Living as Dead People (Colossians 3:1-3)
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:1-3
Our reality as believers will be always a kind of mystery. We live in this world experiencing a real tension. We are here, but we are not from there. We are called to see what is unseen and to seek what can’t be found in this world. And as a reasonable explanation for this, the Apostle Paul informs us that our lives should be different because we have died (Colossians 3:3a). We are called to live in this world as dead to it, but “raised together with Christ.”
What Does This Look Like?
What characterizes the life of a dead person in this world for Christ’s sake? Paul answers, unlike those who are alive to this world (Colossians 2:18, 23), a dead person first seeks different things. “Seek the things that are above” (Colossians 3:1a). The difference here is not in the act of seeking, but the object of it. Everyone is continually seeking for things, but the problem is we do not seek well. We must find what is not here. (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 3:20). This is an act of faith.
And also, a dead person thinks of different things. “Set your mind on the things that are above” (Colossians 3: 3). Once again the difference is not in the act of thinking, but the object of it. The problem is that we do not think well. It requires the power of God’s grace to raise the soul above the seasonal misery of this world and to set our minds on eternal things.
Only By God’s Grace in Christ
Our calling as believers is humanly impossible. Only the grace of God can enable us to live and die well. We must constantly return to the cross! (Colossians 3: 3b). In Christ Jesus we find the grace to die to this world and to live hoping in his glorious promises.
To live well while we’re here, we need to die well in Christ!
As Augustine said, “No one longs for eternal, incorruptible, and immortal life, unless he be wearied of this temporal, corruptible, and mortal life.”