Summary: Resurrection Living can be realized through a conscious habitual pattern of thought in the mind and an attitude in heart. The victory of Christ’s resurrection enables Resurrection Living.
COLOSSIANS 3: 1-4 / Christ Above All Series
The Resurrection is regarded in Scripture in three aspects- as a fact establishing our Lord’s messiahship, as a prophecy of the believer’s rising from the dead, and as an enabling for the Christian life here and now. The last aspect is the one taught here. Scripture teaches that the believer is so joined with Jesus that he has died and risen with Him.
The settled unshakable conviction of the apostle Paul was that the open tomb opened the way to a life of immense possibilities. He wanted the Colossians not only to believe in the power of Christ’s resurrection but to claim the victory of it as their own. So he taught them the secret of Resurrection Living in Colossians 3:1-11. Victorious Resurrection Living can be realized through a conscious habitual pattern of thought in the mind and an attitude in heart (CIT). The victory of Christ’s resurrection enables Resurrection Living.
The death and resurrection of Jesus to many is just an objective fact concerning how the world was reconciled to God. You can not be too emphatic about that fact, but that is not the whole gospel. The gospel is intended to be personally received, it is intended to change life, it is intended to become a living reality in the lives of those who believe and receive Jesus as their life. It is the foundational principle for truly living the Christian life.
Let’s look into our text and learn how you can appropriate the gospel, how you can live a life in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For living in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection enables Resurrection Living.
I. SEEKING THE THINGS ABOVE, 1-2.
II. FINDING LIFE IN CHRIST, 3-4.
The only remedy for the indulgences of the flesh (2:30) is the believer’s new life in Christ. By our union with Christ in His death we can died to the world’s way of believing, thinking and acting. In the believer’s union with Christ in His resurrection the power to live a new life is found. Verse 1 commands us to center our life on Christ by seeking His virtues. Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
We have learned that baptism symbolizes our death and resurrection with Christ (2:12). This union with Christ in His death and resurrection is the key that unlocks the power of Resurrection Living. When we surrender or yield our life to Christ we are incorporated into His death and life. When Christ comes to live within us we experience a resurrection to a new life and can live under His guidance and power -if we will surrender the control of our life to Him. That is why Christ commands us to die to our old life, to our old self, to our fleshly nature which we can only do by appropriating, by claiming His death to sin as our death to sin (Rom. 6-7). The mathematician Blaise Pascal said, “It is one of the greatest principles of Christianity that that which happened in Jesus Christ may happen in the soul of the Christian. We have a linking not only with Calvary but with His Resurrection.”
This vital union with Christ gives one a new set of desires, and a new purpose, and a new perspective. The power of the Resurrection puts heaven in our hearts but it needs to be transmitted to our minds. The Colossians had accepted Christ and His salvation but it lay dormant because they were engrossed with earthly things. Their earthly priorities were controlling -directing their lives.
We can identify with them can’t we? Long after our new life has begun our thoughts, energy, and time can be focused on our agenda of personal success and prosperity. This duality of direction, this split personality is what debilitates so many of us. St. Augustine said, “Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.” When many of us came to Christ we never died to our personal set of purposes, plans, and priorities. Scripture calls for a radical transformation of our attention and a reordering of our values (Rom. 12:1-2).
So as we apply our union with Him in His death we will die to the world and the flesh. If we apply our union with Him in His resurrection our born-again spirit will cause us to aspire in love, thought, desire and obedience so that we focus on Jesus who is on His throne where He rules and blesses the souls whom through faith live the new life of heaven on earth.
The devil tells us that if we seek the things above we will miss out on the things below. That’s not necessarily true. God is the rightful owner of the earth and all it contains (Pss. 24:1; 50:12; 89:11; 1 Cor. 10:26). “Seeking the things above” does not mean we abstain from the earthly things but that we use earthly things for God’s glory. You can use and enjoy earthly things better when your not seeking your satisfaction from them but are seeking fulfillment from God. Taste, touch, and tabulate can never really satisfy. Position, popularity, and people don’t bring us security. But if we focus on them they cause divided loyalties between Christ and our own agenda.