Colossians 1:27 says:
“To them, God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Why does the verse say “Christ in you”? I thought it was the Holy Spirit who dwells in believers?
Great question! We definitely hear the most about the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers. Believers who live now are privileged to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwelling in believers wasn’t always the case. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come after He returned to heaven. The Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 and from then on we see the Holy Spirit indwelling believers.
But the fact is that Scripture mentions that the whole Trinity indwells believers. There are many verses that talk about Christ in you (Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 3:17, Romans 8:10) and there are verses that mention the Father is in you (1 John 4:15).
While the whole Trinity is in you, it is the Holy Spirit who takes center stage. The verses that mention Christ in you connect Christ’s indwelling to faith, life, and hope.
But the verses that mention the Holy Spirit’s indwelling show His active role as comforter, the one who convicts, brings Scripture to mind, seals us for eternity and much more. This article from GotQuestions.org lists out the complete role of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.
Why does Paul use the phrase “Christ in you” in this Colossians passage?
The Apostle Paul writes Colossians as a letter to the church of Colosse. The church was going through a hard time because Gnostics (a type of false religion) in the area were swaying believers away from the church. The Gnostics were preaching that they had secret knowledge gained by mystical experience that made them more spiritual than the average Christian. In the book of Colossians, Paul is setting the Christians and the Gnostics straight by telling them that they have Christ and Christ is all they need.
That’s why in this short, four-chapter book, the word “Christ” is used 27 times!
Paul used the phrase “Christ in you” to emphasize you only need Christ for salvation.
What does “Christ in you” matter to me?
I do not just worship a Savior who is far away and outside of me. My Savior, Jesus Christ, being in me means my experience with Him is personal and is intimate.
The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said about this passage:
“When you are out at sea you like to know that there are plenty of fish in the sea all round your boats. It is a fine thing to get in among the great shoals of fish. Yes, but there is one thing better than that. Fish in the sea are good, but the fish in the boat are the fish for you. Once get them in the net or better still, safe into the vessel, and you are glad. Now Christ in heaven, Christ free to poor sinners is precious, but Christ here in the heart is most precious of all.”
What difference does it make to you to know “Christ in you”? What difference does the Holy Spirit’s indwelling make in your life? Share your comment below!
Thank you to Christina Dronen, a Mommy blogger and Jesus-follower, for this excellent question!