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Old and New Testament.
FOR YOU HAVE
DIED: apethanete (2PAAI) gar: (Col 2:12-note,
Ro 6:2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 7, 4, 5, 6-see
Gal 2:18, Gal 2:20-note
; Gal 5:24-note;
Gal 6:14; 1Pe 2:24-note)
is first in Greek sentence to emphasize this life changing event.
"For [as far as this world is
concerned] you have died" (Amp)
PAUSE AND PONDER
(gar) - Notice the little preposition "for" (there are over
7000 "for's" in Scripture) and if the
indicates, as it does in this
passage, that the "for" is a
term of explanation,
pause and ask yourself what is the Spirit seeking to explain? Notice
how pausing to ponder will always force you to examine the context.
You can (and should) practice this simple discipline every time you
encounter a for, and while not every instance is a term of
explanation, a "for" at the beginning of a verse is almost
always used in that grammatical sense. I can assure you that if you
begin to "pause and ponder," you will radically rejuvenate your
"Read Through the Bible in a Year" program! You might even get a small
journal and begin to keep notes on what the Spirit illuminates and how
this truth can be applied to your daily life. As you practice
interrogating the text (for, therefore, but, so
that, etc) with 5W/H
questions such as "What's the for explaining?", you will begin to
learn to (1)
Read the Bible inductively (power
and to (2)
on Biblical Meditation)
on the Scripture. Meditation or "chewing the cud" of the Scripture (cf
Mt 4:4, Job 23:12-note, Jer 15:16) so to speak is a vanishing
discipline in our fast paced, hi tech, low touch society, but a
spiritual discipline which God promises to greatly bless (See Ps
1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note, Joshua 1:8-note, cf Ps 4:4, 19:14,
27:4, 49:4, 63:6, Ps 77:6, 77:12, Ps 104:34, Ps 119:15, 119:23,
119:27, Ps 119:48, 119:78, Ps 119:97, 119:99, Ps 119:148, 143:5, Ps
145:5) From the preceding passages which "organ" of our being is most
often involved/engaged in meditation? What are the subjects or the
focus of meditation? Reading the Bible without meditating on it is
like eating without chewing.
And so for in Col 3:3 introduces and explains the reason "living in
the heavenlies" (seeking and thinking the things above) is to be the
norm for each believer even though we are still on terra firma. Believers have died
to the world system (Gal 6:14-note),
through their faith and intimate union with Christ in His
death and resurrection.
from apo = away from +
thnesko = die) means literally to die off and so to cease to
have vital functions, whether at an earthly or transcendent level.
Apothnesko is a very common verb in the NT used some 111 times -
Mt 8:32; 9:24; 22:24, 27; 26:35; Mk 5:35, 39; 9:26; 12:19, 20, 21;
15:44; Lk 8:42, 52, 53; 16:22; 20:28, 29, 31, 32, 36; Jn. 4:47, 49;
6:49, 50, 58; 8:21, 24, 52, 53; 11:14, 16, 21, 25, 26, 32, 37, 50, 51;
12:24, 33; 18:14, 32; 19:7; 21:23; Acts 7:4; 9:37; 21:13; 25:11; Ro
5:6, 7, 8, 15; 6:2, 7, 8, 9; 7:2, 3, 6, 10; 8:13, 34; 14:7, 8, 9, 15;
1Co 8:11; 9:15; 15:3, 22, 31, 32, 36; 2Co 5:14, 15; 6:9; Gal. 2:19,
21; Php 1:21; Col. 2:20; 3:3; 1Th 4:14; 5:10; He 7:8; 9:27; 10:28;
11:4, 13, 21, 37; Jude 1:12; Re 3:2; 8:9, 11; 9:6; 14:13; 16:3.
tense of died is
aorist which speaks of a past completed action --
believers died with Christ the moment they placed their faith
in. This same truth is taught elsewhere by Paul especially in Romans 6
(note the repetition of this truth in that section)...
Colossians 2:20 (see
note) If (since) you
have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world,
why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to
decrees, such as
Romans 6:2 (see
notes) May it never be!
How shall we who died to sin (Sin)
still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been
baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized (identified with) into
His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him
through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised
from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in
newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the
likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness
of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was
crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died
is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we
believe that we shall also live with Him (How many times does Paul
state the believer has died with Christ? Why the repetition?)
Gal 2:20 (see
note) "I have been
crucified with (Word
past completed action with ongoing effect/results) Christ ;
and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
of have died is
indicative which is the
mood of reality indicating that our death with Christ was a real event
even though we cannot fully comprehend the nature
of this supernatural transaction (cp 1Cor 13:12).
practical truth is that when we died with Christ in the
past, we died to the power, rule, mastery, enslavement to the old
Sin, which has now been rendered inoperative (Ro
away with" =
Word study of this verb katargeo) by the death, burial
and resurrection of Christ Jesus and our faith in His finished work
has brought into this vital, eternal, new covenant union with Christ
and His victory over sin and death.
To be sure the
presence and power of SIN (see
"the Sin") will continue to harangue us for the
remainder of our physical earthly existence but it can no longer
condemn us (eg, see Gal 5:16-note,
Gal 5:17-note). The question
that each of us must address to ourselves is "Am I living like one who
has died with Christ?" Since we have died and have been raised with
Christ, anything profane or offensive to Jesus should be profane or
offensive to us. Although our co-crucifixion with Christ is a "done deal" so to
speak, we still need to make daily daily choices in light of and
consistent with this truth. Stated another way, our position is Christ
is fixed forever, but this position should lead us to a practice
commensurate with that position. We no longer have an excuse for
"sloppy" Christian living. Now empowered by the Spirit of Christ we
can practice "death to
self" (and God will give us manifold opportunities each day!), a truth
often emphasized by Jesus as a marker of those were His disciples (see Mt 16:25; Mk 8:35;
9:24; 17:33; Jn 12:25
See Torrey's Topic on "Self
In this section of Colossians Paul is explaining what "death to self"
should look like in our personal moral/ethical life, our speech, our
interpersonal relationships, our marriages, our families and our jobs (Col 3:5-4:6).
