certain slice of bread is not mine, and that I have no right to it? But I have eaten it, and you may bring a lawsuit against me about that bread if you like, but you cannot get it away from me. That question is settled; that which I have eaten is mine. In this case possession is not only nine points of the law, but all the points. When a man gets Christ into him, the devil himself cannot win a suit against him to recover Christ; for that matter is settled beyond question. Christ in you is yours indeed. Men may question whether an acre of land or a house belongs to me; but the meat I ate yesterday is not a case of property which Chancery or any other court can alter. So, when the believer has Christ in him, the law has no more to say. The enclosure made by faith carries its own title-deeds with it.
It means, too, Christ experienced in all his power. There may be a valuable medicine that works like magic to expel a man’s pains, and cure his diseases; but it is of no efficacy till it is within him! When it commences to purify his blood, and to strengthen his frame, he is in a fair way to know it without depending upon the witness of others. Get Christ in you, curing your sin, Christ in you filling your soul with love to virtue and holiness, bathing your heart in comfort, and firing it with heavenly aspirations,— then will you know the Lord. Christ believed in, Christ possessed, Christ experienced, Christ in you, this is worth a world.
Moreover, Christ in us is Christ reigning. It reminds me of Mr. Bunyan’s picture of Mansoul, when the Prince Immanuel laid siege to it. and Diabolus from within the city strove to keep him out. It was a hard time for Mansoul then; but when at last the battering rams had broken down the gates, and the silver trumpets sounded, and the prince’s captains entered the breach, then on a day the prince himself did ride down the city’s streets, while liberated citizens welcomed him with all their hearts, hung out all their streamers, and made the church towers rock again as the bells rang out merry peals, for the king himself was come. Up to the castle of the heart he rode in triumph, and took his royal throne to be henceforth the sole lord and king of the city. Christ in you is a right royal word. Christ swaying his sceptre from the centre of your being, over every power and faculty, desire and resolve, bringing every thought into captivity to himself, oh, this is glory begun, and the sure pledge of heaven. Oh for more of the imperial sovereignty of Jesus! it is our liberty to be absolutely under his sway.
Yes, and then Christ in you is Christ filling you. It is wonderful, when Christ once enters into a soul, how by degrees he occupies the whole of it. Did you ever hear the legend of a man whose garden produced nothing else but weeds, till at last he met with a strange foreign flower of singular vitality. The story is that he sowed a handful of this seed in his overgrown garden, and left it to work its own sweet way. He slept and rose, and knew not how the seed was growing till on a day he opened the gate and saw a sight which much astounded him. He knew that the seed would produce a dainty flower and he looked for it; but he had little dreamed that the plant would cover the whole garden. So it was: the flower had exterminated every weed, till as ho looked from one end to the other from wall to wall he could see nothing but the fair colours of that rare plant, and smell nothing but its delicious perfume. Christ is that plant of renown. If he be sown in the soil of your soul, he will gradually cat out the roots of all ill weeds and poisonous plants, till over all your nature there shall be Christ in you. God grant we may realize the picture in our own hearts, and then we shall be in Paradise.
It may sound strange to add that Christ in you transfigures the man till he becomes like Christ himself. You thrust a bar of cold, black iron into the fire, and keep it there till the fire enters into it. See, the iron is like fire itself— he that feels it will know no difference. The fire has permeated the iron, and made it a fiery mass. I should like to have seen that bush in Horeb before which Moses put off his shoes. When it was all ablaze it seemed no longer a bush, but a mass of fire, a furnace of pure flame. The fire had transfigured the bush. So it is with us when Christ enters into us: he elevates us to a nobler state; even as Paul saith “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” Jesus sanctifies us wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and takes us to dwell with him in the perfect state above.
Christ in you,— how can I explain it? We are the little graft and he is the strong and living stem. We are laid to him, bound to him, sealed to him, and when there is nothing between the new shoot and the old tree, at last the sap flows into the graft, and the graft and the tree are one. Ye know right well how Christ enters into us and becomes our life.
Christ in you means power in you. A strong man armed keeps his house till a stronger than he comes, and when the stronger enters the first tenant is ejected by the power of the new comer, and kept out by the same means. We were without strength till Christ came, and now we war with principalities and powers, and win the victory.
Christ in you! Oh, what bliss! what joy! The Bridegroom is with us, and we cannot fast: the King is with us, and we are glad. When King Charles went to live at Newmarket it is said that a most poverty-stricken village became a wealthy place; truly when Christ comes to dwell in our hearts our spiritual poverty suddenly turns to blessed wealth. Christ in you! What a wonder it is that he should deign to come under our roof! Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in. See the honour which his entrance brings with it! He glorifies the place where his foot rests even for a moment. If Jesus doth but enter into your heart, his court comes with him: honour, and glory, and immortality, and heaven, and all other divine things follow where he leads.
