Rise Above!

Most people do not know it, but the enemy of our soul really wants to keep each of us earthbound. For those that do not have Christ as their King he does a lot to keep all that he can away from the Truth that will set them free. Those who do get saved he tries to drag back. But those that remain in Christ soar to great heights with everlasting reward.
Rise Above!
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

It is surely a blessing when someone comes to God through Christ and escapes the world system that eventually leads to eternal damnation. But once a person escapes the devil will attempt to get them to return. This is one reason why the Holy Spirit moved upon men like the Apostle Paul to write letters to various churches. For example, Christians of the Church at Colosse were encouraged to believe in various aspects of gnosticism, dabble in area cults, or return to Judaism which by that time had been infested with earthly thinking and ways along with having rejected their

Messiah.

By the Holy Spirit Paul wrote to them about the preeminence of Jesus the Messiah and that all fulness, everything we need, is found only in Him. After he encouraged those who are saved to continue to walk in Him (Colossians 2:6), and consequently walk away from all aspects of the three elements mentioned in the previous paragraph, he exhorted them to live the resurrected life in Christ, and gave them the following instructions (Colossians 3:1-9):

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,
7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.”

There is much life-giving instruction in the above verses. While keeping all of these in mind, along with other passages of Holy Scripture, we can see four main directives for every true believer in verses 1 to 4.

I.  Seek 1

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

Many immediately delight when initially coming to Christ but each disciple must continue to delight in Him. If one is truly saved certain things of this world immediately lose their luster, and this will increase as time goes on. Basically when someone turns to Christ the attraction to things like money, fame, humanistic peace and more is at least squelched, and as one continues in Christ they will eventually become dead to those things. Throughout His teachings, and by the example of His earthly life, Christ placed spiritual matters as the priority and focus of one’s life.

And when Paul was directed by the Holy Spirit to mention “things above” he certainly did not mean supposed power of astrological signs. Instead, we are to seek something better, godly and much more sure and powerful, Christ reigning with all authority vested in Him. He is the Savior of the world and for those who truly make Him their Savior He is, among many other things, their Friend, Brother, Sustainer, and King.

As mentioned, being at the “right hand of God” is a phrase that shows that Christ, the Son, has full authority. Therefore if Christ truly dwells within, that disciple has the victory over sin because Christ, the Victor, is implanted in him. If we remain in Him we will reign with Him when He returns to rule on earth for a thousand years.

“Keep seeking” is an excellent rendering of the ancient language. This means godly desire and perseverance in going after all that God has to offer. It includes continuously letting the Holy Spirit guide us, and also reveal the things of God to us, all for His honor and glory.

II. Set  2

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Although the New American Standard Bible does not show it, the tense of the verb is still the same here, so it does mean “Keep setting.” Vine notes {1} “Keep setting (Set) your mind”, rendered in the King James as “Set your affection” can mean “... to be minded in a certain way...  ... It implies moral interest or reflection, not mere unreasoning opinion." James Strong {2} has “to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for." In other words, we can condition our mind and we ought to do so based on God’s written Word and the direction of the Holy Spirit. As we study the written Word of God and permit the Holy Spirit to lead us based on the whole Word of God we will see it is far better to think, dwell upon, and search out godly things instead of the earthly, like politics, ethnicity, fake unity, religions, sex, and much more.

If you are truly saved you are a citizen of heaven and not of earth as recorded in Philippians 3:20. We must think and act as such. So we should condition our mind accordingly. As it is written in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Worshiping God is foundational to conditioning our mind. Meditating {3} upon Revelation 4 and 5 helps us to envision the worship in heaven and encourages us to join it. In worshiping Him we realize that He reigns. We also realize that the glories of heaven are most excellent, and nothing on earth can compare to them. Our problems might not go away when we worship, but as we worship He gives us the strength to persevere and the grace to be shaped


into the image of His Son in all holiness and righteousness.

Along with Revelation 4 and 5 meditate upon all of God’s word.  Very helpful are the passages that state any true disciple has the victory over sin and passages that teach about overcoming it. Read and think about the passages in Acts that show how God moved through His believers, then look for and think upon how God is moving through various true Christians today. With that, condition your mind to think about winning the lost for Him. 

And, with that, think about building up the Body of Christ. Way too many who name the Name of Christ go to a church seeking what they can get from it. However, our mindset should be thinking of ways of how to bless others while there, being directed by His Holy Spirit. Our focus should be upon God first, others next, and ourselves last. 

III. Shield  3

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Because Christ paid the full penalty of our sin those that commit to God through Him have their sins buried with Him as well as their failures, shortcomings, their old ways, and old person  (man). This is repeated throughout the Christian’s walk, albeit sins after coming to Christ need to be acknowledged and confessed. As it is written in Romans 6:6-7, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”

IV. Savor  4 (5-9)

“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

As one grows in Christ they will eventually fervently desire for Christ to return. One of the factors that would nudge a true disciple into desiring the return of Christ is the degrading condition of the world. Unless a true sovereign revival from God occurs the entire world will be in horrible spiritual shape within ten years. The increase of iniquity and the ominous signs spoken of in passages like Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 should encourage the true disciple to look up for our redemption draws near. When Christ said that in Luke 21:28 He probably meant not only physically look up, but spiritually look up as our text in Colossians indicates.

True Christians ought to yearn (Hebrews 9:28) and pray (Psalm 122:6, Revelation 2:20) for His return. But we should do more than pray. Look at the rest of the verses I posted above, verses 5 to 9. We are to depart from sin {4}. Verse 4, and then verses 5 to 9, express the exhortation of 1 John 3:1-3, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

An objective of every true Christian is to partake of God’s glory (verse 4), not His wrath (verse 6). To do so, the disciple must remain in Him. To remain in Him, the disciple is to keep his heart and mind on the things above, and by the grace of God through Christ live accordingly, not letting anything drag him back down to earth.

Notes:

{1} Vine, W. E.: An Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words (Flemming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ : 1966) Vol. 3. p70

{2} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{3} Please read Bless Your Mind at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/bless-your-mind .

{4} Please read Bear The Seal Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/bear-the-seal-of-god .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by August 15, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M459 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 05-07-2017 55 0

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