Summary: Think about what God has done for you because of your spiritual connection to Christ and then act in the Spirit’s power.
Think about the benefits of being spiritually connected to Christ.
A. Think about what Christ has done for you in the past: “You DIED.”
Christ has given you a new LIFE.
Believers, at the moment of their salvation, spiritually participate in Christ’s death and resurrection. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
B. Think about what Christ is doing for you in the present: “Your life is now HIDDEN with Christ in God.”
Christ has given you a new CONFIDENCE.
The word “hidden” also suggests that the true identity of believers is unknown to the world.
ILLUSTRATION: Believers are sort of like Peter Parker; we have a secret identity. And what we really are will one day be revealed to the world.
C. Think about what Christ will do for you in the future: “You will also APPEAR with him in glory.”
Christ has given you a new HOPE.
“…Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:1-2)
In verse 4, Paul describes Christ as the believer’s life (“Christ, who is your life”). Someone has said, “Life is what you are alive to.” It’s what gets you excited. A child may come alive when you talk about an ice cream cone. A man may come alive when you mention football. A woman may come alive when you bring up home decorating. What is your life? Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21) Is Christ your life? We need to progress to the level where the will of Christ excites us.
Verse 1 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” When the NT talks about Christ being seated at the right hand of God, it doesn’t mean that He is forever sitting in one place. It’s a figurative expression meaning that He has been elevated to the position of ruler of all things. “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:9-11). “Every knee should bow”…including yours and mine…especially yours and mine (if Christ is our Lord). Since Christ reigns over all, every part of our lives should be ruled by Him. Every thought, aim, value, aspiration, and striving should come under His lordship.
Our feet must be on earth, but our minds must be in heaven. Spiritually we are united to Christ at God’s right hand, while temporarily we live on earth. We should no longer live as if this world was all that mattered. “Earthly things” are not all evil, but some of them are. Even things harmless in themselves become harmful if permitted to take the place that should be reserved for the things above. To make earthly things the goal of life and the subject of preoccupation is unworthy of those who have been raised with Christ and look forward to sharing in His eternal glory.
To set your heart and mind on things above (vv. 1, 2) is to change your PERSPECTIVE on life. Christ is your life (v. 4), so His desires should be your desires. His desires for you are found in verses 5-10.
Be in ACTUAL PRACTICE what you are by GOD’S POWER.
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13). We must work out the salvation that God has worked in our lives.
A. Don’t act like the OLD SELF.
“Put to death” (v. 5)/“rid yourselves,” like removing a old, dirty outfit and putting on a new, clean one (v. 8; cf. v. 9b-10a)
• Remember that every sin flows from the HEART.
The KJV says, “Mortify therefore your members (body parts)” Paul is using a figure of speech known as metonymy. When he speaks of killing body parts, Paul is actually referring to the sins associated with those parts.