Colossians 3 begins the practical application chapters of Paul’s letter to the Colosse Church. Chapters 1-2 discuss doctrinal issues; chapters 3-4 discuss practical issues.
After Paul boldly explains the doctrinal significance of the works of Jesus Christ (that he delivered us, qualified us, conveyed us, redeemed us, and forgiven us) and the nature of Jesus Christ (Fullness of God, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence). Paul now exhorts us with some of the most important verses in the Bible for our spiritual walks as believers – Thinking heavenly things! Why would he teach this? I believe it was because of all the false teaching and ideologies that were influencing the church in the 1st century. They were keeping the believers to thing worldly and temporarily instead of holy and eternally.
Read Colossians 3:1-4
We think about so many things in our lives that are important:
However, there are so many things that we think about that do not necessarily have any significance pertaining to Christ because they are worldly things:
Now there is nothing wrong with thinking about these things periodically because it is cool to be up with the times and wonder what is going on in the world and culture. However, when you are constantly consumed and concentrated on these things rather than on heaven and Jesus Christ, we can lose our precious eternal perspective and possibly fall into sin. Our thoughts need to be constantly centered on cross thoughts as disciples of Jesus Christ.
It is our tendency to think about things on earth rather than things in eternity because we are presently here. Conversely, Paul is teaching us to think about things not of the world. We are being exhorted to change our thinking of earthly things into eternal things in heaven concerning Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.
If our disposition is upon heavenly thoughts, we will do heavenly works.
Why think about the things above?
A. When we are going through a trial, we need to think about the things above to focus on the Lord in those times of need.
B. When we are being blessed, we need to think about the things above to focus on the Lord so we do not get prideful and boastful.
C. When we are being challenged, we need to think about the things above to focus on the Lord and be encouraged and empowered knowing the reward he has for us if we live for Him and do things His way, not the world’s way.
Therefore guys and girls, we need to think straight up! We need our compass in life to point North!
I. Think Upward - Colossians 3:1-2
A. Seeking those things where are above. Seek - to try to find or discover something by searching or questioning, to inquire or search for truth, information, or knowledge.
1. (v.3:1a) Raised with Christ – When we believed in Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were literally raised to new life in Christ! We have been made alive in Christ so we can understand scripture, spiritual truths, realities, blessings, and the will of God! It is because we have been regenerated we can Paul is telling us, “Since you’re a believer, you need to think like a believer by meditating on your salvation in heaven!”
2. (v.3:1b) Seek those things which are above – This is the precursor to setting your mind on heavenly things. You have to seek after God to want to set your mind upon godly things. You have to search and dig the scriptures to know the things which are above in heaven.
3. (v.3:1c) Where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God – Jesus Christ is exalted and magnified above all things in the universe. He has conquered death, sin, and Satan through his death, burial, and resurrection. He is in the position of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all creation!
B. Setting Your Mind on things above.
Set – to put on and apply, to place in proper position for usefulness and suitable conditions.
1. (v.3:2a) Your Mind on things above – Literally in the Greek “quarters of the heavens.” It could easily be said, “THINK HEAVEN.” This is such an important truth for the Christian walk. Heaven is our hope. Heaven is our future home.
2. (v.3:2b) Not on things on the earth – Paul is not saying “do not think about anything on earth, it is all bad.” What he is referencing is worldliness. The temporary vanities of the earthly pleasures
II. Think Forward – Colossians 3:3-4
A. Secured in Christ
1. (v.3:3) Hidden with Christ in God – Paul is explaining three main points in this verse. Our life is secured in Christ. This is the doctrine of eternal security. If you are a believer, you will always be saved. You cannot lose your salvation. It is secured and concealed in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Secondly, the spiritual life is hidden from non-believers because they cannot know the glorious gift of salvation and our inheritance in Christ. Lastly, it shows that all things pertaining to life in godliness are in Christ alone. We are to look forward with the knowledge of having God’s saving grace surrounding our soul!
B. Glorified in Christ
1. (v.3:4) Will appear with Him in glory – The way this is phrase literally means “He will come” and “you will be in heaven”. What a promise! This strong assertion is speaking about us to strong know we will one day in the future be in the present of Jesus Christ in heaven (glory)! We will be glorified with new bodies in a new place.
What do you think about heaven? What do you think heaven is and looks like? Angels, pearly gates, gold, mansions, clouds, rays of light? Here are three main things to keep in mind what heaven truly consists of:
A. Heaven is an eternal palace (John 14:2)
B. Heaven is an eternal paradise (Luke 23:43, Revelation 2:7)
C. Heaven is an eternal peace (Revelation 21:4)
Ok, those things are true, but why do we need to think about heaven? Because it is essential to the Christian life. Here are four important things to take note on why we need to always thing about the things above and have heavenly thoughts:
1. Heaven is our destination (John 14:1-4)
2. Heaven is our motivation (Matthew 6:33)
3. Heaven is our inspiration (2 Corinthians 5:5-8)
4. Heaven is our mediation (Colossians 3:2)