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Easter & Resurrection Truth

Updated on April 20, 2013

There was a documentary about a deep sea salvage group seeking sunken treasure, According to their understanding an ancient shipwreck contained an entire cargo hold of gold equating over a billion dollars by today's standards. News broke of a sunken wreck that these experts believed fit the bill. After investing hundreds of thousands of dollars the salvage operation came to a screeching halt. Unfortunately the cargo on this ship was not gold, but tin and copper. The cost of recovery exceed the value of the salvage. The cost was too great. The operation was seeking treasure in the wrong place. What if the salvage never stopped? What if they invested all their funds, time, efforts, and resources into a salvage operation that caused them to loose money? Instead of treasure they reap debt, ruin and loss. It is foolish to seek ruin-- especially when one knows that ruin is the inevitable end.

As the inspired Apostle Paul writes his letter to the believers in Colosse, he reminds them that Christ is the ultimate pursuit. Christ is the treasure. Our thoughts, desires, emotions should be directed to Christ and His kingdom.

Seek the heavenly—pursue what Christ has secured for us.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Why should one seek the heavenly?

5 reasons emerge from Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

I. We died with Christ (v. 3a).

Christ died for us (substitution), but verse 3 teaches that we died with Him (identification). Believers, according to 1 Corinthians 12:13 teaches that believers are in Christ-- part of His body by the work of the Spirit. Because we are “in Christ” through the work of the Holy Spirit, we died with Christ. The fullest explanation of this wonderful truth is found in Romans 6–8.

This means that we can have victory over the old sin nature that wants to control us.

“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2).

Have you died with Him? Are you identified with His substitutionary death?

Because He died we can live. Because He was rejected by the Father we can be accepted. Because He paid the price we can be credited with His benefits! This is the doctrine of justification on which the church rises or falls.

What is it to which you should consider yourself deal to,

  • Earthly love?
  • Friends?
  • Money?
  • Stuff?
  • Sex?
  • Fun?
  • Career?
  • Retirement?

Are you dead to sin and alive in Him?

Warren Wiersbe tells the story of two sisters who enjoyed attending dances and wild parties. Then they were converted and found new life in Christ. They received an invitation to a party and sent their RSVP in these words: “We regret that we cannot attend because we recently died.”

What letter of regret do you need to write? Do you regret your half truth-whole lies, your anger, lust, sloth, self righteousness legalism?

Do you reckon/consider/ respond like your life is dead to sin and alive unto Christ?

“Life is what you are alive to. What captures your desire? What do you live for?”

II. We live in Christ (v. 4a).

Believers, as verse 1 reminds, are alive in Christ. Christ is our life. Eternal life is not some heavenly substance that God imparts when sinners repent and trust the Savior. Eternal life is Jesus Christ Himself. In Him is life! Christ is the source-- believers are in Him. The Relam is heavenly and the quality is eternal. Look how Jesus defines this in John 17:3:

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

And again John writes in 1 John 5:12:

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

We are dead and alive at the same time—dead to sin and alive in Christ.

It is possible to be alive and still live in the grave. During World War II, several Jewish refugees hid in a cemetery, and a baby was actually born in one of the graves. However, when Jesus gave us His life, He lifted us out of the grave and set us on the throne in heaven! Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and we are seated there “in Christ.”

Someone has said, “Life is what you are alive to.” A child may come alive when you talk about toys, cartoons or an ice-cream cone. A teenager may come alive when you mention cars or hunting, or a member of the opposite gender.

Paul wrote, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). God left Paul oon earth to be a testimony of the conquering Christ, Chritst was Paul’s life and he was alive to anything that related to Christ.. All believers should be the same way.

III. We are raised with Christ (v. 1a).

If then you have been raised with Christ... (3:1a)

The word "if" in verse one is often translated as "since." "Since" you have been raised. Our exalted position in Christ is not a hypothetical thing, or a goal for which we strive. It is an accomplished fact.

