Paul told the Colossians that ”you have died and your life is hidden”. What does he mean? We need to be clear in understanding the sense in which they had died – and how their life was now hidden. If we read carefully the first 4 verses of Colossians 3 we will be richly repaid, but first we look back at chapter 2 and its reference to believers “having been buried with him in baptism” (verse 12) and the equally significant next words, “in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God …”

We can now see the significance of the opening words of chapter 3; “If then you have been raised with Christ”. Do we tend to omit the word “if”? Do we have any doubt we have been “raised” in a spiritual sense?

Re-born is another way of putting it – remember the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus in the night! (see John 3). You “cannot see the kingdom of God” unless you have been born again.

Coming back to Paul, he makes the point that those “raised with Christ seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God”. And in seeking them they (and ourselves) must, “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth”. If we set our minds in this way we will realize we “have died and (y)our life is hidden with Christ in God” – and the outcome will be wonderful, for “when Christ who is your life appears then you also will appear with him in glory”.

If our life is not hidden in this sense, then we will not “appear with him in glory”. Paul tells the Colossians that they “once walked” (verse 7) in the wrong way, and so did we; but now, we pray, we have put on, or are in the process of putting on the character of Christ. Paul describes this, among other things as “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience” (verse 12). In these things we show that our “life is hidden”.