December 1, 2020

Christophany Revisited

Christophany Revisited

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

Paul’s usage of the word “if” in the text is not to question whether Jesus Christ was resurrected or not. He is presenting a conclusion not a condition. “If” can be translated as “since”. Thus, the verse would read, “Since ye then be risen with Christ”.

The term “with” is from the Greek word “sun”, also used as “syn”. It speaks of a close association whereby one participates entirely in the events of the other. Paul uses his theological epithet, “in Christ”, in his epistles 164 times to present us entirely in Another. We are what He is, we are where He is, we have what He has and we participate in what He does. But Paul equally makes use of the preposition “sun”. So, we are not only “en Christos” (in Christ), we are also “sun Christos”, meaning we actively participate in all that He is and all that He is currently doing at the Father’s right hand. Pause and think of this!

We are presently participating in Christ’s personal influence. We are one with Christ. All that He is, is perpetually presenting us to the Father in His own body irreproachable, blameless, holy, consecrated. This is His love offering to the Father – presenting you to Him, consecrated in union with Him. In the Son’s communion with the Father, the Father receives you the same way He receives the Son, and in the Spirit’s witness, what is exchanged between the Father and the Son is filled in your heart and you now identify in the Son, recognizing that you have been generated from His sonship. You now come to realize that you are truly the son of God and because you have acknowledged this, you can cry “Abba, Father”, looking at the Father face-to-face, standing in the filial status of Christ Jesus.

We were not just present in the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus Christ. Retrospectively, this is true. But prospectively, we need to acknowledge where we are now in our salvation history: we have been conjointly seated, enthroned in the Son at the right hand of God. You need to relocate yourself mentally in view of Christ’s supremacy. The Father’s right hand is a place of unrivalled authority. Jesus Christ has no enemies; He destroyed all His enemies by reconciling them to the Father. You can never conquer darkness by hating it. You can only conquer darkness by letting your light shine.

We need to acquire the mind of Christ regarding our present reality because something about you has been radically, irreversibly altered. You are not who you thought you were. You are more than you know. Paul says we need to set our affections on things above and not on things on earth. Our predominant address is the Father’s right hand; there are consequences to this. To set our affection on the things that are upward does not mean we become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. “Upward” does not mean upstairs. Paul was not talking about spatial dimensions. “Upward” refers to the things pertaining to Christ’s reign. Heaven is the abode of the Father; it is home, it is where we live. We live in the Father.

Paul describes the earthly things, the things beneath, in Colossians 2:8:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Paul was talking about the vain philosophies that attempt to define man in terms of his own resources, in an illusion of separation from God. Paul was saying we should ensure to detach our minds from the vain deceits after the rudiments of the world that would cause you to think you are not one with Christ. We live in the immediacy of God. Jesus is not the go-between for you and the Father. His mediatorship means it is in Him who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, who assumed what was ours and made it His, that our human nature is exalted to participate in the nature of God.

Paul warned us about the traditions of men that would cause us to focus on our failures, and rely on a sense of unworthiness. This is what he refers to as “earthly things” throughout his epistle to the Colossians. We have been extracted from the fall, exempt from the Adamic failure. Now, together with Christ in His resurrection, exercise your consciousness to rest in the posture of His Life. Be conscious to adopt the posture of rest in His Life. This is what it means to be seated. Let your thoughts be focused in the One with whom you are raised, Christ Jesus.

It is possible to have a mindset that acknowledges Adam’s fall, his failures and his curse, meanwhile you are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. You would not enjoy the party with such a mindset, although everything is there for you. We are seated in the midst of the Son’s inheritance. In Him all things consist and we are seated with Him.

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