What is meant by "the things above" in Col 3:2 "set your affection on things above"?
Before I suggest what those things are, allow me to say that there two things that the saints are exhorted to do:
- Seeking-which is a matter of exercise of heart to go after them (vs. 1)
- Setting the thoughts of your mind upon them to rest in them (vs. 2)
In Colossians 3 the word "above" is mentioned three times in the English language (vv. 1,2,14). In the original the last verse is different than the first two. "Ano" (vv. 1,2) is mentioned only a few times in the New Testament and it carries the thought of a higher place as to the origin of things. Ano is used in John 8:23 about the Lord Jesus: "I am from above."
With this in mind, what are the things that have their origin in heaven where the Christ is sitting? Although there are many things in the New Testament we could mention, it is sufficient to bring a few of them in light of the Colossian epistle:
- Hope laid up for you in heaven (1: 5), and that is connected with the inheritance mentioned in vs. 12, 3:24 also read 1 Pet. 1:4. How good for us to be occupied with an heavenly inheritance, not an earthly.
- Wisdom (one might also consider knowledge and understanding) is mentioned six times in this epistle, so it is of great value to at least consider 3:16, also read James 3:17 "Wisdom that is from above." Wisdom will teach us how to apply and enjoy heavenly things in an earthly environment.
- Peace of God (3:15). As the apostle is contrasting Heaven and earth, the Peace of God is to rule or preside so that the mind and heart can rest firmly in the God of every good and perfect gift in a scene of instability on earth.
Much more could be said, but I trust that the saints would dig deeper for these things and enjoy what the Spirit of God unfolds before each one of us.
Much love in Christ,