Takeaways from the passage
Main point summary
Paul: Because you have a new identity in Christ that will one day be fully revealed should pursue godly things, filling your mind with them.
b If then you have been raised with Christ,
If you have been resurrected by faith through your union with Christ,
seek c the things that are above,
pursue the godly things (e.g., knowing Christ, living in line with God’s will),
where Christ is,
where Christ is located,
d seated at the right hand of God.
sitting in the place designated for God’s right-hand man.
e Set your minds on things that are above,
To elaborate more, you should make sure your thoughts are consumed by things in the spiritual realm (e.g., knowing Christ, increasing in virtue),
not on things that are on earth.
not on fleeting pleasures.
For f you have died,
Because you now have a new identity: your old earthly self died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
and your new life is securely wrapped up in Christ.
When Christ g who is your 1 life h appears,
And your new life will not always be hidden: when your life (i.e., Christ) comes back,
then you also will appear with him i in glory.
your full glorious self in Christ will be revealed.
Your earthly self has died and your new self is hidden with Christ in God.
In 2:12 Paul tells them that they have been raised with Christ.
It seems that the “things that are above” are in contrast to the regulations and elemental spirits of the world in 2:16-23.
Those of us who have been spiritually resurrected to new life in Christ ought to pursue the things of God.
Set your mind on the things of God, not on earthly things.
Do this because your earthly self has died and your new life is in Christ, hidden and secure. Also, the second coming of Christ will be the revealing of your glorious life.
That is, occupy your mind with heavenly things because you are new in Christ.
If then you have been raised
seek the things
that are above,
where Christ is,
seated at the right hand
Set your minds on things
that are above,
not on things
that are on earth.
For you have died,
and your life is hidden
When Christ ... appears,
who is your life
then you also will appear
Takeaways from the passage
1. Head How should I think differently about God/myself/others? About God: Christ is currently at God’s right hand, at the place of power. He is alive and ruling. About me: I have been raised with Christ so that my life is bound up with his. My life is dependent on him. I cannot properly describe who I am apart from Christ. I am one with Christ. Thus, his home (at the right hand of God) is my home. And his glory is my glory. What doctrines are taught? What specific contributions to those doctrines does this passage make? The doctrine of the ascension: Christ went back to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the place of power. The doctrine of our union with Christ: We died with him so that we are dead to our old sinful way of living. We were resurrected in his resurrection. And our life is in him. The doctrine of the second coming (our resurrection): Christ is coming again. At this time we will have resurrected bodies and will be like him. What other scripture texts add to the truths taught here? Are there texts that seem to contradict this truth? What is the deeper truth that both of these seemingly contradictory texts are founded upon? Ascension: Ephesians 1:20 also says that Christ is at God’s right hand. Union with Christ: Romans 6:3-4 teaches that we died with Christ and are resurrected with him. 1 Peter 1:3 speaks of our new birth through Christ’s resurrection. And 1 Peter 2:24 also speaks of our death to sin and new life. Second coming: John 11:25-26 speaks of the resurrection of believers. Philippians 3:20-21 speak of our resurrection, that we will have new bodies and 1 John 2:28-3:2 speaks of how we will become like Jesus at his return. 1 Peter 1:13 speaks of the grace that we will receive when Christ returns. 1 Cor 15:42-43 speaks of how our new bodies will be imperishable and glorious. Regarding seemingly contradictory passages, this passage focuses mostly on what has already happen with regard to our salvation, while other passages focus more on what will happen in the future. This is the already-but-not-yet aspect of Paul’s writings: in one sense we have already been raised, but we will have a complete resurrection when Jesus comes back. (Although, verse 4 speaks of the consummation of our salvation.) For example, John 11:25-26, Philippians 3:20-21, and 1 Cor 15 all speak of the resurrection in future terms, i.e., we will be raised. Also, if we have died and raised to new life, why do we still sin? Clearly sanctification isn’t automatic. We still have to work to not sin. In Romans 6:2 Paul asks the rhetorical question, “how can we who died to sin still live in it?”. So we have actually died to sin. And now we are called to live in accordance with this fact. 2. Heart How should I feel differently about God/myself/etc? I should realize that I am a new person. My old self has died and my new life is in Christ. What emotions are expressed in this passage? If we seek the things that are above and set our minds on them, then we should have a desire for them. What emotions does this passage lead/exhort me to feel? I should be joyful that I have new life in Christ. I am new. I should be comforted that I am united with him. And I should be hopeful that I will be glorious like him when he returns. Father please help me have these emotions rather than the lack of joy I have now. 3 . Hands What does this passage command me to do? What sins do I need to put off and repent of? What good works do I need to put on? This passage calls me to pursue things that are of God and his kingdom. Specifically, v irtues such as kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. I