Thursday 10 November 2011

Route 66 Through The Year: Colossians 3:1-17

Spring Harvest’s ‘Route 66 Through the Year’ is designed to take readers on a tour through each of the 66 books of the Bible over the course of a year, with each day’s reading featuring a short passage and comment written by a variety of Spring Harvest speakers.

I have contributed notes for this week on Colossians, looking today at 3:1-17.

Read: Colossians 3:1-17

The previous chapter might sound as if Paul is giving us the freedom to do whatever we like. As it happens, however, there is a new kind of life that comes from being raised with Christ. Seated with Christ at the right hand of God, the Colossian Christians are also called to live out their lives in the here and now, their identity in Christ touching every area of their daily existence.

What goes with this is a set of defining characteristics. We ‘put off’ certain qualities that damage relationships – anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying – and we clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness and love. But these aren’t just practical tips; they flow from the pattern set by Christ himself – where his forgiveness provides the motive for our forgiveness of others (3:13), his peace rules our lives (3:15), his word dwells in us (3:16), as we do everything in his name (3:17).

So, this is not a set of commandments so much as a reflection on the character of Christian life and relationships – taking our cue from Jesus, with what he has done for us, and asking what sort of people we should be as a result.

Lord, help us be people who live out the virtues at the heart of our faith and follow the person at the heart of our faith.

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