HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
A Heavenly Mindset Is Developed By
A Focus On Our Resurrected Position
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1).
What does Paul mean by the believer being raised with Christ, and why is it an encouragement to think on things above?
Paul says believers can develop a heavenly mindset by understanding their resurrected position in Christ. When Christ died, we died with him, and when he resurrected and went to heaven, we went with him. Listen to how Paul talks about this in Ephesians: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:6).
When Paul says, “seated us with him in the heavenly realms,” he is primarily referring to “authority” and “rulership.” Listen to how Paul uses a similar phrase in relationship to Christ in Ephesians 1:19–22:
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Paul, in talking about the power that is in believers and was at work in Christ in the resurrection, says this power seated Christ in heavenly realms far above all authority, power, and dominion. God placed all things under his feet.
Therefore, when Paul says the Ephesians have been seated with Christ by this great power, he wants them to see their authority and position in Christ. They are rulers with Christ over all things. Now at this present time, not everything in heaven and on the earth submits to Christ in the way it is supposed to, but one day it will at his coming. First Corinthians 15:24–26 says,
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
At Christ’s second coming he will bring all things into full submission to his will. All will bow and call him Lord (Philippians 2:10–11). All things will be put under his feet.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The incredulous thing about Christ’s rule is that we will rule with him. Romans 8:17 says we are “co-heirs with Christ.” Everything that is his is ours. In John 17:22, Christ said in his high priestly prayer that he has given us his glory.
Paul in Colossians 3:1 is telling us that we must think about our resurrected position with Christ. Again he says: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”
Paul says our thinking should reflect our resurrection in Christ, the one who is seated at the right hand of God and will rule all things. In fact, Paul uses this same argument at Corinth where the believers were arguing and suing one another. Look at what he says:
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (1 Corinthians 6:2–4).
He rebukes them for arguing and then bringing their church disputes before the world in civil cases. He essentially says,
- “Don’t you know your resurrected position?
- Don’t you know you will judge the world and angels?”
God has given judgment over to the Son (John 5:22), and because we are seated with him, we will judge the world and angels in his coming kingdom. Paul says, “Because of this reality, shouldn’t you be able to judge these small disputes in the church?”
Now, none of these Christians was probably thinking about their future rule with Christ while they were disputing with one another. They were concerned about what they had lost and how they had been cheated. However, Paul essentially says that they should be thinking about their position in Christ. One day they would judge the world and angels. Paul taught that having a heavenly mind should have affected how they handled their disputes in the church.
If we are going to have a heavenly mind, we must first start with understanding our position in Christ. We have been raised with Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. Everything that is the Son’s is ours. As mentioned before, this seating reflects our unity with Christ and the authority that comes with it. And this reality should affect how we think and live. Consider what Jesus told his disciples:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:18–19).
When Christ told them to go and make disciples, he told them to do this based on his authority, which he had essentially given them. The disciples worked on behalf of Christ and the kingdom of heaven. Paul, in fact, calls himself an ambassador of Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:20. He says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
An ambassador goes somewhere with the message and the authority of the person he represents. Paul is not only saying that he had the message of God, but also the authority of God in saying it.
Many Christians are scared to evangelize, scared to share their faith, scared to counsel, scared to serve God, etc. If they just understood their position and their authority, it would drastically affect their ministry. When Paul cast out the demon in Acts 16, he didn’t act on his authority, but on the authority of Christ in whom he was seated.
She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment the spirit left her (Acts 16:18).
Did Paul have special authority in himself? No, this authority came from whom he represented, with whom he was seated. He told the demon to leave “in the name of Jesus Christ.” Paul was an ambassador walking in the authority of Christ. If we are going to have the right mindset, we must focus on our resurrected position. We are different from the rest of the world because of our position in the heavenly realms, and we must live like it.
What else is needed to develop a heavenly mindset
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …….