“The Riches of the Glory of this Mystery”

Colossians 1:27

We are told that God would make known to us the riches of the glory of the mystery, and we are therefore definitely encouraged to seek by the Spirit to apprehend somewhat of the costly treasures of wisdom and knowledge which are graciously stored up for us in this, and which await those who will take possession of them in faith. Were we not assured of this in God’s Word, the very greatness of these exalted and holy things might well deter us; and a false idea of humility might have easily prevented our entering upon the path to this wealthy abundance; or, it may be, a sense of our own unworthiness. Seeing, however, that those who are addressed were once sinful, disobedient children of wrath and deserving God’s judgment, but have now redemption in Christ, the forgiveness of sins, having been delivered from the authority of Satan and brought into the favour of God;—seeing that those who are utterly unworthy and sinners in themselves are thus addressed and blessed, having heard and believed the gospel concerning God’s Son, and consequently become members of the body, the assembly, of which Christ is the Head;—we, who have learned our own sinfulness and God’s redeeming love in Christ, may, having no confidence in the flesh, enter without presumption or irreverence into these things which God would indeed have us know. May we have grace and energy to do so!

1. The mystery itself has been revealed. It never could have been known otherwise. 2. It has its own distinctive glory. 3. God desires that we should know the riches of this. The apostle to the Gentiles laboured with great combat of spirit in relation to it, toiling according to the inworking power of Christ, that the saints might be brought to the full knowledge of it, and not be deluded by other things which are not after Christ. We may well therefore be deeply in earnest about the matter for ourselves. Its importance today cannot be over estimated. Deceptions and delusions in religious circles abound, but the truth which is according to Christ Jesus our Lord, known and practised, is sufficient to preserve us in the way of life and blessing for the pleasure of God.

1. The Mystery

The riches which we have before us are immediately connected with the mystery. It will therefore be necessary to say a little as to this. In contrast to the ages previous to the redeeming work, resurrection and exaltation of Christ, the mystery is now revealed.

Silence was kept as to it in the times past, but it is now made manifest for the obedience of faith (Rom. 16:26). It was hidden from ages and generations, but is now declared to the saints of God (Col. 1:26). This mystery we are told was “hid in God” Himself previously (Eph. 3:9), therefore the revelation of it cannot be found in Old Testament times, or before the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. That it is now made known in our day should profoundly affect us.

The above three Scriptures which speak of the mystery show the care with which this divine secret was guarded from time immemorial until the day the gospel of God’s saving grace came to us. The gospel however, is not itself the mystery as Romans 16:26 shows. It is now made manifest with a view to obedience,—called “obedience of faith.” Colossians 1:26 tells us that it is now made manifest to the saints of God, and that the truth was specially given to the Apostle Paul to minister it to the Gentile believers, and thus to complete the Word of God. Ephesians 3:9 speaks of it being made known now to “the sons of men,” having been revealed not only to Paul the special minister of it, but to “His holy apostles and prophets in the power of the Spirit.” What then is this wonderful mystery which God has so graciously made known in our day after keeping it a secret so long? Our Scripture (Eph. 3) tells us. Going beyond and far above all the great and glorious promises of God made in the past to the nation of Israel; a higher and vaster range of glory, which is not of Old Testament promise, but which is according to eternal purpose, believers from among the Gentiles are made one in Christ with those from among the Jews, becoming thus in Him, who is exalted by God above every dignity and intelligence in the universe, heirs together of the reserved inheritance in glory—a united body in Christ, the assembly—and joint partakers of the life which was promised in Him before the ages of time, now made known in the glad tidings (v. 6).

Such thoughts did not enter the Jewish mind. The Jew expected according to the promises, that Israel as a nation should have the supreme glory in the world, in a system of nations subservient to her, with her King, her Messiah of David’s line, in her midst, but it never entered their minds that from among themselves and from among the nations there should be an out-calling, the ekklesia, united to the Christ rejected by them and exalted to God’s right hand over all things, nor could it be known until it was revealed by God Himself.