Being in Christ is not contingent upon our obedience, but Christ’s. Believers are credited with His merit, Seeking the above things is not what secures heaven for us, but rather a response to the reality that we are already in heaven! Christ's resurrection makes heaven a reality for each Christian. Ephesians 2:6 reminds believers that God has:

raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Let us never forget that our position is in heaven. The practical aspect of this should cause us to be living, investing and advancing that realm. It is not a license for sin, but rather it is a motive for holy living. Do you live a resurrection heaven view life? Are you advancing the Gospel?

IV. We are hidden in Christ (v. 3b).

Not only are we raised with Christ and alive to all He is, we are secure in Him! We no longer belong to the world, but to Christ! “Hidden in Christ” means security and satisfaction. One Greek scholar says this: “So here we are in Christ who is in God, and no burglar, not even Satan himself, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:31–39)” (Paul and the Intellectuals, Broadman, p. 98).

The Christian life is a “hidden life” as far as the world is concerned, because the world does not know Christ (see 1 John 4:1–6). Our sphere of life is not this earth, but heaven; and the things that attract us and excite us belong to heaven, not to earth. This does not mean that we should ignore our earthly responsibilities. Rather it means that our motives and our strength come from heaven, not earth.

What do you find motivating you? Is it the lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes or the pride of life? What God are you serving?

  • Sex?
  • Addiction?
  • Entertainment?
  • Money?

Turn from your idols and embrace the beautiful Savior. He will embrace you. He will protect you. Rest secure in Christ. Trust in His gracious salvation.

He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
Then He’ll bear me safely over,
Where the loved ones I shall meet.

V. We are glorified in Christ (v. 4b).

Christ is now seated at the Father’s right hand, and practically we are here on earth serving Him and growing in holiness. One day He will come to take the believers home (1 Thes. 4:13–18). When He does, we shall enter into eternal glory with Christ. When He is revealed in His glory, we shall also be revealed in glory. From heaven's perspective believers are already glorified because they are in the resurrected Christ!

"And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." Romans 8:30

The full realization of this glory is part of the Great Hope of His coming. Our identification with Christ presents us with both the opportunity and responsibility to “Seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1). Through Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, glorification, and ascension, we have been separated from the old life of this world, and we now belong to a new heavenly life.

To live according to who we are in Christ presents a challenge to all believers .Colossians 3:2: reminds us how believers wage the war as Simul Iustus et Peccator (righteous and sinful). “Habitually set your mind—your attention—on things above, not on things on the earth”. Our feet must be on earth, but our minds must be in heaven. This is not to suggest that we become “so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.” It means that the practical everyday affairs of life get their direction from our relationship to Christ and the heavenly realm of which we are part. We look at earth from heaven’s point of view. Many things become very clear.

The Queen of England exercises certain powers and privileges because she sits on the throne. The President of the United States has privileges and powers because he sits behind the desk in the oval office of the White House.

You believer are seated in heaven with Christ. Keep your affection and your attention fixed on the things of heaven, through the Word and prayer, as well as through worship and service.

I dare not be seeking my comfort and bliss,
Or building my hopes in a place such as this;
I look for the city God promised and built,
Where Jesus has banished my sin and its guilt.

I have died to this world, and am hidden with Christ
So my mind will be set on this:
Glory is certain, for Christ is in me,
Glory is certain, for Christ is in me.

Because

  1. We died with Christ (v. 3a).
  2. We live in Christ (v. 4a).
  3. We are raised with Christ (v. 1a).
  4. We are hidden in Christ (v. 3b).
  5. We are glorified in Christ (v. 4b).

About he Author

Harold Markham is the host of the ER Podcast. He studied to be a pastor and holds degrees in Bible, pulpit speech as well as a Masters in Biblical studies.
Click here for more articles by Harold Markham.

Comments

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    • HD Markham profile imageAUTHOR

      Harold Markham 

      5 years ago from Notheast, Wisconsin

      Thank you Faith for your kind encouragement! SDG!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent article, very well-written and thorough. Thank you for glorifying our Lord.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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