Let’s first read Colossians 3:1-4.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.Colossians 3:1-4
As I read this passage again this morning, verse 2 is huge:
“Setting minds (and keeping them set) on what is above (the higher things), not on things that are in the earth.”
So, are we, are you, living this?
Well, let’s think of the distress of witnessing the church berated by lesbian and homosexual “bishops”, as one example, or liberal egalitarians denying patently clear teaching of Scripture as another…and rebuking them. Is this ‘setting of the mind’ on the things above or, the opposite, on the transient/passing things of earth?
It’s a good question.
To our hearts and minds, it is precisely because of an increasingly “set” mind on the things above (the eternal things of His heart and mind and kingdom – the things that please Him – Romans 8:6) that cause us to think and speak and feel in a certain way now. I would also argue that it is the setting of the mind on earthly things that causes apathy, cowardice, seeker-sensitivity, compromise, routine drudgery in churches, false doctrine, fear of man etc. etc. etc. all the while tarted up to appear to be “balanced wisdom for life”.
“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes!”Amos 6:1
We have way too many “at ease” Christians.
“Too heavenly minded to be of earthly use” is a popular nonsense.
Mairi is sharing with a bunch of women this evening, for example, about the horrors of IVF. How unpopular is this, even within the majority of women/families within the church? Is this focus setting of the mind on our new, resurrected life in Christ (in whom are all our treasures) or on the wicked things of the earth?
So, the question isn’t just, “are we living Colossians 3:1-4” but, rather, what is the effect of doing so?
Verse 4 is the hope! Verse 4 is the anchor! Verse 4 is the reward!
Christ is our life, He is going to appear, then we will be with Him! (What of the anti-Christ then?).
I would argue that for those who are truly setting their minds on these promises – these eternal, resurrected treasures hidden in Christ above – there will result a pathos, an intensity, even, dare I say, a mourning, for the godlessness of both the church and the world now.
Surely only an earthly-set mind with think differently?
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.Matthew 9:15
Colossians 3:1-4 is ultimately about radically bittersweet preparation in the midst of an anti-Christ world.