Colossians 3:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

New Living Translation
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand.

English Standard Version
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

King James Bible
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God.

International Standard Version
Therefore, if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.

NET Bible
Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If therefore you are risen with The Messiah, seek that which is above, the place where The Messiah sits at the right side of God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above-where Christ holds the highest position.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If ye then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where the Christ sits at the right hand of God.

King James 2000 Bible
If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

American King James Version
If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.

American Standard Version
If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God:

Darby Bible Translation
If therefore ye have been raised with the Christ, seek the things [which are] above, where the Christ is, sitting at [the] right hand of God:

English Revised Version
If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
If ye then be raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Weymouth New Testament
If however you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, enthroned at God's right hand.

World English Bible
If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

Young's Literal Translation
If, then, ye were raised with the Christ, the things above seek ye, where the Christ is, on the right hand of God seated,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-4 As Christians are freed from the ceremonial law, they must walk the more closely with God in gospel obedience. As heaven and earth are contrary one to the other, both cannot be followed together; and affection to the one will weaken and abate affection to the other. Those that are born again are dead to sin, because its dominion is broken, its power gradually subdued by the operation of grace, and it shall at length be extinguished by the perfection of glory. To be dead, then, means this, that those who have the Holy Spirit, mortifying within them the lusts of the flesh, are able to despise earthly things, and to desire those that are heavenly. Christ is, at present, one whom we have not seen; but our comfort is, that our life is safe with him. The streams of this living water flow into the soul by the influences of the Holy Spirit, through faith. Christ lives in the believer by his Spirit, and the believer lives to him in all he does. At the second coming of Christ, there will be a general assembling of all the redeemed; and those whose life is now hid with Christ, shall then appear with him in his glory. Do we look for such happiness, and should we not set our affections upon that world, and live above this?

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-17. - SECTION VII. THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE. The apostle, having delivered his attack on the system of error inculcated at Colossae, now passes from the controversial to the more practical purport of his letter. There is no break, however, in the current of his thought; for throughout this chapter he urges the pursuit of a practical Christian life in a sense and in a manner silently opposed to the tendencies of Gnosticizing error. How much more congenial was the task to which he now addresses himself we may judge, perhaps, from the ease and simplicity which mark the language of this chapter, as compared with the abrupt and seemingly embarrassed style of the last section. We may analyze the hortatory section of the Epistle (Colossians 3:1-4:6) as follows:

(a) Colossians 3:1-4, urging the Colossians to maintain a lofty spiritual life;

(b) vers. 5-8, to put off their old vices, impurity, malice, falsehood;

(c) vers. 9-14, to put on the new Christian virtues, especially gentleness, forgivingness, love;

(d) vers. 15-17, to let the sovereign influence of Christ sway their whole life - inward, social, secular;

(e) ver. 18 - Colossians 4:1, enjoining the Christian discharge of their relative duties, as wives and husbands, children and fathers, servants and masters, under the sense of their allegiance to the Lord Christ;

(f) Colossians 4:2-4, exhorting to constant prayer, and especially for the apostle himself at the present juncture; and

