Mark how distinctly Paul associates us with the Lord Jesus in Colossians 3:3. He said Christ is hid in God; well, He is your “Life” (v 4), and your life is hid there too. But the Lord Jesus is going to appear; and when He does, “ye shall also appear with Him in glory.” There is complete oneness with Him now for life. It is not just union, but complete association with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory (presently connected by the Spirit to Him and His, who are here and in heaven—NC).
It is this which gives its character to the believer, and shows what his life is: “that the Life also of Jesus might be made manifest on our mortal bodies” (2Co 4:10, 11). It is the reproducing the Lord Jesus in this world and we get the complete description of what this Life is in these verses. The Life itself is the Lord Jesus. “Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” It is not the old tree dug about and dunged; that was done with. When the Lord Jesus cursed the fig tree, it was pronouncing upon the old stock its everlasting fruitlessness. There was no fruit to be found on it; and He said, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever.”
The “old man” (Rom 6:6; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9), the flesh (another name for the old man—NC) is a judged, condemned thing (and all who remain in it - Rom 8:9—NC); it is the second Man, the Lord from heaven, that is the spring of everything which is good or blessed. It is the great principle that is thus laid down. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1). Now mark one thing very distinctly of this life. If the Lord Jesus is my Life, in that sense He and heavenly things become the Object of my life. Every creature must have an object. It is God’s prerogative not to need and object. He may love an object; but I cannot live without an object any more than without food. This new-creation-life has an Object. The Law gave no object. It said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy strength;” but it told me no more about the matter (the point being is that the Law informed man of his unrighteousness, and of the inability to ever perform it in its intended manner, as only Christ could, being sinless - Rom 8:3, e.g. only tutored - Gal 3:24, but not enabled – v 25, because it requires a sinless nature—NC).
It is very blessed in our life as Christians, that while the Lord Jesus is our Life, we are crucified with Him; “and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal 2:20). That is, I now get an Object which acts upon and feeds this new life, and causes it to grow. “We all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18). There is the life; and this life has got a perfect, blessed Object which it delights in and contemplates; and this Object is the Lord Jesus, not in His humiliation but in His glory. Therefore what is looked for is “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13).
There is nothing accepted short of what is seen in the Lord Jesus. Where He is the Life in me and the Object of this life, I am purifying myself, “even as He is pure” (1Jo 3:3). Receiving more and more of His grace by thus fellowshipping with Him, we have to reckon ourselves dead, not reckon having to die (already dead to desires and dominion of the “old man” since rebirth, as the walk will manifest—NC). You may ask the flesh to die, but it never will (we are dead to it - Rom 6:2, 11 - but it is not dead to us, only crucified, i.e. restrained on the Cross - Rom 6:6—NC). We talk of having to die to the flesh, because we have not the conviction and consciousness of the positive distinctness of the two natures. The old man will take good care not to die. But being alive in the Lord Jesus, I have the privilege, responsibility and title to treat the old man as dead because I died in Him. That point settled, with this blessed Object before us, we “seek those things which are above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” I have got a life formed and fashioned in this very nature delighting in these heavenly things, causing me to “grow up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15).
—J N Darby (1800-1882)
Sept-29. THE EXCELLENT GLORY
"WE ALL, WITH UNVEILED FACE BEHOLDING AS IN A MIRROR THE GLORY OF THE LORD. . . " (2 COR. 3:18A).
During the first half of your Christian life you are concerned about your doing; in the second half you will be burdened about your being.
"The more simply devoted you are to the Lord Jesus, who is worthy of all devotion, the more fragrance there will be in all your ways; for it will be manifested that you are not seeking yourself, not wincing because your rights are invaded, or that you are not as much cared for as you are entitled to be. Rather, there is only one governing thought of your life about everything, and that is, how you may distinguish Him who fills every need in your heart, and lights it up with unfading joy." -J.B.S.
"Nothing can be so divinely beautiful on earth as a believer so transformed by the Spirit of God, that he is in heavenly manners here on earth; so that he does not in any of his ways deny the Lord Jesus Christ; but in the most trying hour of his history upon earth the Lord can say of him, ‘thou hast a little power, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name.’" -J.B.S.
"In creation God planted a man in the garden in innocence; in redemption He has planted a Man in heaven, in glory. There is a glory that excelleth. The glory in redemption leaves the glory that was once in creation as nothing." -J.G.B.http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/