The question sounds clunky doesn’t it? But, before you get wrapped up in grammar and all that, think about it…
Colossians 2:20 says this, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to its regulations…?”
If you read the whole letter of Colossians, you will discover Paul reminded those in Colossae and us, that when they encountered Jesus, everything in their life changed. That they have been transferred from Darkness into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son! That we are no longer hostile in mind towards God, nor trapped or enslaved to doing only evil, but now we have been reconciled with God and are living in a whole new trajectory! That the greatest mystery in human history is alive in us! That God would dwell in us! All this, comes only from God and not from any human invention or persuasion.
We have died and buried with Christ. Meaning, our old way of life and all that it entails, is dead. This death lead to resurrection with Jesus. Meaning, we are now made alive together with Christ. Again, nothing that this world can ever offer equates this! We have been given the greatest thing ever!
However, as we know, and so did Paul and this church, that the world tempts us to give in to human/worldly things that attempt to deceive us/persuade us, into thinking that their human inventions/way of life is greater than what we have in Christ. But as we know it is not…but that doesn’t mean we are not tempted.
Paul wrote this to not only remind us that as we are connected to Jesus, everything has changed, but to also help us to re-frame our perspective so as to ignore the bait of the world. So that we never make that trade. So that we never trade the greatness of Jesus away from something so much less.
As Christ followers, we are dead to the world. Why, as if we are alive to the world, would we ever give in to its deceptions and false promises? Only Jesus can fully satisfy and we have him dwelling in us!
So, like Paul writes in Colossians 3:1-2, set your heart and mind on things above. Change your perspective. Don’t look at the bait that the world throws out at you. Rather, look up to Jesus. Just like the old hymn says, “Turn your eyes to Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Don’t make the trade!