“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
Several years ago, a pastor made an appointment to see me. He said he had heard of my ministry, and he needed to talk with me. He had struggled for 22 years in his Christian experience, going through one trial after another. During his devotions one day, he read Colossians 3:3, and he wanted to know how his life could be hidden in Christ.
I asked him to read the passage out loud and very slowly, which he did. Again he asked me, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I think that is the secret. How do I do that?” I asked him to read it again, even slower. “For… you… died,… and…your …life …is…now…hidden … with … Christ … in … God.” Suddenly the light dawned and he realized he had already died. For 22 years, this dear pastor had been desperately trying to become something he already is.
Over the years, I have had several people try to convince me that this is only a positional truth, implying that it describes a relationship between us and God, but it is not something we can experience in our daily lives. Is our position in Christ only theological, just a nice thing to know but having no practical relevance to our present lives? Nonsense! Our position in Christ is the basis for our hope and the sole prerequisite to living by faith.
Colossians 3:1-10 contains several statements describing the believers position in Christ. We are dead (v. 3), have taken off the old self (v. 9), have put on the new self (v. 10), have been raised with Christ (v. 1), and we are hidden with Christ who is now seated at the right hand of God (vv. 1,3). All of this is already true because we are in Christ. We cannot do for ourselves what Christ has already done for us.
Many Christians are like the pastor who desperately tried to become something he already was. In order to live a fruitful Christian life by faith, we must first believe what Christ has already done for us and then walk accordingly. It’s not our believing it that makes it true–that is New Age or magic thinking. The Christian says, “It is true, therefore, I believe it.” When we do that, the reality of the truth works out in our experience, and we become what we already are by God’s grace.
From the book “Who I Am In Christ” by Neil Anderson.