“Set Your Mind on Things Above”
(Colossians 3:1-4). What Does It Mean to “Set Your Mind on Things Above”?
Is this talking about studies such as we are doing on Wednesday night in which
we look at what the Bible teaches about end times and what the Bible says about
heaven? That certainly can be a part of what this is addressing, but this
morning let’s look at some things in the passage itself that help us consider
some other things that are involved in setting our minds on things above.
I. “Seek those things
which are above” (v. 1).
must aspire one day to live with God. Sometimes our hope of heaven is very self-centered.
We long for the joy, peace, pleasure, and rest. There is certainly a place for
some of that, but we must not lose sight of the relationship around which this
hope is centered.
Christ is” (v. 1). In this text the fact that we are “raised with Christ”
should move us to want to be with Him. This is at the heart of Jesus’ promise (John
at the Right Hand of God” (v. 1). It is a relationship with all persons of the
Godhead. After talking about the purpose of baptism Peter speaks of Jesus who “has
gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and
powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Pet. 3:22). Notice...
we have been raised with Christ” we must desire eternity with Christ. Paul
tells us that the fact of our conversion necessitates this aspiration.
meaning of our conversion.
In our baptism we were “raised” with Christ (Rom. 6:1-9).
In our relationship with God in Christ we are exalted unto a heavenly
spiritual relationship with God (Eph. 2:1-7).
The facts of this change of spiritual condition should lead us to want
to be with Christ in the end.
II. “Not on things on the
earth” (v. 2).
must think about some things on earth.
things of the world” (1 Cor. 7:32-34). Husbands and wives must think about how
to care for and provide for one another. This pertains to things of this earth.
of the world” (Matt. 13:22). In the parable of the sower Jesus warns that
sometimes the “cares of the world” can prevent us from letting the word of God live
in us as it should. This infers that we will face certain “cares of the world”
we must simply make certain that it does not prevent the word from working in
point is that things of the earth must not be our priority.
earth is passing away (1 John 2:15-17). One reason is because this earth is not
permanent. Our ultimate hope must not rest here because this world is destined
to “pass away.”
how foolish it would be to treat something fleeting, and temporary as if it was
lasting, and enduring.
must not yield to the sins of this world. Another reason the things of earth
must not be our priority has to do with the sinful things of this world.
is not wrong to meditate upon the greatness of God when we consider the beauty
of creation. This leads us to glorify the one who created all things. On the
other hand, we must never be blind to the sin and corruption within the world.
Christ we escape corruption (2 Pet. 1:2-4).
we set our mind on things above, we refuse to let our hearts be consumed with
sinful and fleeting things of this world.
III. “For you died, and
your life is hidden with Christ in God”
conversion our old self dies. Remember, in baptism we die with Christ.
with Him through baptism ” (Col. 2:11-13).
must consider our old man (or woman) of sin to be buried, refusing to let it
live again and lead us to our old life of sin.
can still see the sins of a Christian. Some have argued that in saying that our
life is “hidden” with Christ Paul teaches that the life of Christ is actually
imputed to the Christian so that when God looks at us He just seeks the
righteousness of Christ. That is not what the Bible teaches.
Christian can become entangled and overcome by sin (2 Pet. 2:20-22).
sacrifice of Christ is not an imputation of Christ’s righteousness but a
payment of our debt of sin.
we turn back to sin we refuse to accept this payment on our behalf.
“hidden” with Christ means that we must deny ourselves.
lives in the Christian (Gal. 2:20). Paul expresses a view of his life that
turns away from sell-will to a humble submission that yields to Christ’s will
over our own.
our mind above means that we focus on that one who died for us and let His will
dictate the course of our life.
IV. “You also will appear
with Him in glory” (v. 4). One
final point is similar to our first point about seeking to live with God, but
it carries a slightly different emphasis. We not only set our minds on the
relationship with God—but also the glory of God which He will allow His people
must look toward the time of this glory.
are glorified in Christ (Rom. 8:28-30). In Christ we achieve a type of glorify
in the fact that we are justified, and brought into renewed fellowship with
is a glory yet to come (Rom. 8:16-19). It is clear, however, that there is
also a measure of glory that has not yet been revealed. Setting our mind on
things above concerns (in part) meditating upon this future glory.
can offer comfort in the time of hardship—assurance in times of insecurity—and
hope in times of despair because one day it will all be different!
will this come?
Christ who is our life appears” (v. 4).
He comes, in that Day” (2 Thess. 1:6-10). The Christian should think often
about the Day of Judgment. Not simply to make the necessary preparation, but
also because it is part of what it means to “set our minds on things above.”
Day of Judgment is the day when we will behold the glory of God—It is the time
when His people will enter into His glory. Nothing we have ever experienced can
compare to this—we should set our mind on these things!