Raised Up with Christ
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:1,2
Salvation and citizenship in the kingdom of God are the exclusive privilege of those who are risen with Christ.
Exposition with Application
I. The danger facing the church at Colossae was that of being slowly compromised by the pagan culture in which they lived. Col. 2:8. Our text offers the defense against this danger.
II. Everyone agrees that human beings cultivate the higher qualities of character: love, mercy, patience, etc. Corruption enters the Church when unregenerate people are accepted on the basis of these characteristics.
III. Christianity is not alone in promoting these qualities. it’s exclusivity lies in enabling individuals to actually realize them in their hearts and lives through the power of Christ’s resurrection. The proof of Christianity is the reality of believers being transformed into the image and likeness of Christ.
IV. This exhortation contains one thing that is conditional, one that is not.
- Conditional – If you have been raised up with Christ. It is the duty of all who profess Christ to examine themselves to determine if this is true.
- Not conditional – Christ is risen. This is indisputable fact.
V. Those who truly are risen with Christ are exhorted to two things.
- Savor – set your mind on things above. This means that Christ and the world to come must be the ultimate objects of your hearts desire; that upon which your thoughts naturally rest.
- Seek those things which are above. This means to follow diligently after the means of grace God has established.
- Personal reading and study of Scripture.
- Sitting under the preaching of God’s Word.
- Fellowship with like-minded believers.
- Resisting temptation
- Striving after repentance in prayer.
- Concrete acts of love for the brethren.
- Witness to the lost.
- In all that you do, seeking to glorify God.
VI. Notice the order; seeking is put first for a reason. There is always more need to stir God’s children up to diligence in action than in contemplation. These two must go together. Seeking without savor is blind, and savor without seeking is lame.
I. The devil’s game plan is to convince carnal men to be content with the fleeting pleasures of this world and to neglect the world to come. What terror of soul will grip those folks when they awaken to the reality of Christ’s return?
II. Seeking those things above is preferring the spiritual over the sensual, but not so as to devalue our lives in the present. The more we seek and savor those things above, the more we ourselves, our families, and our culture is transformed: the present world is transformed by the power of Christ’s resurrection to the glory of God.
- Pastor Greg Mills, Mount Olivet Baptist Church, Copper Hill, VA.