ἀπεθάνετε γὰρ καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν κέκρυπται σὺν τῷ Χριστῷ ἐν τῷ θεῷ·
(Col. 3:3, NA28)
What is significant is Paul used ἡ ζωὴ, the term used for eternal life, not ψυχή as in:
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life [τὴν ψυχὴν] for his friends.
(John 15:13, ESV)
ἀπεθάνετε - "you died" aorist meaning said and done.
This means your new life in Christ is secured by/with Christ in/by God, so that no thief can get to it. It means hidden like in a safe, not our testimony hidden.
Quotes from Commentaries
For ye died (ἀπεθανετε γαρ [apethanete gar]). Definite event, aorist active indicative, died to sin (Rom. 6:2). Is hid (κεκρυπται [kekruptai]). Perfect passive indicative of κρυπτω [kruptō], old verb, to hide, remains concealed, locked “together with” (συν [sun]) Christ, “in” (ἐν [en]) God. No hellish burglar can break that combination.
Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Col 3:3). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.
3:3–4. At the moment of his salvation, a Christian died to the evil of the “flesh,” the sin nature (Rom. 6:3–8; Col. 2:11), and his life is now hidden with Christ in God. “Hidden” implies both concealment and safety; both invisibility and security. He is not yet glorified, but he is secure and safe in Christ. In fact, Christ is his very life. Christ said He was going where “the world will not see Me anymore” (John 14:19).
Geisler, N. L. (1985). Colossians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 680). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
your life has been hidden with, Christ in God: The use of the Gk aorist in the vb. “died” implies a definitive decision (of separation from material practices); the use of the pf. tense in “has been hidden” expresses effective continuity until the present. There may be a play on the contrast between a body being “hidden in the earth” at death and being hidden in Christ through a real contract of death or separation from material things.4. when Christ our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory: Here the writer makes a definite reference to the future resurrection, although his main emphasis throughout has been on the present resurrection with Christ.
Brown, R. E., Fitzmyer, J. A., & Murphy, R. E. (1996). The Jerome Biblical commentary (Vol. 2, p. 339). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
It is worthy of observation, that our life is said to be hid, that we may not murmur or complain if our life, being buried under the ignominy of the cross, and under various distresses, differs nothing from death, but may patiently wait for the day of revelation. And in order that our waiting may not be painful, let us observe those expressions, in God, and with Christ, which intimate that our life is out of danger, although it does not appear. For, in the first place, God is faithful, and therefore will not deny what has been committed to him, (2 Tim. 1:12,) nor deceive in the guardianship which he has undertaken; and, secondly, the fellowship of Christ brings still greater security. For what is to be more desired by us than this—that our life remain with the very fountain of life? Hence there is no reason why we should be alarmed if, on looking around on every side, we nowhere see life. For we are saved by hope. But those things which are already seen with our eyes are not hoped for. (Rom. 8:24.) Nor does he teach that our life is hid merely in the opinion of the world, but even as to our own view, because this is the true and necessary trial of our hope, that being encompassed, as it were, with death, we may seek life somewhere else than in the world.
Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (p. 207). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- The Greek aorist tense implies, “For ye have died once for all” (Col 2:12; Ro 6:4–7). It is not said, Ye must die practically to the world in order to become dead with Christ; but the latter is assumed as once for all having taken place. in the regeneration; what believers are told is, Develop this spiritual life in practice. “No one longs for eternal, incorruptible, and immortal life, unless he be wearied of this temporal, corruptible, and mortal life” [AUGUSTINE].
and your life … hid—(Ps 83:3); like a seed buried in the earth; compare “planted,” Ro 6:5. Compare Mt 13:31, 33, “like … leaven … hid.” As the glory of Christ now is hid from the world, so also the glory of believers’ inner life, proceeding from communion with Him, is still hidden with Christ in God; but (Col 3:4) when Christ, the Source of this life, shall manifest Himself in glory, then shall their hidden glory be manifest, and correspond in appearance to its original [NEANDER]. The Christian’s secret communion with God will now at times make itself seen without his intending it (Mt 5:14, 16); but his full manifestation is at Christ’s manifestation (Mt 13:43; Ro 8:19–23). “It doth not yet appear (Greek, ‘is not yet manifested’) what we shall be” (1 Jn 3:2; 1 Pe 1:7). As yet Christians do not always recognize the “life” of one another, so hidden is it, and even at times doubt as to their own life, so weak is it, and so harassed with temptations (Ps 51:1–19; Ro 7:1–25).
in God—to whom Christ has ascended. Our “life” is “laid up for” us in God (Col 1:5), and is secured by the decree of Him who is invisible to the world (2 Ti 4:8).
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 379). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.