The motivation for living on earth as citizens of heaven is the sight we now have of Christ and what we are in Him (Php. 3:20-21). Is Christ risen from the dead? Most assuredly yes. Is He seated at the right hand of God? Without a doubt. If He is thus risen and thus exalted in the seat of highest honor with all authority and power, what does it mean to us who believe? It means we are dead and our life is hid with Christ in God! It means that when Christ appears in the clouds, coming in the glory of His Father, that we shall also then appear with Him in glory.
But with me you may ask that seemingly ever-resurfacing question, “If all for whom Christ died are justified from all things (Rom. 8:34; Acts 13:39), and all for whom He lived in fulfillment of God’s holy law are everlastingly righteous before God in His righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30), and all whose names He bore on His breast and now mentions to His Father must be saved to the uttermost (Rom. 5:10; Heb. 7:25), then how do I know if Christ died for me, if I am risen with Christ?”
I often struggle with this question. And I know (by experience) that all such concerns tend to naturally gravitate towards deeper self-reflection. If I am His, what will it look like? Thus questioning, tremblingly, we begin to examine our thoughts and motives and words and actions. We look back in time and to our present frame of mind to our utter shame and horror. But God’s word always assures us that in believing Christ, we now possess all that is Christ’s (John 5:24-25; Rom. 8:1-4; 1 John 5:5-13). “You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). Okay. If I am Christ’s, then I died when He died. And if I am Christ’s, then I rose when He rose: “If you then be risen with Christ…” If I am Christ’s, my life is hid with Christ in God. His history is my history. His sin payment is my redemption. His obedience is my righteousness. His life is my life. His present place of acceptance and glory is my place of acceptance and glory, for my life is hid with Christ in God. If I am His, then all that is mine must be His, and all that is His has been given to Him in reward of His sacrifice in obedience to God, not for Himself, but for His people. It is thus to Christ and to God’s testimony of Him that I am directed from the word of God.
As Potiphar put all that he had into Joseph’s hand (Gen. 39:4), and as the keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was his because all that was his was under Joseph’s hand (Gen. 39:23), so we, as sinners, having nothing in ourselves, look away from our nothingness, and abandon all vain thoughts of finding something in ourselves someday that will give us peace, and look away to Christ on His throne. He is exalted because He succeeded. He rose because He answered in satisfaction to God in His justice and in honor of His law by His obedience and sufferings and death (Rom. 4:25). As we look by faith, we see. There Christ my life is! There Christ my righteousness is! There Christ the satisfaction for my sins is! There Christ is, my complete and perfect Answer to God in judgment for everlasting ages! All struggles cease. All questions are answered. All unrest is put to rest. All anxious thoughts are quieted when we thus look, not to anything that is our own, but only to Christ and what is His, because God has put all into His hand and received all from Him that He requires of me (1 Cor. 15:17, 20). The eternal will of God has prospered in His hand (Isa. 53:10; Heb. 10:1-23). By the grace of God, by the operation of His Spirit (Col. 2:12), I therefore now come in my heart and conscience and affections to the throne of God by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19-23). If I perish here, I will forever perish, because there is salvation in none other. But no sinner ever perished thus believing Christ. If we believe Christ, the Spirit of Christ dwells in us. We have the witness of Christ in us (1 John 5:5-13). If we have the Son, we have life. Christ is our life. He is that eternal life. And our life is hid with Him in God. Nothing can molest or disturb that soul who is in Christ in God!
May we ever have grace from God to stand still, to cease striving, and see the salvation of the LORD (Ex. 14:13; 2 Chr. 20:17). Christ is enough. He is all (Col. 3:11). If your heart says, “If Christ offered Himself; if He fulfilled all righteousness; if He advocates now as my Surety, is anything else needed? No! God has raised and exalted His Son because He triumphed over sin and death and every foe!” All who thus see and abandon all that is theirs to have all that God has given sinners in Christ, all given that grace of faith, are complete in Him (Col. 2:9-10).