Having dealt with major truths and realities in the preceding chapters, in Colossians chapter 3 the apostle Paul now turns to the practical, outworking of those God accomplished realities.
In doing so however and as if in passing, he presents us with a summary statement of these ground breaking facts that represent the grounds from which he goes on to make mind blowing demands. These statements are found in Colossians 3:1 – 4 and they are as follows:
…you have been raised with Christ…
…you have died…
… your life is hidden with Christ in God…
…Christ (who) is your life….
Here are four massive pillars of truths which, when neglected or undermined there’s no hope of moving forward and accomplishing what the apostle continues to hold as the standard for christian living. These are the truths or factual realities that make the Christian life possible — not will power or personal exertion no matter how hard one tries. This is where it all starts from, the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross wherein God incorporated us into Him. Hence the reason we keep coming back to them and reminding ourselves of them — especially at the Lord’s table. Where these truths are neglected you really get nowhere. These truths are meant to change our entire outlook and perspective of life and how we understand it. They are not game but, life changers.
Sadly though, many of our lives remain unchanged but chained to this world because we fail to seriously take account of these truths, we gloss over them, brush them aside. They do not become for us as central as they should or ought to or are meant to. Our lives become trapped and entangled in the things of the world and the old self when we gloss over these truths. It is precisely because of these massive truths, that seeking and setting our minds on the things above becomes possible. It is precisely because of these truths (and the fact that our life is hidden with Christ in God awaiting a glorious appearance that is yet to be revealed) that we are to be people who seek the things above and dwell on the things above. We continually fail to grasp the significance and groundbreaking potential of the new person we are in Christ Jesus. But it is here it has all taken place, where it has all happened — “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
The truth of us dying with Christ and being raised with Him to newness of life is the life-changing truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the good news. Nurture the new, cultivate the new, nourish the new, nurse and care for the new, not the old “You”. The new you is the one that has been “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24). It is this new person created in Christ “after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” that is now able to fulfil God’s purposes and not the unregenerate person or the unrenewed mind. It is this new creation in Christ who is called and, who alone is able to walk in the good works God has prepared for them. Not the unrenewed or the unregenerate. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
This new you is here already. Living in true righteousness and holiness is within your reach now that you’ve been born again. Allow the new you created “after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” to manifest itself by nurturing and nourishing it accordingly by choosing to seek the things above and set your minds on the things above. It is because it is your mind that requires and is in the process of renewal the apostles’s commands and exhorts us to set our minds on the things above.
Stop and think what you spend your time on, what your mind dwells on most of the time. Far too much our minds are set on the things of this world not only depriving and denying us of the joy and satisfaction found in the things above but setting us up to fail in our walk with the Lord too. Rom 8:6 — 7
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
Where you set your mind will determine what you’ll end up with — death or life and peace. There is no way we can live lives pleasing to the Lord or walk this christian walk with unchecked and rudderless minds, minds that are not reined in and brought under the control of the Spirit. It is, as scripture puts it, impossible to hack.
Work on staying your minds on the things above, not on the things on earth.