Colossians 3:1-4 – “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” NKJV
In this Christian walk, too often people are waiting for God to do it without giving consideration to our part of the equation. Paul told the Philippians to “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and do His good pleasure.” Here in Colossians, the apostle uses the infinitely powerful two-letter word “IF” as a qualifier for his life instruction. He says, “IF then you were raised with Christ…” IF here is an identifier more than a question and although used rightly it could easily be SINCE. His instruction is for those who have received Jesus as their savior, died to sin, and experienced the New Birth and been transformed as New Creations, those who have arisen from spiritual death to spiritual life.
As a Christian, the focal point of our life is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” as Jesus instructed. Paul says, “seek those things which are above…” Those things that are current realities where Christ is, as He sits at the right hand of the Father. He reminds them of the Promise of our Lord to return for us and that “when Christ who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” That is the ultimate objective, prize, and goal – ETERNITY WITH HIM!
Yet, the apostle does not stop there with a forward look and longing but gives some definite instructions as to OUR PART in the equation. The things that God will not do for us but will help us achieve. The things subsequent to salvation and our reception of His Saving Grace. He gives an instruction and a basis for it.
- You SET YOUR MIND on things above, not things of this earth.
Become heavenly minded. Yes, we have all heard people say, “Don’t become so heavenly minded you are not earthly good.” However, I would argue that if you truly focus on the things of heaven or the things of God rather than becoming no earthly good you will be of the optimum good. Why? Because of the transformation in your heart, mind, life, and actions. Why are we to do this? Because we are DEAD and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We have been REDEEMED and TRANSFORMED. We are now strangers and pilgrims on this earth and just passing through. Our citizenship has been transferred to His Kingdom and because of that, we need to think the thoughts of Heaven and hear the words of Heaven so we can function more perfectly on earth.
- You PUT TO DEATH YOUR MEMBERS which are on earth.
What members? Read what he says next and you will have no question as to what he is referring. Fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry. Why? These things corrupt and defile and divert our attention from Heaven’s Purpose to gratification of the flesh and its desires. To avoid the wrath of God and come out from among them and be separate. We to be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and present a witness that is other than that of the world.
- You PUT OFF all these.
All What? Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Stop telling lies to one another. Why or How can you do this? Because you have been redeemed and by the Grace and Mercy of God have put off the old man. You are a New Creation, the old is dead and you have been resurrected to newness of life spiritually. You are not the same as the old you. You have a renewed mind and in that, your knowledge is transformed and renewed making you LIKE HIM. You are no longer sectarian but view all mankind as one and make no distinction based on race, color, or creed.
- You PUT ON these.
Put on what? Tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with or being patient with one another, and forgiving one another. That is a tall order and rather than waiting on God to do it for you remember HE HAS DONE IT in you and therefore it is up to you to walk out what He has done on the inside. How is that possible? By REMEMBERING. Remembering what? That you are forgiven! How can you make this a reality in your life? PUT ON LOVE, which is the bond of perfection. LET THE PEACE OF GOD rule your heart. Always be led by peace. We are one body, saved by the same grace and created by the same God. LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU. Not just dwell in your but dwell in you richly. That means you give and are given wisdom, teaching, admonition and one of the most powerful ways for that to occur is through Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, singing with Grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Whatever you do and that means EVERYTHING whether in word or deed do it in the Name or as a representative of Jesus and do it with a thankful and grateful heart!
God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!