“Oh,” says one, “I wish he would come and dwell in me.” Then, be humble, for he loves to dwell with him that is humble and of a contrite spirit. Next, be clean; for if they must be clean that bear God’s vessels, much more they that have Christ himself in them. Next, be empty; for Christ will not live amid the lumber of self, and pride, and carnal sufficiency. Learn abundantly to rejoice in Christ, for he who welcomes Christ will have him always for a guest. Jesus never tarries where he is not desired. If his welcome is worn out, away he goes. Oh, desire and delight in him; hunger and thirst after him; for Christ delights to dwell with an eager people, a hungry people, a people who value him, and cannot be happy without him.
Surely I have said enough to make you feel that the sweetness of true godliness lies in having Christ in you.
III. Thirdly, weave to consider that THE OUTLOOK OF ALL THIS IS CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY. Last Sunday morning, as best I could in my feebleness, I spoke to you about the time when this earthly house of our tabernacle shall be dissolved, when we shall find that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; but this morning’s text goes a little further: it speaks of glory, which is a hope for soul as well as body. Why glory! Glory? Surely that belongs to God only. To him alone be glory. Yes, but Christ has said, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory and he also says, “And the glory which thou hast given me I have given them.” Think of it Glory for us poor creatures! Glory for you, sister; glory for me! It seems a strange thing that a sinner should ever have anything to do with glory when he deserves nothing but shame. We are neither kings nor princes, what have we to do with glory? Yet glory is to be our dwelling, glory our light, glory our crown, glory our song. The Lord will not be content to give us less than glory. Grace is very sweet: might we not be content to swim for ever in a sea of grace? But no, our Lord will give grace and glory.”
“All needful grace will God bestow,
And crown that grace with glory too.”
We shall have glorified bodies, glorious companions, a glorious reward, and glorious rest.
But how know we that we shall have glory? Why, first, he that has come to live in our hearts, and reigns as our bosom’s Lord, makes us glorious by his coming. His rest is glorious: the place of his feet is glorious. He must mean some great thing towards us, or he would never dwell in us. I saw a line carriage stopping the other day at a very humble hovel; and I thought to myself, u that carriage is not stopping there to collect rent, or to borrow a broom.” Oh, no; that lady yonder is calling round and visiting the poor, and I doubt not she has taken in some nourishment to an invalid. I hope it was so: and I am sure my Lord Jesus Christ’s carriage never stops at my door to get anything out of me: whenever he comes he brings countless blessings with him. Such a one as he is, God over all, blessed for ever, it cannot be that he took our nature, unless with high designs of love unsearchable. Thus we nourish large expectations upon the food of solid reason. I am sure our Lord Jesus would never have done so much if he had not meant to manifest the immeasurable breadth and length of a love which is beyond imagining. What he has done already surprises me even to amazement. I think nothing can appear strange or hard to believe, let him do what he may in the future. If the Scriptures tell me my Lord is going to fill me with his own glory, and to set me at his own right hand, I can believe it. He who went to the cross for me will never be ashamed of me: he who gave me himself will give me all heaven and more: he that opened his very heart to find blood and water to wash me in, how shall he keep back even his kingdom from me? O sweet Lord Jesus, thou art indeed to us the hope, the pledge, the guarantee of glory. Friend, do you not feel that Christ in you is the dawn of heaven?
Besides this, Christ is he that has entered into covenant with God to bring his people home to glory; he has pledged himself to bring every sheep of his flock safe to his Father’s right hand, and he will keep his engagement, for he never failed of one covenant promise yet.
Moreover, this we do know, that the Christ who is come to live with us will never be separated from us. If he had not meant to stop he would not have entered our heart at all. There was nothing to tempt him to come, and if in sovereign grace he deigned to live in the poor cottage of our nature, then, brethren, he knew what he was about: he had counted
the cost, he had foreseen all the evil that would be in us and about us, and when he came, he came with the intent to stay. Someone asked another the other day, “What persuasion are you of?” and the answer was, “I am persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Are not you of that persuasion, brother? If so, you can see how Christ in you is the hope of glory.
Why, look ye, sirs, Christ in you is glory. Did we not show that just now? “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in!” You have heaven in having Christ, for Christ is the biggest part of heaven. Is not Christ the soul of heaven, and having him you have glory? What is more, having gotten Christ, Christ’s glory and your glory are wrapped up together. If Christ were to lose you, it would be a great loss to you, but a greater loss to him. If I can perish with Christ in me, I shall certainly be a fearful loser, but so will he, for where is his honour, where his glory if a believer perishes? His glory is gone if one soul that trusts in him is ever cast away. Wherefore comfort yourselves with this word, Christ in you means you in glory, as sure as God lives. There is no question about that. Go your ways and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and let men see who it is that lives in you. Let Jesus speak through your mouth, and weep through your eyes, and smile through your face: let him work with your hands and walk with your feet, and be tender with your heart. Let him seek sinners through you; let him comfort saints through you; until the day break and the shadows flee away.