Hidden with Christ in God
There is a sense in which the Christian life is a hidden life. This is because of the humility which is native to our rebirth. A natural birth is seen by all when the baby is produced from underneath the blankets and we cheer the new mother and father. But being born of the Spirit is quite different. And though we may “cheer” the one who experiences regeneration and is thus baptized (or confirmed) in our churches, such a birth is not something the world may behold. Like our Lord’s passion and resurrection, the world beholds the one while few behold or even understand the other. We may wish it were the other way around, but that is not how our God has ordained our births. Then again, it is fitting that it should be this way: Flesh had nothing to do with our rebirth, and we certainly did not rebirth ourselves. As our Lord said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:6, 8). Though others witnessed to us about the saving love of God, our regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and all glory goes to God. Being born again is by nature a mysterious, hidden, and deeply humbling experience.
Another reason why it is hidden is that it involves our death: “For you have died.” Again, a physical death is there for all to see, but a spiritual death is only experienced by the one and seen by few, and that only by demonstration afterwards in a life of self-denial. But thank God that spiritual death is not the last word, for when we die with Christ we are immediately resurrected with him, so that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God.” Paul argues the same way in Romans 6 using baptism as the symbol of our being “baptized into his death” that “we too might walk in newness of life” (6:3-5). But who is the one who can observe these things? Surely not a worldling whose interpretation of our lives may be that we are simply foolish or contrary. But the Christian knows. How? Because he has the witness of the Spirit within as a guarantee (Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 John 3:24).
But one day, this hiddenness shall be manifest before all: “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” We shall not always be hidden. We are now, and it really is a great blessing. In Psalm 17:8, David prays, “Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” Now we are hidden with Christ in God before the world, but one day revealed before that same world—but still with Christ in God. And there we shall always be.