“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
The Apostle Paul proclaimed firstly that Jesus Christ had been raised from death and was seen by many. This was the cornerstone of early apostolic preaching and it was met by both belief and derision as it still is to this day.
However Paul also saw the Resurrection of Jesus as a metaphor for our living the new life in Christ, and he links this new life to our ‘affections’ which is about the things we love and want. He speaks about the ‘things which are above’ and then elaborate on what it means.
We might expect these things which are above to be about theology, about our idea of God, our belief in the Trinity, or teaching about the final judgement at the end of time. But he doesn’t! Its all about very ordinary behaviours and attitudes which direct our daily lives.
If we are risen with Christ, we will be forgiving, full of mercy, settling quarrels, longsuffering with others, and above all, being full of love for both friend and enemy. Paul says a lot more than this in Colossians chapter 3. He also touches on what should be avoided, such as not harbouring anger and malice, and to see all people as equal because there is no male or female, bond or free in Christ.
Paul teaches us to ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’, and on another occasion, he calls us to ‘have the mind of Christ’. So here we have the energy centre for godly behaviour, it is to allow the mind of Christ to meld with our own mind, to think the thoughts that Jesus would think and out of that will follow our speech and actions.
So the mind is the battleground where the decisions are made. Jesus says “I stand at the door and knock if anyone will open that door my father and I will come in and make our home with them”. The latch to that door is on the inside and Christ comes in only at our invitation, and once we open the door it needs a continuing daily maintenance.