If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died (with Christ), and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3: 1-4
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
WE STUDIED TOGETHER HOW WE DIED WITH CHRIST accepting the fellowship of His death to the world and to sin. Now we must know that death with Christ must inevitably be linked to the victorious resurrection from the first death and from sin that surrounds the flesh. St. Paul now urges us that if we are truly risen with Christ, then all our interests and spiritual demands will be focused above, i.e. with Christ seated at the right hand of His Father, in complete equality of power and glory. If such is the case, i.e. the Leader of our salvation is seated above, inviting us to be concerned with what is above, i.e. that which is specific to Christ and at the same time inevitably is our concern, then our interest with the above is our kind of life in the renewed man who is not at ease or comforted except in the mention of heaven and what is specific to our joyful fate. The words of inspiration are therefore: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”1 Even during difficulties and grief our heavenly joy will be our only comfort, waiting for the fulfillment of redemption and gaining the final act of salvation is our primary concern, knowing that the world’s grief ends in hopelessness that is not faith and is not related to eternal life. For that reason Christ established joy for us in the future of that which is above, as a new nature for renewed man to live from now his eternal life with God, leaving behind worldly grief and pain, which are the old mankind’s share that they may pass with time as if had they never existed.
This truth is revealed through the kind of our interest: is it temporal of the earth relevant to death, or is our concern heavenly, increasing daily in light, glow and glory? Do we live in the old man, subject to the pains of this world, or have we received the renewed man washed in the baptism of the Spirit and blood of Christ for a better life that is heavenly? It is our interests that are either for us or against us.
For that the inspiration says openly: “Set your mind on things above” not on things on the earth. He who commands us to care for things above does not require it as an obligation we must fulfill but orders us through God’s power that raised us from death with Christ to live what remains of our lives as resurrected from death, alive in God. It is a Divine commandment which cost was paid, or it is as a heavenly gift for which we must pay attention because it is a gift of grace from God to follow in life as God’s children who have obtained an eternal promise to enter the Holies through the blood of Christ.
If we really died with Christ then where is the new life we live? Some may think our resurrection with Christ and acceptance of life and renewed man is a mere promise not to be fulfilled in the present. But the sure truth and fact, through the Spirit of God and out of the Christ’s mouth is that we actually resurrected from death with Christ, and our new life is not seen by the world in the same way that Christ’s life is hidden in God. Our new life is also hidden in the life of Christ, our God. We thus live in Him unseen by the world and our fellowship in Christ is hidden at the present. As the Bible says: “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,”2 “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (in glory).”3
It is the most wonderful thing told concerning the future of our unseen life at the present as it is hidden in the life of Christ and His glory. It will inevitably be revealed through the revelation of Christ and we will become apparent to those of heaven and of the earth as fellows in the life of Christ and his glory.
24 June, 2005
1 Phil 4:4.
2 Col 3:4.
3 1John 3:2.
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