"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." Colossians 3:2-3

Colossians 3:1-11

"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.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

"Christianity does not merely avoid the evil within and around, but brings in death to it all. Christ has died to it, and the Christian should know himself dead to all that is of the world, moral or religious, as decidedly as gross, intellectual or infidel.

In chapter 3 we advance a step farther. The Apostle reasons from our being risen with Christ. It is not merely that we shall die and rise, but that we are dead and risen. Even many Christians who use the words constantly, do not really enter into the meaning of this language, and for the obvious and sufficient reason: they are not living in the truth of it practically. They are too habitually mixed up with the world to understand such absolute separation from it. It is not that they are dull of understanding in the things and interests of nature. But their speech and their ways betray them, proving how far they are from intelligence of the Scripture itself. They substitute mysticism for the truth . . . 

"for ye have died." It is not moralizing, like men, even heathen that we have to die, but the fundamental Christian truth that we are dead. All mystics, old or new, have, as their object, to die. Hence it is a dwelling upon inward experience and human effort - the endeavour to crucify themselves - not
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God." 
"They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts."
What was suitable for a Jew, so far from being necessarily for a Christian, is on this side of the cross; our foundation is Christ who is dead and risen. The fact that a thing is in the Bible does not warrant the conclusion that it is God's will for the Christian. We must seek rightly to divide the word of truth. What was formerly right for the Jews is for us nothing but the elements of the world. These forms pointed to a reality that is now come; the body is of Christ. The blessed portion of a Christian is, that he is dead even to the best things in the world, and alive to the highest things in the presence of God; for Christ is his life.

To have our mind, therefore, on the things which accord with Christ in glory is what we are called to - first of all, Christ Himself, then the mighty work of Christ in redemption viewed in its heavenly effects. What objects to have before us always! The hopes too that we are connected with Christ thus known, spiritual wisdom brought into exercise thereby, the affections kindled and in play; in short, all the fruits of Christ's work in relation to heaven are comprised in these things above.
"For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God." v. 3.
The prevalent notion with many is, that the Christian is just the better qualified to fill a place in the world, because he is a Christian. But this is in truth to deny the primary and precious truth of God, that I am dead, which my very baptism confesses. And it is remarkable that the impression of the world about any one who receives Christ is, that he is as good as gone. They feel that he is lost to his former objects; and if he takes his place in any full measure as belonging to Christ, he does justify the instincts of men; for he ceases to act as one alive in the world. Alas! Christendom soon accustoms him to be false to Christ. But the truth is that
"ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
As yet it is hidden; Christ has not yet caused His glory to be seen by the world. Therefore should a Christian be content to be for a little while an object of rejection and scorn. Faith and patience are thus put to the proof; God allows it to be so; and a Christian ought not to wonder at it, for Christ had just the same portion. A single eye is not deceived; selfishness is blind to God's glory. We would be true to the moral power of the cross - the night is far spent. The reason why we are despised is thus a blessed source of joy in our sorrow. Then the time is short. All will soon be changed."

William Kelly

Note: This blog post was originally published in September 11, 2017 and was updated and republished in June 2, 2018.

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I'm a Christian saved by God, by His Sovereign grace. I want to encourage all to read, to hear, and to feed upon the only Words in all the world that are truly spirit and life, living and active; to know the Only True God, and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ graciously revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures by the Holy Spirit;
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2 Timothy 3:16–17; cf., John 3:31-36; John 6:63; John 14:26; John 17:3, 17; Romans 1:1-6, 16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Peter 1:20–21; Hebrews 4:12-13

Shalom, beccaj

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