WHAT MEANEST “CHRIST IN YOU”?

Posted Jan 07, 2011 by Graham Tierney in Everlasting Gospel Hits: 7,183

 

 

WHAT MEANEST “CHRIST IN YOU”?

What you are about to read is twenty Bible verses of the most spine tingling drama that ever occurred. Nothing Hollywood has ever produced can match the intensity of this narrative.

 

 

All emphasis supplied.

1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, (The “Way” of Jesus Christ - John 14:6 ) whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3And as he journeyed, he came near to Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks”. Acts 9:1-5

Here we hear Saul asking a question Who art thou, Lord?

“Lord” here denotes respect for authority: It is the Greek word ‘kurios’. koo – ree – os (Strong’s 2962) = (Supremacy) supreme in authority i.e.(as noun) controller: by impl. Mr (as a respectful title), - God, Lord, master, sir.

Think about this for a few minutes: You are going along the road to Damascus minding your own business (which by the way is persecuting followers of Jesus Christ) and suddenly you are engulfed in the brightest light you have ever seen. Dazzling, blinding light and as you try to penetrate it’s beams, you think you see something. An image, or a shape perhaps. What would you say? Well perhaps we do not know what we would say in such a position, but Saul was intelligent and quick witted and he knew that whoever or whatever had created that light was more powerful than he, so he showed respect “Supreme Master, who are you’?

Now read how Ellen White, the messenger of The Lord to the end time people, describes this scene:

“Filled with fear, and almost blinded by the intensity of the light, the companions of Saul heard a voice, but saw no man. But Saul understood the words that were spoken, and to him was clearly revealed the One who spoke--even the Son of God. In the glorious Being who stood before him he saw the Crucified One.

Upon the soul of the stricken Jew the image of the Saviour's countenance was imprinted forever. The words spoken struck home to his heart with appalling force. Into the darkened chambers of his mind there poured a flood of light, revealing the ignorance and error of his former life and his present need of the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit”. AA p115

Then Saul asks his next sensible question, again with respect:

6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought [him] into Damascus. 9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink”. Acts 9:6-9

Now the next act of this real life drama unfolds:

10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord.

11And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he IS the Son of God”.

Notice that Saul is praying! He is unsighted, he is disoriented, he is stricken and so his first resort is PRAYER!

Now the question begs to be asked:

What really happened out there on the Damascus Road?

The answers are to be found in the writings of the former Saul now The Apostle Paul!

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is 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: Col.1:25-27

1“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God [The Father], 2 (Which he [The Father] had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3Concerning his [The Father] Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: Rom. 1:1-6

1“Paul, called [to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God [The Father], and Sosthenes [our] brother, 2Unto the church of God [The Father] which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I thank my God [The Father] always on your behalf, for the grace of God [The Father] which is given you by Jesus Christ; 1 Cor 1:1-4

1“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, (on the Damascus Road) and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ, 4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen. Gal. 1:1-5

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”. Galatians 2:20

These are but a few examples of what happened on the Damascus Road, readers will find their own favourites and many more examples that attest to the faith of Paul and his reason for living.

When Saul/Paul was temporarily blinded on the Damascus Road and later, under instruction and power from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, had his sight restored by Ananias and was baptised, he received not only physical sight but also spiritual insight into the Person of Jesus Christ. That is why Ellen White could say assuredly “Upon the soul of the stricken Jew the image of the Saviour's countenance was imprinted forever”. AA p115

Now we also find out why Saul, in the words of Jesus “he prayeth”! Because he had for the first time met Jesus The Christ and had seen His face.

From the Damascus Road onward to his death, his life was completely consumed with nothing but Jesus Christ, and I might add God The Father. In Paul’s own words “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified”. 1 Cor. 2:2

In my mind I see Paul never again allowing anything to turn his mind away from the face he saw on the Damascus Road: The face of his Saviour Jesus Christ.

I want and need my own Damascus Road experience, where I can understand the full meaning of “Christ in you the hope of glory” Col 1:27

By the way, whose glory is the verse referring to?...Christ Jesus’ glory of course because man’s glory is to be laid “in the dust”!

“What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless”. {20MR 117.3}

This is really what happened to Saul/Paul out there on the Damascus Road that day so long ago and it changed his life forever. Please God may I have that experience!

My prayer for one and all, and of course my family! May this be the experience of all who read this the account of Saul/Paul and this blog!

The final word I will give to Paul

1“I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. AMEN!