Dying to self and living to God (Christ increasing, us decreasing Jn
3:30) is the essence of the
heavenly minded "much fruit" life (Jn 15:8) our Father desires
for all His children to experience so that their joy might be full. But praise
be to God it is no longer we
who are "living" but Christ living His life in and through us (see Ga
Don't misunderstand for Paul is not absolving believers of personal
responsibility. As discussed above, we must each continually make
decisions that are God pleasing, but now we do so empowered by His
Spirit (Gal 5:16-bite,
and His provision of grace abundantly available to every yielded,
humble saint ("the gravity of grace" - it flows down from on high! Cp
2Co 12:9, 10, Jas 4:6, 1Pe 5:5-note,
Lk 1:52, 2Chr 32:26, 33:12, 19, 23, 34:27, Isa 57:15).
giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more grace when the labours increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done:
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
- Annie Johnson
John Eadie adds
Neither “seek nor savour” the things of earth; for having died, and
having been even buried with Christ, your sphere of being, action, and
enjoyment, is totally different from your former state. As Luther
says— “we live not in the flesh, but we dwell in the flesh.” When they
did die, their death was but a birth into a new life. (Colossians
3 Commentary on the Greek Text)
Spurgeon (click complete text)
has some insightful comments regarding the our death and new life in the
were natural men and discerned not the things that be of the Spirit of
God. We minded earthly things and were moved by carnal lustings after
the things which are seen; but now through divine grace a spirit has
been created in us which feeds on spiritual bread, lives for spiritual
objects, is swayed by spiritual motives and rejoices in spiritual
truth. This change from the natural to the spiritual is such as only
God himself could have wrought, and yet we have experienced it. To God
be the glory. So that by virtue of our rising in Christ we have
received life and have become the subjects of a wondrous change,-
“old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Cor
MacArthur notes that
"By using such phrases as with
Christ (Col 3:1-note); where Christ (Col 3:1-note); with Christ
(Col 3:3); when Christ (Col 3:4-note); and with Him (Col 3:4-note), he
stresses again Christ’s total sufficiency (cf. Col 2:10-note).
Unfortunately, many Christians fail to understand and pursue the
fullness of Christ. Consequently, because of not knowing what
Scripture says, or not applying it properly, they are intimidated into
thinking they need something more than Him alone to live the Christian
life. They fall prey to false philosophy, legalism, mysticism, or
Rob Morgan commenting on
Colossians 3:1-4 offers an interesting sermon title "The Best
Christians are Dead Christians" noting that in Colossians 3:1-note Dead
People Have a New Master, Colossians 3:2-note Dead People Have New Values,
Colossians 3:3-note Dead People Have a New Perspective, and Colossians 3:4-note
Dead People Have a New Future. (Morgan,
R. J. Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook: 2002 Nashville: Thomas
The old life is dead. You are dead
to it. You will not be consumed by it; you cannot be controlled by it.
You have a newer and higher life. Let it have full scope.
You have a new life now; it is up yonder, “where Christ sitteth on
the right hand of God.” Do you not feel drawings upward? Are there no
longings after the high and heavenly estate where Jesus is? Come,
beloved, let your soul break loose for a while; and, like a lark that,
having found its liberty, ascends with joyous wing, singing as it
rises till it is out of mortal sight, so let it be with you.
You profess to be dead to the world; is that profession false? You
have observed that Scriptural ordinance in which you profess to be
buried with Christ; was that observance only an empty form?
LIFE IS HIDDEN: kai e zoe humon kekruptai (2SRPI): (John
4:14; 5:21,24,40; 6:39,40; 10:28, 29, 30; 14:19; Ro 5:10,21; 8:2,34,
35, 36, 37, 38, 39; 1Co
and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God (Amp)
you have a secret life with Christ (BBE) (Ed note: But He
should show forth to those around you! Don't keep the secret to
in Scripture is used (1) to refer
to physical life (Ro 8:38-note,
1Co 3:22, Php 1:20-note,
James 4:14, etc) but more often to (2) to supernatural life
(which is what Paul is emphasizing in this section of Colossians) in
contrast to a life subject to eternal death (Jn 3:36). This quality of
life speaks of fullness of life which alone belongs to God the
Giver of life and is available to His children now (Ro 6:4-note,
as well as in eternity future (Mk 10:30, Titus 1:2-note
on Eternal Life).
is a verb meaning to keep something from being seen and thus to hide,
conceal or cover. In some contexts krupto means to hide so as to keep
secret (eg, Lk 19:42), but in the present context refers to hiding so
as to provide protection or safety and thus prevent one from being
harmed by anything.
used 18 times in the NT - Matt. 5:14; 11:25; 13:35, 44; 25:18, 25; Lk.
18:34; 19:42; Jn. 8:59; 12:36; 19:38; Col. 3:3; 1 Tim. 5:25; Heb.
11:23; Rev. 2:17; 6:15, 16.
Krupto is in the
perfect tense which indicates
that it was hidden at some point in time (day of your salvation) and
remains hidden or concealed which conveys the ideas of permanency and
irrevocability. The death (aorist tense) is over, but the
results of the hiding (perfect tense) of the life in Him
abide. Safe in the arms of Jesus, the title of Fanny Crosby's hymn
(which was played on August 8, 1885, when U.S. President Ulysses S.
Grant was laid to rest in Riverside Park, on the banks of the Hudson
River - but believers are safe not just in eternity future but
Safe in the arms of Jesus
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.
As Handley Moule says,
The ‘death’ is fact
accomplished, the resulting ‘life’ is fact continuing. (PTL!)
James Calvert approached the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship
tried to discourage him from setting ashore on a cannibal island. “You
will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among
such savages,” he said. Calvert only replied, “We died before we came
here.” Clearly Calvert believed and lived out the truth that “For you died, and your life is hidden with
Christ in God.” We do well to imitate the lives of godly men like
James Calvert (cp Jn 13:15, 2Ti 3:10-note,
1Th 1:6, 7-note,
2Th 3:7, 8, 9).
Eadie explains our hidden life as the
"life is at once divine and mediatorial—God's gift to believers
through Christ; and the gift, along with its medium and its destiny,
are hidden in the Giver, as the infinite source. But this concealment
is no argument against present and partial enjoyment; for one may
drink of the stream and be unable either to detect its source, which
hides itself far away and high among the mountains, or conjecture at
what distant point its deepening current pours itself into the ocean.
