Risen with Christ
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. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
E10.1 At the Right hand of God
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In the great second chapter of Philippians, part of which is quoted above, it describes the great humiliation and exaltation of Christ.
This same Jesus, who humbled Himself and became obedient to the cross, God the Father not only raised Him from the dead but also has highly exalted Him. The Father has given Him a name above every name, and one day every knee will have to bow to Him, confessing that Jesus is indeed Lord.
No one will be excluded on that day.
The believer will do so willingly, indeed they do so now in this life.
The devils, and Satan himself will have to confess the Lordship of Christ. And so will every human being that has ever, or will ever live. Whatever their profession in life, whatever they believed, or didn’t, on that great and terrible day everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
The testimony of scripture is clear. After having accomplished the plan of eternal redemption Jesus sat down on the right hand of the Father. This signifying both the pleasure of the Father and that of the finished work of salvation.
E10.2 Seated with Christ
We have already seen that on being baptised into Christ we are dead with Him, but also we are risen with Him in newness of life, Rom.6:4-5.
Jesus identified Himself with our state and was made sin for us so that He could take away sin through His redeeming sacrifice at Calvary. This in turn means that we, on new birth, are identified with Christ, II Cor.5:21. Our baptism into Christ means all that Christ has accomplished at Calvary is ours, not by our merits but because we are in His body, Col.2:12. There is nothing more outside of Christ, everything we have need of is in Him, and in Him alone.
In Eph.2:1-6 we have a wonderful revelation. That in Christ we are seated with Him in the heavenlies. This is by virtue of us being baptised into Christ. By His grace we have been saved. Made alive unto God and raised with Christ to be seated in the heavenly places.
The Mystics, who are trying to find, what they would call the ‘higher life’, find no such thing. Persisting in mysticism leads to a very dark place.
But those who have received Christ by faith and trust in Him alone are risen with Him and are seated with Him in heavenly places. True life is only in Christ.
E10.3 Seek those things above
So Paul puts this challenge out . If you are risen with Christ, that is born of His Spirit, seek those things which are above.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon…therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
In the sermon on the mount we have these well known words of Jesus. That it to seek God’s kingdom first, and all the other things that are needed God will take care of.
In the context of Colossians this seeking is to be after Christ and not after the vain philosophy, legalism or mysticism. These are the things the Gentiles ( ie unbelievers seek after). They seek these things for their salvation and hopes of finding true enlightenment. But they do so in vain, all these things are of no eternal value.
No man can serve two masters is another basic spiritual principle. It is either Christ or someone else or thing. You cannot serve the two masters. By definition only one can be master. In context Jesus talks of riches, but the underlying principle is there. We cannot serve philosophy, legalism or mysticism and still serve Christ.
The Lord requires complete surrender to Him, He is either Lord of our lives or not at all.
Set your affections on things above not on the earth. Jesus tells us to not to lay treasure on the earth but in heaven. Here on the earth such treasure is subject to decay of one sort or another. For where our treasure is there will our heart be. If our treasure is in philosophy, legalism or mysticism then that is where our hearts are. Such things will bring darkness to the spiritual eye and how great that darkness will be!
We who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ have treasure in heaven. It is an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled reserved in heaven for us, I Pet.1:4. Why then do we need to set our hearts on anything else? Where is our treasure? Is it on earthly ideas and religions or on the one who is the true light of the world?
Can we say with the hymn writer?
My heart is fixed, eternal God,
Fixed on Thee, fixed on Thee;
And my immortal choice is made,
Christ for me, Christ for me;
He is my prophet, priest, and king,
Who did for me salvation bring,
And while I’ve breath I mean to sing,
Christ for me, Christ for me.