Last week we looked at our passions – those things our “gut” (φρήν) longs after. This week we shift ever so slightly and look at the reason for that longing. It is found in the preceding verse that formed the baseline for last week’s blog posting.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
– Colossians 3:1, NIV-1978
What is the driving force or compelling reality behind setting our hearts and “guts” on things that are above? It is the reality that we have been raised with Christ! Since you have indeed been raised with Christ, be passionate for the things of eternity rather than the things of here and now.
The Christ-follower, the twice-born man or woman, is “made alive together with Christ.”1 Jesus, himself, said, “Because I live, you also shall live,”2 and here we are told that because we are raised with Christ, made alive with him, that we have new passions – kingdom goals and objectives.
The reality of the resurrection, Christ’s, and ours, is the underlying reality for every aspect of our new life in Christ. The apostle Paul told the church at Rome that because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too walk in “newness of life.”3 Likewise, Paul told the Galatian churches that what counts is not ethnicity or outward appearances and activity. What counts is “new creation.”4
This is not theological wordplay. This is a call to embrace the reality of what has happened to us. We have “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”5 It is the new self, the self that is raised with Christ with the new mind and new passions, that “seeks first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.”6
We know that anyone who is “in Christ” is a new creation,7 and that newness has to include newness of mind, newness of desire, objective, goal, focus.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
– Romans 12:2, NIV-1978
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
– Romans 8:6, NIV-1978
1. Ephesians 2:5
2. John 14:19
3. Romans 6:4
4. Galatians 6:5
5. Ephesians 4:24
6. Matthew 6:33
7. 2 Corinthians 5:17