Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Table of Hiddeness

Set your mind on things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:3-4)
Paul tells us to set our “minds” on things above. The Greek word is phroneo and refers not only to the focus of the mind but also the attention of the heart. The KJV translates it “affections.” We are to focus all the attention of our inner man on things above, that is, of heaven. Why on things above? Because that is where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

The great truth for all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is that we have died — and yet we still live! As Paul declared in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

This new life we have is “hidden” with Christ in God. We are kept by God in a secret place, where enemies cannot find us. It is a treasure hidden away where thieves cannot break through and steal it. We set our affections on things above because that is where our treasure is, and Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

This treasure, this life we have in God is the Lord Jesus Himself. For not only have we died with Him, through faith in Him, but we have also been raised from the dead with Him and seated with Him at the right hand of the Father.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
Notice that Paul does not speak of this as future expectation, but as accomplished fact and present reality. We have already been made alive together with Christ, raised up with Him and seated together with Him in the heavenlies. We set our affections on things above because that is where we are now seated with Christ.

The Lord Jesus is our life now and when He appears, that is, when He comes again, we will also appear with Him in glory. John speaks of this same truth: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:20).

This life we have in Christ is hidden. The world does not recognize it and does not know what to with it. It has no category for it. But it is not hidden from us. The bread and the cup are signs that point us to it. The Table of the Lord focuses our affections on these spiritual realities, teaching us that, in His death, we died also. His body was given for us; His blood was shed for us. We enjoy them together as we share in the bread and the cup.

The Table of the Lord also teaches us to watch for His appearing. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). When we take of His table, we not only proclaim His death (and our death with Him), we also proclaim that He is coming again. It reminds us that, when He who is our life appears, we shall also appear with Him, and we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

The Table of the Lord is the continual sign of our hiddeness with Christ in God.



The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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