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Lowell Brueckner

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Saints, Glory, Riches, Hope and Security


Paul gave thanks to God for the hope laid up in heaven for the Colossians (1:5). The writer of Hebrews attributed this hope to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. A priest was an intercessor, who offered sacrifices to God for the sins of the people. The depth of security attached to hope depends on the priest. The writer argued that one of the problems that existed in the priesthood before Christ was that the priests were mortals, their intercession ended at their death and their ministry was transferred to another. On the other hand, the power of the priesthood of Christ is according to an indestructible life and God declared, “You are a Priest forever”. I thank God that our hope rests in a High Priest, whose priesthood is non-transferable, but is perpetual and perfect!
"The glory of man is as the flower of grass"

One of the problems that we face in understanding the Bible is the difference in vocabulary, specifically, because of the biblical definitions of words. Some have to do with the difference in time between the New Testament and today and others have to do with the difference in the ambiance in which the word was learned. There can be a drastic change in the meaning of things seen from an earthly ambiance, and the significance given from the biblical, spiritual sphere.

Paul said in Colossians 1:27, “To them (the saints) God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ in you, the non-Jew, the hope of glory is the mystery to which Paul referred. The Scriptures were not interpreted in that way in times past (v.26) and, for that reason, this truth was totally hidden from the majority of Jewish Christians. In Acts, chapters 10 and 11, we see the difficulty that this mystery caused. God began to teach this theology to the evangelists in Acts and by chapter 11:20-21, some began to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. But, whether Jew or Gentile, the fact that a human being, dwelling on this earth, should have the divine Christ living in him, is an awesome mystery and, for the non-Christian, it is totally inconceivable. For us it is the hope of glory.

Paul referred to “his saints” in Colossians 1:26; to those “called to be saints” in Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2; to “all the saints” in 2 Corinthians 1:1 and Philippians 1:1; and simply “to the saints” in Ephesians 1:1 and Colossians 1:2. This term could be a mystery to some today, especially those who have a Catholic background. We have learned that a saint is a super Christian, canonized by the Vatican, and not a simple believer, washed in the blood of Christ, as it was understood in biblical times.

The word Gentile from this verse 27, which means non-Jew, might sound mysterious to a new believer, not schooled in biblical terms. He should learn, however, that in Bible times it was a great disadvantage to be a Gentile and, knowing this, he should be very grateful to God for permitting him to enter into benefits that, first of all, were only for Jews.

Maybe I ought to explain what glory means. It refers to a quality of life, a high form of existence. Peter related the man and his glory to grass and a flower. The flower is the glory of man, attractive and superior to grass. Glory also means the fame that is given to something that is superior.

Glory also can be described as that, which shines from some body, such as the sun, the rays of which reach beyond the body itself. The glory of the sun gives us the benefit of light and warmth, so that human kind can live and enjoy life on this planet. Spiritualizing these benefits, we could say that the light of the glory of God illuminates us with a capacity to see and walk in things that are worthwhile. The warmth of His glory comforts the soul, bringing joy, love and many other spiritual values.

However, the glory that Paul refers to, in saying “the hope of glory”, is the future glory of heaven. Already he mentioned it in verse 5: “…the hope that is laid up for you in heaven.” A name for heaven is Glory and, all that I have written to describe the word, reaches its perfection in Glory. There a quality of life exists beyond what we can imagine. The rays of Glory reach us even now on this earth; we have been born from above and we are endued with the Holy Spirit, Who is the power from on high.

Now, think about the riches of this glory… the value and the abundance of it. Its costliness has no comparison. There is no earthly glory that is like it. It is a glory given without measure. There are no limits; there is always more, no matter how much you have discovered of it. For that reason, the Bible speaks of going from glory to glory.

Now, what is the message, from which these riches of glory proceed? Paul writes of the life of Christ within the saint and proclaims that this is the hope of glory. He that has the Son has this glorious, eternal life (1 Jn. 5:12).

In the verse previously quoted, we learn that he that has the Son has hope and He is the only hope of glory. According to the Bible definition, this word hope might bring us another mystery that has to be solved. This is important, because some, who have not resolved it and define it according to their own understanding and use of the word, can error in their doctrine. A bad interpretation and definition of this word can rob us of some rich and magnificent glory.

The common use of the word hope expresses little more than a desire or a challenge in life. It’s a “hope-so” hope. The child hopes to be a fireman, a cowboy or a soldier. We hope to go on vacation to a beautiful island or spend it in the mountains. In this case, hope is a desire and a dream, but we are not sure whether it will happen or not. Some experience their hopes and others do not. However, the Bible definition guarantees us an absolutely sure future. Look carefully at Hebrews 6:18-20: “By two unchangeable things (the promise and the oath of God), in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge (security) might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Imagine one end of a chain fastened to a soul and the other end to the anchor firmly holding within the veil, which is the Holy of Holies (not a symbol, but the true presence of God). Our soul cannot be moved by the waves that disturb the water’s surface or the winds that want to blow us in another direction, because this anchor holds us firmly to God’s presence. Jesus guarantees our destiny for us, for all the time that His priesthood endures, because the word promises, “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb.7:25).

Steadfast and sure
This security is given us, because Christ intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father, but we are seeing also that His presence in our lives keeps us secure: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” At the moment, I can’t recall the name of the author, who wrote of The Life of God in the Soul of Man. His life in ours guarantees our destiny. All doubt is removed and all the questions are annulled, when Christ comes to live and to reign in a human being. The Psalm exclaimed: “The Lord is my Shepherd… surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

 Nothing can be more glorious. It is the height of all that anyone can experience. Paul preached this message among the Gentiles and called it, “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph.3:8)… a quality and quantity far beyond our comprehension. This is the will of God… so come in! When you do so, you will not be violating foreign property; you will be there by invitation. There is a table prepared for you and when you respond, you will only be exalting the Lord’s benevolence and generosity. 


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