THE WORD OF CHRIST RICHLY
WITHIN YOU: ho logos tou Christou enoikeito (3SPAM) en humin
plousios: (Jn 5:39, 40; 2Ti 3:15; He
4:12,13; 1Pe 1:11,12; Re 19:10)
Don't read this passage too fast.
Paul exhorts us to let. Will you invite His Word into your
heart and mind? He won't force His Word upon you beloved. You have to
make the volitional choice to allow it entree and might I suggest not
just a crack in the door and not with the chain on the door so it
cannot open too wide. No, beloved, open widely the door to your heart
and mind, and ask God's Spirit to flood your soul so that your very
being is saturated with His Word of Truth. You won't regret such a
simple prayer, I can assure you.
Eadie feels - “The
word of Christ” is the Gospel, the doctrine of Christ, or the truth
which has Christ for its subject. In fact, Christ is both the giver of
the oracle and its theme. By "in you" (en humin) is meant, not simply
among you-unter euch, as Luther translates, or as De Wette
contends. Let the Christian truth have its enduring abode “within
you”-let it be no stranger or occasional guest in your hearts. Let it
not be without you, as a lesson to be learned, but within you, as the
source of cherished and permanent illumination. Let it stay within
you- plousios, abundantly. That is, let it be completely understood,
or let the soul be fully under its influence. Let it dwell not with a
scanty foothold, but with a large and liberal occupancy. (Ref)
is this verse? I think it is vitally important for the Spirit
filled and controlled believer. The parallel passage is found in
Ephesians where Paul discusses the effects of being continually filled
with the Holy Spirit. The astute observer will note that the "effects"
of being filled with the Spirit and being filled with the Word of
Christ are virtually identical (see table below).
Does this give you any clue as to how
a believer might be continually filled with the Holy Spirit?
And do not get drunk with wine, for
that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all
things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Ep 5:18, 19, 20,
Eph 5:18; 19; 20; 21)
OF BEING FILLED...
Be filled with
Teaching and Admonishing
In Psalms and Hymns and
With Psalms and Hymns and
Singing and making melody
with your heart
to the Lord
Singing with thankfulness
in your hearts
Always giving thanks
Of Christ - The Greek here (Christou) can be either the
subjective genitive (the word delivered by Christ) or the objective
genitive (the word about Christ).
Paul is exalting Christ in Colossians.
The false teachers came to Colossae with man-made traditions,
religious rules, and human philosophies (Col 2:8-note). They tried to harmonize
God’s Word with their teachings, but they could not succeed. God’s
Word always magnifies Jesus Christ. It was not the word of false
teachers that brought salvation to the Colossians; it was the Word of
the truth of the Gospel (Col 1:5-note). This same Word gives us life and
sustains and strengthens us (1Pe 1:22, 23, 24, 25, 2:1, 2, 3 - see notes
puts in a good word about letting the Good Word dwell in the midst of
The diligent and prayerful reading
of God's holy word is a great means of increasing and promoting
spirituality of mind (cp 1Pe 2:2-note).
This, we fear, is not an element in the Christianity of many. It
defines a duty sadly and, to a great extent, totally neglected. The
tendency of the age is to substitute the writings of man for the Book
of God. Let them come but with the robe of religion gracefully thrown
around them, and whether they assume the form of history, or story, or
song, they are devoured by the professing multitude, who would deem
their true spirituality unquestionable!
But the Divine life of the soul is
not to be fed and nourished by the profound discoveries of science, or
the recondite axioms of philosophy, or the brilliant flowers of
genius, or the dreams of a poetical imagination. It ascends to a
higher and a diviner source; it aspires towards the nourishments of
its native climate. The bread that comes down from heaven (Jn 6:31,
32, 33, 41, 50, 51, 58) and the water that flows, pure as crystal,
from beneath the throne of God and the Lamb, can alone feed, and
nourish, and refresh this hidden principle (cp Jn 4:10, 13, 14, 15,
7:37, 38, 1Co 10:4).
