Let’s read that precious passage: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (NKJV). We could fill many pages in expounding these verses and still not exhaust the truth that they convey. With our limited space we will simply give a short overview of them and trust the Lord to bless each reader with a desire to meditate upon them.

Let’s start with that first word “if.” As many have said this word “does not express doubt in the mind of the Apostle Paul.” It could be translated “since” and thus Paul is saying, “Since then you were raised together with Christ.”

Next, we need to know to what it means to be “raised together with Christ.” We are still here on earth so it can’t mean we have been “physically raised” with Christ. We also read in verse 3 “you died” and we know that we haven’t literally died yet. We believe these terms speak of our POSITION IN CHRIST. When Christ died in our place on the cross and then rose from the grave three days later, God SAW THE BELIEVER AS HAVING DIED AND ROSE WITH CHRIST. Paul wrote of this earlier in 2:12, “Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were RAISED WITH HIM through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” This same truth is brought out in Romans 6:6-9, “Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN WAS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM…for he who has died has been freed from sin, Now if WE DIED WITH CHRIST, we believe that WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.” In short, believers are IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST in His death and resurrection and thus God sees us as having died and having risen with Him from the dead. This is our blessed position before God and nothing can change it, for it is based on what Christ accomplished and not on us.

In view of this position that we now have, we are exhorted to “seek those things which are above” and to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” In short, we should live as those who have died to this present life and who are alive in our risen Lord and Savior! In order to do this we need to have Christ as the Object of our hearts and minds, for after Paul tells us to “seek those things which are above” he states, “where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” How do we do this? By allowing the Holy Spirit to present Christ to us through the Scriptures! We see this in 2nd Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, BEHOLDING as in in a mirror THE GLORY OF THE LORD, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD.” The Spirit’s grand mission in the believer is to take the precious things of Christ and show them unto us (see John 16:13-14) and when He does we are “transformed into the same image.” This means we “become more like Christ.” When Christ was here on earth He had one object: to glory His Father in heaven. As we take on His likeness we too will have one object: to glorify our Lord and Savior in heaven.

Paul goes on to say, “Your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” What does this mean? First of all, it means that our “spiritual life” is not really seen by the world; we are an enigma to them for they can’t understand why we don’t live for this world but for the world to come. This is borne out in 1st John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US, because it did not know Him.” Yet the day is coming when Christ will be revealed to the world in glory (see Matthew 24:30; 25:31 and Revelation 1:7) and WE WILL BE WITH HIM! The world will not only see Christ; they will see us associated with Him! At that time the mystery will be solved, for they will then know why we lived for the “things which are above” and not for “the things on the earth.” (265.9) (DO)