The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ are at the center of everything which we believe as Christians (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). Without this sacrificial example of life, death of Jesus and His victorious resurrection we have no hope.
As we come to Colossians 3 Paul is eager for the Colossians and all Christians to understand the correlation between the physical death and resurrection of Jesus and the spiritual realities we live and love into, experience as those who believe.
When we come to faith in Jesus our old nature, our old perceptions of self, is put to death. Just as Jesus lived and died, we live and die. In the same way, just as Jesus rose from the dead, we are raised with Him. Through faith we died and through faith we are raised to new life in Him (Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 2:12-13).
All that being said, in Colossians 3 Paul’s whole purpose goes beyond helping us come to understand our position in Christ; he desperately wants believers to understand how this new position should impact the way we live. As those who have a new position and a new reality, we should have a new focus. Our position in Christ as our Lord and Savior should change our affections and our desires.
Colossians 3:1-4The Message
He Is Your Life
3 1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Our Calling from the Throne Room of Creator God: A New Perspective (3:1-2)
As the passage begins Paul makes it clear who his audience is: He’s addressing those who have been raised to new life in Christ. With this established Paul describes the perspective or the focus of those who are in Christ.
Check Your Heart at the Gates of Heaven: What are you pursuing? (vs. 1)
- Seek the Things– The call is to evaluate your affections. What do you long for, what are you pursuing, what do you desire?
- That Are Above – Paul defines “above” as the place where Christ is, or more correctly, the position He holds. Savior Christ holds the position of all rule and authority (Ephesians 1:20-23).
- To seek the things that are above is a call for the Colossians to set their hearts and to orient their minds in light of the ultimate and eternal rule of Christ. Pursue things that are eternal (Matthew 6:33; Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21; Ephesians 1:13-23; Philippians chapter 2; Philippians 3:12-16).
Check Your Mind at the Gates of Heaven: What are you focused on? (vs. 2)
- How do we seek the things that are above? The next part of the passage gives the answer: it begins by setting our minds on eternal things. As we set our minds on eternal things our pursuits and desires and ambitions (what we seek) will follow.
- If we are going to faithfully pursue eternal things, we must guard our hearts and our minds and our souls and fight to keep our attention on the things of Christ (Psalm 90:10-12; Proverbs 4:23, 15:11, 21:2; Ezekiel 36:25-28; Matthew 5:8, 6:19-22, Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 3:1-6; Philippians 3:17-4:1).
The Reason for placing ourselves at Heaven’s gate: A New Position (3:3-4)
After explaining the call Paul returns to the reason for his admonition: our new perspective is a result of our new position.
- Our Present Position (vs. 3) As those who are in Christ, we have been united with Him in His death and resurrection; we are “in Him.” Because of our union with Him Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:19-21). We have been crucified with Him and we have died with Him and now our whole lives are His, therefore everything we do and say should be impacted by our identity in Him.
- Our Future Position (vs. 4) Even though we have been given a new position in Christ we are still constrained by the flesh, but this is only temporary. One day Christ will return, and we will join Him in glory (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).
We are Standing at Heaven’s Gate looking for our Direction and Application:
- When live in light of who we are in Christ and set our minds on things above it will keep us from loving the world too much and creating idols out of things that will ultimately let us down. (Matthew 5:1-12, 13-16, Mark 4:21-25)
- When we live in light of who we are in Christ and set our minds on things above we will be guarded against despair when the pressures of life are hard to bear (John 16:29-33, John 17, John 21).
- When we live in light of who we are in Christ and set our minds on things above we have an anchor for our souls secured in God’s throne room, have strength when the world opposes us and what we believe (Hebrews 6:13-20, 12:1-3.)
- When we live in light of who we are in Christ and set our minds on things above it will motivate us in our fight against sin (1 John 3:1-3; Romans 6:1-12).
- When we live in light of who we are in Christ and set our minds on things above we will be more ready and willing to tell others of the hope that we have in Him and of their need for Him (1 Peter 1:13-23).
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Holy God, I ask you to raise me. Teach me like a parent teaches a child. Open my eyes so I seek heavenly things, not earthly things. Change my focus so that I see Christ, and not sin. Love me and nurture me as I grow. Guide me through trials and temptation. In Jesus’ name, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.