A Life Hidden with Christ

St. Paul writes in Colossians 3, “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” This, of course, is baptismal language. He writes in chatper 2, “[You have] been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” So the life of the baptized is hidden with Christ in God.

Christ is hidden. We can’t see, touch, smell, or taste Him. That is, except by faith. This is not a blind faith. We have the promise of Jesus whom God raised from the dead, “Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved,” “This is my body…this is my blood,” “Whosoever receives you, receives me,” and so on. So by faith we see, touch, smell, hear, and taste Christ. It is, therefore, not a blind faith that holds an incorporeal Christ, but a living faith that clings to the promise of Jesus – and so to Jesus Himself – that He is with us and we with Him and He will return to take us to where He is. He does this now – lives with and among us – through the mysteries of God. We are hidden with Him.

The world, and not even our brothers and sisters in Christ, nor even ourselves, see who we really are. For “when Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). We will appear with Him. Now we see one another dimly as through a mirror, but then we shall see face to face (1 Cor. 13). Because we are hidden, we are treated and we treat others by what our eyes behold, for man judges according to the flesh but God judges according to the heart, the hidden life with Christ. So we hate and are hated. We lie and are lied to. We covet and are the envy of others. All of this because we are hidden and our brothers and sisters are hidden from us, blinded by our sinful selves. For when the old Adam is done away with, when sin is finally put to death in our bodies, then we will not lie, steal, cheat, curse, covet, murder, et. al. It is not I who do these things, for I am hidden in Christ, but sin living in me does these things. Therefore the good I would do, I do not do. And the evil I abhore, that I do! And so I repent.

I repent of sinfulness and of sin. I repent because I am hidden in Christ who is my life. The evil I do, then, is not part of my life, but part of death, and so must be put to death by the death of Christ. We are brought back to Baptism. Therefore, the life of a Christian is a life of repentance because we are hidden with Christ in God.

New Website!

Check out the new look for Concordia at www.concordia-hoisington.org.

It’s still under construction (what isn’t?), but I think it’s a good start.
What do you think?

This We Believe

If you’re a pastor in the LCMS, then you most likely recieved a copy of a book entitled, “This We Believe: Selected Topics of Faith and Practice in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod”.
After perusing the pages, reading some more of the hot-topic entries, I think this book can be useful. It’s not doctirnal study or evanglical call to faith, but it does set out in clear, unambiguous terms what the synod has passed in resolution and what it has not in regard to the covered topics (which are quite a few).
I think it can be used, for example, with promoting weekly communion. It shows that in 1995 the synod, in convension, resolved to encourage congregations to pursue such a practice as offering Holy Communion every Lord’s Day. It won’t win the day, but it may provide some much needed third-party opinion on the matter.
There are other topics that may also be useful for such debates as Women’s Ordination, Close(d) Communion, etc. Again, it’s not a savior, but it is another tool to be used.
I have not yet read the parts about Church and Ministry.