The life is not said, by the apostle, to be hidden in itself, either
from the world or from believers themselves, as so many commentators
suppose. True, indeed, it is mysterious. It is not among things of
vulgar gaze. It is a strange experience; none can know it save he who
has it. For Christians die and yet live; nay, the moment of death is
that of life—the instant of expiry is that of birth. Yet this life is
now enjoyed—is therefore now a matter of secret consciousness, though
much about it is beyond inquiry and analysis. No one can lay bare the
principle of physical life; the knife of the anatomist cannot uncover
the cord which binds the conscious thinking essence to its material
organ and habitation. But the special thought of the apostle is, that
the ethereal nature of spiritual life eludes research, alike in its
origin and destiny. Its source is too high for us to climb to it, and
its destiny is too noble to be written in human language. As to the
former, it is hidden with Christ in God; and as to the latter, it
shall not be fully revealed till Christ come the second time in glory.
But it shall be ultimately disclosed. For Christ, with whom our life
is hidden, shall reveal Himself, and we whose life is so hidden with
Him shall also appear with Him in glory. When its medium is revealed,
its character and destiny shall also be laid bare." (Colossians
3 Commentary on the Greek Text)
Vincent notes that a
"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 with God".
As Paul reminds the Philippians
citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a
Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Php 3:20-note)
Believers were a colony from heaven in Philippi! Christians are
citizens of a kingdom not of this world for as our Lord has said
kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then
My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to
the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm. (John 18:36)
in Morning and Evening writes that...
Regeneration is a subject which
lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to
take heed that we really are "born again," (Jn 3:3, Ga 6:15,
Titus 3:5-note, Jas 1:18-note, 1Pe 1:3-note,
1Pe 1:23-note, 1Jn 2:29, 3:9, 5:1, 18) for there are many who
fancy they are, who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian
is not the nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian
land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of
no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it--the
being "born again," is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot
describe it. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the
sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it
goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." Nevertheless, it
is a change which is known and felt: known by works of holiness, and
felt by a gracious experience. This great work is supernatural. It is
not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new principle is
infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the
entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature,
so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus.
To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it
alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have
then, been "born again," your acknowledgment will be, "O Lord Jesus,
the everlasting Father, Thou art my spiritual Parent; unless Thy
Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual
life, I had been to this day 'dead in trespasses and sins.' My
heavenly life is wholly derived from Thee, to Thee I ascribe it. 'My
life is hid with Christ in God.' It is no longer I who live, but
Christ who liveth in me." May the Lord enable us to be well assured on
this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned,
without God, and without hope.
Three thoughts are suggested by the verb
(1) Safety or security
Believers are permanently hidden, securely locked together with
Christ. Satan can’t break the lock and no burglar (even false
teachers) can break the combination. Thus a believer's salvation is
safe & secure with Christ (Jn 10:28).
Indeed as Paul writes elsewhere, who shall ''separate us from the love
of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'' (Ro 8:35,36, 37, 38, 39-see notes
Believers are now intimately linked "together with" (sun)
Christ in (en) God. This picture expresses the fellowship of the
believer, his identity with his risen Lord. Ignatius wrote,
are then all fellow travelers and carry with you God, and the
Temple, and Christ, and holiness, and are in all ways adorned by
commandments of Jesus Christ.”
He used the word
which means Christ-bearers, and it is a lovely description of a
Christian identified with Christ, who is in the bosom of the Father
(cf Jn 1:18, 10:27, 28, 29, 30).
The believer’s life is nourished by secret springs and located “where
the world sees Him no more” (cf. Jn 14:19). Thus, his bent of
life is to be directed toward its source and away from the visible and
The Spirit of God testifies to and
confirms the simple, but almighty, security of the life that "is
hidden with Christ in God." Paul continually brought this out in his
New Testament letters. We talk as if living a sanctified life were the
most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet it is the most
secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it.
The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God. For
one who is born again, it is easier to live in a right-standing
relationship with God than it is to go wrong, provided we heed God’s
warnings and "walk in the light" (1John 1:7) (Read
A B Simpson
explains that our life....
is hid from the world which cannot
understand us. It is hid from the devil who cannot steal it. It is hid
often from our own consciousness, and, when we think it gone and mourn
our lack of feeling, we find that Christ is still there waiting till
the eclipse is over to reveal Himself in unchanging love. The security
of our life is not in our experience, but in Him. (A. B. Simpson.
Christ in the Bible - Colossians)
T. R. Kelly has this devotional
thought (entitled "Constant Presence") on a practical aspect of our lives being hidden with Christ in
There is a way of life so hid with Christ in God that in the
midst of the day's business one is inwardly lifting brief prayers,
short sudden utterances of praise, subdued whispers of adoration and
of tender love to the Beyond that is within. No one need know about
it. I only speak to you because it is a sacred trust, not mine but to
be given to others. One can live in a well-nigh continuous state of unworded
prayer, directed toward God, directed toward people and enterprises we
have on our heart. There is no hurry about it all; it is a life
unspeakable and full of glory, an inner world of splendor within which
we, unworthy may live. Some of you know it and live in it; others of
you may wistfully long for it; it can be yours.
Richards gives an interesting
illustration of our new life with Christ:
In Tarpon Springs, a
little city about 10 miles from where we live, one of the major
occupations is sponge diving. The sponge diver puts a helmet on his
head, drops into the water, and as he gathers sponges he breathes
through air lines fed by pumps in a boat far above him. Without that
connection to a source of life far above him, the diver would be
unable to survive. Paul is telling us that we too live this life in a
dangerous and deadly environment. But we too are connected to a source
of life far above us. Whenever we feel down, or get discouraged, or
feel endangered, we’re to fix our minds not on what surrounds us, but
on what sustains us. The very life force of Jesus flows into and
through us. Because we are connected to Him, we will not only survive.
We will triumph. (Ro 8:37-note)
IN GOD: sun to Christo en to theo:
(Jn 14:19, Php 4:7-note;1Jn
sun/syn which conveys the picture of intimate union,
bringing out the truth that we are now in (new) covenant with Him and
our oneness and identity with Christ.
