I’ve titled this first part ‘Seeking Christ’ verses 1 to 4,
If you be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.
What Paul’s doing in the opening part of this letter is stating two absolutes and one future absolute:
- the first absolute is: ‘that you be risen with Christ’.
Christ absolutely rose from the dead and we know that because 1 Peter 1.3 says:
Jesus rose from the dead
- the second absolute is: the believers’ conversion and baptism
When someone goes through the waters of baptism, they die to their old self, and they are a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is also found in Colossians 2.12:
- the future absolute is: If you then be in Christ, if you be risen with Christ, seek those things above. The third is that we will one day be with Christ.
When we when Jesus returns, the believers will rise and be with Christ forever. This can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.52:
We have some definite promises in there. If you be risen with Christ, seek those things above, but it says, ‘seek those things which are above’.
When I was thinking about this, I thought about when I was learning how to ski, and our ski instructor said that ‘when you’re going off-piste and you’re not going down a normal path, and you’ve got lots of obstacles, lots of trees and rocks‘, he said, ‘focus on where you’ve got to go’.
He added: ‘if you focus on the trees, and you focus on the obstacles, you will hit them’.
If anybody here knows how to ski, you’ll probably remember that when you’re going off-piste, you need to focus on where you’re going and not focus on the obstacles.
That’s what we need to do. We need to be Christ-focused not focusing on these earthly matters but focusing on glory.
And the scripture goes further to emphasize the place ‘where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God’. Not only is our focus to be on the Lord Jesus but it even tells us where He is. He’s on the right hand of God, interceding for us.
This is also a link back to Psalm 110. You may be reminded it says,
Our focus needs to be on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word ‘seek’, it pronounced zeteo in Greek, means ‘desire’, ‘inquire’, and ‘endeavour’ our ‘endeavours’.
We need to be see seeking the Lord Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, when I was going through this I was very challenged.
There are lots of themes going through Colossians 3 that really changed me and I was even thinking: ‘Lord is this sermon for me? Is it for them?’
Hopefully, it will challenge you in the same way as it challenged me.
It says, ‘set your affection on things above not on things of earth’.
If anybody has watched horse racing, you almost have to have this racehorse mentality. When the horse is lining up ready to go, all it cares about is running the race; not looking to the right or to left, but focusing on the race and on the goal.
Interestingly, when I looked up the word for ‘set’ in Greek it means kathemai. It means ‘sit down’, ‘remain’, ‘reside’, and ‘to dwell’.
I was quite challenged about this because, if we look into it, our thoughts are meant to be permanently residing and dwelling on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother, sisters that I don’t. Sometimes I fail to do that.
This really warmed my heart brothers and sisters because it says your life is hidden with Christ and the promise when Christ – who is our life – shall appear then, you shall appear with Him in glory.
Hidden in Christ
As I was going through this later in the day, my little boy fell over and he hurt himself, and he was crying. What did he do? He ran straight up to me and hid his head in my chest as I cuddled him.
Brothers and sisters, we have a Saviour in whom we are hidden, and nothing can separate us from the love of God, and
we have absolute assurance of our salvation in Him, that we are hid in God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
I was reminded of what is said in that scripture (I think it has been repeated already today):
What a promise! We are hidden in Christ and nothing can separate us from Him.
It says, when Christ who is our life shall appear then ye shall appear with him in glory.
Christ who is our life
You may be reminded that in Paul’s letter to Philippians he said,
Sometimes, people say, ‘Oh! His work is his life, his family is his life, his money is his life, his power is his life’.
Brothers and sisters, when people have a look at us, they are meant to say: ‘Christ is their life’.
Taking away Christ, to us, should be like taking away the air we breathe.
If the Lord tarries, I hope that that will be on my gravestone: ‘Christ was his life’.
Let Christ be our life today. Seek Christ
From verses 1 to 4, in summary: seek Christ always, set your mind on Christ. We are hidden in Christ, Amen. And our focus should be on Jesus and eternity.
One day, our Messiah will return for his bride the church and we will see Him face to face