Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | December 7, 2006

Colossians – Part 14

Can you imagine what heaven will be like? 

Colossians – Part 14:  The Believers Position 

1.  What do you think heaven will be like?

2.  Are you excited to go there?  Or do you rarely think about it?

Position of the believer (Ch 3:1-4):  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 

After identifying the freedom the believer’s have in Christ from the doctrines of men, the Apostle now contrasts it with the position the believer’s are in and should seek to live towards.  He returns to the allegorical identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  In the prior passage he tells the Church that they have died to worldly systems.  He now identifies their regeneration with being raised with Christ, which is signified in the sacrament baptism.         

After considering the ways the false doctrines had defrauded the Church, the Apostle now turns to the position the believer’s are in and should seek to live towards.  Christ has been seated at the right hand of God, since His Ascension, receiving His coronation to an everlasting kingdom.  Since that event, His enemies have been defeated and His kingdom has been advancing towards a triumphant end that will climax at the consummation of this age.  The believer is a citizen of this glorious kingdom and will enjoy the benefits that were procured by Christ.  As loyal subjects of the King of the entire universe, believers should seek to advance the cause of the King and further His kingdom.  Therefore, the things that are not concerned with the advancement of this kingdom should be set aside or redeemed for its use.  This is the believer’s focus, which is, Christ is Lord of all and the life of the believer should be in harmony with this.  The Apostle goes onto describe the believers intimate union between Christ and the believer.  This union, which is spiritual in nature, is at the heart of the Gospel where Christ dies for the believer’s sin, and rises again for the believer’s justification.  The believer does not die for his own sin, nor is he made alive by his own power.              

3.  Did the Colossian false teachers believe that Christ was adequate to raise them up to salvation?

4.  In what way did Paul say that we were raised previously? Hint verse 12 5.  Where is Christ’s human body currently presiding?  Since when? Acts 1:6-12 and Daniel 7:13-14

6.  Did the Colossian false teachers assign Jesus such an exalted position?  What position did they assign Him?7.  What does “seeking things above” mean?

8.  Could it include being kingdom focused and seeking that God’s “kingdom come” as the Lord’s prayer indicates? 

If ye are risen with Christ:  “But if we ought to think of nothing but of what is heavenly, because Christ is in heaven, how much less becoming were it to seek Christ upon the earth.  Let us therefore bear in mind that that is a true and holy thinking as to Christ, which forthwith bears up into heaven, that we may there adore him, and that our minds may dwell with him.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

9.  Are the elementary principles of the world that Paul previously referred to the “things of the earth”

10.  These were referred to in 2:8 and 2:20, what was Paul talking about in those verses?

11.  What would setting our mind on things above include?  Would the content 1:15 – 2:4 qualify as those type of things?

12.  Does this mean we shouldn’t be concerned with anything in this world (i.e. family, work, etc)?  If this is true then I don’t think 3:18-4:2 would be included in the letter. 

Not the things that are on earth:  “The ceremonies are dead to you through the death of Christ, and you to them, in order that, being raised up to heaven with Christ, you may think only of those things that are above.  Leave off therefore earthly things.  I shall not contend against others who are of a different mind; but certainly the Apostle appears to me to go on step by step, so that, in the first instance, he places traditions as to trivial matters in contrast with meditation on the heavenly life, and afterwards, as we shall see, goes a step farther.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

13.  How is our life hidden with Christ in God?

14.  Could this be referring to our Christ clad garment, which God now sees us through? This could be inferred back in chapter 1:20-22

15.  Can we approach God apart from Christ?  Why or Why not?

16.  Is this spiritual union between the believer and Christ essential for salvation? 

For ye are dead:  “No one can rise again with Christ, if he has not first died with him.  Hence he draws an argument from rising again to dying, as from a consequent to an antecedent, meaning that we must be dead to the world that we may live in Christ.”  John Calvin, Commentary on Colossians 

17.  Who does Paul say that our life is now?

18.  How is Christ “our life”?  Does this refer to His fulfilling all righteousness on our behalf?

19.  When Christ “is revealed”, what is Paul talking about here?  Wasn’t Christ already revealed?

20.  At his appearing, in what way will we be revealed? 

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