"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: have your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth; for ye have died, and your life is hid with the Christ in God. When the Christ is manifested who is our life, then shall ye also be manifested with him in glory." - Colossians 3:1-4 I hope we can have a discussion about the practical application of this scripture. It's certainly a testing one, and I find myself tested by it, perhaps more than anybody. As believers, we have died. Baptism is a figure of that, the 'old man' going out of sight in death, and our being raised with the Christ into new life. We're of a new order of man altogether. "Such as he made of dust, such also those made of dust; and such as the heavenly one, such also the heavenly ones." (1 Corinthians 15:48). We were of Adam, but now we're of Christ. Through His immeasurably great work, we've become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). This exhortation by Paul is ‘sandwiched’ between two sections describing things that are negative – at the end of chapter 2, it seems to be outward things that would constrict us. In chapter 3, it’s inward things that would corrupt us. What frees us from both is our having died with the Christ. “If ye have died with the Christ from the elements of the world…” (Colossians 2:20) – the outward things are dealt with. “Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth…” (Colossians 3:5) – the inward things are dealt with. When Paul writes “Put to death”, it’s the aorist – it means ‘be in the state of having done it’. In other words, it’s not an instruction for us to go and do it – it’s an exhortation to us to be in that state of having put our members to death. After all, we’ve already died with the Christ. That is objectively true of us – there’s really no doubt at all about our having died and having been raised. That’s the divine viewpoint. Is it practically true of me? The purpose behind this is really that we should be free, that we should be at liberty before God. We’re no longer subject to ordinances (Colossians 2:20) and we’ve “put off the old man with his deeds, and… put on the new…” (Colossians 3:9-10). We have every possible advantage! We’re to have our minds on the things that are above. What an occupation! What is actually there, “above”? – Paul tells us: “where the Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God…” A glorified Christ, doesn’t that thrill our hearts? We, who are identified with Him in rejection in the world, and will be identified with Him in glorious manifestation in a future day. This is the time of mourning in a certain sense, the time of His absence: “But days will come when the bridegroom will have been taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15). Am I conscious of His rejection in the world which cruelly cast Him out and put Him to death – do I feel it? Am I identified with Him inwardly? If I am, then surely I’ll be stirred in my heart when I think of His glory now – my throne-seated Lord, soon to be publicly vindicated! If these holy feelings are in my heart, then surely I’ll be utterly, practically free – free from ordinances without, free from lusts within, with seeking the things that are above.