A T Robertson adds that your
remains concealed, locked “together with” (sun)
Christ, “in” (en) God. No hellish burglar can break that
share a common life with the Father and Son (cf
1Co 6:17) that by the precious and magnificent promises we might
become “partakers of the divine nature”
Furthermore 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 true manifestation of the sons of God is yet to come in the next
world, so that people cannot see what believers really are like (Ro
Ga 5:5, Php 3:20, 21-note;
"While attending a convention in Washington, D.C., I
watched a Senate committee hearing over television. I believe they
were considering a new ambassador to the United Nations. The late
Senator Hubert Humphrey was making a comment as I turned on the
television set: “You must remember that in politics, how you stand
depends on where you sit.” He was referring, of course, to the
political party seating arrangement in the Senate, but I immediately
applied it to my position in Christ. How I stand—and walk—depends on
where I sit; and I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies! When the
nation of Israel came to the border of the Promised Land, they refused
to enter; and, because of their stubborn unbelief, they had to wander
in the wilderness for forty years (Nu
13-14). That whole generation, starting with the
twenty-year-olds, died in the wilderness, except for Caleb and Joshua,
the only two spies who believed God. How were Caleb and Joshua able to
“get the victory” during those forty difficult years in the
wilderness? Their minds and hearts were in Canaan! They knew
they had an inheritance coming, and they lived in the light of that
inheritance. (cf Nu 14:23, 24 regarding Caleb)" (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
This verse reminds one of the
beautiful phrase in the Song of Solomon and although I believe that it
referred literally to a love relationship that Solomon was describing,
by way of application, this phrase certainly would be applicable to
all believers today...
"My Beloved is mine, and I am His!"
"I know," says the spouse (2Cor 11:2, Jn 3:29, Ep 5:31-note,
Re 19:7, 8,9-note;
"that Jesus Christ is mine! I can with the greatest confidence
and boldness (He 4:16-note,
He 10:19, 20, 21-note,
affirm it. He is . . .
And I am His!
I am sure that I am His.
I am His by purchase;
I am His by conquest;
I am His by election;
I am His by covenant;
I am His by marriage;
I am wholly His;
I am specially His;
I am universally His;
I am eternally His!"
A well-grounded assurance (1Jn
5:13, 14, 15) will make a man . . .
patient in waiting,
courageous in doing,
cheerful in suffering.
It will make a heaven in a man's
heart—on this side heaven; and make him go singing into paradise,
despite all of life's calamities and miseries—as he realizes that he
is . . .
everlastingly chosen and beloved of
that God's heart is set upon him,
that his name is written in the book of life,
that there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness,
and that nothing shall be able to separate him from
Him who is his light, his life, his crown, his all in all.
Ah, Christians! only remember what
Christ has done for you, and what He is still a-doing for you in
heaven (Heb 7:25-note,
1Jn 2:1, 2), and what He will do for you to all eternity (Ep 2:7-note)—and
you will not be able to spend your days in whining and whimpering.
Christians, your mercies are greater than your miseries! One hour's
being in the bosom of Christ, will recompense you for all your trouble
and travail on earth! Why, then, do you spend more time in sighing,
than in rejoicing?
Safe in Christ - British
clergyman F. B. Meyer wrote about two Germans who wanted to climb the
Matterhorn. They hired three guides and began the steep and
treacherous ascent. They roped themselves together in this order:
guide, traveler, guide, traveler, guide.
They had gone only a little way when the last man lost his footing. He
was held up by the other four, because each had a toehold in the
niches they had cut in the ice. But then the next man slipped and
pulled down the two above him. The only one to hold on was the first
guide, who had driven a spike deep into the ice. Because he held on,
all the men beneath him regained their footing.
Meyer concluded his story by drawing a spiritual application. He said,
"I am like one of those men who slipped, but thank God, I am bound in
a living partnership to Christ. And because He stands I will never
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).
Yes, we are safe in Christ (Col. 3:3). We can have the confidence that
He will keep us and bring us to our final destination. — Richard De
Although we stumble every day,
The Lord is always there
To pick us up, forgive our sin,
And show His love and care. --Sper
Our salvation is secure
because God is doing the holding.
Union With Christ
As Head of the Church -Ephesians
1:22,23; 4:15,16; Colossians 1:18
Christ prayed that all saints might have -John 17:21,23
Christ being in us -Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:27
Our being in Christ -2 Corinthians 12:2; 1 John 5:20
Includes union with the Father -John 17:21; 1 John 2:24
Is of God -1 Corinthians 1:30
Faith -Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:17
Abiding in him -John 15:4,7
His word abiding in us -John 15:7; 1 John 2:24; 2 John 1:9
Feeding on him -John 6:56
Obeying him -1 John 3:24
The Holy Spirit witnesses -1 John 3:24
The gift of the Holy Spirit is an evidence of -1 John 4:13
Have, in mind -1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5
Have, in spirit -1 Corinthians 6:17
Have, in love -Song 2:16; 7:10
Have, in sufferings -Philippians 3:10; 2 Timothy 2:12
Have, in his death -Romans 6:3-8; Galatians 2:20
Have assurance of -John 14:20
Enjoy, in the Lord’s supper -1 Corinthians 10:16,17
Identified with Christ by -Matthew 25:40,45; Acts 9:4; 8:1
Are complete through -Colossians 2:10
Exhorted to maintain -John 15:4; Acts 11:23; Colossians 2:7
Necessary to growth in grace -Ephesians 4:15,16; Colossians 2:19
Necessary to fruitfulness -John 15:4,5
BENEFICIAL RESULTS OF
Righteousness imputed -2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9
Freedom from condemnation -Romans 8:1
Freedom from dominion of sin -1 John 3:6
Being created anew -2 Corinthians 5:17
The spirit alive to righteousness -Romans 8:10
Confidence at his coming -1 John 2:28
Abundant fruitfulness -John 15:5
Answers to prayer -John 15:7
They who have, ought to walk as he walked -1 John 2:6
False teachers have not -Colossians 2:18,19
Is indissoluble -Romans 8:35
Punishment of those who have not -John 15:6
Vine and branches -John 15:1,5
Foundation and building -1 Corinthians 3:10,11; Ephesians 2:20,21; 1
Peter 2:4, 5, 6
Body and members -1 Corinthians 12:12,27; Ephesians 5:30
Husband and wife -Ephesians 5:25-32
Colossians 3:4 When
When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear
with Him in [the splendor of His] glory.
Bible - Lockman)
Christ, our life, will be manifested hereafter; then you also will be
manifested with him and the world will see your glory."
Good News Bible: Your real life
is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and
share his glory!