Supremacy on earth belongs to Israel and will yet be theirs, when the nation is clothed with Christ; but this cannot be until the body, the assembly, is glorified with Christ her Head in heaven, and Israel has repented of the guilt of having rejected and crucified Him. Revelation 12 opens with a symbolic vision of her glory which follows. She is clothed with the sun; supreme power is vested in her, for the Lord is her everlasting light. The moon is seen beneath her feet: all derived authority is received from Israel in the earth. On her head is a crown of twelve stars, which speaks of the administration being hers in bestowed perfection. The Man Child who is to shepherd all the nations is of Israel (v. 5), for truly “salvation is of the Jews” as the Lord Himself said, for He came of them after the flesh, and He is the Saviour of the world to bring in blessing and order and glory. Nevertheless, the mystery has in view not only this, but the centring up of all things in the heavens as well as upon the earth in Christ, and the filling of all things by means of the assembly, the body, which is “the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” This is according to eternal purpose as we said, and rises far above the glorious promises to Israel. God has now made known the very mystery of His own will, according to His own good pleasure which He proposed in Himself (Eph. 1:9).

The Head of this system of divine greatness is already glorified, and those who are members of His body are united to Him by the Spirit given. At present they are heirs of the inheritance of glory; soon they shall actually inherit. They are already in the body; soon they will be exalted along with the Head. His life is theirs now, and when Christ who is their life shall be manifested then shall they also shine out with Him in glory.

Much of the wisdom of God is shown through Israel, but now through the assembly there is made known the all-various wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord; and that, not to men, but to “the principalities and authorities in the heavenlies.” This was in view even in the creation which He called into being at the beginning, though He did not reveal the secret till Christ had secured redemption, and was set as Head over all things to the assembly. It is therefore said “now” as contrasted with the past when the mystery was kept secret, and not in contrast with the future, for it has an abiding sense according to “eternal purpose.” The perfect display of God’s wisdom is secured—“all-various,” or “all variegated,”—a word only found here in Scripture, and used of the magnificent blendings of colour in a masterpiece of art. To bring the failure of the assemblies into these verses is to mar the teaching in this connection. To dwell upon the divine grace and love and power and wisdom seen in Christ and the assembly according to the purpose of God will rightly affect us.

In chapter 5, after speaking of Christ and the assembly in the past and present, and looking on to the future, to the time when Christ will present her to Himself all glorious for the joy of His own heart, it is said, “This mystery is great but I speak as to Christ, and as to the assembly” (v. 32)—having added for our present help, “We are members of His body; we are of His flesh and of His bones.” What rich comfort and cheer this gives us now, even before the end is reached! Not only is union ours in the precious sense of Bridegroom and bride, but unity—members of the body of which Christ is the glorified Head—one with Christ! How can we praise Thy grace, Lord Jesus, as our hearts desire to do?

 “Ascended now in glory bright
    Life-giving Head Thou art;
  Nor life, nor death, nor depth, nor height,
    Thy saints and Thee can part.”

In closing these remarks as to the mystery itself, we feel constrained to mention the intense and rapid progress of another mystery, which, in the sphere of Christendom is sweeping onward like a destructive flood; it is called “The mystery of iniquity” or “lawlessness” (1 Thess. 2:7). It was at work even when the apostles were on the earth. It has been working in opposition to Christ, and the assembly acts as a restraint, but when that restraint is removed at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for the assembly, it will rush forward, carrying off those who “received not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (v. 10). May the truth we have spoken of—in the love of it—so fill our hearts that we may be kept above all religious workings in opposition to it, “preserved in Christ Jesus,” where all that is good and perfect is ours.

