We are studying Col 3:1-4 today. Col 3:3 says, “your life is hid with Christ in God.” As you can see from this text, we are “with Christ in God.” Since our life is hid with Christ in God, then:
We are risen with him – Col 3:1 – When we are saved, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the literal body of Christ, 1 Cor 12:13. We become members of his flesh and of his bones, Eph 5:30. This is why 1 Cor 12:12-27 shows us that we are all members, literally, of one body.
When Jesus ascended up into heaven, Acts 1:9-11, he went to be with his Father, “where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Because Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, we are also seated with him in heavenly places, Eph 2:6. Of course, you can’t see this, visibly, but you know it doctrinally from scripture. Therefore, when your body dies, you are instantly with the Lord, 2 Cor 5:6-8, because you are already in him.
We are risen with him by a spiritual resurrection that takes place “through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead,” Col 2:12, which we recently studied. This truth is one of the greatest evidences that you are eternally secure and that you cannot lose your salvation. Your life is hid with Christ in God.
Therefore, because our life is hid with Christ in God, and we are risen with him, we should:
- Seek those things which are above – Col 3:1 – these are things like, the wisdom of God, Prov 2:6; crowns and the rewards of our inheritance, 1 Cor 9:25, 1 Thes 2:19, for instance, and Col 3:23-24; the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23; etc.
- Set our affection on things above – Col 3:2 – we should set our affection on God, Matt 22:37-38, Jesus Christ, Jn 14:23; the Holy Spirit, Rom 15:30; new Jerusalem, Gal 4:26, the kingdom of God, Matt 6:33; and the brethren, 1 Jn 4:19-21.
We are dead with him – Col 3:3 – again, our death with him is something that we can’t see because we are hid with Christ in God. But our death with him is a doctrinal truth, Rom 6:2-3. Rom 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We know this. Because Christ died, we die in him. He just accelerated what death is going to do to our bodies so that we could begin to enjoy his resurrected life. Gal 2:20 is one of the greatest verses in the Bible because as we are crucified with Christ, Christ lives in us. We have to die to live, Lk 9:23-24. And we can do this, not because we are ascetics, but because we are dead with him.
We shall appear with him – Col 3:4 – since our life is hid, our spiritual life, therefore, is concealed from view. You can’t “see” that we are in Christ, or that we are dead, or that we are risen with Christ. We live by faith, which “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Heb 11:1. Paul said in Rom 8:24-25, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” John wrote, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” 1 Jn 3:2. When Jesus returns in glory, then we will see “the manifestation of the sons of God,” Rom 8:19. We will have our visible glorified bodies, Phil 3:21. Our life that has been hid will then appear.
Conclusion: this doctrine should be taught repeatedly in discipleship lessons to new converts. The more they understand these three truths in Col 3:1-4, the stronger they will be in their faith and walk with Jesus Christ. We are risen with him, so “it’s” all up there. We are dead with him, so “it’s” not down here. We shall appear with him, so “it’s” going to be seen in due time.