Christian Universe TM
On Things Above
January 11, 2009
I often preach that we should keep our "affections on things above", but seldom discuss those things that are above us. I address that deficiency in this lesson. The Bible tells us little of what heaven looks like or will be like. It does tell us that God is there, and Jesus with Him. We know that we shall have eternal life there.
On Things Above
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 01-11-2009
Colossians 3:1: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
I often refer to this scripture while speaking on other topics in my sermons. Today I want to take a little time to a look a little deeper into that statement.
What is there in heaven upon which we should keep our minds and hearts?
There is the Creator of the universe, whom we know as the Almighty God, the one God. There is no greater than he. He gives us grace, mercy, and love.
Ephesians 2:4: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6: And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
God, in His kindness and love gave us Jesus Christ to take away our sins. He did not have to do this. He did it because He chose to, He wanted to. It is by the grace of God, and it is a gift. We did not earn Jesus and the taking away of our sins.
Romans 3:21: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22: Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
God, who is in heaven, by His great grace, determined to send His son Jesus to give us forgiveness of our sins. By the grace of God there is a way to have our sins washed away and forgotten.
Romans 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Our faith in Jesus Christ is possible by the grace of God. The hope that we have of a good life in heaven for eternity is by the grace of God.
John 3:14: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 14:2: “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Our hope of eternal life is by the grace of God. He is willing to share His house with us. When we think of heaven, we think of God and His grace, mercy, and love.
When we think of heaven, we also think of Jesus Christ, sitting at the right hand of God.
Mk:16:19: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”
Colossians 3:1: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”
Hebrews 1:1: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2: Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
When we think of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, we cannot but think of what He does for us there.
Romans 8:31: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32: He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
Hebrews 7:24: “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26: For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”
1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 4:10: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
When we think on things above, we think on Jesus, who died to take away our sins, and is now sitting at the right hand of God, still advocating for us, still interceding, still taking away our sins!
Also, when we think on heaven, we think of eternal life and peace. We know that by Jesus comes the resurrection of the righteous to life eternal.
Matthew 25:46: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
John 12:25: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
In Romans chapter two, we are told that God rewards us according to the lives that we live, and has this to say about the righteous:
Romans 2:7: “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:”
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In Paul’s letter to Titus, he sums up all that we have studied today.
Titus 3:4: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”
By thinking about things above, we come full circle to our life on earth. To get to heaven, we have to live as citizens of the kingdom here and now. We must treat God as our Father and great king, and Jesus as our brother, and Master That means that we must live our lives here as befits the children of God.
1 John 2:24: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25: And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”
Let us learn the teachings of Jesus, study His life, and then walk in His footsteps, for they will take us where He is.