Series:  Foundations of Faith

Sermon:  Sanctification: Christ In Me

Col. 1: 26- 27


Introd.  Story of Charles Robertson

He finally came clean.  All messed up – made some bad choices   all need to be forgiven – how does that happen?

Last week we talked about being in Christ – salvation, in salvation we come clean – we admit we have blown it – sinned against a holy God, repent, ask forgiveness, and because of God’s amazing grace, He does something absolutely wonderful – he wipes the slate clean– II cor.5 if we are in Christ we are a new creation. 

If we are a new creation why do some many Christians struggle with the faith; with lifestyle, choices that seem to draw them away from God rather than to God.  The main reason is that we stop there and don’t realize that not only are we in Christ but Christ is in us. 

Christianity is more than a life insurance policy – it is a way of life that reflects the glory of Christ. The wonder of Christianity is that not only did Christ die for me on the cross but that Christ is in me through His Holy Spirit.

Glove illustration

Let me give you some scriptures that talk about that:  Rom. 8:9 says:  and if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”  The spirit of Christ is the holy spirit. 

Gal. 4:6:  because you are sons, God sent the spirit of His son into our hearts, the spirit who calls out “abba father. So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you an heir.”

As a Christian the spirit of Christ, the holy spirit lives in you. I Cor. 3:16  don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you.?

II Cor. 13:5 says:  do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you?

In Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus; he prays that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  Eph. 3:17

Rom. 5: 5  God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.”

What is the difference between us being in Christ which is salvation and Christ being in me which is sanctification.             

Salvation –being in Christ has to do with our standing before God – declared not guilty

Sanctification – Christ is me has to do with our character and conduct   The book of I Corinthians

is addressed to “the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be holy” 

The problem was their conduct did not match their beliefs.  So Paul has to spend many chapters telling them now that Christ is in them; things should be different. Christ is in me to bring our character and conduct in line with our belief.  That takes a lifetime.

Being in Christ has to do with our future destiny – be with the Lord forever  He that believes in the son has eternal life.

Christ in me has to do with the present reality, how do we navigate through this world until we die.  Part of the function of the HS is to lead us and guide us into all truth.  He gives direction for our lives.  He is like a spiritual GPS system inside of us. 

Being in Christ has to do with the forgiveness of our sins

Christ in me has to do with overcoming those sins

Being in Christ puts us into a right relationship with God; Christ in me  exhibits the fruit of that relationship - that is, a life separated from a sinful world and dedicated unto God.

What does it mean to have the spirit of Christ in me?

I.  Christ in me is the hope of glory

Colossians 1: 26-27 says this: 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 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. (NIV)

Who does God reveal this to:  vs. the saints – not iconic figures who are immortalized because of their life – the saints are those who have been made new creations is Christ – those are believers – Christians.

What does he reveal to us:  glorious riches of his mystery  God says:  I have so many things to tell you – but you would not listen until you came to me and invited me to your house – home – soul – now we have a connection and I can communicate my will to you.

Every individual has within them something called a soul.  You can’t see it or measure it but you know its there.  It tells you there is something more than just making it through the day.  In our computer age let me explain it like this: 

          Turn on your computer – connect to the internet – tell you about anything you want to know. 

When we come to Christ, His spirit comes to live within us – our connection to God. He has all the answers – knows all mysteries – so we connect with him through our soul connection and he reveals truth to us.

What does this do for us?  Give us hope of glory

We all go through some difficult times, times of doubt, times of stress, times of disappointment – when Christ is in us, we know that no matter how bad it gets we have the hope of glory – this will all end soon but our relationship with God will go on forever.

Christ in me is the hope of glory.

           Material things



When it goes unmet, we have a tendency to grow bitter, sarcastic at the world, prideful,  jealous  Martyrs complex   want everyone to feel sorry for us so we will feel better God says:  I am going to fill you with my spirit. A spirit of power that will enable you to be my witnesses.

Whereas before we came to Christ we used our own willpower to reject the temptations of Satan – sometimes we were successful; sometimes not – now we have a new power within us that gives us the ability to say no to ungodliness and yes to Christ  - He is the Holy Spirit that lives within us. 

III.  Christ in me means going on to maturity

Heb. 6: 1-3,9  1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation

When a child is born into your immediate or extended family, there is great rejoicing.  But if that baby never grew, never matured, never

learned anything more than a baby, there would be great disappointment among the parents and those who loved her.

In the same way, when we come into Christ, we are new babes – spiritual babes – great – cause for rejoicing – but our heavenly parent in God wants to see us grow and mature and learn and take our place in the family.

Vs. 9 When we realize that the spirit of Christ lives in us, it is like opening the treasure chest of God’s gifts and discovering that we have access to all of them. 

Being a 6 years old and opening your eyes on Christmas morning and finding yourself at Toys R Us and someone says:  help yourself   it’s all yours. 

God has many gifts for you – a bonanza of gifts.  Some are immediate and accompany salvation – forgiveness of sin, promise of eternal life, release from shame and guilt. 

Gal. 5:22 he mentions nine gifts that God wants to give you through his holy spirit:  the fruit of the spirit is love, Extend your understanding of love – you may have loved in the past but I want you to learn a new kind of love – even for your enemies that rejects retaliation and embraces grace.








self control. 

I want you to receive my gift of compassion for the poor, gift of a new power over sin that you didn’t have before, the gift of understanding the deep things of God that were confusing to you before,  

II Cor. 1:20  For no matter how many promises God has made they are Yes in Christ.” Christ in us releases the promises of God into our lives.  We can now claim our inheritance of the gifts God has for us.   

IV.  Christ in me means new freedom Gal. 5:1   1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (NIV)