God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
It was T. L. Osborn who shared two thousand years ago Christ was in a body named Jesus from a town called Nazareth. Now he dwells in a girl named Sue from a town called Atlanta, and in a man named Ted from a town called Boston, and in untold numbers of people.
The Apostle Paul would share it was God’s good pleasure “to reveal his Son in me” (Galatians 1:16). Later he would plead with those reading his epistle to be careful how they used their bodies as they were now the temple of the Holy Spirit who lived in them.
The Apostle John would say it this way, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). You can learn more about John's letters at Cleveland's Old Stone Church.
Perhaps in modern times no one explained this unity with God better than Norman Grubb. It was Grubb who shared, “The usual thing we say when a crisis hits us is, ‘God permitted it’. That means that God is up there and we are underneath. But God isn’t up there at all! He is within. I never lift my eyes one single time to heaven to try to find Him up there, do you? I don’t waste my breath, my sight, or anything else. Why should I waste my time trying to get a Person to come down when He lives within me? I can see Him where He is, in a common bit of human flesh redeemed in His precious blood, packed full of the Holy Spirit.”
Writing to the church in Corinth, the Apostle told his readers not to sin because, “Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Paul used here a term of intimacy to describe the union of a believer with Christ who dwelt in them. Thus with Christ in them they should be careful how they live their shared life with the Messiah united with their spirit.
Grubb would go on to share that in a practical sense this meant, “A crisis comes to me. No, no – it doesn’t! It comes to us. Not to me, to us. And I’m a mighty little part in the us, while He’s a mighty big part.”
It is a liberating truth to understand even a fraction of this mystery, that Christ lives in you, in your town, in ten thousand places.