Light for the Last Days

Seek Christ – Daniel Bishop

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I’ve titled this first part ‘Seeking Christ’ verses 1 to 4,

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3.1-4

Amen

If you be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.

What Paul’s doing in the opening part of this letter is stating two absolutes and one future absolute:

  • the first absolute is: ‘that you be risen with Christ’.

Christ absolutely rose from the dead and we know that because 1 Peter 1.3 says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1 Peter 1.3

Jesus rose from the dead

  • the second absolute is: the believers’ conversion and baptism

When someone goes through the waters of baptism, they die to their old self, and they are a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is also found in Colossians 2.12:

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. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 

Colossians 2.12-13

Then,

  • the future absolute is: If you then be in Christ, if you be risen with Christ, seek those things above. The third is that we will one day be with Christ.

When we when Jesus returns, the believers will rise and be with Christ forever. This can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.52:

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15.52

Amen

We have some definite promises in there. If you be risen with Christ, seek those things above, but it says, ‘seek those things which are above’.

We’re not to focus on earthly things. This is something that I get caught out doing, especially in this day and age, especially during this time. You can read the news, and you can read about all the turmoil going on, and sometimes my gaze can be focused on earthly things rather than on Christ.

When I was thinking about this, I thought about when I was learning how to ski, and our ski instructor said that ‘when you’re going off-piste and you’re not going down a normal path, and you’ve got lots of obstacles, lots of trees and rocks‘, he said, ‘focus on where you’ve got to go’.

He added: ‘if you focus on the trees, and you focus on the obstacles, you will hit them’.

If anybody here knows how to ski, you’ll probably remember that when you’re going off-piste, you need to focus on where you’re going and not focus on the obstacles.

That’s what we need to do. We need to be Christ-focused not focusing on these earthly matters but focusing on glory.

And the scripture goes further to emphasize the place ‘where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God’. Not only is our focus to be on the Lord Jesus but it even tells us where He is. He’s on the right hand of God, interceding for us.

This is also a link back to Psalm 110. You may be reminded it says,

The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” 2 The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!

Psalm 110.1-2

Our focus needs to be on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word ‘seek’, it pronounced zeteo in Greek, means ‘desire’, ‘inquire’, and ‘endeavour’ our ‘endeavours’.

2212. ζητέω

We need to be see seeking the Lord Jesus.

Brothers and sisters, when I was going through this I was very challenged.

There are lots of themes going through Colossians 3 that really changed me and I was even thinking: ‘Lord is this sermon for me? Is it for them?

Hopefully, it will challenge you in the same way as it challenged me.

It says, ‘set your affection on things above not on things of earth’.

If anybody has watched horse racing, you almost have to have this racehorse mentality. When the horse is lining up ready to go, all it cares about is running the race; not looking to the right or to left, but focusing on the race and on the goal.

Brothers, sisters, we’re not to have racehorse mentality but a ‘Jesus’ mentality’, we are to focus on Christ.

Interestingly, when I looked up the word for ‘set’ in Greek it means kathemai. It means ‘sit down’, ‘remain’, ‘reside’, and ‘to dwell’.

2521. κάθημαι

I was quite challenged about this because, if we look into it, our thoughts are meant to be permanently residing and dwelling on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brother, sisters that I don’t. Sometimes I fail to do that.

It says,

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.

Colossians 3.3-4

This really warmed my heart brothers and sisters because it says your life is hidden with Christ and the promise when Christ – who is our life – shall appear then, you shall appear with Him in glory.

Hidden in Christ

As I was going through this later in the day, my little boy fell over and he hurt himself, and he was crying. What did he do? He ran straight up to me and hid his head in my chest as I cuddled him.

Brothers and sisters, we have a Saviour in whom we are hidden, and nothing can separate us from the love of God, and

we have absolute assurance of our salvation in Him, that we are hid in God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

I was reminded of what is said in that scripture (I think it has been repeated already today):

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8.38-39

What a promise! We are hidden in Christ and nothing can separate us from Him.

It says, when Christ who is our life shall appear then ye shall appear with him in glory.

Christ who is our life

You may be reminded that in Paul’s letter to Philippians he said,

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain

Philippians 1.21

 

Sometimes, people say, ‘Oh! His work is his life, his family is his life, his money is his life, his power is his life’.

Brothers and sisters, when people have a look at us, they are meant to say: ‘Christ is their life’.

Taking away Christ, to us, should be like taking away the air we breathe.

If the Lord tarries, I hope that that will be on my gravestone: ‘Christ was his life’.

Let Christ be our life today. Seek Christ

From verses 1 to 4, in summary: seek Christ always, set your mind on Christ. We are hidden in Christ, Amen. And our focus should be on Jesus and eternity.

One day, our Messiah will return for his bride the church and we will see Him face to face

Tony Pearce

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