Riches of Christ 6

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:25 Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

It is rather amazing in one sense to see people in full pursuit of the world and yet the claim to be lovers of Christ. On the other hand, the heart is indeed very deceptive and so it is not as surprising that God will turn people over to the desires of their hearts in order to teach them the greatness of the riches of Christ. It is amazing to read books and listen to sermons when the riches of Christ appear to be an afterthought at best. When Christ is not thought valuable and the things of religion move in and take over His place, Christ is more of an afterthought in the things of religion rather than the absolute center of it all.

While indeed Colossians was written by Paul and he had some amazing experiences, yet he should be followed as he followed Christ and taught about Christ. Paul preached the word of God, but he did not think of that as a boring or a commentary type of approach to simply studying words and so one. He thought of the riches of Christ as something that should be preached from the Old Testament, from the New Testament, and of the Christ who lived in His people. This was not just a Christ of words or of doctrine, but a living Christ. This was not just a Christ who lived in the past, but a Christ who lived in the present. This was not just a Christ who lived in the present, but this was a Christ who lived in His people and was in fact the very life of His people.

The riches of Christ have nothing to do with material things as such, nor do they have to do with the things that Christ brings people. The riches of Christ to Paul was that Christ lived in His people and that He was their very hope of glory. The riches of Christ to Paul was that Christ was the mystery hidden from then people in the past and now He was manifested to His saints. The riches of Christ is that Christ Himself is the very life of His people and in that the people of Christ are married to Christ and they have Him as their all. The very thing that the Old Testament pointed to was Christ in His people and that He Himself is their very hope of glory.

This Christ was the One that Paul treasured and said was better than life. Christ Himself is the richest of all riches and the life of all life. How can He be so ignored in the pulpits of our day? How can He hardly be mentioned as preachers drone on and on with their orthodox statements and their moralisms? What is orthodoxy and morality apart from Christ? Paul did not think that he had fully carried out the preaching of the word of God unless he had made known the riches of Christ. Paul thought he should proclaim Christ to men rather than all the things that men are so caught up with in our day. Men are so caught up with “growing a church” or starting “churches” that they preach those things rather than the riches of Christ.

The labors of Paul was to keep in mind that God willed to make known the riches of the glory of His great mystery which was Christ in His people. That was what Paul proclaimed when he proclaimed Christ. That was what Paul did when he admonished men and taught men with all wisdom. He taught them the riches of Christ so that men would be complete in Christ. But again, how are men to be complete in Christ if Christ is not taught? How are men to love Christ above the world if the riches of Christ are not preached and set out in beauty and glory? The simple answer is that men will not be complete in Christ if the riches of Christ are not preached. This drives us to the simple point that one reason men are so spiritually weak (at best) is because Christ and His riches are not their spiritual food. They are given diets of works and moralism (yes, under different names) and are excited to give money and do things for God (they are told). Meanwhile they are not being fed with Christ and as such famine conditions are widespread across the land. Oh that men would learn something of the riches of Christ and then preach them!

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