1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
The opening words of the verse, “If ye then be risen with Christ”, assume that the readers are those who have experienced the new life in Christ (i.e. those who are born again). The word “if” is used logically, as a means of argument, and not as a means of doubt.
Representatively, all the elect of God died with Christ unto sin and resurrected with Him unto newness of life. Dying and rising with Christ is a spiritual reality that they also personally experience. In an earlier chapter, Paul told the believers that “you, being dead in your sins… hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Colossians 2:13). So those who are “risen with Christ” are no more dead in their sins, but they “are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12b). Our faith in Christ, the joy of forgiveness, sanctification and all other spiritual realities which we enjoy are abundant evidence of the power of His resurrection that is at work in our lives (cf. Ephesians 1:19-20).
In our text, Paul speaks of the new spiritual pursuit of those who are risen with Christ, as they “seek” (zēteite) or strive earnestly for those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. The phrase, “those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God”, points us to all things with reference to Christ’s present exalted state.
Since He is interceding for us as our Advocate at His Father’s side, we must seek His forgiveness and sanctification (cf. 1 John 2:1).
Since Christ reigns in heaven as the Head of the church, we must submit to His headship (Ephesians 1:20-22; 5:23-24); we must give Him pre-eminence in all the affairs of our life (Colossians 1:18); we must seek to be nourished up in the fullness that He grants us as our Head (cf. Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 2:10, 19); we must seek to grow unto the Head, even our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:15); and we must seek to be knitted together as His body (Colossians 2:19).
Since He is preparing a place for us in heaven, let us be ready for His coming, and for the heaven and the rewards which He is preparing for us (John 14:1-3; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 10:35).