Colossians chapter 3 gives some serious insight to the way that a believer should think and believe about the world around them. Paul writes this passage to remind Jesus followers of their position in Christ, and how that position should impact the way they think and act. It is safe to say that many people who claim Jesus live like they haven’t met Him. This is a problem. Not only does it misrepresent the gospel to the world, but it can present the work of Jesus on the cross as weak and incapable.
Take a few moments and encourage your own soul by reading through Colossians 3:1-10. Spend some time contemplating over the words and phrases, and what they mean for you. Once you do that, look over the brief thoughts below and allow the Truth of what is presented to become the lens by which you look at the circumstances in your world.
— First of all, you DIED with Christ (v.3a)
The life you now live as a follower of Jesus is no longer your own. When a believer “comes to faith” and places their belief in Jesus and what He did on the cross, their flesh is crucified with Jesus. This may sound strange, but it is awesome. Because of this, the believer can live under the control of the Holy Spirit of God and not be slaves to their sinful nature any longer. As pastor Warren Wiersbe writes: “We are dead and alive at the same time – dead to sin and alive in Christ.”
In Galatians 2:20, Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Because we died with Christ, we can have the freedom to set our affections on things above, and not earthly circumstances.
— Secondly, your life is now hidden with Christ in God (v. 3b)
Paul tells us in verse 3: “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” The life that you now live, in Jesus, is rooted in Him and He is the one who sustains it. This is great news, because if it were up to us, we would most likely make a mess of the whole thing. This should also give us confidence in the security of our salvation. Jesus holds the reigns of our spiritual destiny. Once we are His, we are always His.
This truth should absolutely affect the way we live out our faith. It should also affect what we set our minds on. The wickedness and brokenness of the world, although heartbreaking, ultimately holds no power over the believer in Jesus. Not because they can’t be impacted by it, but because the foundation of their life is in Jesus, who has already conquered sin, death, and the world.
Nothing can separate the Christian from the love of God. Nothing. We set our minds and hearts on the things of God because that is where our life is hidden.
— When Christ returns, the believer will appear with Him in glory (v.4)
“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
In Acts chapter 1 we see that Christ ascended to heaven, and we are told that He will return to earth one day in the same way that He left. On that glorious day, everything that has been hidden will be revealed. For the believer, Christ is your life. He is everything, the beginning and the end. This is why the believer will experience conflict in his or her life when they set their minds on things on the earth. They are trying to live a life that has been put to death with Christ, instead of living for the things of God, through Christ.
This truth is directly tied into our hope as well. We don’t hope in things of this earth. Our life, and therefore our hope, is established in Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God. One day, when He returns in all His glory, all these things that have been hidden will be revealed. The faith of the believer will be complete. The hope of the believer will be fulfilled. The life of the believer will be revealed. The glory of Christ will transform His people into His image.
I would much rather set my mind on those truths than anything this world could possibly offer.