Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Colonnade and shops in Bath, England

Monday, May 7, 2012

Set Your Mind...Col 3:1-3


Colossians 3:1–3
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.
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.

One of the primary tenets in understanding Scripture is to read it in context. Much damage has been done by taking a verse out of context and trying to base our theology or living philosophy on that single verse. Things can get even worse when we augment our out-of-context- verse with other verses taken out of context.

This verse is a great example of that Biblical principal. The primary indicator is the opening word, “Therefore”. Seeing any verse or passage beginning with this word or “So” should immediately send us backward to see “What the ‘therefore’ is there for”.

Paul has been writing about being built up in Christ (Col 2). He says if we have received Christ as Savior and Lord, then we should walk in him (there’s that “some participation is required” idea again!). This comes with a warning to make Him Lord and avoid relying on traditions and religious emptiness (Col 2:6-8) having been made complete in Christ alone, and not allowing anyone to judge us based on worldly standards of religion (Col 2:9-23).

“Therefore”…(Col 3:1-3) we are to keep our minds on and seek heavenly, holy things, keeping our eyes on Christ, who is seated in the heavenlies. This is an encouragement to set out hearts on eternal things, gaining the strength and wisdom to navigate our earthly situations from Jesus. It is a promise that we can avoid being overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding us if we set our minds and hearts on Christ rather than worrying or fretting about what may or may not happen.

This is a great principal. But, keeping it in context, we can go a step further (and by reading just a bit further). We don’t rely on any of our own “religious traditions” or any perceived remedies to deliver us from our worldly troubles. We “walk” in the new life He’s given us, realizing we are dead to those temptations and fears that would separate us from intimate communion with the Father, placing all of our hope and trust in Him and His promise of redemption, renewal and regeneration.

In short, we live in the power and promise of Christ, not in our own strength nor wisdom. No religiosity can deliver us, only total faith and trust in Jesus Christ, our savior, advocate and friend.

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