"Continue in prayer . . . withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ . . . that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak." ?XCOL. iv. 2-4.
"The mystery now made manifest to His saints: 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."?XCOL. i. 26, 27.
To Paul's mind, the very centre and substance of his Gospel was the indwelling Christ. He spoke of the "riches of the glory of this mystery?XChrist in you, the hope of glory." Though he had been so many years a preacher of this Gospel, he still asked for prayer, that he might make known that mystery aright.
The complaint is often made in regard to native Churches, that after a time there appears to be no further growth, and very little of the joy and power for bearing witness to Christ Jesus. The question comes whether the Church at home is living in the experience of this indwelling Christ, so that the sons and daugh¬ters whom she sends out know the secret, and make it the sub¬stance of their teaching and preaching.
Some years ago one of our ministers went to the foreign mission field to do deputation work. Before he left there was a little gathering for prayer, at which he asked what his message should be. The thought was expressed that in speaking to Christians it was desirable that a message of a full salvation should be pressed home, and the hearts roused to believe in, and to accept of, an indwelling Christ. On his return he told with what deep interest the presentation of this truth had been received, many saying that they had never before understood this aright.
Dr. Maclaren said years ago that it seemed as if the Church had lost the truth of the indwelling Christ. We speak of Paul's missionary methods, but is there not a greater need of Paul's missionary message, as it culminates in the one word: "Christ in you, the hope of glory"? Paul felt the need of much prayer to enable him to give the message aright. Is there not a call to all mission¬ary intercessors, and to our beloved missionaries themselves, to make it a matter of first importance to obtain the power, and from a living experience to lead Christians into the enjoyment of their rightful heritage? "If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and we will make our abode with him." And it may be the Church at home will also share in the blessing, the restoration to its right place, of this truth: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
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