I remember as a one-week old Christian
sitting in a Christian
professor's office at USC asking him about
keeping my thoughts
pure when the girls on campus often did not dress
modestly. I was not used to experiencing the new presence
of a holy God within my
soul who countered with conviction any unwarranted
looks toward the girls on campus. He told me that to keep
oxygen out of a container you need to fill it
water, and then said that to keep lust out of the heart you
must fill your soul with God.
In Col 3:1-4 we are being
commanded to fill our souls with the heavenly realities that
are true about us because Christ is now our life and we have
died to the world.
Therefore if you have been raised up with
seeking the things above, where Christ
is, seated at the right
hand of God. Set your mind on the things
above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have
died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When
Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will
be revealed with Him in glory.
This passage is not talking about seeking
angels and harps.
It is urging us to have our thoughts. and
affections so fixed on
the heavenly life that now dwells within us
that we are able to put to death the influence of our sin
indwelling through our union with Jesus Christ with whom we
are now one.
The word "Therefore" in v.1 of course links
the first four verses of Colossians 3 with the end of
chapter 2. The second chapter indicates that legalism has
"no value" against fleshy indulgence. Those who are under
the bondage of religious legalism are following the outward,
extra Biblical rules of
man. Such man made rules do not enable us to overcome
the power of indwelling sin.
In the situation at the church of Colosse, false leaders
taught that these
believers needed to abstain from certain foods in order to
be holy. Paul countered that heresy stating that if we want
victory over our sin
nature we must dwell on
the truth that God's heavenly life dwells within us.
It is the life and power of God that is able to master the
Notice that the exhortation which follows in
Colossians 3:5 is an
exhortation toward holy living based on this truth that we
creatures with God's indwelling life available to us to put
sin do death:
"Therefore consider the members of your
earthly body as dead to immorality,
impurity, passion, evil desire, and
greed, which amounts to idolatry."
The term used in Col 3:1, "raised up"
actually means co-resurrected. At
salvation we were united with Christ in his
death, burial and resurrection. As a result, Col 3:3
indicates that we have died and our life is now hidden
with Christ in God. Paul states that as a
result, we are able to overcome our sin nature through the
life of God. Furthermore, in this passage, the
Apostle is urging us to
keep seeking this heavenly life to overcome our
inner sin nature.
Practically speaking what does that mean for you?
Are you struggling with anger, lust, laziness, envy, pride,
jealously, greed, and/or fear? Is something else tempting
you away from your life in Christ?
Are you distanced from the heavenly life that dwells within
Christ that you lack the desire to walk in
the Spirit, spend time in God's Word or serve within
Christ's Church? Or are you presently experiencing
victory of the power and glory of this indwelling heavenly
life within you?
The victory is found in taking our eyes off
of this world and seeking that which is above. We need to
walk in the newness of this heavenly life.
We need to appropriate
the heavenly life of the Spirit. In God's strength
we need to destroy the
strength and vitality of sin as it seeks to reign within
- . . . "for if you are living according to the flesh, you
die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to
death the deeds of the body, you
May God give each one of us his heavenly power. May He cause
us to be victorious as we live a heavenly life in His power
while living on earth.