August 25, 2010

Honestly, are you hidden with Christ?

Photo is from Alyssa Reeves on Flickr
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4

I can't ever recall someone reminding me as a new Christian that I'm dead and that my life is hidden with Christ in God. If I was told, I surely didn't understand what it was supposed to mean.

I can recall however being told that the old life that I lived, would no longer be the life that would one day stand before God. Having experienced a spiritual rebirth (John 3:3-7) and now clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Isaiah 61:10), God now sees Christ in me, as well as in every person that has become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Are you clothed in the righteousness of Christ?  Have you reflected recently on this unique aspect of salvation, what God has done for you?

Whenever we think of death, there aren't too many positive things to really consider, since it is a very sorrowful and heartbreaking event for those now separated from their friend or loved one. Too often though, people will attempt to assuage their grief in a hopeful effort, to believe that their friend or loved one has gone off to a better place, yet the decedent's life resembled nothing of the life of Christ prior to their death.

Many people still try to avoid talking about death altogether and this is largely because of the fear of facing a Holy God who is just.

People may avoid acknowledging His justice and holiness now, much to their own eternal peril, but it will be impossible to ignore such and the terror to face God before His throne, not of mercy and grace, but of judgment.

The greatest threat to Christians in the first century was certainly death. Persecution was a threat too, but not like the clear knowledge that a Christian could be killed for preaching that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation and that He, God's Messiah has come and will come again.

Yet, this reminder from the Apostle Paul, to these new Christians in Colosse is as much for Christians in our present day, especially for those new believers, young babes in Christ.

The future of an eternal life, for the Christian is something that has a great expectation and will be incomprehensible. The majesty and glory of God and to see Christ, the one who had suffered and died on the cross for the penalty of sin, where His life became the only acceptable atoning sacrifice to God and to see Christ himself will be such a humble and loving experience. I can't imagine the words that would be expressed to Him, where His death reconciled me to God. Would saying 'thank you' even seem satisfactory considering how great a price that was paid for me, for all that have been saved through His life? I don't think so.

Matthew Henry says of this verse that our life is hidden with Christ not in secrecy, but for security.

Albert Barnes says, "the idea is, that eternal life is an invaluable jewel or treasure, which is laid up with Christ in heaven where God is. There it is safely deposited. It has this security, that it is with the Redeemer, and that he is in the presence of God; and thus nothing can reach it or take it away. It is not left with us, or intrusted to our keeping - for then it might be lost as we might lose an invaluable jewel; or it might be wrested from us; or we might be defrauded of it; but it is now laid up far out of our sight, and far from the reach of all our enemies, and with one who can “keep that which we have committed to him against that day;” 2 Timothy 1:12. Our eternal life, therefore, is as secure as it could possibly be made. The true condition of the Christian is, that he is “dead” to this world, but that he has immortal life in prospect, and that is secure, being in the holy keeping of his Redeemer, now in the presence of God."

How many people still think that they can place the security of their eternal life in heaven in charitable good deeds, or even through their good behavior?  A person's life must be hidden with Christ, not in other things. Sadly, many do hide their life in other things and at a great price to their souls.  They will in vain continue to trust in their works rather than the work that God has done for them, in Christ.

A person can find no greater sense of peace and the forgiveness they need or a greater security, eternally, than by placing their complete trust in Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation (John 3:16).

Heaven is the wonderful eternal expectation that is exclusively for those that have been born again, who look forward to seeing Christ in His glory. It is only for those that have been redeemed and forgiven of their sins by His blood (Ephesians 1:7), where they will also appear in the glory of heaven too.

There is no greater security for the salvation of our souls and no greater joy to look forward to, than Christ Jesus the Redeemer.

Are you honestly hidden with Him?
Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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