"Things Which Are Above"
Larry R. Ping II
In using the word “above,” the Bible authors were noting things which were great, lasting or important. Consider the following several uses of this term.
1. Jesus is above all others. John wrote “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all” (Jn. 3:31). Paul affirms this fact in Php. 2:9, Eph. 1:21 and Eph. 4:6. As He is above all others, we should listen to Him, and only Him (Matt. 17:5). There is no other Son of God. It is this only Son of God who will judge us by His words (Jn. 5:22; Jn. 12:48).
2. A lame man above forty years old was healed. Luke writes about this in Acts 4:22 and Acts 3:1-10. The Holy Spirit chose to include this fact to illustrate this man had lived roughly 14,500 days with his ailment. In fact, he sat “daily at the gate” asking alms. It was only through the power of God he could have been healed in such a way.
3. Some put one day above another, some don’t. Paul wrote of this in Rom. 14:5 saying “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” In this context, Paul is teaching that both parties are acceptable to God (Rom. 14:3- 6), and that neither should try to bind their opinion on another, or to become a stumbling-block to their brother (I Cor. 8:7-9).
4. We will not be tempted above that which we can bear. Paul penned God is faithful in that He “will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13). God loves us and wants to be saved. Peter penned God “is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9). God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4).
5. After His resurrection, Jesus was seen by above 500 brethren. The apostle affirms this in I Cor. 15:6. Many doubt the resurrection of the Son of God, but there are many proofs that He most certainly was raised. What better sort of witness can there be than that of the “eye” variety?
6. Paul was beaten with stripes above measure. This alerts us to the fact Paul endured brutal and merciless beatings, as evidenced by his own writings (II Cor. 11:23). God’s people, from time to time, will endure persecution (II Tim. 3:12). It is up to us to endure it patiently and wait for the heavenly reward (Matt. 5:10-12).
7. God is able to do above all we can imagine. Paul penned “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20). Let us not think too lowly of God. He can do what He wants, when He wants, where He wants to whom He wants!