Wednesday, 3 May 2017
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1
Starting in verse 2:11, Paul began his explanation of what it means to have died with Christ. He explained what that means in relation to the law, what that means for us in our daily lives, and how to avoid being trapped by those who look at Christ’s death as being insufficient for their passage to heaven. He carefully explained that it is all-sufficient, and that we are freed from the basic principles of the world.
Now, at the beginning of chapter 3, he moves from what the death of Christ means to us, and he focuses on what it means to be raised with Him. He begins with, “If then you were raised with Christ…” In verse 2:12, Paul said that we were “buried with Him in baptism,” and he then said that we “were raised with Him through faith.” The explanation of what being buried with Him means is done, and now he explains what being raised with Him means.
The word “if” is not one of doubt, but one of certainty. Just as a believer in Christ is united with Him in His death where they became dead to sin, and also dead to the basic principles of the world, then being raised with Him should bring the believer to a new state. Christ wasn’t just raised to eternal life to live out an earthly life. Instead, He was resurrected to eternal life as the Lord of heaven and earth. In this state, He ascended to the Father with all authority and power in His possession. As He is now in heaven, then we who have been raised with Him are to “seek those things which are above.”
This statement is well-explained by Paul in Philippians 3:12-21. We are to forget that which is behind (our earthly existence which died with Christ), and instead reach forward to those things which are ahead (our anticipated heavenly existence where Christ now is). This is what it means to seek those things which are above. It is to look to our heavenly home “where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”
Of what value is it to fix our eyes, our hopes, and our attentions on what we have died to? It makes as much sense as watering flowers in a rain storm to go back to observing the law, feasts, dietary restrictions, and etc. Instead, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus who has overcome all of these things. Our hopes and hearts should be directed to spiritual growth and maturity in preparation for an eternity of dwelling with Him.
Life application: We are dead to the basic principles of the world. We are not bound to laws which bring only a reminder of sin, but instead we are alive in Christ. He has freed us from this body of death, and He has raised us to sit with Him in the heavenly places. As this is so, then why would we look back to the earthly, carnal life we once lived? We came to Christ to get away from that, not continue wallowing in it.
Heavenly Father, it is with great hopes that we await the coming of Christ to take us home. Until that day arrives, grant us the wisdom to seek those things which are above. Help us to look to our heavenly dwelling where Christ rules in righteousness, and to hunger after this at all times. May we never look back to the life which we died to, but instead be attentive to that life we have been raised to; a life where all power, honor, and glory radiate from You through our Lord Jesus! Amen.