Focus is directed attention on a point of concentration.
The Apostle Paul in Colossians refuted all false, man made, self-imposed forms of religion. Believers are transformed in Christ, and instructed to focus on things above so they can be useful in things below. Your attitude and ambition is shaped by the value of who you are in Christ.
The most valuable precious stone in the world is the Red Diamond. The Red Diamond is worth $1,000,000 per carat and there are less than 30 of them in the world. A few years back they found the famous 5.11 ct Moussaieff Red Diamond worth $8 million. Precious stones are valued, and sometimes fought over.
Colossians links our value to who we are in Christ.
Seek the things above- Striving after priceless treasures- a continuous, ongoing effort is required- “Be constantly seeking to obtain”
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things- Concentrate your concern on what is eternal, not what is temporary.
Theologies compete brazenly to rationalize wealth, success and material blessing. Prosperity doctrines gush forth from rallies, radio and television. “God’s got it, I can have it, and by faith I’m going to get it.” Even Psalm 23 has been revised. “The Lord is my banker, my credit is good. He giveth me the key to his strongbox. He restoreth my faith in riches. He guideth me in the paths of prosperity for his name’s sake.” Os Guiness- The Gravedigger Files, page 132.
Focus on things above because you have died with Christ.
V3 For you died. . .
Before coming to faith in Jesus you were dead in sin. After coming to Christ you are dead to sin.
Galatians 2:19-20 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
Death with Christ is death to the old self, death to sin. Jesus died in our place on the cross. When he died, we died.
We struggle with sin and continually need forgiveness. The goal is to live surrendered to God. You are not the same person you used to be.
John Owen- While the presence of sin can never be abolished in this life, nor the influence of sin altered, its tendency is always the same, its dominion can, indeed, must be destroyed if a man is to be a Christian.
Focus on things above because you have been raised up with Christ.
V1 So if you have been raised with Christ. . .
Christ was raised from the dead, and defeated death itself. His resurrection from the dead is our resurrection through faith in him. Death has no claim on our lives. We are alive spiritually in Christ and will never die.
Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to the place of honor and glory. His authority is our authority. Romans 8:17 Co-heirs with Christ
With Christ. . .where Christ is. . .with Christ. . . when Christ
Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.
Once we were living in darkness, trapped in self-centered and sin-driven lives, without hope. We were transformed to be the people God created us to be and raised with Christ to live a life that glorifies God.
Salvation transforms us from spiritual rags to spiritual riches.
Col. 2:13-15 He made you alive with him; forgave us all our trespasses; erased our certificate of debt, disarmed the rulers and authorities.
Focus on things above because your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
With Christ, your life rests securely in God. Without Christ your life is vulnerable and precarious.
Paul’s use of the word “hidden” is somewhat similar to what we can and cannot see of a rose bush. The root system is concealed beneath the soil. The plant derives nutrients from the soil and contributes to the growth of the stem, leaves, and petals. But the beauty of the rose is for all to behold. The color and fragrance are on display.
Who we are is hidden from plain view, but our faith, love, and perseverance are a continual witness to the presence of Christ in us.
1 John 3:2-3 Dear friends we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself just as he is pure.
John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
Hidden in Christ means you are secure and safe in Him. Your life has been hidden with Christ in God and remains eternally so.
V4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Where is your focus?