CHRIST IN YOU IS THE MESSAGE
The mystery of “Christ in you” (Col. 1:27), hidden for ages, is now revealed—we are spiritually fused to Jesus Christ. Both Christ and you, together, live out a spiritual mystery that has only recently in human history been unraveled. Through the resurrection, God has thrown open the doors to experiencing a radical, intimate union with his only begotten: The word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:25–27 TNIV)
If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re hearing a full, complete gospel each time you step into church, Paul tells us that the message of Christ in us is “the word of God in its fullness” (v. 25). This is the message that we need to base everything else upon. And there is no greater message to deliver to the church today. Everything we preach about behavior and attitudes should begin with the premise that it is Christ in us and Christ through us that brings real change. Many pastors might think, “Yeah, yeah, I know that already.” Maybe so, but does your congregation? I have found it necessary to teach the new covenant reality of Christ in us over and over, and then some more after that. To assume everyone’s already got that down and to then “move on” will result in the congregation thinking Christianity is simply a behavior modification program rooted in human effort.
In fact, the Barna Group’s survey showed that very thing. Their survey indicated that 80 percent of self-identified Christians think that Christianity is all about obeying the rules to be good. If we think that Christians today have already “got it,” we are missing it ourselves. No one ever gets it fully, and we shouldn’t be moving on to “advanced things.” After all, what’s more important than learning to allow the Son of God himself to express his life through your personality? Every ounce of our preaching and teaching should direct people to Christ in them as their only hope of glory: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4:7).
Andrew Farley taken from “Frequently asked questions”