Colossians 3:1-4. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I don’t know of another place in scripture that so clearly expresses the extent of our union with Christ then right here at the start of Colossians 3. All that has happened to Christ has happened to us. This is what it means to be IN Christ.
In yesterday’s reading we saw the words of warning at the end of Colossians 2. An admonition telling us that we will never find freedom and fullness in the subjectivity of rule keeping (how good is good enough?), or in chasing the cause-effect system of this world. There is a higher plane of living. And it is found only when your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Paul is about to bring us forward into that part of the letter where he will teach us how to let Christ live out his life through us as we strive, by his grace, to love one another. Again, not as we strive to follow the religious principles and precepts of this world, which only destroy love, but as we seek the things that are above, and set our minds on them.
But what are these things that are above?
So now we have come full circle – the things above are the results of our union with Christ. Our death with him. Our resurrection with him. Our glorification with him.
For you have died – Christ has taken us into himself and crucified our old sin nature, nailing our record of debt to the cross, and watching the power and condemnation of sin die within us. Christian, your old life is over. The life of religion, of earning, of performing, of chasing that carrot at the end of the stick. To all such deadly self-improvement schemes you have died.
you have been raised with Christ – You are now alive in Christ! No longer is life centered on the old self, it is forever centered on Christ. Just as Jesus rose once unto eternal glory so too we are fully alive in him. The resurrected life is not the consequence of you being holy, it is the cause. Start here! Your “future” resurrection unto glory has already occurred. Embrace it.
and your life is hidden with Christ in God – Your new life in Christ is a spiritual reality, but it is also a hidden reality. When you received the life of Christ, nothing in your physical or outer life changed did it? Your house, family, job, haircut, pets, problems, trials, temptations – none of these changed right before your eyes. But a new hidden life of perfect love’s power and grace was placed inside of you. Hidden in our frail humanity. Strength hidden in our weakness. Honor hidden in humility. Love hidden in sacrifice. Living hidden in giving up our lives.
you also will appear with him in glory – The hidden will be made visible at the glorious return of Christ. An appearing that we will share with him. His glory shining in and through us fully, no longer veiled by our remaining indwelling sin. Our bodies becoming like his glorious body (Phil. 3:21). We will be like him for we will see him as he is (1 Jn. 3:2).
Until that day, every day, seek these things from above. Set your mind on these things. This is our call to faith. To love and trust our new reality in Christ. Our death, resurrection, and glorification with him. Our hidden life in God.
“To live is Christ” is to seek with all our hearts the love of the Father whose love first sought and found us. It is to cease looking inward and begin looking upward, to the throne of Christ. See him seated there at the right hand of God. Saving your seat. So sit down. Stay awhile. Set your mind on him. Continually contemplate the crucified, risen, and ascended Christ Jesus our Lord. It is only here that you will discover the true will of God – knowing Jesus. Loving him. Trusting him. Finding your life hidden with him in God.
What have you been setting your mind upon lately?
You in Christ
Your life with Christ is hidden in God. Why does this require seeking the things that are above and setting our mind on them constantly?
Christ in you
How might seeking the things from above make your life look different today?
Playlist: Hidden With Christ.
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