If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
We have here a transition to the practical part of this Epistle. "If ye then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God."
I. OUR RESURRECTION WITH CHRIST. We are not only "dead with Christ," but "risen with him;" "not only planted in the likeness of his death, but planted together in the likeness of his resurrection;" "that we may walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:2-4). This translation has altered our standpoint. We are "quickened together with Christ, and raised together with him" (Ephesians 2:5, 6). We have now an entirely new sphere of intellectual conception and moral aspiration. "Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
II. THE PRACTICAL DUTY INVOLVED IN THIS RESURRECTION. "Seek those things which are above."
1. "The things above" are all things pertaining to our true home - "the new Jerusalem" and "the heavenly citizenship," in contrast to "the things upon the earth." They include
(1) the vision of Christ (John 17:24);
(2) the enjoyment of God, which is promoted
(a) by our fuller knowledge of him (John 17:3),
(b) by our growing love to him (1 John 4:16), and
(c) by the manifold expressions of his love to us (Zephaniah 3:17);
(3) the society of angels and saints.
2. The excellence of "the things above." They are
(1) satisfying, as things on earth are unsatisfying;
(2) certain, as things on earth are uncertain;
(3) perpetual and everlasting, as things on earth are transient and decaying;
(4) suitable, as things on earth are unsuitable to an immortal spirit.
3. They are to be sought, implying
(1) our knowledge of them;
(2) our longing for them;
(3) our anxious effort to realize them (Matthew 6:33).
III. AN ARGUMENT TO INCITE AND ENCOURAGE US TO THIS DUTY. "Where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God." There are two facts here stated.
1. Christ our Head is in heaven. Therefore heaven must be the objective point of our thoughts as well as our hopes. We look up because he, who is our Hope, is there - "within the vail." The thought of Christ's presence gives definiteness to our ideas of heaven. "Where our treasure is, there will be our heart also."
2. Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. This implies:
(1) His intercessory work; for he has entered into "heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
(2) His mediatorial dominion and power (Philippians 2:10).
(3) Our sitting with him - "he raised us up and made us to sit in heavenly places in Jesus Christ." These places are those he premised to prepare for his people (John 14:2). "He that overcometh, to him will I give to sit with me in my throne" (Revelation 3:21). - T. C.
Parallel VersesKJV: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.