1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Paul begins today’s passage with practical instruction for Christian living. In the previous two chapters, Paul has been discussing doctrine and now he transitions into how the Christian is to live in light of the truths he’s discussed.
Paul writes that since we’ve “been raised with Christ” we’re to “set our hearts and minds on things above.” The phrase “raised with Christ” illustrates the new status of the believer and symbolizes the drastic split with the old life. Paul’s point is that our new status should motivate us to live with a new perspective and mindset.
It’s a great privilege to be identified with Jesus Christ, but with privilege comes responsibility. Paul tells us in verse one that we’re to “seek the things that are above.” How are we to do that? In verse 2 he explains we are to “set our minds on what is above.” In other words, we must become deliberate about our thought life.
This doesn’t mean that as D.L. Moody used to say, “that we become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.” However, it means that we will orient our perspective to shift from the temporal to the eternal. Rather than living with a mindset that focuses merely on earthly things we will enlarge our thinking and filter our thoughts through the backdrop of eternity. We will need to be purposeful about “setting our minds” and it is a process we will have to engage in repeatedly.
Although I still struggle in this area, the primary way I have found to focus my thoughts on Christ is through the study of Scripture. When I diligently seek God through his Word, I’m more successful in maintaining a biblical and eternal worldview. I’ve noticed when I fail to spend time in Bible study my mindset quickly defaults to secular thinking.
Secondly, I make it a priority to meditate on Scripture. In my morning devotions, I identify one verse or phrase from Scripture that I can think about throughout the day. Doing this redirects my thoughts to Christ and His Word. Also, I have found that the Holy Spirit is faithful to teach me additional insights as I spend more time thinking about the passage.
Lastly, I pray and ask God to transform my thought life (Psalm 19:14). I desperately want every thought I think to be pleasing to Him, but the magnitude of the task is not something I can bring about apart from His help. However, the Scriptures are crystal clear that God desires for our thought life to be fully devoted to Him, so we can ask for his help with great confidence that he will provide.
 David E. Garland. The NIV Application Commentary: Colossians/Philemon. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991).
 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Col 3:1–11). (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
- What areas in your mindset and perspective need to be redirected towards Christ? Identify specific Scriptures that address areas you are struggling.
- Have you asked God to help you change your thought patterns?
- What type of Bible study or Focus Study would help you in this?