And now we observe . . . that on this fact the Apostle founds an exhortation. “If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above.” The exhortation is simply to an actual life consonant with our change of state. If we have participated in Christ’s death for sin and rising again for justification; so that with Him we died to sin and rose again unto holiness; live accordingly. If we have thus died as sinners, as earth born, and earth confined crawlers on this low plane, and been raised to this higher plane, even a heavenly one, of living — show in walk and conversation that the change has been a real one. It is an exhortation to us to be in life real citizens of the heavenly kingdom to which we have been transferred; to do the duties and enter into the responsibilities of our new citizenship. It is just as we might say to some newly enfranchised immigrant: You have left that country of darkness in which you were bred, where no liberty of action or of worship existed; you have been received into our free America, and have been clothed with the rights and duties of citizenship; be now in life and thought no longer a serf but a freeman. So, Paul says in effect, you have passed out of the realm of sin and death, out of the merely earthly sphere; you have been made a citizen of the heavenly kingdom; do the deeds and live the life conformable to your great change. (Warfield, sermon on Col. 1:3)
Interesting how difficult it is to discuss moral renovation without forensic categories.