Bible Verse: "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above.... " (Colossians 3:1-2).
First Paul tells the Christians to set their hearts on things above. Then he tells them to "Set your minds on this above, not on earthly things."
Why are we to do this?
First, because Christ has been raised from the dead and is seated on His throne in heaven.
Second, because we have been "raised up with Christ" and we are "seated with Him in heaven." (Ephesians 2:6).
This position we have in Christ is a permanent fixture. It will never change, so why worry about all the things that lie on our earthly pathway. It is our duty and responsibility to set our mind and hearts on heavenly things.
Things on earth are temporary and passing. Things in heaven are eternal and never change.
Paul gives three reasons why we should set our hearts on heaven:
1. We are dead to this present world and its temptations. We have renounced it, turned our backs on it. Our old way of life has been buried with Christ and our new life in Christ has been raised together with Him. Indeed, we are joined to Him in His death, burial and resurrection (Rom 6:1-10).
2. We have our true life in the other world. "When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him…" (Col 3:4). Our lives are hidden in Christ, for security. Our new name is known only to Him (Rev 2:17). This is for our comfort.3. When Christ appears on the clouds of heaven, "we will appear with Him" in glory. Paul almost always points the believer to his greatest hope, the hope of Christ's second coming. It will be Christ's glory and we, with the angels, will share in it.
Christ Himself spoke of His coming: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory." (Matt 24:31). And fellow Christian, you will be seated with Him.
Do we look with anticipation for such bliss? And should we not set our hearts on it? What better could you think to set your heart on? Our Head is there, our home is there, our treasure is there; and we believe we will be there forever.
For this reason we "put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature." (Col 3:5). You cannot put your old nature to death, or bury it, as some would have us believe (Gal 5:17). But you can "put to death" things that belong to our old nature. "Death" here is symbolic. We starve the old nature by not feeding it, until it becomes too weak to have any influence on us. And, at the same time, we "offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - Your spiritual act of worship." (Rom 12:1-2). Our hearts and minds do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, because they have been transformed by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Do we present our bodies once a week at church, or by making a promise to God at New Year. No, we present ourselves to God - body, soul and spirit - every time we come into His presence. It is a "spiritual act of worship," and that is what we do when we come into the presence of a holy God. We fall on our faces and worship.
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