Jesus is its sustenance; and the gospel, as it
unfolds Him in His glory and grace, is the spiritual granary from
where its daily food is drawn. To this it repairs, oftentimes pressed
with hunger, or panting with thirst, weary and exhausted, drooping and
faint, and it finds its doctrines and its precepts, its promises and
its admonitions, its exhortations and revelations, a "a feast of fat
things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of
wines on the lees well refined." And thus refreshed and satisfied, the
grateful soul adoringly exclaims, "Your words were found, and I did
eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my
heart." (Jer 15:16)
Truly did Jesus testify, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you
have no life in you;" (Jn 6:53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59) evidently and solemnly implying, that if there
exists no appetite for spiritual food, there is lacking the great
evidence of the life of God in the soul. A mere semblance of life, an
informed judgment, a "fair show" of religion "in the flesh," can
content itself with anything short of the spiritual aliment contained
in God's word. But the Divine life of a quickened soul, while it
disdains no auxiliary to its spiritual advance, can yet feed on
nothing but Divine food.
The "flesh and the blood of Immanuel can
alone meet and satiate its hungering and thirsting. It is from heaven,
and its supply must be heavenly; it is from God, and its nourishment
must be Divine. Jesus, and Jesus alone, received into the heart,
rested in, and lived upon by faith, is the food of a believing man.
Nothing but Christ-"Christ all" in Himself, and Christ "in all," means
"in all" ordinances, "in all" channels, "in all" seasons, sustains a
soul whose "life is hid with Christ in God."
Dear reader, do you see
the importance and feel the solemnity of this truth? Oh, it is a great
and solemn one! Except by faith you "eat the flesh and drink the blood
of the Son of man, you have no life in you!" Nothing short of
Christ-Christ's righteousness, Christ's atonement, Christ's flesh and
blood, Christ in us, Christ without us, Christ risen, Christ alive at
the right hand of God, yes, "Christ all and in all" (Col
3:11-note)-can meet the deep,
immortal necessities of your soul. You need all that Christ is in the
matter of pardon, and justification, and sanctification, and wisdom,
and redemption. If anything less than Jesus had sufficed, if an
expedient less magnificent, or if an expenditure less costly, had
answered for God and man, then less would save you. But since the
incarnate God alone is the Savior of a poor, lost sinner, see that you
detract not from, or add to, this salvation by any works of human
Be exhorted, then, to an intimate acquaintance with God's holy word,
as supplying a powerful help to the progress of the soul in deep
spirituality. And if your time for reading is limited, limit it to one
book, and let that one book be-the BIBLE. Let it be the companion of
your hours of solitude; the solace in your seasons of sorrow; the
store-house in all your necessities; the man of your counsel in all
your doubts and perplexities. Then will your blessed experience
resemble that of the psalmist: "Your word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against You. This is my comfort in my affliction:
for Your word has quickened me. Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and
a light unto my path. I rejoice at Your word, as one that finds great
Evening Thoughts - A 365 Day
Devotional) (See also
Spurgeon exhorts us...
Do try, dear friends, to get so full of the word of Christ in
all forms of it, that you may run over with it. You know, it cannot
come out of you if it is not first in you. If you do not get the
word of Christ into you, you will not be instructive in your
Richison writes that...
The word dwell means to keep
house. We should live in the Word of God like we live in our homes. We
are familiar with our home where all the closets are, where we have
items stored. We must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the Word. The
Word should become so familiar to us that we know it like the back of
our hand. The idea is to let the Word of God dwell inside and live at
home in our lives. The Word of God needs to inhabit us. This is more
than just reading the Bible. God wants us to let the peace of Christ
rule in our hearts (v. 15) and the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts.
Some treat the Word of God like a rabbit’s foot or charm. We use it
like a fetish. We cannot use the Bible that way. We cannot rub the
Bible on warts and they disappear. We cannot flip the pages of the
Bible and blindly put our finger on a verse and claim it. The Bible is
no prayer wheel or magic book. We must systematically study the Bible
and memorize pertinent verses to deal with weak areas of our Christian
life (Deut. 6:6; 11:18; Josh. 1:8; Job 22:21,22; 23:12: Ps.
1:2;119:9, 10, 11; Jer 15:16).
