The mystery spoken of here is the fact that God has made a way to live inside of all of us through His Holy Spirit. None of the Old Testament saints could even understand the possibility of God living in His chosen Prophets, yet through Jesus’ perfect work on the cross God’s Holy Spirit can now live in us.
Colossians 1:26-27 “26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The mystery spoken of here is the fact that God has made a way to live inside of all of us through His Holy Spirit. None of the Old Testament saints could even understand the possibility of God living in His chosen Prophets. We read where the Holy Spirit “came upon” them as He needed to give guidance, but even Elijah and Elisha were never filled with the Holy Spirit. They had to ask and wait for God to come to them for the answer. That is why Elisha could ask for the double portion of the Holy Spirit that Elijah had, because neither one was truly filled. To come upon is partial, but to be filled is to be completely full. By the blood of Jesus, those who have been born again can go boldly into the presence of God even in their time of need, Hebrews 4:16. This mystery of the Holy Spirit living in man was first spoken of by Jesus. Many Christians today have difficulty accepting the fact that the Holy Spirit can dwell in God’s children if they ask Him to. The majority of them stumble over the aspect of speaking in tongues, which actually means “another language”. This action may be one proof that a person is Spirit filled, but is not the ultimate hard fact of proof. Changed lives and the power of God moving through a Christian’s life is the most important factor. Jesus was the first to speak of man being filled with the Holy Spirit. He called Him the Helper and in John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, & 16:7 we get the whole picture of why Jesus died on the cross and ascended up into heaven. While on earth Jesus was confined to his human body, but through our belief in Him, God can dwell through His Holy Spirit, in every believer around the world and thereby believers can truly be Jesus to everyone they meet.
The first proof of God’s Holy Spirit filling man is recorded in Acts 2:4 when all of the Disciples of Jesus were filled in the upper room. Some Christians today try to say that this filling of the Holy Spirit was only for the Apostles, but if you read Acts 4:31 you see the birth of the first church when Peter spoke to those gathered about the power of the Holy Spirit moving in him to speak to the Pharisees.
I want to briefly focus on this power followed with signs and wonders. In reading of the birth of the first church starting in Acts 4:23, we see where the believers gathered and prayed a specific prayer. Starting with Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." 1) The Disciples were being threatened by the Religious leaders of that day; just like today. 2) The Disciples wanted to speak the word of God “the gospel” with boldness; just like Christians want to today. 3) The Disciples recognized that this could only happen if God stretched out His hand to heal through their hands; Christians as a whole miss this concept altogether. 4) The Disciples asked that the signs and wonders be done through the name of Jesus. Today Christians are more likely to run after signs and wonders for the joy of seeing them, and few actually allow the signs to flow through them to others. It is the power of the Holy Spirit living in a Christian that these signs and wonders can happen. That is the power of grace, because there is nothing man can do to earn such a gift.
The next argument used against being filled with the Holy Spirit today is that this was just for Jesus’ disciples and maybe those in the first church. This is not true. We read where the disciples and those in the first church received the Holy Spirit, and receiving the Holy Spirit is not for the world it is only for the believers in Jesus Christ. But baptism in the Holy Spirit was not just for disciples and the first church. Remember they even had to first receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior before that could be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Since Jesus’ resurrection everyone who claims Jesus as their Lord and Savior both natural born Jew and Gentile are considered God’s chosen people, God’s children - Romans 2:29. The first proof of the Holy Spirit filling Gentile’s non-Jew’s, is found in Acts 10:45 when Peter preached the gospel to the house of Cornelius. Side note: for those who believe that the Holy Spirit can only enter into a person after they have been baptized into Jesus please read Acts 10:44-47, your argument is not with man but with God. The entire house of Cornelius was baptized “after” they received the Holy Spirit as the result of Peter speaking with power and signs from God. We also read in Acts 13:48-52 where Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel to the Gentiles at Antioch and they received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized into Jesus; but they did believe and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior first.
This is the mystery spoken of in verses 26 and confirmed in verse 27; God’s hope of glory in the Gentiles, is the in filing of His Holy Spirit. Is Christ in you, if so and you have not received the Helper, the promise of the Holy Spirit then you are missing out on the fullness of the mystery spoken of by Jesus in John 14. If you have received the Holy Spirit and do not recognize this power and boldness spoken of by Peter and the first church, ask God to show you. We can boldly go into His presence.
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