One day, Christ, the secret centre of our lives, will show himself
openly, and you will all share in that magnificent dénouement. (Phillips:
Wuest: Whenever the
Christ is made visible, our life, then also you with Him shall be
manifested in glory. (Eerdmans)
REVEALED: hotan o Christos phanerothe (3SAPS), e zoe humon hotan ho
Christos phanerôthêi (1APS): (Jn
11:25; 14:6; 14:19, 20:31; Ro 5:10, Ga 2:20;Php 1:21, 2Ti 1:1; 1Jo
1:1,2; 5:12; Rev 2:7; 22:1,14) (1Ti 6:14; 2Ti 4:8; Titus 2:13; Heb
9:28; 1Pet 5:4; 1John 2:28; 3:2)
the Christ (Messiah) --our life--may be manifested..." (Young's Literal)
CHRIST OUR LIFE
IS NOT A METAPHOR
BUT A REALITY!
John 11:25 Jesus said to her (Jn
11:24), “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in
Me will live even if he dies,
Jn 14:6 Jesus *said to him, “I am
the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the
Father but through Me.
John 20:31 but these have been
written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
2 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of
Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life
in Christ Jesus (Where is real life found? In what sphere? See
1 John 1:1 What was from the
beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what
we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word
1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has
the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the
(Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil,
consecrate to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos
being the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah,
the One Who fulfills the expectation of Israel of a deliverer.
Christos in Colossians - Col 1:1,
1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:7, 1:24, 1:27, 1:28, 2:2, 2:5, 2:6, 2:8, 2:11, 2:17,
2:20, 3:1, 3:3, 3:4, 3:11, 3:13, 3:16, 3:24, 4:3, 4:12
The Christos was literally
the one had been anointed, this anointing symbolizing his appointment
to the task of fulfilling the role of the Messiah sent from God (eg,
cp Ro 11:26-note)
here refers to that
supernatural life which includes a fullness of life
which alone belongs to God the Giver of life and is available to His
children now (Ro 6:4-note,
forever, amen (Mk 10:30, Titus 1:2-note
on Eternal Life).
The hidden life is not hidden
forever. There shall be a glorious consummation at the manifestation
of the Son. The writer of Hebrews expresses the aim of the Father as
that of "bringing many sons to glory" (see note
“Dying with Jesus, by death
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine”
from phanerós = manifest, visible, conspicuous
from phaino = give light; become visible from phos =
light) describes an external manifestation to the senses which is open
to all. The idea is to make visible that which has been hidden and the
primary reference is to what is visible to sensory perception. To
cause to become visible, to make appear, to cause to be seen, uncover,
lay bare, reveal.
Phaneroo is used 49 times in
the NT - Mk 4:22; 16:12, 14; Jn 1:31; 2:11; 3:21; 7:4; 9:3; 17:6;
21:1, 14; Ro 1:19; 3:21; 16:26; 1Co. 4:5; 2Co. 2:14; 3:3; 4:10, 11;
5:10, 11; 7:12; 11:6; Eph. 5:13, 14; Col. 1:26; 3:4; 4:4; 1Ti 3:16;
2Ti 1:10; Titus 1:3; He 9:8, 26; 1Pe 1:20; 5:4; 1Jn. 1:2; 2:19, 28;
3:2, 5, 8; 4:9; Re 3:18; 15:4.
The point is that one day we will
be seen externally as we really are & the lost world will see who we
are in Christ for when we see Christ we shall be like Him. (1 John
3:2) This refers to Messiah's second coming, which in the meantime is to be
earnestly expectantly looked for. The first "phase" of His return is
what most evangelicals refer to as the 'Rapture"
describe in (see notes on
The Rapture - the Greek word
Table comparing Rapture vs Second
As the Bible Knowledge
added a new direction to the believers’ focus of attention: they
should look UPWARD to Christ’s reign over them in heaven and
also FORWARD to His return for them in the clouds. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge
commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor
is - This phrase is added by
translators. The literal reading of Christ
our life is even better! Christ does not merely give life; He is
life. We as His bride are to be so focused on His return to take us
home to His Father's house that we are motivated to lay aside our old
filthy fleshly garments and put on His robe of righteous acts (Col
3:5, 10, 12-see
for what those
''acts'' consist of...they in fact constitute our wedding gowns that
we are in the process of making ready cf. Re 19:7-note). See
John 1:4. The life is not only "with" Christ, it "is" Christ. For the
change of person, "our" for "your" [Col 2:13-note]
(See related topic
in Christ Jesus)
“Eternal life is not some heavenly substance that God imparts when we,
as sinners, trust the Saviour. Eternal life is Jesus Christ Himself.”
“not just the Giver of our eternal life but the Essence of that life”
Eadie comments that Christ
life, not simply because he reveals it, and He alone has “the words of
eternal life;” nor yet because coming that we “might have life, and
that we might have it more abundantly,” He “died that we might live,”
and has given us this blessed pledge—“as I live, ye shall live also;”
but specially, because by His Spirit, as His representative, He enters
into the heart and gives it life—fans and fosters it by his continuous
abode—gratifies all its instincts, and evokes all its susceptibilities
by His word and His presence. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead
because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Colossians
3 Commentary on the Greek Text)
In his first
epistle John affirms
witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is
in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the
Son of God does not have the life." (1John 5:11, 12)
Many believe that Christ gave us life
as one would put a living seed into a flower pot. The pot would hold a
detached thing—life. But Christ is more than that. He Himself is in
the believer. The life that is in Christ is in the believer. To show
His love, Jesus died for us; to show our love, we should live for Him!
If your life does not demonstrate this NEW LIFE IN CHRIST you have
missed the whole point about what this new life is about.
"Living the Christ life is daily surrendering to
His will and Word which allows us to enter into His divine enablement.
I must decrease and He must increase. (John 3:30) As I am willing to deny self, and surrender to Him, He takes it
from there and energizes my very being, empowering me to do what He
has commanded me to do. (Php 1:21-note) " For to me to live is Christ
and to die is gain".
The key to
living the risen life is to have a life centered on Christ (see Guy
King's illustration below). The Son,
not this present world, is the center of the believer’s universe.
Chambers writes that...
tells us TO GIVE UP THINGS for the sake of giving them up; He tells us
to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, viz. LIFE
Barclay adds that...
This is the kind of peak of devotion which we can only dimly
understand and only haltingly and imperfectly express. Sometimes we
say of a man, "Music is his life-Sport is his life-He lives for his
work." Such a man finds life and all that it means in music, in sport,
in work, as the case may be. For the Christian, Christ is his life.