There are some believers who think that when they get into a jam all
they have to do is pray “Oh Lord, help me.” Others think that all they
need to do is put their finger on a Bible verse and God will lead
them. They give glowing testimonies of how in a time of duress they
flipped open their Bible and put their finger on a verse that helped
them. The odds of doing that are about as good as loaded dice in a
Principle: The Word of God needs to find lodgment in our souls.
Application: If we spent as much time in the Word of God as we
do in the newspaper, just think how much we would know of God’s will
for our lives! We might know how many robberies and murders took place
in our city for that week but what difference does that make in our
lives? We might be better off if we did not know.
If we generate a serious attitude about letting the Word of God dwell
in our lives, we will be richer and our character will grow stronger.
Our individual lives will change and our homes will be better.
You may say, “But I do not understand what I read in the Bible.” We
must work at it. Gradually we will retain more. We do not learn to
ride a bicycle the first time we get on it. Neither do we learn the
Bible without effort. It takes time, effort and dedication. The
results will gratify our souls.
Most of us do not take the Word of God seriously. We play at it. We do
not mark our Bible or memorize it. We do not make it a part of us.
There are people who memorize hundreds of plays for a football game.
Yet if we memorize a verse of Scripture we want a medal (Colossians
Christ's Indwelling Word
, Spurgeon writes...
THAT is a very beautiful name for
Holy Scripture, I hardly remember to have met with it anywhere else:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you." Remember, dear friends, that
Christ Himself is the Word of God, and recollect also that the
Scriptures are the word of the Word. They are "the word of Christ." I
think that they will be all the sweeter to you if you realize that
they speak to you of Christ, that He is the sum and substance of them,
that they direct you to Christ, in fact, as John says of his Gospel,
that they were "written that ye might believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through
his name." (John 20:31)
Remember, also, that the Scriptures do, in effect, come to us from
Christ. Every promise of this blessed Book is a promise of Christ,
"for all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the
glory of God by us; they all come to us through Christ, God speaks
them to us through Him as the Mediator. Indeed, we may regard the
whole of the Sacred Scriptures, from the beginning of Genesis to the
end of Revelation, as being "the word of Christ."
The text tells us, first, how to treat the Scriptures: "Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly;" and, secondly, it tells us how to
profit by them: "in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your
hearts to the Lord."
First, then, we are told here
HOW TO TREAT THE SCRIPTURES: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you
In order that it may dwell in you, it must first enter into youit must
first enter into you. It is implied, in our text, that the apostle
says, "Let the word of Christ enter into you." Then you must read it,
or hear it, for, unless you do, you will not know what there is in it.
Yet there must be something more than the mere hearing or reading of
it; for some hear the truth with one ear, but let it go away out of
the other ear; and others are great readers, yet they seem to read
only what is on the surface. The letter passes under their eye, but
the deep spiritual meaning never enters into their heart. If you read
a portion of Scripture every day, I commend you for doing so; if you
make a practice of reading right through the Bible in a stated period,
I commend you still more.
Some I know read the Bible through every year, in due course. This is
well; but all this may be done, and yet "the word of Christ" may never
have entered into the reader. You know how children sometimes learn
their lessons. I am afraid that, at a great many schools, there is no
true instruction; but the scholars have simply to repeat their
lessons, without ever getting at the sense and meaning of them; and, a
week or two after, they have forgotten all that they were supposed to
have learnt. Do not let it be so with our knowledge of Scripture; let
us not merely know it so as to be able to turn to its different
chapters, or to be familiar with certain passages in it, or even to
repeat all its words. This is but to let "the word of Christ" pass by
your door, or look in at your window; but Paul says, "Let it dwell in
So I say again that, in order that it may dwell in you, it must first
enter into you. You must really know the spiritual meaning of it; you
must believe it; you must live upon it; you must drink it in; you must
let it soak into your innermost being as the dew saturated the fleece
of Gideon. It is not enough to have a Bible on the shelf; it is
infinitely better to have its truths stored up within your soul. It is
a good thing to carry your Testament in your pocket, it is far better
to carry its message in your heart.