(g) vers. 5, 6, to wise conduct and edifying speech toward them that are without. It will be seen how much more comprehensive and systematic is the view thus presented of Christian duty than that furnished by earlier Epistles; and how the ideas of the supremacy of Christ, the unity of the Christian brotherhood, and the sacredness of the natural constitution of human life, which were threatened by the rise of Gnosticism in Colossae, underlie the apostle's exposition of Christian ethics. Paragraphs (a) to (d) in the above analysis we have grouped together under the title given to this section; (e) demands a separate treatment; and (f) and (g) will finally be bracketed together. Verses 1, 2. - If, therefore, ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at God's right hand; mind the things above, not the things upon the earth (Colossians 2:11-13, 20; Romans 6:1-11; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 3:20; Matthew 6:19, 20; Luke 12:13-40). The apostle has already shown that when his readers, entering the gate of baptism, became Christians through faith in Christ, they died with him (Colossians 2:20), were buried, then raised and made alive together with him (Colossians 2:11-13): comp. Romans 6:1-11. So they were restored to peace and favour with God (Colossians 1:21-23; Colossians 2:13, 14), severed from their old life of sin (Colossians 2:11), and set in the path of holiness (Colossians 1:22). At the same time, they left behind all childish, tentative forms and notions ("rudiments") of religion, whether Jewish or non-Jewish (Colossians 2:8, 11, 18, 20-23). They became dead both from sin and from human modes of salvation. Both are included in "the things upon the earth," to which belong at once the grosser sensual forms of sin (ver. 5) with its "surfeiting of the flesh" (Colossians 2:23), and that vaunted philosophy, which is after all earth born and earthward tending (Colossians 2:8, 20), bringing the soul again into bondage to material things. The apostle lifts his readers into a new, heavenly sphere. He bids them make "the things above," i.e. "the things of Christ," the one object of their thought and endeavour. So they will master the flesh by rising above it, instead of fighting it on its own ground by ceremonial rite and ascetic regimen. "The things above" are no abstract, transcendental conception, as in the theology of St. Paul's opponents, for they are "where Christ is." The things "in the heavens" as well as those "upon the earth" were created "in him, through him, unto him" (Colossians 1:16); there he is Lord, even as here (Colossians 1:17; Colossians 2:10; Matthew 28:18). His presence gives distinctness and positiveness to the Christian's view of heaven, and concentrates his interests and affections there (comp. Philippians 1:23; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Matthew 6:19, 20; John 12:26; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Acts 7:56). "Seated" is placed with emphasis at the end of its clause, indicating the completeness of the Saviour's work and the dignity of his position (comp. Ephesians 1:20-22; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:12, 13; Revelation 3:21; and see Pearson on the Creed, art. 6.). (For "the things above," see vers. 3, 4; also Colossians 1:5 and Colossians 2:18 compared with Philippians 3:11-14, 20, 21; Romans 2:7; Romans 8:17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:42-49; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:8; John 17:24.) To "seek" these things is to strive that they may be ours in the future; to "mind" them is to occupy our thoughts with them in the present. (For the word "mind" (φρονέω), comp. Philippians 3:19 and Romans 8:5-7 (φρόνημα, minding); in Romans 14:6 it is rendered by "regard.")

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If ye then be risen with Christ,.... The apostle having observed in the former chapter, that the believing Colossians were dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, were buried with him in baptism, and were risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, argues from hence how much it became them to regard a new and spiritual life, and to seek after superior and heavenly things, and treat with neglect and contempt carnal and earthly ones. For he does not here call in question their being risen with Christ, but takes it for granted that they were, and makes use of it as an argument for his present purpose. They were risen with Christ as their head, and as members in union with him representatively, when he rose from the dead; and emblematically in their baptism, when having gone down into the water, and being baptized, they emersed from it; and spiritually in conversion, when they were raised from a death of sin, to a life of grace, by Christ, as the resurrection and the life, the efficient cause of it, and in virtue of his resurrection from the dead: wherefore being thus raised again in every sense, it highly became them to

seek those things which are above; the better and heavenly country, the continuing city, which is above the heavens, whose builder and maker is God; Christ, who is in heaven, and salvation alone by him without the works of the law; all spiritual blessings, such as pardon, peace, righteousness, life, and glory, which are in heavenly places in him; doctrines and ordinances, which come from heaven, and are the means of supporting a spiritual and heavenly life; especially that bread of life which came down from heaven, and gives life unto the world, and of which if a man eats, he shall never die, but live for ever; and particularly glory, honour, immortality, and eternal life, the crown of righteousness laid up above, the kingdom of God, and the righteousness of it; which are to be sought for in the first place with all affection, earnest desire, care, and diligence, not by or for works of righteousness, but in Christ, and as the gifts of God's grace through him.

