Colossians 3 begins with a simple “if/then” statement. And my temptation? It’s to take the “if” for granted and move on quickly to the “then” part. Because that’s probably the important part, right? And the “if” – that’s probably already true of me… right?
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (v. 1, ESV)
And then, Paul gives us fifteen rich verses of instruction for Christian living – of “how” to do the “then”. (And I mean really rich. Like the extended version of Christ’s command in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”)
But, the more I sit with the Holy Spirit in this passage, the more he is reminding me that the “if” – the “If then you have been raised with Christ” – that’s where I need to begin.
What does that even mean? “Raised with Christ”.
First, it means that we started out needing to be raised – we started out dead. Dead in our sins, without hope. We can only fully live if we first know that we are dead.
Second, it means that because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice in the crucifixion, we were crucified with him – our sins + His love held him to that cross and our guilt is no more.
Third, Christ rose from death to life on the third day. And with Him, in faith, we too are raised. 1 Corinthians 15:12-23 says, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
And sister, let’s pause. Is that “if” true of you today? Have you been raised with Christ? If not, speak up! Let us share more – let us answer questions!
And if so, read on! Seek the heavenly things and set your mind on them! Your lives are now securely hidden with Christ in God. Paul is about to rock your day with “the things above” and the full life that comes with them!