Sunday September 30, 2012 | Greg Boyd
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.
Our true self is hidden away in heaven, free from corruption and destruction. In this sermon, Greg asks us to realize what this true self looks like, and he calls us to embrace this true self in whatever ways we can in this life.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been studying the true you vs. the surface you. The true you has been hidden away in Christ and it will one day be revealed in glory with Jesus Christ. Understanding this idea of a true self hidden in Christ allows us to see the future differently than we do now. Because we can’t truly judge something by looking at how it appears in the present.
Paul says the real you is hidden in Christ. The Greek word Krypto means concealed, secret, or secure. Cryptology is the study of secure communications, which we often think of code-breakers during World War II. Cryptic derives from this Greek word. And so, Paul is talking about our Cryptic self, a concealed self that is secret and secure, and it dwells with Christ.
This hidden self will be revealed when we appear in Glory with Christ. We got a glimpse of what this glorious self will look like when Jesus revealed himself on the mount of transfiguration. This new glorious self is the body that is resurrected with Christ. And it is beyond anything that we can imagine. From our place in our development, we can’t fathom what that body will look like or be capable of. The thing that we do know is that it will be beautiful.
There are close parallels in our world to what this will look like. For instance, an acorn will one day grow to be a tree. A larva will grow up to become a butterfly. And a zygote will one day grow up to be a human. However, to ask that zygote what it thinks being a human will be like would only result in a confused answer. The zygote has no idea what it would be like to hug someone or to run and play. In the same way, we can’t imagine this beautiful future.
This isn’t some far-fetched fantasy. When God says something, it becomes reality. In Genesis, we see that God speaks creation into existence. God’s words bring about reality for us. So when God says that we are his children that is our reality. It is not some fancy saying without any substance. In reality, our true selves are the children of God free from the corruption of this world. When God says that we are saved, we are saved indeed! When God says that we are beautiful creations that will one day grow into our inheritance, we will grow into that inheritance! When all the clouds are stripped away and grime of this world is washed away, we will stand in such brilliance, just as Jesus stands.
We are on the road, moving towards glory. So, we need to have patience with ourselves and others. We’re not to the brilliance of the future yet. We’re all spiritual zygotes. We don’t know what the future looks like. We’ve been told it will be beautiful and free from corruption. In fact, our own reality is that beautiful and free being can be glimpsed in moments here on Earth. When we treat each other with the kind of love that God showed us, we see this beauty. If we could even fathom what the people around us would look like in the future, we might be prone to worship them in the here and now. We should treat others as the future being that God says they are, because that is their reality.