Hidden by Joe La Bianca
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears,
then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever
belongs to your earthly nature:
sexual immorality, impurity, lust,
evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
If you believe in the cross of Christ, that Jesus died for your sins and rose again, it means that you died with Jesus on the cross. The punishment for sins is already in the past for the believer. You believe in Jesus as the bearer of sins, so your sins are carried, punished, put to death and forgiven in Christ. Without Christ, our sins remain, for we cannot pay for our own sins. Since we cannot pay for our sins, we remain imprisoned forever. Only a sinless life could pay for sins. And Jesus, the only sinless Person, gave His life in kindness.
A believer’s life is hidden. That means that the glory of our beings, and the perfect things of the divine nature are not in sight at this time. One day we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He really is. But for now, all of that is hidden. While on earth we must worry about killing our flesh, or putting to death the base things of our earthly nature. Hence, the following verses about our struggle with that nature. Our immortal souls are hidden in God. What we shall be has not yet been revealed. It is hidden in Christ, and only when Christ appears, will we know the full glory and dignity of the regenerated child of God. Not that we are not regenerated, for we are made anew the moment we believe in Jesus, but our glorified beings, with incorruptible bodies, will only be revealed at the second coming of our Lord.
Perfection and right standing with God is not in Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or any other ism. It is in Jesus Christ. This is because no other religion has a Savior who takes away sin by what he has done on earth. Did you comprehend that? There is no earthly Savior besides Jesus! Now we are corruptible, but one special day, this corruptible will put on incorruptible, and we shall be changed. This is why scripture says, physical exercise profits little, but what really counts is godliness, holding hope for this age and the age to come. We are only here for a short while. The longest life is compared to a mist that vanishes, so we should focus on the eternal. Gain godliness by faith in Christ and have hope for both ages.
Godliness is greatly misunderstood today. Many think that godliness is our human effort to be like God in order to please Him and receive salvation. But where is Jesus in all this? Couldn’t Jesus have saved Himself the terrible trouble of the cross if we could earn salvation by our godliness? Godliness is only the result of faith in the cross. It’s when God sups with us and has His unavoidable effect on the lives of all simple believers. We should worry about believing, not being godly. Godliness is the fruit of faith in the gospel. It comes along with faith, so that we are godly because a new heart occurs in company with our trust in the cross. So we don’t try to be godly. It happens when we believe. Do you see the difference? When we try to be godly to earn from God, this attempt takes away from what Jesus has done on the cross. But if we are changed by grace only because we believe, this does not infringe upon the work of the only Savior.
It is the right of Jesus to be the Savior. We do not have the right to save ourselves. We also do not have the ability. But make no mistake. Believers in Jesus are godly. To say you believe while living in sin belies the genuineness of that profession.
Godliness is not perfection. Believers are godly but not perfect. They are perfect in God’s eyes because of the righteousness of Christ, but in this world, believers will always grow in grace. To grow in grace, implies imperfection. This is because we are constantly developing into better people so are always perfecting in that process. If we are perfecting, we are not perfect, for if we were perfect, we would not need to improve. The real us, the us that God sees is perfect. But this is hidden now.
Who we are is concealed by the covering of this fallen world. But one day Jesus will make Himself very apparent to this earth, and only those who make Jesus their Savior will appear with Him. Those who do not believe will not appear with Christ, they will appear against Christ, at odds with Jesus on Judgment Day.
Since we are dead to the world and alive to Jesus, we are also dead to the world’s sin. We must deaden the ungodly part of us, by trusting in Jesus and having faith in the cross. Faith in the cross will quicken our spirits and cancel out the inward sins that would not otherwise be canceled.
Sexual sins must go, impurity must leave, lust for bad things must be deadened, but the lust for good things can stay. Jesus said that He lusted to do God’s will. Some lusts are so powerful, they make you suffer for the things desired. Have a passion for God’s holy way, instead of beer commercial models. Evil desires, such things that are worthless, depraved, and injurious, must be resisted and killed off. A longing for a thing forbidden is dangerous, so let the thing be. Greed must go, a greed so strong that you would lie, cheat, or steal to get it. When we covet what is not ours, we show our inner willingness to sin, and so the thing coveted is called an idol.
All these bad things will go if we simply believe in the cross. This sounds simplistic and disconnected but it is the only way. When you believe in Jesus, God comes into the heart and life. This Divine Presence is what changes our lives in a godly way. This is the secret that so many miss. Faith in Christ is the complete victory. This will open the door to God’s power. The power of God comes to those who believe!!
We excite the mind of God to anger when we live like faithless people. The children of no belief will receive God’s indignation. A faithless man will display sins, but a faithful man is changed by God’s grace and power.
Salvation means different things to different people. Some folks think that when Jesus saves them, they are only saved from the consequence of sin, which are hell and earthly sorrows. Some folks believe that Jesus saves them from poverty and trials. They make Jesus a sort of magic genie in a bottle. I believe that we are saved from the consequences of sin and also the power of sin so that we can live a victorious life here on earth. We are saved by grace and changed by grace. The new nature, created by God in the heart of a believer, will keep him from habitual sin. We must, however, be willing to be all that God will make of us. This is real trust.
The trials of life will purify us if we continue to trust Christ. What we are made of will be manifested when hard times come. Let unavoidable trials have their work, and always fix your eyes on Jesus for your endurance. Trials must come, unlike what the health-wealth preachers say.
The health-wealth preachers say that all Christians should be perfectly healthy and rich. They falsely think that the name of Jesus is a magic credit card that will open up the unlimited supply of the riches of God to those who use it. They try to serve both God and money. The blessings they seek are earthly material blessings, and they have already received their reward.
All blessings, whether physical or spiritual, are from the Father of Lights, but God does not bless the greedy, rather, as we see in our verse, God’s wrath comes on the children of no-faith. Faith does not guarantee worldly success. Faith is a simple trust in Jesus which, in cooperation with God’s grace, saves the soul and changes the heart.
So we see very clearly from scripture, that true Christians, those who have died to themselves, have also died to the sinful nature and the sins that spring from it. This unwillingness to live according to the ungodly issues of the earthly nature is not a human exertion, achieved by the very thing we are told to shun, i.e. the earthy nature. The exalted life of Christ is the result of sowing to the Holy Spirit. The good fruit grows on the tree of faith. The very presence of the word a-peitheia, which means no-faith and is mistranslated as disobedience in Col. 3:6 in the KJV, and is not even translated at all in the NIV, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that having no faith is the cause of the ungodly life that is here represented.
Conversely, if a person simply has faith in Jesus and His cross, or just believes in Jesus and His cross, that person will not exhibit the sins of the earthly nature. So faith is the answer, faith in a Person, the only Person able to take away both the guilt and power of our sin. Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and He will restore the lost garden of Eden relationship back to the children of God.
As He cursed the fig tree, so He curses the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to whither away, leaving only the tree of life for us to receive our eternal nourishment. Thank God for the dead, barren tree of the cross where we receive true life. Amen!
So things are hidden from us now. This is good news. Just think what it would be like if this is all there was. The best is yet to come, people. Make sure you are ready. Just call upon the name of Jesus the Savior and you will be saved. Remember that He bore all your sins on the cross, died and rose again, and then simply trust in that. God will be satisfied if you do this. I know a lot of people tell you that faith is not enough. Even your own conscience will tell you that. But resist all these lies and enter the rest of God. If you do, all the hidden things will be revealed to you on that Day, and you will finally know as you are known. If you don’t believe the cross, all terrible things will unfold to you on that Day. Please make the right decision.