If Ye Then be Risen with Christ
We have in Colossians 3:1-17 a treasure-house of practical instruction for Christian living. We will look at verses 1 through 3 today. Perhaps you have heard the saying, "He is so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly good". This saying may make you and me laugh, but God says to be heavenly minded in a Biblical manner is the only way to be truly useful on this earth.
1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Our text begins with the word "if" indicating that what God says next only applies to you if you are risen with Christ. What does it mean to be risen with Christ? "Risen" in this context speaks of being risen from death. In order to understand this, you must understand the Gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection from the dead). When you accept the Gospel and put your trust in Christ then spiritually speaking you died, were buried, and rose with Christ (the penalty for your sin being paid for on the cross; the resurrection proving that Christ's sacrifice satisfied the demands of a holy and righteous God). So, if you are risen, God says to seek things which are where Christ is. What are some of these things? Praise, love, truth, righteousness, mercy, judgment, God's word, peace, orderliness, joy, and Christ himself.
2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
This means that your heart's desires are to be firmly placed upon those things which are above (as mentioned earlier), rather than upon "things on the earth" (those things in this world which compete with the affection that we should have toward God and the things of God). When we do this, God gives us joy.
3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Once again, God is calling our attention to the Gospel. When you are born again, you become dead to sin and alive to Christ in the sense that your sins are paid for and you have become a "new creature". This is permanent as evidenced by the statement: "your life is hid with Christ in God". For our life to be hid with Christ is to be with him forever - something that nothing and no one can ever change. This death to sin and life with Christ is ample reason to seek things above instead of below. When you seek those things which are below, it is like taking your affections and placing them in a coffin with a decaying corpse. When you seek those things which are above, it is like placing your affections in glory where you and Christ can enjoy them both now and forever.
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