2. The Glory of the Mystery

Before we speak of the riches of the glory of this mystery, we must seek to grasp, as the Holy Spirit enables us, the special distinction, or glory of the mystery; for these riches, though they are to be displayed in the universe as the outcome of the mystery, are not exactly called the riches of the mystery, but the riches of the glory of it. The difference has not been observed sufficiently, but it is important.

The glory of the mystery is that which is distinctive of it when compared with other circles of blessedness in the universe of God. Creation has its distinctive glory. ISRAEL HAS HER OWN GLORY ALSO. It is the same with the mystery. The thoughts of an Israelite, from every part of the kingdom, turned instinctively to Jerusalem. Even Daniel during the captivity looked thitherward, and prayed with his window open towards the city. Nevertheless, it was because of the city, and the throne of Jehovah, the ark, of the Lord of all the earth, and Jehovah’s own presence there, that a peculiar distinction was given to the city and kingdom of Israel above all others. The glory of the Lord had been seen to fill the temple. Sacrifices had been offered; the magnificent building had been reared up; and when the priests and Levites “praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord: so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God” (2 Chr. 5:14). What other nation or kingdom was so honoured? What other people had God so nigh unto them? What other city was so privileged? What house or temple was filled with the cloud of Jehovah’s presence?—And there was the ark which contained the stones of testimony given miraculously at Sinai, when the glory of the God of Israel appeared before their eyes; when there was seen “under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” Six days the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai. “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire.”

Moses exhorted them to keep the statues and judgments which God had given them, saying, “This is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations” (Deut. 4:6), for it would be recognized that thus they were distinguished from others. We know, however, that they failed utterly, but when God presently takes them up again according to the new covenant, it is said, “The Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to Thy Light, and kings to the brightness of Thy rising” (Isa. 60:2-3); again, “I will glorify the house of My glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows?” (v. 8). “The nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish” (v. 12). “They shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (v. 14). “The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting Light, and thy God thy glory” (v. 19). “Yea, I will be the glory in the midst of her says the Lord” (Zech. 2:5). Messiah will be known by her then. She will have returned to Him. Like Thomas, they will own Him as their Lord and their God when they see Him. He will be known and owned at Jerusalem by all, and “the Lord shall be King of all the earth” (Zech. 14:9).

This constitutes Israel’s glory, but the glory of the mystery transcends this altogether. Great and glorious indeed the former is, but the latter surpasses it in its vastness and outshines it in its splendour; rising far above the heights of Israel’s exaltation, and outreaching the widest ranges of her dominion, the glory of the mystery glows with the richest radiance, and blesses the beholders of it with its abiding beauty and universal brightness. It outranges all national glory, for that which is according to God’s eternal purpose must necessarily extend beyond His greatest promises for time. Indeed, it might be said that the mystery and its glory, even as we know it now, partakes of the nature and character of “eternity.” Oh! that we might value this more than we do!

As we have seen, Israel is to shine in national supremacy on earth, because of her Messiah, in the sight of all other nations of the world who will be blessed through her. The assembly is the body of Christ—not a nation under Messiah, but a living organism, a vital system, one with its glorious Head—united to Him who is the Head of all principality and power. It is for the universe. It will be through its immediate and intimate association with Christ at God’s right hand, and its oneness with Him, through power, redemption, resurrection, and the gift of the Spirit, the divinely provided means for the blessing and ordering of all things—as it is said, “the fullness of Him who fills all in all;” and it is also for the eternal pleasure of God, that there might be to Him “glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of the ages.” The One whose body the assembly is first went down into the depths before He ascended as Man into the transcendent heights where He now is. “He that descended is the same who has also ascended up above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.” From that exalted position He has given gifts for the calling out and building up of the saints who are to share with Him in His heavenly glory, holy and without blame before God in love, dwelling with Christ as His companions and brethren, and reigning with Him as His bride when He fills the universe with glory.

 “What will it be to dwell above
  And with the Lord of glory reign?”

