Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
Colossians 3:1 marks a change in the general content of this letter. Following the pattern of many of Paul's letters, Colossians can be divided into two main sections … the doctrinal section (chapters 1,2) and the practical section (chapters 3,4). This pattern is instructive. The truths about God the Father, God the Son, and the work of Christ are foundational for holy living.
A holy life issues from understanding and communing with God. The succinct command summarizes this dynamic … "Be holy, for I am holy" (Lev 11:45; cf. 1 Pet 1:15). We will not pursue holy living if we are not seeking to know the God who is holy.
So Paul's exhortation in Colossians 3:1,2 is built on the doctrinal truths of the work of Christ and our union with Him in conversion. "If [since] you have been raised with Christ (doctrinal truth), seek the things that are above . . . set your minds on things that are above" (practical command).
Since Christ is seated at God the Father's right hand, He is shown to be King, Ruler, Judge. Therefore we should live accordingly … trembling before Omnipotence, fearless because He conquered death, encouraged because He grants grace to His people. To "seek the things that are above" means we live our lives in light of eternal, though unseen, realities. Enjoying God's gift of this world, our deepest thoughts and affections are focused on another, indescribably more enjoyable, world.