Raised With Christ

(Col 3:1) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”

It is interesting that this verse begins with “if”. If is a word that speaks to conditionality; it is not a word that only deals with a question. Here in Colossians there is no question of the believer being “risen” with the Lord Jesus Christ. This question has already been addressed by the apostle in the previous chapter where he tells believers that being “risen” is part of our identification “in Christ”; it is an “operation of God” and helps to make us “complete in Him.” 

(Col 2:10-12) “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: {11} In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: {12} Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

In this sense “if” is used as ‘since’ we are risen with Christ. The question then becomes one of appropriation of benefit rather than just our identification with Christ. Some would express this as a correlation between our standing and our state. Being identified with the risen Lord Jesus Christ should affect those things that we seek.

(Col 3:2) “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Where have we set our affection? Are our goals and priorities established on the horizontal basis of this temporal world, or are we looking at the heavenly agenda? 

(Col 3:3) “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

As believers we are dead to this world. However, we are not so much dead to this world itself, but to the agenda, philosophy, and priorities of this world. Our life is not centered here; our life is centered in the person of Jesus Christ. His life is our life (Galatians 2:20) and our life is not our own (1 Cor 6:19).

Often, believers live with a temporal mindset having a concept that worldly issues are what matters. The truth is this; we live in a temporal construct but we don’t have to be confined by it. Our lives can be defined by a much larger scheme that is substantive and eternal. We can live a life that is much larger than ourselves but one that is only perceived as we look into ourselves rather than at the world around us. (2 Cor 4:16-18) “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. {17} For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; {18} While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

(Col 3:4) “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

Too many are concerned with the glory that belongs in this world. Whether it is wealth, fame, position, affection, security, health or any other worldly element, they are all fleeting and temporary. The lot of the believer is to suffer in this life, and afterward comes the glory; the only glory worth having, being identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 8:18-19) “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. {19} For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

As saints what questions are we asking ourselves? Hopefully, they center around the truths of Colossians three. What are we seeking? Where have we placed our affection? Whose glory is it that we seek? May we all realize that our heavenly citizenship is much more vital to our happiness in this world than our common heritage in the Adamic race.

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