“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Col 3:3
It is interesting to know that God’s elect established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection are actually living three lives. We discern this hidden mystery in Col chap 3. Identifying and accepting this truth will help God’s elect to know who we are and how we are supposed to live. To see the three lives that God’s elect are living, we need to read some selected verses in Col 3. Let us begin by looking at ‘life’ number one.
- Living A Hidden Life – My position in Christ
Col 3:1-4 states “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Note that Paul states God’s elect has a life that is hidden in Christ. We don’t often think of the life we have in Christ as being hidden life, yet that is exactly what it is called in this text. There are some principles here which effect the status and service of the life of God’s elect.
a. A fixed life – God’s elect cannot loose it because God has it! Our life is not hidden in salvation but rather our salvation is hidden in God. Our life is not a church, rituals or religion. Our life is in Christ. It is so deep in God that it is hidden. It is like a treasure which no one can steal or take away. It is a life fixed forever. In fact, the text suggest a double-lined protection. Our life is WITH Christ and IN God. What thief will ever break into that secure vault? None!
b. A focussed life – Since our life is in Him and He is in heaven, our focus has to be upward. Our nature is to look upward because our nature was changed when Christ saved us and gave us His life. Since Christ is in heaven, our affection should be focussed there and not on things in this life. How important this is for us to remember. We live in this world but we are not of this world. Therefore, we must focus on that which is most important and that which is lasting.
c. A future life – Part of the life we have is yet to come. Our identity is hidden in Christ. Heaven is our home even though we have never been there. Most people think of heaven as the place where they lived and longed to return to again. God’s elect long for heaven even though we have never been there. Why? We long for heaven because Jesus is there and our life is hidden there. We have a life hidden in Jesus. The future is always bright for God’s elect. The moment of hardship can hold no pain or sorrow that diminishes our prospect. No collapse of economy, war or illness can do anything but cause us to look up with greater anticipation because our life is hidden in Christ. 1 Pet 1:3-5
- Living A Holy Life – My performance through Christ
In Col 3:3-11, Paul clearly states that we have died to the old life and that we are living a new life. In essence, we are living a holy life in this world through God’s strength and power in us.
We are not living holy lives in order to be accepted by God but we are living holy lives because we are accepted by God in Christ.
We are told in this passage to mortify, destroy or bury the old life in order to live properly the new life we have in Christ.
a. Sensual sins – vs 5-6 speaks about sins that affect our senses. These should be put to death – mortified – buried. Why? They should be mortified and put to death because we are living a new life in Christ.
b. Speaking sins – in vs 7-10a reveal that we must live a life which buries our sins of speech. We should avoid sinful language of anger, slander and lying. Our tongues are to be dedicated to God. We should bury conversations which is not wholesome and holy. Certainly our tongues are redeemed to honor Jesus, praise Him and to make Him known to the world.
c. Selfish sins – vs 10b-15a tells us how we are to remove selfishness, envy, status consciousness and pride. Love and peace are to rule our hearts. Now understand something important – the old life will try to resurface. We are to mortify it. We are to put to death. We are to come again and again to Christ and make our confession of faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that has made us sinless and righteous by faith.
- Living Abundant Life – Our praise for Christ
Col 3 : 15b-17 requires us to be thankful. Our life is to be filled with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not a season for God’s elect but rather it is a way of life. Thanksgiving is an everyday occurrence.
a. It must be internal – God’s Word are music to our minds and our hearts. The Word of God will make us thankful and cause us to break into song.
b. It must be external – Thanksgiving cannot remain silent neither can genuine faith. It breaks out in spite of hindrances. Real life is animated. We cannot hide it. It ought to be seen in the eyes of men.
c. It must be eternal – After all God’s praise here is just a warm-up for glory. We will praise God forever in heaven.