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  • Jeff Chacon

Living in two worlds

Do you ever feel like you’re living in two worlds – the physical and the spiritual?


You spend time with the Lord in the morning and you see your life and the world from a spiritual perspective.


And then you read the news, interact with co-workers or fellow students, watch a show, and go to bed. And by the end of the day, you somehow see your life and the world from a completely different perspective – a mostly material one.


That’s because, as Christians, we live in two worlds – the one we see (our physical lives) and the one we don’t see (our spiritual lives).


And it’s hard to live well in both.


Both worlds are very real and important!


Both our bodies and souls must be fed.

Both our bodies and souls can grow weak or strong.

Both our bodies and souls require constant maintenance and attention.

Both our bodies and souls are made by God.

Both our bodies and souls will be resurrected by God.

Both our bodies and souls will be with us forever in Heaven.


But there are also important differences between them…


Our physical lives are visible – our spiritual lives are invisible.


Our physical lives are felt and known through our five senses – our spiritual lives are felt and known by our spirits.


Our physical lives are seen and evaluated primarily by others – our spiritual lives are seen and evaluated by God.


Our physical lives are acknowledged by everyone – our spiritual lives are acknowledged by a few.


Our physical lives are constantly clamoring for our attention – our spiritual lives are easily forgotten and neglected (until there’s a crisis).


These are some of the reasons God’s Word directs us to set our hearts and minds on things above – not on earthly things. Because it’s natural to focus on the physical – but it takes effort to focus on the spiritual.


“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)


Verse 1 says, “Since, then, you have been (past tense) raised with Christ…”


When did that happen?

In baptism…

“having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)


So, we were raised with Christ at our conversion – but raised to go where?


Ephesians 2:6 explains: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”


Spiritually, we are currently seated “in the heavenly realms” with Jesus right now! (vs. 6)


As one Commentator puts it: “This is the present position of the Christian. We have a new place for living, a new arena of existence… our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).” (David Guzik)


But physically, we’re still living on earth.


So, as Christians, we’re literally living in two worlds: we’re physically living on earth, as citizens of the United States. AND we’re spiritually living in the heavenly realms, as citizens of Heaven.


The passages goes on to explain the priority of the spiritual over the physical…


“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”


Both the physical and spiritual worlds are important.


But, the spiritual world is more important – because it’s eternal, it effects how we behave in the physical world, and it will be rewarded by God on the last day.


The spiritual world is also less obvious, less believed in by others, and therefore, easier to neglect.


So, God’s Word says: “…set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died (in baptism – Romans 6:3), and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1b-4)


We “died” when we were baptized into Christ… That’s when our old self died, and we were “born again” spiritually (John 3:3-6).


Our life is now “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3b)


When God sees us, he sees the perfection of Christ.

And when people see us, they should see an imperfect reflection of Christ.


As verse 4 says, “Christ, who is your life…”


Christ is now our lives! We have no life outside of Christ!


Yes, we have “bios” (the Greek word for physical life), but we don’t have “zoe” (the Greek word for God’s life).


That’s why Jesus said in John 6:53, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life (“zoe”) in you.”


All of vs. 4 from our primary text says: “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”


This is the unveiling!

This is the big reveal!


This is where:


“What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” (Luke 12:3)


“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17)


“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5b)


“Now”, our “glory” is “hidden” from view, but one day our “glory” will be revealed to all! (Colossians 3:4)


And we will be greatly rewarded for how we have conducted our spiritual lives in the less obvious world we live in, the less believed in by others, and therefore, the easier to neglect.


But, by far – the more important world!


In summary


1) As Christians, we’re living in two worlds: the physical world and the spiritual world.


2) The spiritual world is less obvious, less believed in by others, and therefore, easier to neglect. But it’s by far more important – because it’s eternal, it effects how we behave in the physical world, and it will be rewarded by God on the last day.


3) So, we’re to set our hearts and minds on things above – not on earthly things.


4) And when Christ returns, our “hidden” spiritual lives with God will be “revealed” and greatly rewarded with eternal “glory”!

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