believer’s true identity is not based on the things that he does, but on the fact that he has been hidden with Christ in God. Today, we unpack what this looks like and how we can daily hide ourselves in the man who hung between two criminals.
In the Holy Bible, there are many verses that speak about being hidden in Christ, or hidden in God. This can be a bit confusing for some people since the word "hiding" is often associated with shame and disgrace. The truth is, however, that we should be hiding ourselves before God and not from Him. The apostle Paul tells us that "Christ has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor 3:6-7).
Hiding yourself in Christ means becoming more like Christ.
As you stay close to Him and allow Him to live in you through His Spirit, you will become more and more like Jesus in every aspect of your life. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "All of us, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another."
To become more like Christ means to become more beautiful. That's why we want to cover up any parts of our lives which are not in accordance with God's Word. The closer we get to Christ, the more beautiful we become as we reflect the goodness of God.
How Does God's Word Define Being Hidden in Christ?
Titus 3:5 says that Jesus Christ "gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." To be "hidden" means to be separated from sin, lawlessness, and sinfulness. To be "in Christ" means to live according to God's law and his Word.
Being hidden in Christ means we have become his possession, his property, his slaves, so that we live completely by what he says in his Word. Our words and our actions must line up with God's Word.
Being hidden in Christ means we are separated completely from the world's ways of thinking and living. The world is out there, but we are hidden in God's kingdom—separate from this world system—while still living here on earth.
Identity is Everything
In our culture we tend to center our lives on ourselves. We want to be loved; we want to be seen and noticed; we want to make a name for ourselves. But the Bible calls us to an entirely different perspective. In Colossians 3:3-12, Paul describes the Christian life as a discipline of self-denial. Our identity is not found in what people think about us or even in what God thinks about us. Our identity is found in Christ alone.
Being hidden in Christ means that your identity has been established, not based on anything that you have done, but upon what Christ has done for you.
Our life displays our identity when it is lived before the world in such a way that others know Jesus through it. The world sees Jesus's love reflected in our actions toward them and the love of Christ becomes real and tangible to them.
Scripture tells us that everyone can see how much or how little we are "hidden in Christ" by looking at two things: (1) how we treat other Christians, and (2) how we treat those who are not believers.*
In order to truly be hidden in Christ, we must take up our crosses daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). This means denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34). It means leaving behind whatever might prevent us from being faithful to Christ.
Be Hidden Daily in Christ
In Colossians 3:1-3, Paul teaches us that because we have received new life by the sacrifice of Jesus, we should “put on” our new selves everyday. How do we do this? By setting our minds on Godly things, not on the distractions that deter us from the living by God’s Word.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3, English Standard Version).
Being hidden in Christ is a state of being in which you abide in the Word of God, and the Word abides within you. It is a state wherein your life is hidden with Christ in God. Like the Israelites when they crossed over the Jordan River and entered into the Promised Land, it is a time when you have passed from death to life (John 5:24). It is a state that you enter into as a child of God by faith (John 1:12-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Being hidden in Christ means that your identity has been established, not based on anything that you have done, but upon what Christ has done for you. It means that your security is established because Christ has secured it (Psalm 16:11). It means that through faith in Christ you have been redeemed from sin and its penalty (1 Corinthians 6:20), healed from sickness and disease (Isaiah 53:4), reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20), and adopted into His family (1 Corinthians 9:19; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 3:26-29).