Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hidden in Christ

I have been reading through Colossians in my devotions and have been really enjoying a commentary by Douglas Moo as a complimentary reading. The Letter to the Colossians and to Philemon (Moo, Douglas J. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008. Print.) has been very helpful and edifying as a resource.

Today I read through the following passage;

Colossians 3:1-4

Put On the New Self

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Of the many interesting, thought provoking, spirit-building concepts in these verses, the one that caught my attention was pertaining to being 'hidden in Christ'. I really appreciated the excerpt below that Moo has written about this idea.

As we noted in our comments on 1:26, this "hidden"/"revealed" motif is fundamental to the widespread Jewish apocalyptic worldview. According to this perspective, many things relating to God and his purposes exist in the present, but because they are in heaven, they are hidden from human sight. But the apocalyptic seer is given a vision of these things, things that will one day be revealed as they come to pass and are seen by people on earth. So, Paul suggests, at the present time our heavenly identity is real, but hidden. We have certainly not been physically transported to heaven; nor do we, who belong to the heavenly realm, look any different from those around us who still belong to this world. Verse 4 affirms that this will one day change. In the meantime, our true status is veiled; and though we may not look any different than those around us, Paul's point in this context is that we certainly need to behave differently. (250, emphasis mine)

I really appreciated Moo's focus on the working out of our salvation in practical terms that originated in a very mysterious and spiritual truth. Yes, we are hidden in Christ. And yes, that is a powerfully true reality for which we can be grateful. But, though we are seated at the right hand of God in Christ, we live and act on earth and are required to think and act as the citizens of heaven that we are.

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