But mind that you let it get right into you. How differently some
people read the Bible from the way in which they read any other book!
I have seen a young woman sitting down, on board a steamboat,
completely absorbed in a very suspicious-looking book. I have passed
behind her, and passed before her, but she has not taken the slightest
notice of me. Presently, I saw a tear brushed away from her eye; I
knew that she was not reading the Bible, and it was my firm conviction
that she was reading a novel. I have often noticed how such people let
the novels get right into them, trash as they generally are; but when
the most of people do read the Bible, they appear to be anxious to get
the unpleasant task finished, and put away. In some cases, they seem
to think that they have performed a very proper action; but they have
not been in the least affected by it, moved by it, stirred by it.
Yet, if there is any book that can thrill the soul, it is the Bible.
If we read it aright, we shall, as it were, lay our fingers among its
wondrous harp-strings, and bring out from them matchless music such as
no other instrument in the world could ever produce. There is no book
so fitted or so suited to us as the Bible is.
There is no book that knows us so well, there is no book that is so
much at home with us, there is no book that. has so much power over
us, if we will but give ourselves up to it; yet, often, we only let it
look in at our window, or knock at our door, instead of inviting it to
enter our very heart and soul, and therefore we miss its power.
Then, when it once gets into you, let it remain there. let it remain
there. A person could not be said to dwell in a house even though he
should enter into the most private part of it, if he only passed
through it, and went away. A man who dwells in a house abides,
resides, remains, continues there. Oh, to have "the word of Christ"
always dwelling inside of us — in the memory, never forgotten; in the
heart, always loved; in the understanding, really grasped; with all
the powers and passions of the mind fully submitted to its control!
I love those clear Christian people who do not need to refer to the
printed page when you speak to them about the things of God, for they
have the truth in their hearts. They have a springing well within
their souls at all times; and they have only to hear a Scriptural
theme started, and straightway they begin to speak of the things which
they have looked upon, and their hands have handled, of the Word of
life, because it dwells in them.
Further, "let the word of Christ dwell in you" so as to occupy your
whole being. so as to occupy your whole being. If it dwells within
you, let it take such entire possession of your being that it shall
fill you. To push the truth of Christ up into a corner of your nature
— to fill the major part of your being with other knowledge and other
thought — is a poor way to treat "the word of Christ." It deserves the
fullest attention of the best faculties that any man possesses. The
truth revealed by the Holy Ghost is so sublime that its poetry
outsoars the eagle-wing even of a Milton. It is a deep so profound
that the plumb line of Sir Isaac Newton could never find the bottom of
it. The greatest minds have been delighted to yield their highest
faculties to its wondrous truths. Dear young friends, you who have
only lately put on Christ, I beseech you not to let other books stand
on the front shelf, and the Bible lie behind. Do not, for the most
part, read those other books, and only read small portions of
Scripture now and then; let it always have the chief place.
The most excellent of all sciences is the science of Christ crucified,
and the Bible is the textbook for all who would learn it. If other
forms of knowledge are useful, they are like the planets; but the
knowledge of God as revealed in Christ Jesus is as the sun. Let this
always be the center of your system of knowledge, and let all the rest
that you know move in subordination and subjection to that first and
best form of knowledge. If I may know myself, and know my Savior — if
I may know my sin, and the atonement by which it is put away — if I
may know my way through this life, and my way into the eternal life
above, I will be content if I know but little else. Fain would I
intermeddle with all knowledge; and, though "much study is a weariness
of the flesh," yet would I find a pleasure in such weariness, if I
only knew even as much as Solomon knew. But it would be vanity of
vanities, and altogether vanity, if you and I were as wise as Solomon,
and yet did not know the truth of God. Therefore, "let the word of
Christ dwell in you" so as to occupy the whole of your being; let it
be the resident, the occupant, the master and ruler of your entire
Once more. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you;" that is, let it be
your most familiar friend. let it be your most familiar friend. We
know the people who live in our home, but we do not really know other
people. When someone asked Mr. Whitefield, "What do you think of Mr.
