Risen with the Lord Jesus; such is the believer’s position. “For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). These are the great truths of Christianity: The believer dead with Christ; risen with Christ and in possession of a life which is hid with Him in the Father and therefore safe and secure. These facts constitute the controlling motive of the believer’s life on earth. If apprehended in faith they will lead the soul to seek the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. The mind will then be constantly set on the things above and not on things which are on the earth.
The more a believer enters into those blessed truths, making them his own by reckoning himself dead with the Lord Jesus and risen with Him, with his life hid with Him in the Father, the more will the things above be for him the great attraction and the things on earth will lose their charm. The things above are the Lord Jesus and His glory. The things on earth include all the deceiving things mentioned in Colossians 2, such as the rudiments of the world, philosophy and words of vain deceit, legalism, ritualism, ordinances, as well as worldly ambitions, honors, pleasures and achievements. All these will fade away when the believer’s heart is occupied with Him who fills the Throne of glory.
This is the true and only way of spiritual growth—heart occupation with the risen Lord Jesus Christ. When the eyes of the heart see the glorified One and faith lays hold of the wonderful meaning for us who believe, then we learn to walk in that separation into which the Father has called His people. What the believer therefore needs is an ever increasing realization in faith of his position on the Lord Jesus, and then to be energized and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit to seek those things which are above and not the things on earth.
Such a life means joy and peace. It is a life of obedience and quietness, victorious over all earthly circumstances; and because it is a life which is hid with the Lord Jesus in the Father, it is hidden from the world. “Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not” (1 Jhn 3:1). The world, which lieth in the wicked one, cannot understand nor estimate such a life of separation through faith in an unseen Person, a life which reaches out after an unseen goal and which spurns the world and things which honor the natural man.
But, it will not be always thus. A day is coming when this life, hidden now, will be fully manifested. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” “When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day” (Col 3:4; 2 Thess 1:10). To be constantly in holy anticipation of this promised glory-event, is inseparably connected with the statement of the preceding verses.
What blessed links these are: dead with Christ; risen with Christ; a life hid with Christ in God; a life to be manifested when He comes to earth again! May the Father’s own know the reality of all this, and be kept from a mere profession—lifeless and powerless, of these fundamental facts of the Gospel.
- Arno C Gaeblein
Excerpt from MJS Aug. 10 devotional:
“It is perhaps the most alarming symptom of decay to be seen amongst evangelical believers today, that so many have accepted (at any rate mentally) the fact that they cannot be justified before God except by the sacrifice for sin once made for all upon Calvary, but proceed to build a new legal code by which to live, and seek to be sanctified by their own efforts and endeavors.
“The more conscientious, when faced with the failure of this scheme of things, become the victims of the condemnation of the ‘accuser of the brethren’; and take their place among the great company of Christian men and women who are constantly beset with doubts and fears, and who, often in spite of intense activity in the cause of the Gospel, are living in the conscious bitterness of defeat“.