1. Seeking the Things Which Are Above
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  • 2017-04-08,
  • 上傳者: 洪國恩,
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Scripture Reading: Col. 3:1-2; Eph. 2:5-6; Heb. 4:12; 1 Cor. 2:14-15
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
Eph 2:5         Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Eph 2:6         And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
1 Cor 2:14     But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.
1 Cor 2:15     But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.
 
 
I.     “If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God”—Col. 3:1:
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
A.     In ascension Christ is the One who is sitting at the right hand of God—Heb. 1:3; 12:2; Rom. 8:34:
Heb 1:3         Who, being the effulgence of His glory and the impress of His substance and upholding and bearing all things by the word of His power, having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 12:2       Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.
Rom 8:34      Who is he who condemns? It is Christ Jesus who died and, rather, who was raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
1. The right hand of God signifies preeminence, the first place of honor.
2. The right hand of God is the first and highest place in the universe, and God has put the ascended Christ there, giving the preeminence and the highest honor in the entire universe to Christ—Heb. 1:13; 8:1; 10:12.
Heb 1:13       But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand until I set Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet"?
Heb 8:1         Now in the things which are being said the chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 10:12     But this One, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down forever on the right hand of God,
B.     God not only saved us from the position of death, but He also seated us with Christ in the highest place in the universe—Eph. 2:5-6:
Eph 2:5         Even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Eph 2:6         And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
1. It was in Christ that God seated us all together, once for all, in the heavenlies.
2. This was accomplished when Christ ascended to the heavens, and it has been applied to us by the Spirit of Christ ever since we believed in Him.
3. Today we realize and experience this reality in our spirit through faith in the accomplished fact—v. 8; 1 Pet. 1:8; Heb. 11:1.
Eph 2:8         For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God;
1 Pet 1:8        Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory,
Heb 11:1       Now faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
C.     The things which are above are the things which are in the heavens, in contrast to the things which are on the earth—Col. 3:1-2:
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
1. The things which are above include the ascended Christ and all things related to Him.
2. The things on the earth include culture, religion, philosophy, and the improvement in behavior—2:8, 16, 18-23.
Col 2:8          Beware that no one carries you off as spoil through his philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ;
Col 2:16        Let no one therefore judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of the Sabbath,
Col 2:18        Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize, in self-chosen lowliness and the worship of the angels, dwelling on the things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his mind set on the flesh,
Col 2:19        And not holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
Col 2:20        If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances:
Col 2:21        Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch,
Col 2:22        (Regarding things which are all to perish when used) according to the commandments and teachings of men?
Col 2:23        Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
D.     In order to seek the things which are above, we must be where these things are; because we have one position with Christ in His ascension (Eph. 2:6), we can seek the things which are above.
Eph 2:6         And raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,
E.      According to the New Testament, the things which are above include Christ’s ascension, His enthronement, and His being made the Head, the Lord, and the Christ:
1. Acts 2:36 says that God has made Jesus in His ascension both Lord and Christ; He was made the Lord of all to possess all; and He was made Christ, God’s anointed One (Heb. 1:9), to carry out God’s commission.
Acts 2:36      Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.
Heb 1:9         You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy above Your partners";
2. In ascension Christ has been made the Head over all things to the church— Eph. 1:22:
Eph 1:22       And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
a. To the church implies a kind of transmission.
b. Whatever Christ, the Head, has attained and obtained is transmitted to the church, His Body.
c. In this transmission the church shares with Christ in all His attainments: the resurrection from the dead, His being seated in His transcendency, the subjection of all things under His feet, and the headship over all things—vv. 19-23.
Eph 1:19       And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:20       Which He caused to operate in Christ in raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Eph 1:21       Far above all rule and authority and power and lordship and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come;
Eph 1:22       And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23       Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
3. The Lord Jesus has been crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2:9); He is the Pioneer, who has cut the way into glory within the veil, and the Forerunner (6:19-20); He is our High Priest and the Minister of the true tabernacle (8:2); and, as the enthroned One, He is the center of God’s administration according to God’s eternal economy (Rev. 5:6).
Heb 2:9         But we see Jesus, who was made a little inferior to the angels because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death on behalf of everything.
Heb 6:19       Which we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and firm and which enters within the veil,
Heb 6:20       Where the Forerunner, Jesus, has entered for us, having become forever a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedec.
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
4. Such things are the things which are above, and we should set our mind on them—Col. 3:2.
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
5. To seek the things which are above is to respond to and reflect Christ’s activities in His heavenly ministry—Heb. 2:17; 4:14; 7:26; 8:1-2; Rev. 5:6; Col. 3:1-2.
Heb 2:17       Hence He should have been made like His brothers in all things that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Heb 4:14       Having therefore a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession.
Heb 7:26       For such a High Priest was also fitting to us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners and having become higher than the heavens,
Heb 8:1         Now in the things which are being said the chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
 
