“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

Paul continues to make all things orbit around Christ, now referring to Him “who is our life” (lit., “the life of you”). Whereas verse 3 says our life with hidden “with Christ,” Paul here declares that Christ “is our life.” The deep nexus of Christ and our new life is represented by placing “our life” (lit., “the life of you”) in apposition to “Christ.”

Paul has been emphasizing our present union with Christ in His death (v.3a), resurrection (v.1a), life (vv.3b, 4a), and glory (v.4b). Yet the bulk of this verse speaks of future events. He speaks of “When Christ . . . is revealed.” The conjunction (“When”) is used to designate an indefinite time (i.e. “Whenever”). When used with the aorist subjunctive, as here, it indicates action preceding the action of the main clause (“you also will be revealed”). Christ will be revealed and then we “will be revealed with Him.” The verb (“is revealed”) is used frequently throughout the New Testament and depicts the act of making visible that which has heretofore been unseen. In this letter Paul uses it to describe the revelation inherent in the Gospel (1:26) and also to solicit prayer that he might make “the mystery” of the gospel plain in his preaching (Col. 4:4). Here the same verb is used to refer both to the second coming of Christ and to the revelation of believers in their new glorified state at that time. Elsewhere the verb is used to describe the first advent of Christ (Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 1:20; 1 John 1:2; 3:5 and eight) and is also used, as here, of Christ’s Second Advent (1 Pet. 5:4; 1 John 2:28; 3:2).

Whenever that takes place “then you also will be revealed with Him.” First Christ’s unveiling at His return “then” our glorified state “also” will be made known. Once again our experience is inextricably bound up “with Him.” Once again note the frequent use of the Greek preposition sūn, either in compound (2:12; 3:1) or independently (2:13, 20; 3:3) to describe our union with Christ. The future tense of the identical verb used to describe Christ’s unveiling is now employed to speak of our unveiling. All our hope watches in hopeful anticipation of Christ’s revelation. Our hope is inextricably bound to Christ. For all the mystery what we do know is that our manifestation at the time of Christ’s coming will “in glory.” At His return Jesus “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:21). We are to live a life worthy of God “in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 1:12). Christ’s present indwelling of the believer is his “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Indeed, we wait for the time when the dead in Christ will be “raised in glory” (1 Cor. 15:43).