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Colossians 2:6-7 - Homilies By W.f. Adneney

Growth in Christ.

St. Paul is anxious lest the invasion of a new philosophy should lead the Colossians away from their earlier life in Christ. Recognizing how rightly they had at first received the gospel, he desires them to continue in the faith as they had been taught. But while he is most earnest in deprecating any departure from the primite foundation, he is equally earnest in wishing for progress in a continued building on that foundation. The true Christian life is neither a so called progress that carries us away from Christ to newer masters, nor a dogged and stupid obstinacy that will not budge from the past and stagnates in its immobility, but a growth in Christ.

I. GROWTH IN CHRIST IMPLIES CONTINUANCE IN CHRIST . Any other change, even though it may seem to involve an advance, is a retrogression from Christ. The Colossians are exhorted to walk in Christ as they had received him. They had received him as Christ Jesus the Lord.

1 . As Jesus. They had begun by recognizing the true human nature of Christ. The Gnostics were persuading them to give this faith up for the idea of a phantom Christ. We are not troubled with these Docetic notions. But practically we are tempted to lose our hold upon the human brotherliness of Christ in our doctrinal systems of divinity and our elaborate solemnities of devotion.

2 . As the Lord. He was not only a Teacher, a mystic Mediator such as the Gnostics regarded him, but a Master. To regard Christ as Lord is not merely to have an abstract conviction of his divinity, not simply to offer him worship; it is to submit to his kingly rule. To grow in Christ, then, we must, first of all, continue in brotherly sympathy with him, and also in dutiful submission to him.


1 . We must be rooted. As the root derives nourishment from the soil for the increase of the tree, so are we to send out the deepest efforts of our soul to Christ and to draw from him ever more and more of spiritual vigour.

2 . We must be built up. This is a gradual progress. It does not abolish the past in making the future, but, on the contrary, it erects the latter on the former. It produces a compact and harmonious structure. So the temple of the Christian life should be rising in solid strength and grace and beauty, based on Christ as the Foundation, to be finished with Christ as the chief Cornerstone, and consecrated for the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ.


1 . Enlarged faith. "Stablished in your faith." Faith, which is the means of growing in the Christian life, is itself enlarged and strengthened by the process.

2 . Great gratitude. "Abounding in thanksgiving." An advanced Christian will always be a thankful one, for he will know more of the goodness of God in Christ, and his own heart will be more full of love. Therefore also the joy of Christianity will increase with the growth of the Christian life.—W.F.A.

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