“…that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, 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 1:25b -27 NASB) “My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you..” (Galatians 4:19) Recently, I was at a prayer service and during the worship, I was struck with a revelation. We were singing a song that asked God to cover the earth with His glory. We were asking Him to manifest His presence across the globe. He revealed to me that He has already provided a way for that to happen. The key to understanding this fact is in the Colossians Scripture above. It states that it is Christ in us that is the hope of glory. The word “hope” is not a wish but rather it is a confident expectation. It is the confident expectation of the manifestation of glory. It is God’s expectation of us and it needs to be our expectation of ourselves. Before we explore this any further, we must first define “glory.” Glory Defined The word “glory” in the above verse is the Greek word “doxa.” It is the root to our word “doxology’ which are hymns of adoration and praise to God. The most familiar one being, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” The meaning of “doxa” is “dignity, glory/glorious, honor, praise, worship” (Strong’s Concordance). A similar Hebrew word was used by Moses when he asked God to show him His glory in Exodus 33:18. Moses desired a more intimate knowledge of God (Exodus 30:3). God’s response was that He would make His “goodness” pass before Moses as He proclaimed “the name of the LORD” (Exodus 33:19). It is interesting that as Moses asked for the revelation of God’s “glory,” God promised to pass His “goodness” before him. Therefore, we may conclude that the manifestation of the glory of God is His goodness. This is further demonstrated when God keeps His appointment with Moses and manifests His glory (Exodus 34:5-8). God descends and passes by Moses declaring the attributes of His nature that are manifestations of His goodness. He declares Himself to be “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and truth, keeping lovingkindness for thousands and forgiving iniquity, transgressions, and sin.” After all of that, then He expresses His just nature of punishing the guilty. His justice and judgment tends to be the first thing we think of concerning God, but it is not the first thing He says about Himself. This is also seen in another passage, Jeremiah 9:24. It reads as follows: “’But let him who boasts, boast of this that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.” Again we see that the first thing God says about Himself is that He exercises lovingkindness in the earth. Romans 2:4 (KJV), states that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. Though as seen in Exodus 34, God’s justice is part of His goodness, it is not the first way He manifests Himself. The justice will flow when the proper response of repentance, obedience and honor is not displayed (Romans 2:5,6). So, when we ask for God to manifest His glory either in prayer or in song, we are calling for the full manifestation of His goodness. It is a manifestation of His lovingkindness and compassion as well as His justice which should lead us to worship and submission to His will (Exodus 34:8; Romans 2:7,10). With all of this in mind, let us return to Colossians 1:27 and the phrase “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” The Expectation Explored We established that the word “hope” is a confident expectation and that God’s glory is the manifestation of His goodness. Therefore, that phrase may be read “Christ in you, the confident expectation of the goodness of God.” This is the “mystery.” It is the revelation that was never before revealed. It is that Christ would be in us resulting in the nature (goodness) of God being revealed in us. It is Christ’s presence in us via the Holy Spirit that has the potential to manifest the nature of God (Galatians 5:22,23). This is what Paul meant by “Christ being formed in you” in the Galatians 4:19 verse above. Ephesians 4:13 describes it as being made to a “mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” The use of the word “mature” indicates that Christ being formed in us is a process. This occurs as we receive instruction from the word of God (1Timothy 1:5; Ephesians 4:11-13; Romans 12:1,2; Colossians 3:16) and submit to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:22,23,25; Galatians 5:16; Galatians 2:20). It is God’s desire to cover the earth with His glory and He has chosen to do it through us. It is His plan/expectation that His goodness be seen in us not just bestowed upon us. We all agree that God is good (Psalms 136:1) and every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17), which is his goodness being bestowed upon us. That is a given because of His nature. What He is after is that His nature be displayed through us. Jesus said that the world will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another (John 13:35). God’s goodness/glory is seen in how we treat one another, as well as by the words we speak (Ephesians 4:29), the attitudes we display (Philippians 2:2-16) and the works that we do (James 2:17; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Acts 10:38). We are bearers of His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6,7), so that He may be glorified and people may be drawn to Him for salvation. In this way, we are lights in the world (Matthew 5:14-16) and light dispels darkness. God has fully equipped us for this (2 Peter 1:3). We just have to feed on the word of God allowing it to nourish our spirit so that the spirit begins to take dominion over our old fleshly nature – a nature that desires to live even though it has been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6,11-14). Next, yield to the Holy Spirit’s dominion/Lordship in your life. As our hearts changes, our speech and actions will change also. As we as believers in Christ do this every where we go in everything we do, God’s glory will be seen and lives will be changed for God will be exalted and glorified. “Be exalted oh, God above heavens. May Your glory be over all the earth. We exalt Thee. We exalt Thee. We exalt Thee, oh Lord.” (Integrity Music) Prayer: God I am humbled to know that You desire to manifest Your glory through me. I yield myself to the transforming power of Your word (the Bible) and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in my life. Be glorified in me as I glorify You in the earth. In Jesus; name. Amen.