Lesson 11 - Chapter 3:1-4

Lesson 11 - Chapter 3:1-4

Lesson for September 27, 2015

The Book of Colossians

Chapter 3:1-4

Verse 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.”

The Greek word for seeking is “zeteo” meaning to search for, to pursue, to endeavor, to investigate, to examine, or to desire to possess. All of these meanings apply. All of these meanings indicate positive volition toward God and His Word. The imperative mood is a command to all believers to learn and apply Bible doctrine. The things above refers to spiritual things. Seeking spiritual things can be accomplished only as a believer remains in fellowship with God and filled with the Holy Spirit. Then using his positive volition, a believer will make learning and applying Bible doctrine number one priority in life.

Romans 6:4b-5 says, “So that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.”The baptism of the Holy Spirit puts us in union with Christ, identifying us with His death, His burial, resurrection, ascension and session.

United with Him in the likeness of his death uses the Greek word “suphutos” for united, which means to be planted with, to grow together with or to be intimately united. This is a reference to identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. And the Greek word for likeness is “homoioma,” which means, resemblance, same form or copy.

Therefore we have a reference to the likeness of His resurrection. This is not predicting the future of our resurrection body which occurs at the Rapture of the Church. That is a true doctrine but it is not taught in this context. Having been united with Him in His Resurrection, we have the basis for newness of life.

In Romans 4 we have a comparative clause which begins with the phrase, “so we too might walk in newness of life.” This is a comparative clause in order to introduce a fact that it is possible for members of the Royal Family of God to have an experiential victory equivalent to what God has provided, positionally. A believer has the ability for a new type of “walk” after salvation based on his union with Christ. A spiritual birth means a spiritual type of walking. The spiritual power to walk this new walk is from the Holy Spirit. Walking in newness of life begins with becoming a new creation in Christ. The Greek word for creation is “ktisis” and refers primarily to the creative act in process. It is the believer who is being acted upon by God. This act of creation is when God, at salvation, creates a human spirit in the believer. This creative act by God creates something in the believer that previously did not exist. It is “new” and it is “spiritual” in nature and the believer becomes a different “classification” (Royal Family of God). (I Corinthians 2:9-14; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:19)

The balance, coordination, and orientation needed for “walking in newness of life” comes from Bible doctrine circulating in the soul. Newness of life means freedom from the control of the sin nature as the ruler of your life. Newness of life means freedom from the policy and the plan of Satan and human viewpoint thinking.

Verse 2

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

Set your mind on the things above means to think the thoughts of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5, says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The mind of Christ is the doctrine found in the Word of God, the only source of absolute truth. In order to have the proper thinking, the believer must be consistently learning, believing and applying the Word of God to every circumstance in life. The Christian Way of Life is a life of thinking the thoughts of Jesus Christ.

God has given all believers a command to grow spiritually and He never gives us a command without giving us the means necessary to obey it. God, therefore, has provided His written instruction book (the Bible) and the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit. Both are grace functions for every believer in this age, regardless of education or I.Q. Any believer with a positive attitude towards Bible doctrine can learn, believe and apply it accurately.

The Christian Way of Life is a supernatural way of life, which cannot be lived apart from knowledge of Bible doctrine and the guidance of God the Holy Spirit. (Romans 7:6, 8:2; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18) This way of life requires thinking. All changes in our lives must come from the inside. The true character of the believer is determined by what he thinks, not by what he does. God never forces the believer into any course of action. We determine what our own spiritual lives are going to be based on what we allow ourselves to think. Divine Viewpoint Thinking equals a victorious Christian Way of Life.

The Christian Way of Life began with a change of mental attitude (repentance) towards Jesus Christ, which resulted in salvation. (Acts 3:19) At the moment of salvation, God did at least 40 things for each one of us. We call these Spiritual Assets and a part of these assets includes the things necessary to execute the Christian Way of Life. Choosing to use these assets enables the believer to live in a manner that is acceptable to the Lord, and to think the thoughts that bring honor to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:1-2) On the other hand, not (setting your mind) on the things that are on earth is a reference to the thinking of Satan’s world system which we call Human Viewpoint Thinking.

Verse 3

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

This verse is a reference to positional sanctification. Positional sanctification actually can be seen from two different aspects, theologically: 1) current positional truth and 2) retroactive positional truth. This doctrine is taught by Paul in the book of Romans Chapters 6-8 where he thoroughly examines the role of the sin nature and its effect on the believer before and after salvation.

In current positional truth, the believer is identified with Christ in His resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God the Father. In retroactive positional truth, the believer is identified with Christ through His spiritual death and His physical death on the Cross and His burial.

