The Heavenly-minded Walk
Last week we briefly considered the close connection between worldly-mindedness and spiritual warfare. This week we return to Paul's admonition in his letter to the church at Colosse. "Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)
The person who keeps seeking does not look back to what was accomplished, as if there is no need to continue. The person who learned how to drive safely does not stop seeking to be a safe driver. Every time we get in the car, we must try to drive safely.
The Believer's Aggressive Walk
As stated by Paul in this section of Colossians, the entrance into the Christian life is in 2:6, "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk." As stated by Paul in this section of Colossians, the entrance into the Christian life is in 2:6, "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk." There is a moment in every believer's life when they receive Christ for what He said and did. In Greek, to receive is to take to oneself as an aggressive act. A Christian freed from sin's penalty enters the process of freedom from sin's presence. According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is the founder and finisher of our faith; such faith is not passive but active and aggressive. There is no place for a lukewarm participant in the Christian faith. The world is too opposed to us.
Paul completes his thought from verse 6 by saying, "...as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk." The Christian's walk, like receiving Christ, is not meant to be done complasaintly but aggressively. The only way to coast is to go downhill. The Christian walk is an uphill climb; however, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Paul's admonition is to walk as we received Christ, which is to say, humbly and in total need of what only God can provide. He provides everything necessary for our victorious walk, but we must aggressively walk without sleeping on the job.
Then in verse 20 of Colossians chapter 2, he says, "If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world...". Such a death takes place in the heart of every true believer. It is through death that we have risen with Christ. Jesus said, "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24). Only a sinner who is touched by the grace of God and emptied of his pride and foolish worldly intentions can come to an end of self and receive Jesus Christ as Lord.
It is through identification with Christ by which fulfilling the law by the energies of the flesh dies, and living with Him begins. Paul then admonishes his hearers not to submit themselves to the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion. Instead, he says, "Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (3:1). We are not to rely upon any means that is "...of no value against fleshly indulgence." (2:22).
The word "if" in (3:1) is conditional upon our having been raised with Christ. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. God implants saving faith within the heart of a believer, and at some point, He imparts the assurance of salvation. It is the believer's assurance that fulfills the "if" condition in their heart, which becomes to them their conviction.
Therefore, Paul tells us, "...if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above..." Actually, to keep seeking heaven or God, His person and will is the only reasonable thing to do. In the outworking of God's plan to save, He has hidden us in Christ so that we are no longer under the threat of punishment. We have been removed from the world system, and we are heaven-bound.
A Person Walking Aggressively...
Walks in Praise of God (Acts 3:8)
Walks in the light (John 12:35)
Walks in the name of the Lord our God (Micah 4:5)
Walks in obedience to Jesus' commands (2 John 1:6)
Walks faithfully with integrity and uprightness of heart (1 Kings 9:4)
Walks as Jesus did (1 John 2:6)
No longer walks in the futility of their mind (Ephesians 4:17)