And here we come back to where this passage started-that is precisely
why the Christian sets his mind and heart on the things which are
above and not on the things of this world. He judges everything in the
light of the Cross and in the light of the love which gave itself for
him. In the light of that Cross the world's wealth and ambitions and
activities are seen at their true value; and, the Christian is enabled
to set his whole heart on the things which are above." (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
"Christ who is our life," (Col
3:4). Not only brings, or gives, but "is," in Himself.
(1) Its Entrance - "He that
hath the Son hath [the] life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not
[the] life," 1Jn 5:12. This latter has a physical life; but he has not
"the" (Gk.) life, the spiritual life. He is our life.
(2) Its Continuance - "I
give unto them eternal life" John 10:28. Being eternal it continues:
it lasts because He lasts.
(3) Its Abundance - "I am
come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly". Jn 10:10. There is a world of difference between the two
qualities. The hospital patient in that bed, only just alive - like
some Christians, who, while having life, because they have Him, are
only just Christians. they haven't grown. The hospital nurse bustling
about the ward, full of life - that is the kind of Christian we are
meant to be.
(4) Its Influence - "By
reason of him [Lazarus] many . . . believed on Jesus," John 12:11. His
new life, because of the Saviour, made this man a real advertisement
for the Master, and enabled him to wield a powerful influence for Him
(5) Its Fragrance - "He
could not be hid," Mark 7:24. If He be in our heart and life in any
effective degree, the fact is sure to be noticed. A friend of mine
speaks of having met one day a lot of girls emerging from a factory
for their lunch break. He says that they carried a most attractive
aroma. As he then passed the ga e he saw that it was a scent factory.
Just so is it that if our life is "hid" in Him, something of His
fragrance will be upon us - "the savour of life," 2Corinthians 2:16
I fancy it is true that fragrance
comes from sacrifice. Anyhow, that was so when "the house was filled
with the odour of the ointment," John 12:3. When the box was broken,
the fragrance was released.
Certainly it is true that when the
self is broken, the savour of CHRIST is known - "not I, but Christ,"
Galatians 2:20. Well, all this that we have been saying is to
emphasize the blessed truth that CHRIST Himself is the Living Centre
of the resurrection life. Is He, then, the real centre of our life?
We are all aware of the teachings
of old astronomers concerning our planetary universe. Ptolemy was the
first in the field (A.D. 127-51), one of the most eminent of the
scientific men of the ancient world. He taught that our earth was the
centre of the universe, and that all else revolved around it.
How grand to think of ourselves as the hub of the universe!
It took something like
thirteen hundred years to dispel the illusion. Copernicus (A.D.
1473-1543) demonstrated that the sun was the centre, with the earth
and all else revolving around it.
I wonder if we have changed our life's centre?
Because we begin by giving self that position - everything turns round
ourselves: what we wish, we think, we propose. It often takes a long
time for us to see the falsity, and futility, of the idea that this
self, this bit of earth is the hub. It is a happy moment when we alter
the outlook, and recognise "the Sun of Righteousness," Malachi 4:2, as
our new Centre. Thenceforward, every aspect of life rotates round Him.
Such, then, is the resurrection life of Full Salvation. (Colossians
3:1-4 His Encouragement of Ambition)
Devotional from Morning and Evening, August 10, AM...CHRIST
WHO IS OUR
marvelously rich expression indicates, that Christ is the source
of our life. "You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses
and sins." That same voice which brought Lazarus out of the tomb (Jn
raised us to newness of life (Ro 6:4, 11-see notes Ro 6:4,11).
He is now the Substance of our spiritual life. It is by His life
that we live; He is in us, the hope of glory (Col 1:27-note),
the spring of our actions, the central thought which moves every
other thought. Christ is the Sustenance of our life. What can
the Christian feed upon but Jesus' flesh and blood? "This is the
bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof,
and not die." (Jn 6:50, cf
6:33) O way worn pilgrims
both KJV) in this
wilderness of sin, you never get a morsel to satisfy the hunger
of your spirits, except ye find it in Him! (cf Mt 5:6-note) Christ is the Solace
of our life. All our true joys come from Him; and in times of
trouble, His presence is our consolation (He 13:5,6-see notes
There is nothing worth living for but Him; and His
lovingkindness is better than life! (Ps 63:3
Christ is the Object of our life. As speeds the ship towards the
port, so hastes the believer towards the haven of his Saviour's
bosom. As flies the arrow to its goal, so flies the Christian
towards the perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus (Php
As the soldier fights for his captain, and is crowned in his
captain's victory, so the believer contends for Christ, and gets
his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. "For him to live
is Christ." (Php 1:21-note and
Spurgeon's Devotional) Christ is the Exemplar
(one that serves as a model for another) of our life. Where
there is the same life within, there will, there must be, to a
great extent, the same developments without; and if we live in
near fellowship with the Lord Jesus we shall grow like Him. We
shall set Him before us as our Divine copy, and we shall seek to
tread in His footsteps (1Pe 2:21-note),
until He shall become the crown of our life in glory. Oh! how
safe, how honored, how happy is the Christian, since Christ is
Ruth Paxson (from her
online book which is
Rivers of Living Water: How Obtained - How
Maintained: Studies Setting Forth the Believer's Possessions in
Christ - Chapter 5 "Christ Our Life")
CHRIST is the Christian's
center; CHRIST is the Christian's circumference; CHRIST is all
in between. As Paul put it, "Christ IS all, and IN all." CHRIST
is the Life of our life.
"When Christ, who is our
life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory"
Is He this to you?
A Perfect Oneness
The spiritual history of
every Christian could be written in two phrases, "Ye in me" and
"I in you." In GOD's reckoning CHRIST and the Christian become
one in such a way that CHRIST is both in the heavenlies and upon
earth and the Christian is both on earth and in the heavenlies.
CHRIST in the heavenlies is
the invisible part of the Christian. The Christian on earth is
visible part of CHRIST.
This is a staggering thought.
Its plain import is that you and I are to bring CHRIST down from
Heaven to earth that men may see who He is and what He can do in
a human life. It is to have CHRIST's life lived out in us in
such fullness that seeing Him in us men are drawn to Him in
faith and love.
But I can hear a doubting
Thomas say, "Except I see some one living this CHRIST life I
will not believe." Well, I believe because I have seen.
