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Chapter Summary

The epistle to the Colossians, as paraenesis, is meant to address the challenge of growing in Christ morally, of living the life given in baptism. The objective of the text's instruction, though, surfaces not in the effort to impart anything new or to chart a fresh course to which the Colossian Christians should aspire, but rather to rouse their memory as to what they already know they should do, engage their attention regarding the business at hand, help locate priorities in a demanding situation, and encourage the recipients to conform their actions to their convictions at this and every opportunity. As paraenesis, Colossians calls upon its readers to ponder the significance of their prior personal commitments as they bear upon a current controversy and act accordingly. Many of the norms articulated in Colossians are predicated upon widely accepted ideas in society as to what constitutes the moral individual and citizen.

Keywords: baptism; Christ; Christianity; epistle to the Colossians



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