Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2) Now that is something we need to be reminded of daily! It only makes sense. When we are baptized, we symbolically partake of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. If our new self is truly alive “in Christ” why would we fix our minds on the grave? Why should we allow ourselves to be distracted by death and the things of this world that pulls us down?
“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) Here’s where faith comes in because these words are truth. Paul is not encouraging delusional behavior. Christ’s work on the cross did in fact allow us to be set free from the chains of sin and death. We need to accept that reality, by faith, and walk in it.
“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10) Lay aside the old self, our dead human nature, and put on our new self, the nature of Christ. Exchange the old clothes for the new, dress it up a bit and act accordingly.
Just a quick story here. If you have ever chaperoned a high school or middle school dance before you could observe how differently students behave when the dress is “semi-formal.” We naturally behave differently when we “dress it up.” However, this is not just about behavior, it’s about relationship and who we are in Christ. We are different, our hearts have changed and not just our external appearance. “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other,” (Colossians 3:12-13a)