Col 3:1-3 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
In the previous chapter, Paul talks about being dead with Christ and some of the things that means to us. Now he begins to look at what it means to be raised with Christ. These two topics are mutually inclusive. If we are raised with Christ, then we must first have died with Him. If we died with Him, then we are most certainly raised with Him.
Notice that Paul is speaking of something that has already occurred. Even though we have not yet died corporeally and been buried in a cemetery (or at sea, or cremated, etc.), we are nonetheless both dead with Christ and raised with Christ. The evidence of this is found in what we desire (seek) and where we look for it.
If we are raised with Christ, we seek those things which are above. This does not mean that we are only interested in that Heaven that exists on the other side of the grave. Keeping in mind that both being dead and raised with Christ are present circumstances, then we should conclude that our seeking is also present circumstances. According to Strong’s, the Greek word translated as “above” means “upward or on the top: – above, brim, high, up.”
Being raised with Christ, we are to look for those things that are on top. Christ is the Head of the church: He is on top. Those desires to do good, to worship, to pray, to live uprightly, to glorify God in our daily living are all high things that come from the mind of Christ. If we are raised with Christ then we desire the things that honor Him.
We know, then, that if we are raised with Christ we desire Christ. If we are going to find the object of our desire, we must look on the right hand (place of favor) of God. This instruction carries with it the implication that we have access to the right hand of God where Christ sits. As marvelous as this is to contemplate, Jesus has assured us that this is true: “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you (Joh 14:10).”
We are to not only desire those things which are above, but we are also to exercise our mind (set our affections) on those things. In other words, we are to center our thinking on the things of Christ. We should not be wasting our time examining horoscopes, consulting psychics, trusting in luck, depending on worldly religions, or waiting on karma: these are all things of the earth.
Being dead with Christ, we are dead to the things on the earth and them to us. Being raised with Christ, we seek those things in His heavenly kingdom here which is above the things of the world. Glory to God, we are dead! Therefore our (raised) life is covered (hid) because it is joined with His life. His life has a fixed position in God the Father, and because we are in Jesus, our lives have a fixed position in God the Father.
May we set our affection on things above, knowing that nothing can pluck us from the mighty hand of God (Joh 10:28-29)!