NAS – 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
In these verses there are a couple of imperatives based upon certain truths from the gospel. The weight of these commands actually rests upon the doctrine that Paul had just concluded teaching. There are two things that must be kept in balance to maintain a healthy Christian life: The life of the Spirit and an understanding of the Word of God. I’ve heard it said that a, “Correct belief is always the firm foundation for right (righteous) behavior.” It’s from the discovery of the teaching of “who you are in Christ” that shows “who you are in this world.”
In ABC’s hit series Castle, Richard Castle’s witty mother, who comes up just short of a grifter, is always inventing these little saying which she calls Marthaisms. My favorite Marthaism is “You Is Who You Is.” While it sounds a bit outlandish and, no doubt, written with a philosophical wink and nod at psychology, the pithy little saying does present to me a clever way of remembering a spiritual truth! So I’ve called this little effort, “You Is Who You Is!” thanking Martha Rodgers, Rick Castle’s mother, for lending her insights.
The whole premise (or at least what I’m supposing is the premise) of “You Is Who You Is” is that your behavior represents the character of what you believe. (If I’m reading into this way too much you’ll have to forgive me; but don’t stop me, I’m having way too much fun!) That is what Paul is attempting to demonstrate to the Colossians. Let’s read what he wrote without the added imperatives.
1 …you have been raised up with Christ…where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God”
This is the foundation for the two commands from Paul. Listen, Paul is saying something like, “you is who you is” and you is raised with Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. Christ is physically raised and is seated next to the Father. This little verse tells me the result of the resurrection of Christ is that I am raised spiritually with Him. What is obvious is that I am not there physically yet, one day I will be, but at this time I am here on good old terra firma. Paul is then encouraging me that the place where I’m located now physically must see my representation of where Christ has brought me spiritually. “You is who you is” and if you is in heaven spiritually with Christ, then you is to be of the same character below on the earth.
This is what it means to “keep seeking the things above.” This is what it means to “set your mind on things above.” This is what it means to understanding “who” Christ is and then, letting His life work through you, be “who you is” in Christ! And Christ in you the hope of glory is “who you is”! So, the tenor of my life has become “no longer I but Christ working in me.” You is the lights of the world, now shine as those lights! You is Christ’s, and “You Is Who You Is!” (Please remember that any grammatical errors are to be taken with the grain of salt in which they were created. Do not attempt at home!)
J. Robert Hanson