Where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God: which contains other reasons and arguments to engage believers to look upwards, and seek after heavenly things; that as Christ, when he died and rose again from the dead, did not stay long on earth, nor minded the things of the world, but ascended up to heaven, where he now is, and will remain until his second coming; so they, being dead and risen with him, should, in their thoughts, desires, and affections, in the exercise of the graces of faith, hope, and love, ascend heavenwards, like pillars of smoke perfumed with frankincense; and the more should their hearts be where he is, and intent on things above there, from the consideration of that great honour and dignity in which he is. He is "on the right hand of God"; in human nature, an honour which none of the angels were ever admitted to: here he "sitteth", as having done the work of redemption, and entered into his rest, beholding the travail of his soul with satisfaction, though he continues to be an advocate, and to make intercession for his people; which is another reason enforcing this exhortation.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary


Col 3:1-25. Exhortations to Heavenly Aims, as Opposed to Earthly, on the Ground of Union to the Risen Saviour; to Mortify and Put Off the Old Man, and to Put on the New; in Charity, Humility, Words of Edification, Thankfulness; Relative Duties.

1. If … then—The connection with Col 2:18, 23, is, he had condemned the "fleshly mind" and the "satiating to the full the flesh"; in contrast to this he now says, "If then ye have been once for all raised up (Greek, aorist tense) together with Christ" (namely, at your conversion and baptism, Ro 6:4).

seek those things … above—(Mt 6:33; Php 3:20).

sitteth—rather, as Greek, "Where Christ is, sitting on the right of God" (Eph 1:20). The Head being quickened, the members are also quickened with Him. Where the Head is, there the members must be. The contrast is between the believer's former state, alive to the world but dead to God, and his present state, dead to the world but alive to God; and between the earthly abode of the unbeliever and the heavenly abode of the believer (1Co 15:47, 48). We are already seated there in Him as our Head; and hereafter shall be seated by Him, as the Bestower of our bliss. As Elisha (2Ki 2:2) said to Elijah when about to ascend, "As the Lord liveth … I will not leave thee"; so we must follow the ascended Saviour with the wings of our meditations and the chariots of our affections. We should trample upon and subdue our lusts that our conversation may correspond to our Saviour's condition; that where the eyes of apostles were forced to leave Him, thither our thoughts may follow Him (Mt 6:21; Joh 12:32) [Pearson]. Of ourselves we can no more ascend than a bar of iron lift itself up' from the earth. But the love of Christ is a powerful magnet to draw us up (Eph 2:5, 6). The design of the Gospel is not merely to give rules, but mainly to supply motives to holiness.

Colossians 3:1 Additional Commentaries
Put on the New Self
1Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.…
Cross References
Psalm 110:1
Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

Ecclesiastes 10:2
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.

Mark 16:19
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

Romans 6:5
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

Philippians 3:20
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 2:12
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Hebrews 8:1
Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
Treasury of Scripture

If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.


Colossians 2:12,13,20 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him …

Romans 6:4,5,9-11 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like …

Galatians 2:19,20 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God…

Ephesians 1:19,20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, …

Ephesians 2:5,6 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, …


Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of …

Psalm 17:14,15 From men which are your hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which …

Psalm 73:25,26 Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none on earth that I …

Proverbs 15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Matthew 6:20,33 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth …

Luke 12:33 Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which …

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded …

2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things …

Philippians 3:20,21 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the …

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having …


Psalm 110:1 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make …

Matthew 22:44 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your …

Matthew 26:64 Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter …

Mark 12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, …

Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: and you shall see the Son of man sitting on …

Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into …

Luke 20:42 And David himself said in the book of Psalms, The LORD said to my …

Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, …

Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into …

Romans 8:34 Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that …

Ephesians 1:20 Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and …

Ephesians 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all …

Hebrews 1:3,13 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his …

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such …

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, …

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the …

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels …

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