How far all this transcends that which will give Israel her distinctive place on earth; words are scarcely adequate to express; but, as the heavens are higher than the earth; and the vast universe far outspans the world; and the thrones, lordships, principalities and authorities in the heavens surpass in greatness and majesty those on earth; so the distinctive “glory of the mystery” excels that of Israel, magnificent and glorious though that be, as we have seen. Israel will be in immediate association with the Messiah, King over all the earth; but the assembly will be united to Him, a new creation in Himself when all things in the heavens as well as upon the earth are centred up in Him. Oh! glorious beyond telling is this! Eternal praise and glory be to Him whose love counselled it, whose grace saved us in view of it, and whose Spirit made it known to us!

Seeing, then, that the distinction of both, flows from the way in which Christ Himself is known, for a fuller understanding of “the glory of the mystery,” we need to say a little concerning the pre-eminence which is His in all things, as “Firstborn of all creation” and as “Firstborn from among the dead.” The former distinction became His when He came into the great creation which He had made. The reason given for this is “because by Him all things were created” (Col. 1:16). How could the Creator have any place less than the first when He was pleased to honour that creation by coming into it? The latter distinction is His in relation to the assembly which is a new creation in Himself—a pearl being the symbol of it used by the Holy Spirit. The symbol is deeply interesting and instructive; a pearl is not a creation in the original sense, but rather the beautiful outcome of irritant trouble in the original creation; and, therefore, of it, but yet separate from it—a new creation, with powers of iridescence, which exhibits the colours of the rainbow of the first creation with a soft and exquisite perfection, which can be found nowhere except in the pearl brought up from beneath the deep waters, and taken out of the fish’s shell. As having the glory of Firstborn from among the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the body, the assembly. Now mark the reason given for all this—“That He might have the first place in all things” (Col. 1:18).

If we reverse the order therefore of these two distinctions, and meditate upon them before God in the Spirit, we shall see how it is that the distinctive glory of the mystery is related to the glory of Christ, the Son of the Father’s love, according to the eternal purpose which centres in Him, for the blessing and order of the wide creation. We see Him pre-eminent, first in every part, in every position, in every place—“in all things,” and, His body glorified with Him, so that the assembly thus honoured, stands because of Him, and as subject to Him, in that distinctive place which, as a new creation in Him, is used for the blessing of the wide creation of which He is also the Firstborn. This then is the glory of the mystery which God hid in Himself till the Head of the assembly was glorified. What a distinction it is! Oh, that we could speak of the glory of Christ, the Son of the Father’s love, in His resurrection, redemption, reconciliation and administration better, and so show more clearly the “glory of the mystery” with all the greatness and loveliness which He bestows upon it.

 “In His blest face glories shine,
  And there we gaze on love divine.”

3. The Riches

We have seen that the mystery, which was so long hidden, but now made known, is distinct from the promises to Israel, which involve their supremacy under Christ in a world-system of nations; for it is formed in Christ of those who are called out from the nations, from Jews as well as Gentiles, all of those being thus called out becoming unitedly heirs of the universal inheritance in Christ, one body in Him, His assembly, and together partaking of the life promised by the gospel in Christ Jesus. The glory of this mystery has also come before us; and we have seen that this distinction transcends that of the nation of Israel, when she is exalted under her once rejected Messiah; for the assembly which is His body and His bride is not simply distinguished in association with Him for the earth and for time, but for heaven and earth through eternity sharing in His glory when as Head over all He fills all things.

We will now consider the riches which result from the glory of this mystery. This would seem to be altogether beyond us had not God graciously made it known; as we read—“The riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Here then we are distinctly told what these vast riches are—Christ in us the hope of glory!—Christ, in whom, we are told in verse 19, “all the fullness of the Godhead” dwells:in us, not now apart from those who form His body, but livingly in them;—the hope of glory. The glory is always in view in the truth of the mystery, which is according to God’s purpose of love before time began, which was revealed in time after the Head of the assembly was glorified, and which after time ceases shall be for eternal blessing universally and glory to God in the assembly in Christ Jesus.