For several weeks I lived in
a boarding house kept by a little woman who weighed only
eighty-five pounds. She was kept from falling into a heap by a
brace worn at her back. She had lived on the third floor for two
years with no outlook but the blue sky above and a patch of
green grass a few feet square below. But her eyes shone like
stars, upon her face was a smile that the affliction and
adversity she suffered could not remove, and mirrored in her
countenance was a radiance that one never sees on land or sea
except where the Light of the world dwells in undimmed
brightness. CHRIST was the Life of her life.
A Christian business man lay
dying of cancer. Friends called to comfort him and they left
feeling that they had been taken to the very door of Heaven and
had seen the King in His beauty. CHRIST was the Life of his
life in sickness as He had been in health.
A young Chinese man who had
been converted from a very godless, wicked life, and had been a
Christian less than two years, came to call on me one day. After
he left a gentleman who saw him for only a brief moment said,
"Who was that young man? I never met anyone who so instantly
compelled me to think of CHRIST as did he." CHRIST had become
the Life of his life.
Is He the Life of your
life? Can you truly say,
"Christ liveth in me"; "to me to live is Christ"?
"There's a Man in the Glory
Whose Life is for me,
He's pure and He's holy,
Triumphant and free.
He's wise and He's loving,
Tender is He;
And His Life in the Glory
My life must be.
"There's a Man in the Glory
Whose Life is for me,
He overcame Satan;
From bondage He's free.
In life He is reigning,
Kingly is He;
And His Life in the Glory
My life must be.
"There's a Man in the Glory
Whose Life is for me,
In Him is no sickness:
No weakness has He
He's strong and in vigor,
Buoyant is He;
And His Life in the Glory
My life may be.
"There's a Man in the Glory
Whose Life is for me.
His peace is abiding;
Patient is He.
He's joyful and radiant,
Expecting to see
His Life in the Glory
Lived out in me."
(from Ruth Paxson's online
book which is
Rivers of Living Water: How Obtained - How
Maintained: Studies Setting Forth the Believer's Possessions in
Christ - Chapter 5 "Christ Our Life")
WILL BE REVEALED IN GLORY:
kai humeis sun autôi: phanerôthêsesthe
(FPI) en doxêi:
17:15; 73:24; Isa 25:8,9; Mt 13:43; Jn 6:39,40; 14:3; 17:24;Ro 5:2, Ro
8:18,24-25, 1Cor 15:43; 2Cor 4:17; Php 3:21; 1Thes 4:17; 2Thes
1:10-12; Titus 2:13,1Pet 5:10, Jude 1:24)
David prophesied of this
As for me, I shall behold Thy face
(which is "glory") in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Thy
likeness (which is "glory") when I awake. (Ps 17:15-note)
With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide
me, and afterward receive me to glory. (Ps 73:24-note)
Isaiah spoke of this
glorious day writing that God...
will swallow up death for all time,
and the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will
remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the LORD has
spoken. And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for
whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for Whom
we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation." (Isa
Jesus declared that at His
Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH
AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him
hear. (Mt 13:43)
In a sense the fulfillment of this
verse in Colossians is an answer to Jesus' prayer...
Father, I desire that they also,
whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may
behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love
Me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)
Paul explaining how this glory
is now possible for believers concludes
Therefore having been justified
(declared righteous) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by
faith into this grace in which we stand (perfect
tense = speaks of the
permanence = another verse refuting the idea one can lose genuine
salvation); and we exult in
of the glory of God.
Paul described that our
is sown in dishonor, it is raised
in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power (1Cor
This certainty of future glory
should encourage saints to remain steadfast in afflictions...
For momentary (in the context of
eternity), light affliction is producing (Is achieving or working out
in each of us to completion) for us an eternal weight of glory
far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are
seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are
seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Writing to the saints at Philippi
Paul reiterates the truth of our future glory explaining to strangers
and aliens on earth that...
our citizenship is in heaven, from
which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Who
will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the
body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to
subject all things to Himself. (Php 3:20-note)
Then - Such a small
word, but oh, the ramifications of this "time sensitive" word (see
expressions of time).
Whenever you spot a then (and the context indicates it is "time
sensitive"), always pause and ponder, asking some of
as the simple one "When is THEN?" (Answer - When Christ, Who
is our life is revealed - at the
"What happens THEN?" "Who is impacted by this THEN?"
"What effect might this THEN have on our 'NOW' circumstances,
especially if we are experiencing adversity or affliction?", etc. You
will be amazed at the number of questions the Spirit your Teacher will
stimulate you to ask! And as you do this simple "exercise," I submit
that you are in essence practicing the blessed discipline of
John explains what happens THEN...
Beloved, now we are children of
God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that,
when He appears, we shall be like Him ( = "revealed in glory"),
because we shall see Him just as He is. (1John 3:2-note)
see note above)
means to be manifested or revealed as to one's true character.
That is the joy of this blessed
hope (see notes on the "Blessed Hope" = Titus 2:13,14, 15-note; see study
The Blessed Hope). For this the called
on "the called") are kept (Jude1:1) and though the adversaries and
difficulties are many, “Faithful is He Who calls” (1Th 5:24-note).
Our calling is accompanied with a great hope (Ep 4:4-note).
Those that experience the call not only partake of justification,
adoption, and sanctification in this life, but when Christ who is
their life shall appear, they shall also appear with Him in glory.
John Eadie explains our "revelation" this
"When it is said—Christ our life shall appear, the meaning is,
that He shall appear in the character of our life. In this peculiar
aspect of His operation shall He make Himself manifest. To appear as
our life, implies our relation to Him as His living ones; and the
unveiling of the Fountain shall allow the eye to discover the myriads
of rivulets which issue out of it; or, as our life is hid with Christ,
so, when Christ comes out of His hiding-place, our life shall
accompany Him into openness and light. Nay more, as our life, He
appears to perfect it, and to give it fulness and finality of
development. At present it is checked by a variety of causes. It
exists in a body “dead because of sin,” (Ep 2:1-note)
and it feels the chill of a mortality that so closely envelops it. The
distance, too, implied in the fact—that it is hidden with Christ in
God—keeps it from its perfect strength, and induces occasional
debility and lassitude; but the revelation of Christ brings it into
nearness and vigour. Nay more, at that period, the body is to be
brought into harmony with it, and mortality shall be swallowed up of life.
