If you were asked to summarise the purpose of life in a few words, what would you say? What’s the point of it all? What represents the ‘grand plan’?
It’s a tough question, but in these stunning verses we get close to an answer. God’s ultimate purpose for all people is this: ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (v27). This is the mystery that humanity has been waiting for – one that ‘has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people’ (v26).
It might sound fairly innocuous, but it goes to the heart of what it means to be human, what we were designed for. We were made to be in perfect, loving relationship with our creator. This was designed to be a beautiful, intimate friendship that would last forever. Our selfishness wrecked all that – but in Christ this pattern can be restored. We can know God intimately again – so closely that Christ dwells ‘in you’ by his Spirit. We have Jesus’ constant loving presence abiding with us – teaching us, encouraging us, strengthening us, growing and maturing in us all the qualities of a flourishing life: peace, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness. It is what we were made for – it is how things were always meant to be.
And this relationship is meant to last forever. Death was never meant to be the end – we were made to live in the embrace of God’s love for eternity. Again, our selfishness shattered that, the world became dislocated. But in Christ we now have ‘the hope of glory’ – i.e. the assurance that we will enjoy this relationship, this healed state of being, for all time. God’s glory never ends.
‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Two simple phrases which define the ultimate purpose of life – and our destiny, praise God. These are indeed glorious riches, taking us well beyond simply ‘saving souls’ (and yes, it is that – but it is so much more!). It is the renewal of humanity, becoming the people God designed for us to be; and eventually, it is the restoring of all creation, which waits in hope for this new humanity – the children of God – to be revealed.
Today, let these awesome truths lift your spirits. Christ is in you – welcome him again! And you are walking in hope from earth into eternity – one day at a time.