Colossians 3:1-7 NASB
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
In my past I aspired to be a computer programmer. The work intrigued me and I thought it was a career choice ripe for future growth. I wasn’t wrong. But the long hours of face time with a monitor wore me down. So I moved on to other things. Although I moved on, I never quite lost the taste for programming. So as I read the above scripture verses from Colossians, I instantly thought of the if/then statement when programming. Essentially, if a condition is true then perform a certain task. It is a powerful function that directs programming processes.
That is also true of us. As many of Paul’s letters state, if you are a Christian then either do certain things or do not do certain things. It seems simple enough. But we need to be reminded constantly. Paul knew that.
As Paul states in verse 1, if you call yourself a believer /if you believe you are raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above. It is assumed that if you are a believer you sought the things above at the beginning of your new birth. So don’t give up. Keep it up. You have not arrived. You have only begun. The end of verse 1 and the start of verse 2 states it again to set your mind on things above where Christ is seated. If you focus up, then your focus will be away from the things of the world. The ways of the world are “ immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” and “disobedience”. Don’t fool yourself. To be a Christian means striving after holiness which is contrary to the things of the world. You once walked according to those things but no more.
If you are a Christian then “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”. But this only works when the condition is met. The “if” must be true. Are you a Christian? If you say “Yes!”, do you have a pattern of befriending the world (James 4:4)? Do you love the world (1 John 2:15)? Understand that you can’t love Jesus and the world. They oppose each other. Allegiance to one is to oppose the other. The answer to the “if“ determines every process that follows.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?