Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Am I Really a Believer?
By definition, the name believer says that you depend on things you can’t see or feel. The Bible says that “nothing good lives in our sinful nature” (Romans 7:18), but it might not seem so to us. The Bible says that “Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2), but we might not feel forgiven.
Sin and forgiveness aren’t the only things hidden from our eyes. In today’s reading, the apostle Paul states that a believer’s whole life is now hidden with Christ in God. Paul is saying to believers, “Everything you do looks holy to God. Everything that ever happens to you is to your benefit. God has blessed you with an entire life of uninterrupted spiritual success.” Paul is also saying, “This life is hidden.”
It sure is. When we reflect on our efforts to live the way God wants us to, we see consistent failure. When a pile of trouble hits us, it can feel very much like we’re being punished. Believers who see and feel such things may even begin to wonder, “Am I really a believer?”
In today’s reading, Paul pries our eyes away from what we can see and feel, away from earthly things, and speaks God’s Word to us: “You died…” he says. “You have been raised with Christ.” The apostle Paul is talking about Baptism. Baptism is God’s Word and promise of forgiveness, connected to water. Through Baptism, God works faith in our hearts and connects us to Jesus, who by his death and resurrection has taken away our sins. Baptism is a drowning of the sinful nature, and a resurrection to new spiritual life.
Paul says, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Looks can be deceiving, and feelings can’t always be trusted. God has given us something better, something that will never change because it comes from him. When believers struggle with guilt and pain, God invites us to look past what we can see and feel. Our baptism tells us who we are.
Dear Jesus, set my mind on things above. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.