One Phrase Defines Your Entire Destiny (The 5:14 Conversations, Part 4)

Ephesians 5:14
Wake up, everyone who is sleeping!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you!
The 5:14 Conversations
Part 4:
One Phrase Defines Your Entire Destiny!
This series of occasional discussions with David Bryant
explores the revolutionary impact on Jesus followers
of the anticipated 2024 American CHRIST Awakening.
Other parts of this series are available here:
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 5
NOTE: This series is based on recorded conversations with Dr. Steve Greene, late Publisher and Executive VP of Charisma Media.
Welcome back to our ongoing conversation with David Bryant regarding all he has discovered over the past five decades about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the riches of our life in him.
In this fourth interview, the discussion revolves around what David believes is the essence of the Christian life. More specifically, it revolves around a simple phrase taken out of one sentence in Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
As David concludes toward the end of this conversation:
“In fact, you could say that the entire destiny of God’s people boils down to a single truth from Colossians 1:27!”
Join the conversation and find out why David claims this—and how this truth could impact you as you seek to go deeper with Jesus day by day. It begins here.
Christ Now: David, there’s no question that we see a growing hunger among many Jesus followers to enter a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with their Savior.
In fact, current statistics indicate that multitudes are leaving our churches because, at least in part, they have failed to find what their hearts long for there.
What is it that many of our churches in America are so desperately missing in the way Christ is shared with their people—in how they are growing in their walk with God’s Son?
David Bryant: After asking that question for years, I believe the one key answer can be found in Colossians 1:27.
That’s where Paul says that the riches of the gospel—that is, the heart and soul of God’s great salvation that we should be sharing around the world—is captured in this little phrase: “The Christ is in you, the hope of glory.”
CN: That’s not what I expected to hear. Is it really that simple? What exactly is Paul telling us in so few words?
DB: He’s showing us that the good news—the best part of the good news from heaven to all humankind—is this: The Father offers all of us three incomparable gifts.
First, he offers us “The Christ”—the one who received this title when he ascended to the Throne of Glory, having fully accomplished our redemption by his incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.
We call it his Ascension—the cosmic transaction when he was forever named “the Anointed One.” He has been anointed—called, set aside, honored, given full authority—to become the fullness and fulfillment of all of God’s purposes and promises for all who put their trust in him and for the deliverance of the whole of creation.
CN: You’re right! Most Christians have heard very little about the Ascension, let alone begun to comprehend its remarkable implications for our salvation.
DB: Yes, but it gets even better! Notice the following phrase: “is in you.” I observe two things here, based on the original Greek in which Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians.
First, the word “you” is plural; this is something to be experienced “in community” with others. Second, the “in” doesn’t just mean “inside of you.” More accurately, it means “in the midst of you.”
All of that tells us that God’s Son extends his power, presence, and reign into the thick of every congregation’s life. In union with him—alive in him before his very face, in a sense—together we live, and move, and have our being.
CN: There’s no question that American Christians are predisposed to “individualize” Scripture, taking every promise as if it were their own personal possession, to be applied and enjoyed individually as they please.
DB: I agree. But let me hasten to add that whatever we first discover that applies to our life together as the Body of Christ can then be incorporated into our own daily walk with Christ on a personal level.
However, the biblical pattern leans toward discovering life in the Kingdom in fellowship with other believers—learning and experiencing all we have in Christ as a body—and then drawing from that to shape my individual growth “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” as Peter puts in 2 Peters 3.
CN: So, what about the last phrase, “the hope of glory?” What’s this referring to? It seems to tell us even more about who Christ is, correct?
DB: Definitely. I like the Phillips’ Translation of this passage: “the assurance of all the glorious things to come.”
Paul is telling us that with Jesus, there is always so much more! As he says in Ephesians 3, there are “inexhaustible” riches in God’s Son. There is no limit to all that the Father has for us and that the Spirit wants to bring to us in our life in Christ.
As the Lord of our lives, Jesus guarantees that we will never cease discovering more of the breadths and depths of what God’s love has planned for us for all eternity.
CN: OK. Let’s return to this phrase that Paul calls the “riches of the gospel” and explain it another way. Based on what you’ve just shared, what does that phrase actually mean?
DB: That’s easy. Here is the key to the Christian life. Here is the truth that multitudes are hungry for even without knowing what it is. Here is the wonderful reality that will be the chief focus of the coming spiritual revolution for this generation, what we at Christ Now call an “American CHRIST Awakening.”
I would simply rephrase Paul like this: The “riches of the gospel”—the legacy of God’s good news to the world—is “intimacy with Jesus in his supremacy leading to great expectancy.” Let me explain:
  • (1)
    Intimacy: “in the midst of all of you.” The Spirit is at work among God’s people, drawing us more deeply into more of the person and wonder of Christ and his kingdom, doing so both collectively and individually.
  • (2)
    Supremacy: “The Christ” is the one anointed by God to redeem us, reign over us, and set up his throne in the midst of us to involve us in the forceful, saving advances of his kingdom throughout the earth.
  • (3)
    Expectancy/Hope: This is “the assurance of more glory to come” because (as Paul puts it in 2 Cor. 1) all the promises of God are sealed and extended and now applied to us in Christ Jesus and because the Christian life will forever be unceasingly (in the words of Romans 15) “abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
CN: “Intimacy with Christ in his supremacy.” Wow. So, that one simple phrase captures our whole life as Jesus followers!
DB: Simple, and yet at the same time utterly profound.
In fact, you could say that the entire destiny of God’s people boils down to that single truth from Colossians 1:27!
CN: But you’ve written so much about the Lord Jesus Christ—all that he is and has done and the many facets of our life in him—books like Christ Is ALL! and Christ Is NOW! involving hundreds and hundreds of pages. Are you simply spelling out the fuller, life-changing realities of that little phrase?
DB: Yes! Like I said, “It’s simple, yet profound.”
CN: Great! Then, let’s dig in. Where should we start the next time we have one of these conversations?
DB: After many years of traveling throughout every stream of the Church, in many nations of the world—and following nearly twenty years of research—I’ve concluded that most Christians have only a superficial acquaintance with what I call the seven dimensions of all Jesus is for us in light of his spectacular supremacy. Why don’t we start there?
CN: That’s a deal. Next time, let’s tackle the first of your seven dimensions. I suspect we’re headed into an exciting adventure with Jesus!

About the Author

Over the past 50 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ Awakening movements. Download his widely read ebooks at Enjoy hundreds of podcast episodes. Watch his weekly vlogs at David Bryant REPORTS. Meet with David through Zoom or in-person events through David Bryant LIVE!


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