To aid our understanding of these riches we will again refer to Israel. We spoke of their national blessing and glory, and great were the riches connected with that glory. In David and Solomon, the high priest, and the temple filled with the glory of the Lord, we see the heading up of the nation’s blessing. What great riches flow from this!—first for the nation, then for their Lord and God, and finally for the world. We purposely name them in this order, for God must necessarily first bestow the riches before there could be any responsive return to Himself, or any outflow to others. He is the gracious, generous, and glorious Source of all.

When the stores of riches described in 1 Chronicles 28 and 29, were gathered together for the temple, David turned to God, and said, “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine: Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all . . . All things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee . . . O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee an house for Thine holy Name comes of Thine hand, and is all thine own.” Furthermore, Solomon anointed, is a special type of Christ; and, in this connection we have that remarkable word—“Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord;” and it is also said of Him, “I will make him My firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth” (Ps. 89:27). This plainly points on to the glorious Firstborn of Colossians 1. God said to Solomon, “Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee.” In a pre-eminent way “wisdom and knowledge” are stored in the mystery. God gives all first, “and Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in wisdom and riches.“

The temple and all the wealth was given back to God. The glory of the Lord filled the house, and fire came down from heaven and consumed the vast offerings which were offered to God. The people bowed themselves to the ground and worshipped the Lord. The king and all the people bowed their hearts before God and worshipped the Lord. The king and all the people offered sacrifices. Solomon offered twenty-two thousand oxen and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep! The priests waited on their offices, and the Levites praised the Lord with their instruments of music. They sounded their trumpets, and all Israel stood before the Lord when the house and its riches were dedicated, continual offerings to their Lord and God were to be offered up as a sweet savour to Him there.

Moreover, the fame of Solomon, Israel’s king spread abroad, and “all the kings of the earth sought the presence of king Solomon, to hear His wisdom, that God had put in his heart.” The queen of Sheba said to him, “It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom, howbeit the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.” To the ends of the earth the rich benefits of Solomon’s administration should have flowed out, making his God known, His statutes, and His judgments, through Israel. This will be so when the true Solomon holds the sceptre.

It is to be noticed, that, in the epistle to the Ephesians, which speaks most of the mystery, the city, the household of God, the temple in the Lord and the habitation of God are spoken of. In a far higher sense than the earthly type, all things will be centred up in Christ for the administration of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10): and the “greater than Solomon” whose riches are unsearchable and whose wisdom is divine shall fill all things in heaven and earth. He is the hidden Wisdom which God predetermined before the ages for the assembly’s glory—“God’s wisdom in a mystery” (1 Cor. 2:7). Of Him it is said in Proverbs 8, “Whoso findeth Me findeth life” (v. 35); and again, “Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By Me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me. Riches and honour are with Me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold, and My revenue than choice silver.” Christ, in whom all fullness dwells, is in us, and He is our life. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory.” He shall come to be “glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe:” but He is in us now already, the hope of glory. It is this which constitutes the riches of the glory of the mystery. The wealthy stores of Solomon’s day were mostly gathered during the times of testing and trial and conflict of David’s day. We are told that the present trial of our faith is much more precious than gold, and will be found to praise and honour and glory in the day of Jesus Christ. It must be in mind that He in us is the hope of glory, and God has given to us surpassing riches in Him. Like David we can say, “All this great store comes from Thee. All the praise and the honour and the glory are Thine.”

The riches of redemption are very prominent in the two epistles which unfold the mystery.
  1. The riches of God’s grace (Eph. 1:7).
  2. The exceeding riches of His grace (Eph. 2:7).
  3. The riches of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:18).
  4. The riches of His glory (Eph. 3:16).
  5. The unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8).
  6. The riches of the glory of the mystery (Col. 1:27).
  7. All riches of the full assurance of understanding to the full knowledge of the mystery of God; in which are hid “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2-3).

