Posted by: duncandrews | October 10, 2011

A receptive life

Colossians 2:6-7
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.

For Paul the Christian life is not at its heart about being a good, ethical person. It’s not primarily about obeying commands, listening to wise advice, or exerting moral effort, although it has something to say about all those. It’s mode of operation is not a restless anxiety to earn the approval of God, of other people, or even of ourselves. It has no place for either pride at apparent successes or despair at apparent failures.

The ongoing, day-to-day life of a Christian is carried out in exactly the same way as that life began – as a passive, unworthy, loved receiver. We don’t move on from from grace to merit. We don’t progress from the simple gospel message that first gripped us. We are always, from start to finish, objects of God’s free, unmerited, overwhelming gift. At the heart of the Christian life is a profound, humbling, liberating receptivity.

And what we receive fills us up so abundantly. We have received Christ Jesus as Lord. How could we not overflow with thankfulness?


  1. […] Paul to a small, unimpressive group of Jesus’ people in Colossae. I’ve posted before on this little gem, but thought I’d gather some more thoughts together flowing out of this […]

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