1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
if (v.1) = “if, as is the fact,” “since”
were raised (v.1) — at salvation
seek (v.1) = desire earnestly and strive after — in contrast to the earthly focus of the ascetics
things which are above (v.1) — things where Christ is
Verse one should read “…where Christ is, seated on the right hand …”
right hand (v.1) — position of power and authority
Our union with Christ is to be the basis for all we do.
set your mind (v.2) — more than just thinking, it means to make it the whole focus of your mind (Philippians 3:19-20)
We are to engage in and enjoy this life but keep in mind that it is only temporary and that our real, eternal life is with Christ. Things of this earth should not be our focus and goal.
The injuctions given by Paul in the verses that follow make it quite clear that he expected Christians to maintain the normal relationships of this world. But, there will be this difference — from now on the Christian will see everything in the light and against the background of eternity. He will no logner live as if this world was all that mattered; he will see this world against the background of the larger world of eternity. — Colossians and Philemon, by Curtis Vaughan, page 91.
died (v.3) — died to the things of the earth
is hidden (v.3) — “has been hid” — past action with continuing results
Our real life, out spiritual life in Christ, is currently hidden, as Christ is currently invisible. But when Christ comes in all His glory, our real, spiritual life will appear with Him.
This life is not always to remain hidden, it will be manifested at the second coming, and that not merely in union with Christ, for it is Christ Himself who is our Life. This is not to be toned down to mean that Christ is the possessor and giver of eternal life. Paul means quite literally what he says, that Christ is Himself the essence of the Christian life. His manifestation therefore includes that of those who are one with Him. And this can only be a manifestation in glory. — Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, page 218-219.