In Colossians 3, Paul begins by making this statement, “if then you have been raised with Christ.” If a person has been “raised,” it means they have a relationship with Jesus. They are Christians.
In verse 3, which we studied yesterday, we are reminded that our live is hidden with Christ in God.
Today, we take a look at verse 4:
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:4 (ESV)
So far in chapter three, Paul is adjusting our perspective on life. That adjustment starts with the reminder that we are followers of Jesus, we have been raised with him into newness of life. And if that is the case, our outlook on this life changes.
“When Christ who is your life appears…” – This phrase is both extremely convicting and extremely encouraging. It’s convicting, obviously, because Jesus should be our life because of what He’s done for us to free us from sin and because He has gone to heaven to prepare a place for us. Many time, I don’t live as if Christ is my life. I add Him on to my life when and where it’s convenient. When in this mindset, I definitely need the reality check that Paul gives here, “when Christ who is your life.”
And this phrase is also encouraging. In verse 2, we were reminded that our lives are hidden with Christ in God. Now, here, we are reminded that Christ is our life. Jesus tells us in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus has hidden our lives with Him (meaning that we can’t be snatched away from Him) and He has also become our life – a life that will be spent in eternity with God. And this is made possible because of the work of Christ. So when Paul reminds us that Christ is our life, this is a great encouragement!
“…then you will also appear with him in glory.” – This is a reference to the future. When Jesus Christ returns, when He re-appears, His followers will be assured a place in glory, away from eternal damnation. Read what Paul says about this in 2 Thessalonians:
“and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (ESV)
For those away from the gospel, Christ’s appearing will mean “eternal destruction.” For those in Him, it will mean appearing with Him in glory. What a great reminder for everyone. If you aren’t now a follower of Christ, you should seek Him and follow Him. And if you are, you have a great promise to give you encouragement.