Colossians 3:1-3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Paul was making an important point here to the body of believers who were in Colossae. Because of our doctrine of Scripture (see 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:15-16), it follows that the Holy Spirit has been making the same point to ALL believers throughout the world ever since.
His point is this: that if we have been BORN AGAIN and have claimed Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we have come into a completely NEW and DIFFERENT situation; our citizenship is no longer on earth, but it is NOW in heaven, or ‘above’. In other words, God has now transferred our membership into his new Kingdom, an established FACT based on what Christ has already done for us on the cross and the Holy Spirit has confirmed in our hearts. The transaction is completed, DONE; the papers are signed and sealed!
This being the case, we are now required to have an entirely new mind-set, a new orientation of our thinking and our affections. Although we still live out the remainder of the ‘70-80 years’ allocated to us according to Psalm 90:10, the reality is that we have already ‘DIED’ to the world. When we eventually die physically therefore, the adjustment to the next life ought to be minimal!
If we have been JUSTIFIED by Christ, are we actively engaged in seeking to make as many changes during the SANCTIFYING PROCESS of our short earthly pilgrimage in order to minimise the changes that are necessary when we are finally ‘GLORIFIED’ at death?
What does all this look like for us in practice? Christ rules at God’s right hand in this heavenly Kingdom, so is he RULER of every part of our lives NOW? Paul goes on to challenge the Colossian Christians (and us) to ‘PUT TO DEATH’ – here and now, in thought, word and deed – all the impurity, lust, greed, anger, malice, deceitfulness, etc, that are an integral part of the ‘fallen’ nature with which we are all born(5-9), and to ‘clothe’ [our]selves with all those attributes that would make it plain to a watching world that God is actually refashioning us back into his likeness (cf Genesis 1:26-27). These attributes are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit’s work in us: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, self-sacrificing love, peace, gratitude, the joy expressed in praise, etc (10-17). Yes, we might still have much witnessing to do in the world, but does the world see us as one of its own, or as citizens of another, different Kingdom?