should put away sins such as sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness. I should put on kindness towards others, humility towards others, meekness towards others, not insisting on my own way, and patience with others. I should be patient with the leaders in my church. How am I to obey? In what manner? I should not just obey reluctantly, but I should be seeking these things. They should be the aim of my life. What motivations does this passage give for acting differently (negative or positive)? I should live in accordance with the new life I have in Christ, looking forward to its complete consummation in the future. What anchors does this passage offer that give me confidence in obeying these commands (truths about God, truths about man, gospel truths)? My old self has died, and my new self is with Christ. I am a new person. I have the ability to stop pursuing sinful things of this world because they are not me. I am new. And I have the ability to pursue kindness, meekness, humility, and patience because I am in Christ. I am not of this world, but I am a person of God’s kingdom.
Put On the New Self 3 1 b If then you have been raised with Christ, seek c the things that are above, where Christ is, d seated at the right hand of God. 2 e Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For f you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ g who is your 1 life h appears, then you also will appear with him i in glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer 15 For this reason, m because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love 1 toward all the saints, 16 I n do not cease to give thanks for you, o remembering you in my prayers, 17 that p the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, q may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 r having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is s the hope to which he has called you, what are t the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, u according to the working of v his great might 20 that he worked in Christ w when he raised him from the dead and x seated him at his right hand y in the heavenly places, 21 z far above a all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above b every name that is named, not only in c this age but also in the one to come.
23 But he turned and said to Peter, t “Get behind me, Satan! You are u a hindrance 1 to me. For you v are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
14 I press on toward the goal for o the prize of the upward p call of God in Christ Jesus.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God 6 1 What shall we say then? m Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can n we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us o who have been baptized p into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were q buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as r Christ was raised from the dead by s the glory of the Father, we too might walk in t newness of life . 5 For u if we have been united with him in v a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
11 So you also must consider yourselves f dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:24
24 e He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we f might die to sin and g live to righteousness. h By his wounds you have been healed.
25 Jesus said to her, j “I am the resurrection and k the life. 1 Whoever believes in me, l though he die, m yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me n shall never die. Do you believe this?”
20 But c our citizenship is in heaven, and d from it we e await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform f our lowly body g to be like his glorious body, h by the power that enables him even i to subject all things to himself.
1 Peter 1:1-7
1 Peter Greeting 1 1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of a the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to b the foreknowledge of God the Father, c in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and d for sprinkling with his blood: May e grace and f peace be multiplied to you. Born Again to a Living Hope 3 g Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! h According to his great mercy, i he has caused us to be born again to a living hope j through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead , 4 to k an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and l unfading, m kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded n through faith for a salvation o ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by p various trials, 7 so that q the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes r though it is tested by s fire—may be found to result in t praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13
Called to Be Holy 13 Therefore, g preparing your minds for action, 1 and h being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 John 2:28-3:2
Children of God 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that t when he appears u we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his v coming. 29 If you know that w he is righteous, you may be sure that x everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 3 1 See y what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called z children of God; and so we are. The reason why a the world does not know us is that b it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are z God’s children c now, and what we will be d has not yet appeared; but we know that e when he appears 1 f we shall be like him , because g we shall see him as he is.
1 Corinthians 15:42-43
42 f So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; g it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power .