Sunday, September 14, 2008
Colossians and Gospel
In his NIB commentary, Andrew Lincoln write:
"Colossians is polemical, because, like the Paul of Galatians in a different set of circumstances, it will not allow God's gracious activity in Christ to be undermined. To add new practices and regulations to the gospel is to suggest not only that believers are disqualified unless they adhere to them but also, more fundamentally, that what God has already done in Christ is deficient. Colossians is essentially Pauline in having none of this. In its defense of the apostolic gospel, Colossians does not make grace a separate theme so much as an underlying presupposition that it reinforces through both the content and the mode of its theologizing. This presupposition is made explicit in the very first mention of the gospel, where to hear the gospel and to comprehend the grace of God are equated (1:5-6). From then on, the insistence on what God has already achieved in Christ for the cosmos and for the church and the 'realized eschatology,' with its stress on the present experience of the benefits of end-time salvation, are in the service of this gospel of grace ... For Colossians the gospel is grace, and no response to it can depart from the foundation by adding human achievements as a requirement. Instead, authentic Christian living is motivated by a response to and empowered by an appropriation of the undeserved favor of God in Christ".