Christ in Kivu

". . . the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 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." - Colossians 1:26-27
I had a great group of young men and women in my Believe 102 class today. Counselors and campers alike figured out some super-important things.

We were discussing whether Christians should and could live differently than people that do not follow Jesus.

Must we continue in sin, or is there a way to overcome it? Can we actually do what God requires of us?

So we started with Jeremiah 31:31-34:
"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

and we then looked at Ezekiel 36:24-31:
"For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices."
These passages join the chorus of many, many others in the prophetic books concerning the restoration of Israel and of the whole world.

Note the words I bolded. These passages tell us that God planned to put his Spirit in us as the main attraction of the New Covenant.

And for what purpose? What was the New Covenant going to do that the Old Covenant(s) did not?

Well, as you can see - God promised to put his Spirit in us to change us from the inside out. To make us into people that can please him and keep his laws (to stay in covenant with him) so that we may be the people of God!

With the New Covenant God paved the way for humans to be changed "on their insides".

He placed his Spirit in us so that his laws would be "written on our hearts" - they'd be implanted in us rather than remaining as mocking external reminders of our inherent weakness and inability to please God.

See Romans 8 and Galatians 5 for Paul's take on this - on walking "by the Spirit" so that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

So "Christ in us" is our only real hope of glory - as Paul said there in Colossians.

Today our bright young people saw and felt that - some for the first time. I am thrilled almost beyond words to have been a part of it!

Father, thank you for speaking to your precious young men and women today. Help us remember your presence within us, and your power to transform us into people fit for your kingdom to come.

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