It is in the mystery that this complete store of wisdom and knowledge is found. Nowhere else has God confided it, and the whole treasury is there—“All the treasures!” Why then should saints of God turn elsewhere, to philosophies and vain deceits? Christ is enough? Yea, more than enough for the assembly. He is in us. Anything that turns the mind and heart from Him is a delusion, however good and interesting it may seem. After telling us of these treasures, the Apostle at once exhorts, “As therefore ye have received the Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and assured in the faith, even as ye have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving;” adding that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily, and “ye are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and authority.” The Godhead fullness is in Him, and we are filled full in Him! How wonderful! How glorious! How exceeding are the grace and love and power of God which has brought it to pass!

The grateful and thankful heart finds relief and rejoicing in the presence of such magnificence to know that our God and Father receives a rich response to such lavish wealth which He has bestowed upon us. Of His He receives. Abundant offerings were rendered Him in Solomon’s day. Offerings of thanksgiving, praise, worship and adoration in a higher way are His as the result of the glory of the mystery. Blessing and honour and power are ascribed to Him for ever and ever, and there shall be glory to Him in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of the ages. Time and space forbid, even if we were able to do so, to expatiate on these responsive riches which shall be His from us for ever, and even now as in assembly our grateful praise and worship flow in Spirit and in truth.

And then, there is not only the filling of our own hearts with Christ, and the uprising response as we bring Him before our God and Father who gave us such an unspeakable gift, but the overflow for the blessing of others. Isaiah, looking on the reign of righteousness on this earth, said, “Behold a King shall reign in righteousness, and a Man shall be as rivers of water” (32:1-2). When our Lord Jesus Christ thus reigns in Israel, through His administration these waters of refreshment and blessing shall flow out for the blessing of the world. When, however, the assembly is glorified with her exalted Head the vast universe shall reap the riches of administration. Heaven as well as earth will benefit; thrones, lordships, principalities and authorities, visible and invisible now shall all receive of the riches of that glory, and every creature shall bless and praise His holy Name. Surely this, known and rejoiced in, will affect us now. As our hearts are full of Christ, the Son of God, there will be an overflow to others around us; for the divine order is—Christ in us first; responsively offered to God in praise and worship next; and then the overflow for others. May this mark us more and more. Note the climax of the fifteen “Songs of degrees.” Beginning with a cry of distress (Ps. 120) we rise step by step to the heights of blessing (Ps. 134). Then we “bless the Lord” in the sanctuary, and from that holy and happy place look outward and say, “The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” Blessed ourselves, we bless our God and Father, and then seek the blessing of those who are outside.

We are nearer than ever we were to the ripened fruition of God’s eternal purpose; the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His well-loved assembly draweth nigh; all glorious and holy she shall soon be presented to Himself, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; His love shall be satisfied in the dearest object of His heart; we shall be satisfied in Himself and His eternal love; glory supreme shall shine in unfading splendour; but He Himself will be our everlasting Light and Joy. What shall we say to these realities, beloved brethren? Shall we not answer to them in our walk and ways and words, by being more and more conformed to His moral glory now? As these riches are the joy and rejoicing of the heart, the rusty and corrupted mammon of this age will count little with us; grace will be ours to refuse anything that would tarnish for our souls the riches of the glory of the mystery. All our walk here will be affected and our path shine brighter and brighter till the perfect day; all our ways will be ordered in relation to Christ and His interests, and all our words will become more gracious and health imparting. Nothing short of perfection in Christ will be before us. If it be otherwise, then our interest in the riches of the glory of the mystery is not of the Holy Spirit of God but of mere religiousness. Our love for Christ and all His own will be strengthened and deepened, for Christ loved all and gave Himself for all; yea, He loves all even now with an unchanging love. Our hearts therefore say with the apostle, “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption” (Eph. 6:24).