Richly (Colossians 3:16-17)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.—Colossians 3:16-17
So you are getting into the Word of God, and that is great. But here is my question for you: “Is the Word getting into you?” Are you dwelling in it so that when you get poked by the things of this world you bleed the Word? When your friend is going through a challenging life experience, do you have an appropriate word from Christ to encourage him? Is the Word becoming so deeply intertwined into your heartbeat, the very essence of who you are, that you are experiencing God’s transforming grace pulsating through your veins? I believe that Paul wants us to experience the Word of Christ in our lives this way when he says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” In the days when Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, there were false teachers that wanted people to follow them and their puffed up words. These teachers had their man-made traditions, religious do’s and don’ts, as well as their own worldview that would not be in line with the Word of Christ. False teachers in Paul’s time, as in our time as well, will try to harmonize God’s Word with their teachings, but they cannot succeed. Paul is not telling us to just read the Word of Christ or to just hear it being read, but to allow it to get into us, to dwell in us richly–that is, we are being enriched by the Word of Christ. And as that becomes a part of our lives, it will enrich our public and private worship of God.
“…teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…” As an outflow of the Word dwelling in us richly, it will produce wisdom with which we can truly teach and admonish one another. The Word has a way of changing us and giving us insights for our good. Timothy shows us this:
2 Timothy 3:15 “…the scriptures make us wise to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord..”
2 Timothy 3:16 “…good for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness..”
2 Timothy 3:17 “…that we may be made complete, equipped for every good work.”
As we dwell in and then give out the Word of Christ, it will affect our hearts and we will not be able to stop bursting out in song to the One who is worthy of all praise. This heart response will be a part of both our private worship and our public worship as well. Can you imagine a church filled with worshippers who are so indwelt and changed by the Word of Christ that they can’t help but sing it out to the glory of God?
And whatever we do… in our speech or our actions, we are to do them in the name of our Lord Jesus, not in our name or power, but in Jesus! We do this with thankful hearts to our God who has made this all possible for us through Christ.
Charles Spurgeon in one of his sermons on this passage says, “Therefore, beloved, be much with your Bibles and let your Bibles be much with you – for your own profit, for the profit of others and for the glory of God! So be it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.”
1. What substitutes are robbing you from experiencing God’s Word indwelt in you this way? 2. Describe what you think a worship service would look like if all who came were richly dwelling in the Word of Christ. 3. How is the Holy Spirit speaking to you as you think about the Word of Christ dwelling in you richly?