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Hiddenness and Christian Devotion
Colossians 3:1–4
Union with Christ is the bedrock for living rightly as a resurrected human being.
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#UnionwithChrist
Published March 27th, 2020
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Colossians 3:1-4
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b If then you have been raised with Christ, seek c the things that are above, where Christ is, d seated at the right hand of God.
Εἰ οὖν συνηγέρθητε τῷ Χριστῷ,
Since you have been raised with Christ
τὰ ἄνω ζητεῖτε,
Set your hearts on things above,
οὗ ὁ Χριστός ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ καθήμενος•
...the things where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
ideaexplanation
e Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
τὰ ἄνω φρονεῖτε ,
Set your minds on things above,
μὴ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
not on earthly things.
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For f you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
ἀπεθάνετε (aor) γὰρ
For you died
καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν κέκρυπται (pft) σὺν τῷ Χριστῷ ἐν τῷ θεῷ•
and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ g who is your 1 life h appears, then you also will appear with him i in glory.
ὅταν ὁ Χριστὸς φανερωθῇ, ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν,
when Christ (namely, the one who is your life) appears
τότε καὶ ὑμεῖς σὺν αὐτῷ φανερωθήσεσθε (fut) ἐν δόξῃ.
then you also will appear with him in glory.
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Notes
After Paul confronts the Colossian heresy, he explains that the essential motivation for living as new creatures comes from understanding our union with Christ. Since believers have been raised with Christ (v.1), they ought to view all of reality through their present position (hiddenness) in Christ (3b.). Such a posture results in hope of future glory through Christ (v.4). Previously in 1:27, Paul stated that Christ's presence in the believer is their hope of glory. In 3:1–4, Paul communicates the other side of the coin, namely, that the believer’s position in Christ is both the ground of ethical Christian living and the believer’s hope of future glory. So, Christ in you and you in Christ is your hope of glory. In vs. 1–2, Paul gives two parallel exhortations: ζητεῖτε (set your hearts on/ seek) and φρονεῖτε (set your minds on/ give careful consideration). Paul is saying that resurrected people ought to actively set all of their thoughts and all of their affections on Jesus Christ and the gospel (τὰ ἄνω). He is challenging the Colossian believers to avoid an unhealthy preoccupation with worldly philosophies and activities (Col 2:8). In vs. 3–4, Paul grounds his ethical exhortation in gospel identity. Believers ought to employ all of their minds and hearts in pursuit of heavenly realities because of their union with Christ in his past death (3a.), in his present reign (3b), and in his future glory (4). Paul has already explained the glorious reality of believers’ union with Christ in 2:11b.–13: “Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. ” Here Paul restates the believers' reality in a threefold manner: 1) you died (aorist) 2) your life is now hidden (perfect) 3) you will appear with Christ in glory (future) This real union with Christ in his death, present session, and future glory must be the most basic self-definition of every Christ follower. Only out of this acknowledged identity will believers be able to live righteously. Here are three further implications: Our present hiddenness in Christ means that it is fitting for believers to hunger and thirst for righteousness, seeking first the kingdom of heaven (Matt 6:33). Our present hiddenness in Christ means access to his overflowing storehouses of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). This is sufficient to satisfy the hungriest hearts and minds both presently and forevermore. Our present hiddenness in Christ means that believers are safe and secure through every trial and hardship until we are fully and finally revealed with Christ in glory. Praise be to God… 19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. 20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Ps 31:19–20.
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Colossians 3:1-4
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οὖν
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Colossians 3:1
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ζητεῖτε
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τὰ
ἄνω
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Χριστός
ἐστιν
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καθήμενος
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ἐν
δεξιᾷ
τοῦ
θεοῦ
συνηγέρθητε
τῷ
Χριστῷ
Εἰ
φρονεῖτε
τὰ
ἄνω
μὴ
τὰ
ἐπὶ
τῆς
γῆς
Colossians 3:2
Colossians 3:3
γὰρ
ἀπεθάνετε
καὶ
ζωὴ
κέκρυπται
ὑμῶν
σὺν
τῷ
Χριστῷ
ἐν
τῷ
θεῷ
Colossians 3:4
ὑμεῖς
φανερωθήσεσθε
καὶ
τότε
σὺν
αὐτῷ
ἐν
δόξῃ
Χριστὸς
φανερωθῇ
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ζωὴ
ὑμῶν
ὅταν
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Comments
Hernan Wu
Looking forward to your devotion tomorrow, Connor!
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.