Submitted by GP
Recently, I have been fascinated with seven NT verses in the Pauline epistles which contain the phrase “with Christ”. Four of which are to be found in Colosians
“With” in the Greek is “syn’ from which we get English words synergy and synergistic and the phrase “in synch!”
Paul repetitively use of sun/syn to make certain that we understand that we are in a new and intimate relationship with Christ, and that Christ is all that we will ever need and that He is ours and that we are His and that this oneness or union should serve to stabilize us in the turbulent seas of false teachings, as here in Collosians, but also generally in all things.
Being in union with Christ certainly seemed to be a thought that occupied Paul’s mind. Generally he teaches that in a past completed action at the moment of salvation we were made alive together with Him in a close, intimate union. He wants us to understand that there is such a connection between Christ and those whom the Father hath given to him, that His resurrection from the grave involved their resurrection to spiritual life. It was like raising up the head and the members – the whole body together.
Whereas each of the verses containing the phrase “with Christ”, speaks of being in permanent union and identification with Christ, each verse seems to have a phrase which qualifies or expands on the phrase “with Christ,” by declaring some particular additional benefit or responsibility which the believer partakes of from being “with Christ”, or being “in synch“ or in permanent union with Christ”!”
E.g. In Colossians 2: 13 the outstanding additional truth is that God in addition to quickening or making us alive together with him, has also forgiven us of all our trespasses.
In Colossians 3: 1, Paul points out that we were raised with Christ.
In Colossians 3: 3 he stresses that we are hid in Christ.
Let us briefly survey these 7 verses before honing in on Colossians 3: 3.
1- Romans 6:8 says
Now if (or since) we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.
Here the benefit is to live in union with Him, as promised in Psalm 23:6 and John 14:1-3 inter alia.
2.Galatians 2:20 says
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Having shared in His crucifixion, the benefit is that now Christ (the Messiah) lives in me and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in ( i.e by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
3. Ephesians 2:5 point out that
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
While we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, Jesus, quickened or made us alive together in fellowship and in union with HIM. This means that He gave us the very quality of eternal life ——–i.e the same new life with which God resurrected Him.
In addition, He made us partakers of the salvation he gives and for which he died by grace (i.e His favor and mercy which we did not deserve), and He delivered us from judgment
The benefits mentioned in Ephesians are certainly stupendous!
4 Colossians 2:13 affirms
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
This verse repeats that even when we were dead in our sins, God brought us to life spiritually in union together with Christ, and has freely forgiven us of all our transgressions
5 Colossians 2:20 asserts
“Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,”
This verse teaches that having died with Christ we are to be oblivious to the material ways of looking at things because we have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, we are not to live as if we still belong to the world and subject our self to the world’s material ways.
The context of this statement is the difference between human-centered efforts, versus a Christ-centered reliance on God.
Paul’s point in the second half of this verse is clearly that if a person really believes that Christ, not the Law, is the focus of their lives, why would they continue to obsess over human rules and regulations? In other words, Paul questioned why the Colossian believers still acted like unbelievers in some areas. Instead of living by faith in their own ability, they were to walk by faith in Christ (Colossians 2:6). The ascetic teachings or rules of false teachers were not binding upon them and offered no advantage.
This verse confirms the teaching of 2 Peter 1;4, which proclaims …….. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
6. Colossians 3:1
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
This injunction points out that since we have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], we should aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
7 Colossians 3:3
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
This short statement is much deeper than it seems, and is worthy of communal study!
Colossians 3 v 3 states For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
The first thing to say about this verse is this remarkable outline I got from Charles George.
“your life”, the Treasure;
“is hid with Christ”, the Treasurer;
“in God”, the Treasury.
In my view, there are GENERAL CONSEQUENCES or BENEFITS to each of these “WITH CHRIST” verses, and there are also SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES or BENEFITS.
GENERAL CONSEQUENCES or BENEFITS
Throughout the New Testament we find this intimate union of the believer with Christ affirmed –
The specific consequence of Colossians 3:3 is that the life of the Christian is hidden with Christ in God for ever. Believers are permanently hidden, and securely locked together with Christ. The greek verb translated “hidden” is ’krupto’. It means to cover, to hide (as in hiding treasure), to conceal, to keep secret in a “vault” or “cellar,”(either for protective or for selfish reasons).
The word “with” is “sun/syn” which conveys the picture of intimate union, and our oneness and identity with Christ, bringing out the truth that we are now in (new) covenant with Him. Because of our union with Christ we have a constant presence with Him.
We were hidden with Christ at the time of our salvation, and we remain hidden or concealed permanently and irrevocability. We are hidden in the sense that our new spiritual life is no longer in the sphere of the earthly and sensual, but is with the life of the risen Christ, who is unseen (by the world) with God. Our life “is hid from the world which cannot understand us, and hid from the devil who cannot steal it.
”Hidden” means that the life of the Christian now “remains intimately and
permanently linked or locked “together with” (sun) Christ, “in” (en) God, and no one or nothing can break that combination, as is taught in Romans 8:35-39. Who shall ”separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39) i.e Our hidden life is eternally secure in Christ. Eternally Secure, held fast by His Nail Pierced Hands!
Believers are safe not just in the present but in eternity future! No caveats. No
disclaimers. God says it. That settles it.