For He who is our life shall diffuse life through us—change our vile body, and fashion it
like unto His own glorious body. (Php 3:21-note)
The physical frame then to be raised, spiritualized, and imbued with
life, shall be a fit receptacle for the living soul within it, which
shall then indulge its tastes without hindrance, feeling no barrier to
activity in any of its occupations—no stint to capacity in any of its
3 Commentary on the Greek Text)
Eadie continues, explaining that the phrase in glory
here the result of life— vita gloriosa , of life in its highest
form and fullest manifestation — life diffused through “spirit, soul,
and body.” Nor is our appearance in glory with Christ a momentary
gleam; it is rather the first burst of unending splendour. And it has,
or shall have, for its elements— final freedom from the sins and
sorrows of earth; perfect holiness beyond the possibility of loss,
with unmingled felicity beyond the reach of forfeit; an endless abode
in heaven, and in the brightest province of it; the rapturous
adoration of God, and unbroken fellowship with Christ; the exalted
companionship of angels and genial spirits of human kindred; and the
successful pursuit of Divine knowledge in a realm where no shadow ever
falls, but where is chanted the high halleluiah, welling out of the
consciousness that all this ecstasy is of sovereign grace, ay, all of
it sealed to us for eternity, in connection with Christ our life.
John: Commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Colossians - 1884)
Life with Christ is an endless
Without Him a hopeless end.
Then we will be manifested is to be
revealed in one's true character. Paul’s teaching is that when Christ
is thus manifested, believers also “will appear with him in glory.”
“The veil which now shrouds your higher life from others, and even
partly from yourselves, will be withdrawn. The world which persecutes,
despises, ignores now, will then be blinded with the dazzling glory of
the revelation” (Lightfoot).
Help me to watch and
And on Thyself rely;
And let me ne'er my trust betray,
But press to realms on high.
Paul could think more deeply
than any man who ever tried to express the Christian faith; he could
travel along uncharted pathways of thought; he could scale the heights
of the human mind, where even the best equipped theologian finds it
hard to follow him; but always at the end of his letters he turns to
the practical consequences of it all. He always ends with an
uncompromising and crystal clear statement of the ethical demands of
Christianity in the situation in which his friends are at the moment.
S Lewis Johnson sums up this section
"There have been many attempts to describe heaven, but
it, of course, is indescribable. The fact that it is a place is clear,
but otherwise it is for the most part beyond us. Most of the Biblical
statements about it are couched in negatives; it is not like things
down here. For the believer the fundamental aspects of it are
expressed in two simple phrases: “like Him” and “with Him.”
Having these assurances, we are content to wait patiently for the
complete manifestation. In the meantime, let us in the power of grace
seek and set our affection on the things above and live in the power
of the hidden life we have. The taboos are taboo!"
THERE! - Christa McAuliffe was one of the
seven astronauts who lost their lives in the explosion of the space
shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. She had been selected from
among many applicants to be the first teacher in space. Her commitment
to education and the space program had captured the imagination of
many. At a memorial service, one teacher said, "When Christa stepped
onto that shuttle, we stepped on with her. And when she died, a part
of us died too."
These comments about Christa remind me of a much deeper
identification—the believer's spiritual union with Christ. Because of
our relationship to Him, we can say, "When He was lifted up on that
cross, we were there with Him. When He died, we died!" The apostle
Paul said that we died with Christ (Col 2:20, 3:3-see notes
3:3), and we were
also raised with Him (Col 3:1-note). Therefore, in Him we are accepted and
forgiven by God (Ep 1:6, 7-notes
What remains to be seen is whether our lives show that we really do
believe we were united with Christ in His death and resurrection. Our
confession of faith must be more than a memorial statement. It must
show that we have put away our old life of sin and have set our mind
on things above. —M R De Haan II (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
I have been to the cross where my
And all my life is made new—
In the person of Him I am crucified;
I have been to the cross—have you? —Anon.
To show His love, Jesus died for
To show our love, we must live for Him!
The Eagle -
preacher John McNeill liked to tell about an eagle that had been
captured when it was quite young. The farmer who snared the bird put a
restraint on it so it couldn’t fly, and then he turned it loose to
roam in the barnyard. It
wasn’t long till
the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at
the ground. This bird that once soared high in the heavens seemed
satisfied to live the barnyard life of the lowly hen. One day the
farmer was visited by a shepherd who came down from the mountains
where the eagles lived. Seeing the eagle, the shepherd said to the
farmer, “What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard!
Why don’t you let it go?” The farmer agreed, so they cut off the
restraint. But the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and
pecking as before. The shepherd picked it up and set it on a high
stone wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand
expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. Then it spread its wings and
with a leap soared off into a tremendous spiral flight, up and up and
up. At last it was acting like an eagle again. Perhaps you have let
yourself be comfortable in the barnyard of the world—refusing to claim
your lofty position as God’s child. He wants you to live in a higher
realm. Confess your sins, and “seek those things which are above.” You
will soon be longing to rise above the mundane things of this world.
Like the eagle, it’s not too late to soar to greater heights again."
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
HAPPY ENDING - When
Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with
Him in glory. --Colossians 3:4
By the end of his life, musician Giuseppe Verdi was recognized
as a master of dramatic composition. But he didn't begin his
career with such success. As a youth, he had obvious musical
ability, but he was denied entrance to the Milan Conservatory
because he lacked the required education and background. Yet
time does strange things. After Verdi's fame had spread
worldwide, the school was renamed the Verdi Conservatory of
Verdi's experience reminds me of the experience of our Lord and
of all who trust in Him. The Son of God was rejected by His
countrymen because they didn't feel He had adequate training or
the right family background (Mt. 13:53-58). Even though Jesus
spoke the truth in a powerful, irrefutable way, and even though
His works spoke for themselves, He did not receive the
recognition He deserved. Yet someday everyone will bow before
Him and give Him the honor due His name (Phil. 2:9, 10, 11).
We who have put our faith in Christ as our personal Savior will
have a part in that great day, for He plans to share the honor
with us (Ep 1:18; 2Ti 2:12; Re 22:5). Even though our beginnings
may seem insignificant, we can look forward to a glorious, happy
ending. --M R De Haan II
My Father's own Son, the
Savior of men,
Once wandered o'er earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is reigning forever on high,
And will give me a home in heaven by and by. --Buell
All that we long to become
will find fulfillment when we see Jesus.
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