For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.…
After Christ died he was seen no more by the world. It is true that for forty days he appeared repeatedly on earth, but only to his own disciples. The world never saw him after the stone was rolled against the entrance of the sepulchre in Joseph's garden on the night of the Crucifixion. And soon he ascended to heaven to be with God, and was no longer visible even to his own followers. But he will come again, when "every eye shall behold him." Now, a similar experience is that of he true life of the Christian. He has died to the old life in the world which the world fully understood. He has risen to a new life which the world does not understand - a secret, internal, spiritual life united to the life of Christ and hidden in God. But this life will be revealed when Christ appears again.
I. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS HIDDEN.
1. Its source of supply is hidden. Its origin is mysterious; for "the wind. bloweth where it listeth," etc. And its continued sustenance is mysterious. The same Spirit which feeds it gives its birth. The world sees the fire in the front, and they wonder that the waters of adversity do not quench it; but not behind, where One is constantly pouring on the oil of spiritual grace.
2. Its true nature is hidden. The fruits are manifest. The hidden nature of the spiritual life is no excuse for fruitlessness in the outer life. But the life itself is not the less secret. The stream flows underground, though it proves its presence by the fresh verdure above. It is known only to the soul and to God; known perfectly only to God, for we are mysteries to ourselves.
3. Its destiny is hidden. We may hear the deep murmur of the water of life. But we cannot trace the course of the river, nor see where it flows into the ocean of God's being. The world does not understand the aims and aspirations of the Christian. Thus he may be much maligned. Let him mercifully refrain from judging those who in their opposition know not what they do.
II. THIS LIFE IS WITH CHRIST IN GOD.
1. It is with Christ. That is the essential characteristic of it. Union with Christ is the cause of all the glorious and mysterious results of Christian experience. Christ is now hidden in God. Therefore his people are spiritually hidden with him. Better be hidden with Christ than famous without him. There are secrets that are delicious in their very secrecy. What can be more happy than the secret relation of Christ to the soul?
2. It is in God. This fact accounts for the secret character of the life. God is unseen, and all relations with him are invisible. To be deep and spiritual our life must go out into the darkness that it may find its home in God. If there is no mystery in our Christian experience, this must be shallow and altogether earthly. It can have no living relation to God.
III. THE HIDDEN LIFE WILL BE MANIFESTED IN THE FUTURE. We talk too exclusively of the revelation of evil experiences in the great future. But many good and glorious secrets will also be declared. The despised faithful servant of Christ will be honoured, the misjudged character will be cleared, the hidden life will reveal itself in glory. The idea of a "spiritual body" seems to imply the visible appearance of the spiritual life. The manifestation of Christ will bring with it this manifestation of his people (1 John 3:2). Note, the doctrine of the hidden Christian life is placed between two practical exhortations:
(1) that we should set our mind on the things that are above (ver. 2); and
(2) that we should mortify what remains of the evil life (ver. 5). - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.