If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.Colossians 3:1(ASV)
Even though Paul never visited the Colossian Christians, he had a deep love for the believers there, keeping them continually in his prayers. He had heard that the church at Colossae had bought into some heretical teaching that appeared to diminish the deity and preeminence of the Lord Jesus, and so he wrote to them to inform them of the centrality of Christ - in Whom is hidden all the wisdom of God and the mysteries of God.
Paul wanted to be sure that the Christians at Colossae understood the glorious position they had in Christ and that by God's grace that they are identified with Christ and made alive in Him. And in this chapter, we find Paul giving these believers some sound advice on practical Christian living. He pointed out that if the doctrinal theology they had been taught was true - that we are positioned in Christ, identified with HIm, part of a new creation in Christ, raised up with Christ Jesus, and seated with Him in heavenly places, then we need to keep on seeking after heavenly things and not yearn after earthly things - to set our hearts on things above, where Christ is - i.e. seated at the right hand of God the Father.
By grace, the born-again believer is not only forgiven of their sin but they are dead to sin because sin’s power and dominion in the life of every Christian was forever broken at the Cross. Though sin’s influence remains throughout this earthly life, it is increasingly subdued as we keep the old self nailed to the Cross and daily learn to live unto Christ. At salvation, we were not only forgiven of our sin but declared to be righteous by God, because we were removed from the old creation in Adam and placed into the new creation in Christ – how important to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ – to reckon on our heavenly position in Christ as fact.
Paul reminds us that the moment that we trusted Christ to save us, the Spirit of God positioned us in Christ and we were placed into His Body. We were taken out of Adam and positioned in Christ the very moment we were saved. We did not have to do anything extra for we were placed into Christ from the very moment we trusted in Jesus, and when we are 'born from above' we are baptised into the Body of believers.
We not only died with Christ and were buried with Him, but we rose with Him into newness of life and became a new creation in Christ. And because of this glorious spiritual union with Christ, Paul exhorts us to be heavenly-minded, by mortifying all earthly lusts and leanings and by putting on the new-man – knowing that we are now seated with Christ, in heavenly places.
These important doctrinal truths should spur us on in our Christian walk to seek and keep on seeking after heavenly things and to recognise the futility of hankering after the things of this world. Let us urgently seek to set our affections on things above and not on this earthly system, which lies in the realm of Satan.
Let us make up our minds to really understand what Paul means in his oft-repeated references to being baptised into Christ, buried with Christ, risen with Christ, and in union with Christ. When the Holy Spirit placed us into the Body of believers at re-birth, we were baptised into Christ – we were placed into the Body of believers, which is the Church.
When Christ died, we were buried with Him which permanently severed us from sin – although we must never forget that the influence of the old sin nature still remains and needs to be subdued daily. When Christ rose from the dead, we were in Him and so we were raised into newness of life in Christ, and because we trust in the Lord as our Saviour, we are forever united with Him.
May we never forget that there is a Man in heavenly places - Jesus Christ the righteous Who is presently seated at the right hand of God the Father and because we are in Christ, we are therefore seated with Him, today, in heavenly places. No wonder we are exhorted to seek the things that are above, where Christ is - seated on the right hand of God. May we do so today! May we keep on seeking after this from this day forward. May we seek Him with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and recognise the incredible privileges that we have in Christ - the God of our salvation.
Loving Father, help me to understand the precious relationship I have with Christ and what it means to be in Christ and to be seated with Him in heavenly places. Help me to set my heart on the wonderful things that You have prepared for those that love You, and, more and more, may I be a reflection of Christ to all those I meet today. In His name I pray, AMEN.