1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.Colossians 3:1–10 (NIV)
Set your heart and mind on things above, new concept? The book of Colossians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Colossae, which was a small city in Asia Minor. In chapter 3, Paul addresses the importance of putting on the new self, which is created in righteousness and holiness.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4)
The apostle Paul is encouraging the believers to set their hearts and minds on things above, where Christ is seated, and to focus on the eternal things. He is reminding them that their old self has been crucified with Christ, and that they have been raised to new life in Him. This new life is hidden with Christ in God and it is a life that will be revealed when Christ comes back in glory.
The application of this passage is clear, as believers we are called to focus on the eternal things, setting our minds and hearts on things above, rather than the things of this world. We should live our lives as if we are already seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, and our actions should reflect the new self we have in Christ.
The actions that the reader must take to set their heart and mind on things above:
- Make a commitment to put to death the sinful habits of the old self, such as immorality, impurity, covetousness, and the like.
- Make an intentional effort to renew your mind by focusing on things above and setting your minds on eternal values.
- Read and study scripture regularly, to deepen your understanding of God’s Word and to be reminded of what it means to put on the new self.
- Spend time in prayer, asking God to help you in the process of putting on the new self and to guide you in the way you should go.
- Surround yourself with people who are a positive influence in your life, who can encourage and support you in your journey towards becoming a new creation in Christ.
- Cultivate the qualities of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience in your life, and make them hallmarks of the new self that reflects Jesus Christ.
- Reflect on your behavior, attitude, and words, and make sure they align with the new self you are trying to cultivate.
- Make an effort to serve others and to share the message of reconciliation with others, as an ambassador of Christ’s love and grace.
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