“Hidden” or concealed conveys the ideas of a permanent and irrevocable union. It expresses the fellowship of the believer, and his identity with his risenLord, who is in the bosom of the Father (cf Jn 1:18, 10:27, 28, 29, 30).
Why are we hidden?
There are several practical aspects of our new lives being raised and hidden with Christ in God. Since believers are hidden “safely” in God, we no longer have to try unsuccessfully to hide from God, like our fore parents tried to do in Genesis 3:7-8. Nor will we be involved in the futile efforts of men to hide from the face and wrath of God when the Day of the Lord comes as John described in (Revelation6:15,16). If we are truly in Christ, we are forever and ever in Christ, independent of our frequent failings in this present early existence.
1 We are hidden for God’s personal pleasure.
God gets pleasure when we live in the Spirit and are victorious in our daily lives living for him
2 We are hidden for our safety, and security
The believer’s salvation is safe & secure with Christ : it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. (Jn 10:28).
The security of our life is not in our experience, or our hands, but in Him. No one can take or destroy what is safely hidden with God.
When Christ said “It is Finished,” He put His irrevocable stamp on our eternal security. No works we do can ever add to His finished work. No sins we commit, have not already been atoned for by His precious blood of the New Covenant. Our hidden life is eternally secure in Christ. May God grant us grace by His Spirit to fully rest in this incredible truth in Christ.
Our salvation is secure because God is doing the holding, and the hiding.
•Although we stumble every day,
The Lord is always there
To pick us up, forgive our sin,
And show His love and care.
All of us slip again and again as we walk the Christian pathway. But we are held securely by the Lord, and we can be restored to close fellowship with Him when we confess our sins (1 Jn. 1:9).
3 We are hidden for to aid in our Submission.
To be hidden means that our own selfish desires are submitted to Christ.
Being “hid” suggests that we are to be invisible, so that Christ can become visible in our lives. As we all know, dying to self and living to God ( i.e Christ increasing, us decreasing as taught in John 3:30 is the essence of the heavenly minded “muchfruit” life (John 15:8) which our Father desires for all His children to experience so that their joy might be full.
We must spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to show us any areas where we are tempted to shine and promote your own identity. Sometimes we do this out of fear or in order to feel in control. We must ask the Lord to help us remember that being hidden in Christ, means that we are safe and fully loved.
4- We are hidden for our protection
We are hidden so as to provide protection, and to prevent us from being harmed while we are being transformed to be more like Him, and as Christ becomes visible in our lives. Remember: the word hidden (Krupto) carries with it the idea of keeping something secret or protected. Because we are safely hidden in Christ, we can have the confidence that He will keep us and bring us to our final destinationas expressed in Jude 24.
While we are hidden or concealed, “where the world sees Him no more”,
cf. Jn 14:19). the believer’s life is nourished by secret springs and directed towardits source and away from the visible and carnal.
•Illustrate with example of big cats
5 We are hidden because we are precious
Because of our union with Christ we are considered to be valuable and precious. We are so precious to God that our new life, is “hidden with Christ in God”.
In 1 Peter 2:4, it is noticeable that God compares us, as well as His Son, to living stones “chosen by God and precious to him.” But we are not only precious as building blocks in a spiritual house but we are also like precious stones or GEMS.
Precious stones are valued, displayed, treasured, and used as a tribute to one’s love when placed in an engagement or anniversary band.
Just as valued, and treasured precious stones are and often hidden in a safe or
vault to protect them from theft or destruction, so too God has hidden us in
Christ. Just as rich persons hide their valuables in safes and vaults, so too our very rich God hides us, his precious expensive possessions who were purchased by the shedding of Christ’s blood on Calvary’s cross.
6 We are hidden in preparation for our display or presentation c.f Jude 24
Ephesians 2:10 states For we are his workmanship or masterpiece, created in
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we shouldwalk in them. God is working on us for our display in the heavenlies. Meanwhile he hides us just as an artist hides his work until it is exhibited.
While we are hidden in Christ, we are hidden from the world that is dying in
spiritual darkness (Mt 5:14). We can have our lives hidden with Christ in God in the sense that they do not have to conform to the carnality of this present world (Romans 12:1-2).
We read in 2 Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escapedthe corruption that is in the world through lust.
Our new life with Christ in God is concealed from the world and unbelievers are unable to grasp the full import of the believer’s new life (1Co 2:14). The world cannot recognize the Christian now; but the true manifestation of the sons of Godis yet to come in the next world, so that people cannot see what believers really are like (Ro 8:19, Ga 5:5, Php 3:20, 21; 1Jn 3:2).
The day is coming when Christ will return in glory and then the Christian, whom no one recognized, will share that glory and it will be plain for all to see
In the meantime, while we are hidden in Christ each one of us precious gems are becoming transformed into something immensely valuable to our Creator as GOD SHINES US UP TO HIS DESIRED PERFECTION
As we live out our union hidden with Christ in God, may our way of life be really so hid with Christ in God that in the midst of the day’s business we continue to be inwardly lifting brief prayers, short sudden utterances of praise, whispers of adoration and of tender love to the CHRIST IN WHOM WE ARE HIDDEN
•Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears!
Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.