Throughout the first chapter of Colossians, we have learned a lot about Jesus: His origin, His power, His role in and over creation, His being, His life in us, and more. Today we're going to stop in at Chapter two, verses six and seven. Paul offers this commission to the Colossians, which I believe we can easily take as one for us too.
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
From the two commentaries I'm reading, it appears to be important that the word "received" is a technical term meaning "receiving a tradition." The Colossians have received Christ the person and the authoritative teaching about him. (New Bible Commentary, p. 1269) As such, Paul is telling them to continue to live their lives in keeping with the received tradition.
I, of course, did not know this until reading the commentaries. My thoughts took a bit of a different path. It made me think about the need to continue to live our lives in Christ in just the way we received Him at our conversion. How did we receive Christ Jesus as Lord? In dependence, repentance, humility, and faith. Someone took the time to teach us Gospel truth and over time we grow in depth of knowledge and wisdom, but we never get away from needing to live our lives in dependence, repentance, humility, and faith. We must be, as Paul says, rooted and built up in Christ, the very one from whom we received spiritual revival, by whom we are redeemed. And we need to stick to right teaching, not chasing false teachings, for the strengthening of our faith. (This part in the verse gets a little at the issues facing the Colossians.) Then, finally, Paul says, overflowing with thankfulness.
Certainly at our initial conversion we are thankful! There's such joy and life found when God opens our eyes to really see and receive his gift of a transfer from darkness into light, is there not? Paul reminds us of the need to continue in thankfulness. As we walk with the Lord Jesus, indwelt by His very presence, we are rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith, our our thanksgiving gets richer and deeper.
Our pastor in Boston used to talk about how most people he knew said that the most vibrant part of their life of faith was the very beginning. Paul here points out that as we received Christ, so we must continue in Him. I think that when we do that, we might just find the a vibrant life of faith we're looking for just around the corner.
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