Hidden And Revealed
The new life of faith can only start when our old life of self-reliance is declared dead. Identifying with Christ means that we accept His death as the punishment for our sinful 'old life'. So, we must die to that old way of living. We cannot continue as we did before. As dead people are totally unresponsive, so all who identify with Jesus and have died to sin should stop responding to their previous dark lifestyle (Romans 13:12).
But we are only to be dead to sin. We have been given the life of Christ and He comes to share His life with us (John 14:23). As Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Life with Christ is also life in Christ. Indeed, there is much about our new life which is now unseen; although we cannot see it, it is safe because it is hidden in Christ. So when will it be revealed? Paul tells us that the day of Christ's return will disclose everything (1 Corinthians 4:5). The true life of the believer will emerge in immortality, just as a butterfly sheds its insignificant outer casing. On that day the hidden and wicked things will be brought to light as well (Hebrews 4:13). It will be a day of reality when the games of earth will be exposed as worthless, and the treasures of heaven will be revealed in glory.
But it is hard to wait. Indeed, our weak minds and bodies groan under the pressure of a corrupted world (Romans 8:18-25). But the Holy Spirit helps us to wait patiently and with full expectation that our hidden life in Christ will one day be fully formed and fully revealed (Romans 8:26-27). Some personalities are easily discouraged if they see little progress - they need to hold onto Christ. Some think that the benefits of this world are the reason for our faith; they are wrong and must abandon superficial living if the deep life of Christ is to reshape them for eternity. Some have few cares and little hope; they must invest their hope in Christ and let Him work in them. Some have many worries and no confidence for tomorrow; they must trust that they are eternally secure in Christ. But whatever is your natural style of thinking, choose to die to self and live for Christ. When you do, your work colleagues will notice the difference and will ask you why ... then you can tell them!
© Dr Paul Adams