Being identified with Christ, means we have positionally been separated from sin, human good and evil. While sin was being judged, Christ was rejecting human good as the solution to the problem between God and man. Through retroactive positional truth the believer is separated from human good positionally, so that the rulership of Satan and the sovereignty of the sin nature are broken, positionally. Therefore, current positional truth coupled with retroactive positional truth is the basis for annulment of the sovereignty of the sin nature ruling your life. And at the same time, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (the mechanics for retroactive positional truth and current positional truth) establishes the sovereignty of Christ in the life of the believer (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”).

Divine Viewpoint Thinking is the key to overcoming the power of the sin nature, experientially. When we begin to think the way God thinks, we will be able to recognize overt and mental attitude sins in our lives. Once these sins are recognized, we can acknowledge, isolate and forget them. This, of course, can eventually break the power that certain sins have over us. However, we must constantly be on guard.

Divine Viewpoint Thinking can be developed only through the consistent study and application of Bible doctrine. Just knowing Bible doctrine is not enough. Victory over certain sins comes as we use (apply) the doctrine that we have learned. Therefore, it is imperative that the believer has more than mere academic knowledge of God’s Word. Academic knowledge (gnosis) must be converted to spiritual knowledge (epignosis) by accurate application (wisdom). This is how we make our position (positional sanctification) in Christ align with who we are as Royal Family of God (experiential sanctification).

As Divine Viewpoint Thinking permeates your thinking, Bible doctrine becomes your scale of values, your norms and standards begin to align with God’s, and your conscience is influenced in a positive way. Thinking divine viewpoint sets up “a standard” by which you can evaluate everything that enters your mind, including temptation to commit personal sin. You have only two choices as a believer when it comes to thinking: Divine Viewpoint or Human Viewpoint.

Verse 4

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

The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees the believer not only eternal life, but also a glorified resurrection body. The glorified body of the believer will be like that of Christ. For those Church Age believers who die before the Rapture occurs, their soul and spirit go into the presence of the Lord. At the Rapture, the soul and spirit are returned to the glorified body. (I Corinthians 15:51-57; II Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I John 3:2)

We can get a glimpse of what our glorified body will be like by looking at Christ’s glorified body. First, we will be recognizable like Christ was after His Resurrection. (Luke 24; John 20:26-29) Christ’s body could be touched (as Thomas did) because His body had flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39-40) Christ’s body retained the scars of crucifixion. (John 20:25-27) He breathed and carried on conversations with a recognizable voice in His resurrection body. (Luke 24; John 20:26) Jesus ate food while in His resurrection body. (Luke 24:30,43) However, His body was unique in that He could walk through closed doors, He was able to disappear and appear, and He could move vertically and horizontally. (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 28:9-10; Luke 24:17-40; John 20:16-29; Acts 1:9-10)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ coincided with the Jewish Feast of the First Fruits, where a portion of the harvest was gathered first and given to the priest for the blessing of the entire harvest. This feast pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and was celebrated three days after the Passover. Paul writes about “the first fruits” in I Corinthians 15:20-25. Jesus explained this parable when He described Himself as “the grain of wheat that fell to the ground, and died that it might spring to life and bring forth much fruit.” (John 12:23-24) Jesus Christ is the representative of the harvest and is a living testimony to God’s sovereignty, which says, “Because I live, you shall live also.”

Christ’s humanity was resurrected, because it was His humanity that died. (Luke 24:39) It was evidenced by an empty tomb, which was witnessed by His friends, family and followers. (Matthew 28) Religious leaders attempted to suppress information regarding the resurrection, which gives evidence that they believed He had risen. (Matthew 27:62-66) Jesus Christ is the only person in history to be resurrected (some were resuscitated - arose and later died). Because of Christ’s resurrection, believers will also be resurrected. (II Corinthians 4:14; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:1-2)

At death, Christ’s body went into the grave (John 19:40-42), His soul went into Paradise (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27) and His Spirit went into the presence of the Father (Luke 23:46). It was Christ’s body that resurrected. His soul came out of Paradise returning to the body, His Spirit came from the presence of the Father returning to the body and He rose bodily from the grave. He is now at the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 3:18-22; Romans 1:4, I Thessalonians 1:10)

There are doctrinal significances that we should note regarding the Resurrection. Christ’s resurrection indicates the completion of justification. (Romans 4:25) Jesus Christ becomes our mediator (equal with God and equal with man). (Hebrews 7:25, 9:15; I Timothy 2:5) It is the “risen Christ” Who becomes our High Priest and establishes the priesthood of the believer. (Hebrews 10:5, 10-14, 7:28; I Peter 2:5-9) The resurrection of Christ fulfills part of the Davidic Covenant. (Psalms 89:36-37; II Samuel 7:8-16) Without the resurrection, Christ could not have been glorified and the Holy Spirit could not have been given. (John 7:39) The Resurrection is the guarantee of Ultimate Sanctification. (I Corinthians 15:20-23; I John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:21)