Risen with ChristNov 29th, 2011 | By admin | Category: The Basics (click on Article name)
“If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”–Col. 3:1-3.
It is evident that the apostle Paul is here addressing a particular class–not the world, nor mere believers, but that comparatively small class who have made a covenant with God of entire consecration to His service, even unto death. This class, he affirms, is dead (reckonedly), and his language also implies that they have (reckonedly) risen as new creatures, and from these two facts the apostle draws certain reasonable conclusions, and upon them bases a timely exhortation.
Let us consider first the sense in which the consecrated are dead and risen, that we may clearly see our present position and its responsibilities. Once we were dead with Adam in trespasses and in sins. That is, we with all the rest of mankind were under the condemnation; the death sentence had passed upon us; and, as we sometimes say of a condemned criminal, “he is a dead man,” although the sentence is not yet executed, so we were likewise all dead men–reckoned dead already. But being redeemed, purchased, from that condemnation, we, by faith in that transaction, passed from death unto life–from under God’s condemnation of death, into His favor and into justification of life. And yet it was only a reckoning–a right or title to life, secured, and not yet the actual possession of it.
In due time (“the times of restitution”) that title would have been made good, had we not again lost it–disposed of it. None have lost it except those who have first accepted of it, and then presented themselves to God as living sacrifices–holy (because justified), and (therefore) acceptable unto Him. (Rom. 12:1.) This covenant of sacrifice, even unto death, is the same covenant which Jesus made. All who make it, thus solemnly engage to die, to spend and surrender human life in God’s service. By faith (i.e., reckonedly) we are risen from the Adamic condemnation (death); we have consecrated the life reckoned as restored; we have counted ourselves dead with Christ as actually we were dead with Adam; and further we reckon ourselves as though risen with Christ and now, like him, no longer human, but “new creatures,” “partakers of the divine nature,” and as though seated with him “in heavenly places.” We are thus reckoning to ourselves all the promises of God in advance, because we realize that “It is a faithful saying: If we be dead with him we shall also live with him.”–2 Tim. 2:11,12.
And……….If ye be risen with Christ, seek and set your affections on the things above, not on things on the earth; for your interests are heavenly. The earthly blessings of restitution, and all the good things in store for the redeemed natural man are not your future portion. Look into the exceeding great and precious promises of the blessings in store for the new creatures in Christ, that you may catch more of the inspiration of that glorious hope. Then forgetting the things behind, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [R914]