II.   In order to seek the things which are above and to set our mind on them, we need to turn to our spirit and experience the dividing of the soul from the spirit—Heb. 4:12:
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
A.     Only when we are in our spirit are we in heaven and mind the things which are above; when we are outside our spirit, we are earthly and mind the things which are on the earth—Col. 3:2:
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
1. The way to seek the things which are above is to turn to our spirit and call on the name of the Lord—Rom. 8:16; 10:12.
Rom 8:16      The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.
Rom 10:12    For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him;
2. There is a transmission taking place from Christ in heaven to us on earth by means of the all-inclusive Spirit in our spirit—Eph. 1:19, 22-23; 2:22:
Eph 1:19       And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength,
Eph 1:22       And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23       Which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.
a. Our spirit is the receiving end of the divine transmission, whereas the throne of God in heaven is the transmitting end—Rev. 5:6.
Rev 5:6         And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as having just been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
b. By turning to our spirit, we are lifted into heaven—4:1-2.
Rev 4:1         After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.
Rev 4:2         Immediately I was in spirit; and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne there was One sitting;
c. Because of the transmission from the throne of God in heaven into our spirit, when we experience and enjoy Christ here on earth, we are simultaneously in heaven.
d. In spirit we are one in position with Christ, seeking the things which are above—Col. 3:1.
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
B.     We need to experience the dividing of the soul from the spirit—Heb. 4:12:
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
1. First Thessalonians 5:23 shows that the soul and the spirit are not the same but are two separate items; there is a great difference between the soul and the spirit.
1 Thes 5:23   And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The soul and the spirit can be divided because they are two entities and are of two kinds of substances; regardless of how hidden our spirit is within our soul, they are still two distinct organs; thus, we need to experience the dividing of our soul from our spirit—Heb. 4:12.
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
3. The spirit is so hidden in the soul that it needs to be divided from the soul by the living and operative word of God, which is “sharper than any two-edged sword”—v. 12.
Heb 4:12       For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
4. First Corinthians 2:14 and 15 speak of two kinds of persons: the soulish man and the spiritual man:
1 Cor 2:14     But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.
1 Cor 2:15     But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.
a. The soulish man, and the soul itself, cannot understand or receive the spiritual things—v. 14.
1 Cor 2:14     But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.
b. The spiritual man discerns the spiritual things and likes to receive the spiritual things and to know and experience the things which are above— v. 15.
1 Cor 2:15     But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.
c. It is by the spirit that we understand and discern the spiritual things, and it is in the spirit that we desire to have the spiritual things.
C.     By experiencing the dividing of our soul from our spirit and by exercising our spirit, we can seek the things which are above and set our mind on them; then the riches of Christ’s heavenly ministry will be transmitted into us, and we will be transformed and constituted with Christ—Col. 3:1-2; Heb. 7:25-26; 8:1-2; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18; Col. 3:10-11.
Col 3:1          If therefore you were raised together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2          Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.
Heb 7:25       Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them.
Heb 7:26       For such a High Priest was also fitting to us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners and having become higher than the heavens,
Heb 8:1         Now in the things which are being said the chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 8:2         A Minister of the holy places, even of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Rom 12:2      And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.
2 Cor 3:18     But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.
Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.
 
 
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