These verses have caught my attention in the past couple of days. In the previous chapter, Paul discusses some wonderful truths, gives us directions to follow in light of those truths, and expresses his desire for us as believers.
Then we come to the third chapter, and that familiar word "therefore". So, having established all of these wonderfully encouraging facts, we are then told to "keep seeking the things above", and to set our minds on "the things above." It got me to thinking: what exactly are those "things above" that I ought to be seeking and thinking about? I'm quite sure Paul didn't mean that we are to daydream about angels floating around a big throne where Jesus is seated, as in the picture above. So what does he mean?
In Chapter 2, he seems to me to be comparing the "mindset" of the world to a heavenly one. He contrasts worldly thinking with the mind of Christ, and legalistic bondage to freedom in Christ. In fact, when I consider it, I can only conclude that "things above" must refer to Christ, and what He represents to us. Look at all that is said about Him in chapter two:
- He is God's mystery, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (vs.2,3)
- We are rooted and being built up in Him (vs.7)
- He is our gauge of truth, against what we hear in the world (vs.8)
- In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (vs.9)
- We are made complete in Him (vs. 10)
- He is the head over all rule and authority (vs. 10)
- In Him and by Him we were circumcised, that is the removal of the body of the flesh (vs.11)
- We were buried with Him in baptism (vs. 12)
- We were raised up with Him through faith (vs. 12)
- He made us alive with Him, when we were spiritually dead (vs. 13)
- He forgave all our transgressions (vs. 13)
- He cancelled the debt we owed because of our sin (vs. 14)
- He has disarmed the rulers and authorities, so that now no one is to act as our judge in regard to food or drink or special days (vs. 15,16)
- He has released us from legalistic, religious standards set by men (vs. 23)
Have you ever heard the phrase "too heavenly minded to be any earthly good"? Well, I think that if we are "heavenly minded" in the proper sense, we can only be more effective here on earth. That is, in terms of the eternal purposes of God. Eternity is something that comes to my mind at once when I think of "things above." The eternality of God and His plan for mankind seems to put every other earthly issue into a proper perspective. So too does that amazing verse in Romans chapter eight, that says He is working "all things" together for good. But above all these things there is Jesus Christ, who is more than enough to set our minds on, as He "became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption," (1Cor. 1:30). Surely there is enough there to occupy our minds for a good long time.
What about you? What comes to mind when you think of "things above?"