So-and-so’s character?" He answered, "I cannot say, for I never lived
with him." Ah! that is the true test; it is living with people that
lets you know what they are. In like manner, if you will live with
"the word of Christ," especially if you will let it dwell in you, and
abide with you as a constant friend, you will get to know it better;
and the better you know it, the more you will love it. Ninety-nine
times out of a hundred, if you meet with a man who finds fault with
the Bible, you may be certain that he never read it. If he would but
read it in the right spirit, he would be of another opinion. And if
you find a professing Christian indifferent to his Bible, you may be
sure that the very dust upon its cover will rise up in judgment
against him. The Bible-reader is ever the Bible-lover, and the
Bible-searcher is the man who searches it more and more.
Various pursuits have a measure of fascination about them, but the
study of God’s Word is fascinating to the highest degree. Jerome said,
when he was pondering a certain text, "I adore the infinity of
Scripture." I have often felt that I could say the same. The Bible is
a book that has no bounds to it. Its thoughts are not as men’s
thoughts, a multitude of which may go to make up half an ounce; but
any one of the thoughts of God can outweigh all the thoughts of men.
This Book is not a book of pence, or a book of silver, or even a book
of gold, but a book whose every leaf is of untold value. He shall be
enriched indeed who lets "the word of Christ" richly dwell in him.
My dear friends, I should like you so to read the Bible that everybody
in the Bible should seem to be a friend of yours. I should like you to
feel as if you had talked with Abraham, and conversed with David. I
can truly say that there is hardly anybody in the world that I know so
well as I know David. In making The Treasury of David, I have labored,
year after year, in that rich field of inspiration, the Book of
Psalms, till I do assure you that David and I are quite familiar
friends, and I think I know more about him than about any man I ever
saw in my life, I seem to know the ins and outs of his constitution
and experience, his grievous faults and the graces of his spirit. I
want you to be on just such intimate terms with somebody or other in
the Bible, — John, if you like; or Mary. Sit at Jesus’ feet with her.
Oh Martha; it will not hurt you to make the acquaintance of Martha,
and do a great deal of serving, though I do not want you to get
cumbered with it.
But do find your choicest friends in the Scripture. Take the whole
company of Bible saints home to your heart, let them live inside your
soul. Let old Noah come in with his ark, if he likes; and let Daniel
come in with his lions’ den, if he pleases; and all the rest of the
godly men and women of the olden time, take them all into your very
nature, and be on familiar terms with them; but, most of all, be
specially intimate with him of whom they all speak, namely, Jesus
Christ your blessed Lord and Master.
As for the doctrines revealed in the Bible, you should have them at
your fingers’ ends. The great truths of the Word of God should be as
familiar to you as a scholar makes his much-loved classics to be, or
as the mathematician makes his plus and minus, his a and his x,
familiar to him from hour to hour. So do you prize "the word of
Christ;" "let it dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
II. But now, secondly, I am to tell you How TO PROFIT BY THE WORD
OF CHRIST, if we once get it to dwell in us.
First, seek to profit by it yourself: seek to profit by it
yourself: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom." Let it make you wise. The man who studies his Bible well will
become a wise man. If God the Holy Ghost teaches him, I believe that
he will become a wise man even in something more than a spiritual
sense. Every Scotch child used to be taught the Book of Proverbs, it
was one of the class-books of Scotch schools; and I have heard it said
that this particular form of instruction has largely helped to make
our Scotch friends so sharp and cute; and I should not wonder if that
is the case. They certainly are as wise a race of people as we are
likely to meet with.
I wish that English people also would read more of the Bible. I can
truly say that, when I have met with men in whom "the word of Christ"
has dwelt richly, I have often found them very shrewd even about
commonplace things. I recollect a man, in a certain workshop, making a
great many very rude remarks, and at last he was silenced by one of
the workmen who said to him, "I think, sir, you are referred to in the
twentieth chapter of Proverbs." He did not explain his meaning; but
the man who was thus addressed went home, and when ‘he looked up the
chapter, he found these words in the third verse, "Every foot will be
meddling." It was an admirable rebuke for him, and all the better
because, he had an hour or two before he knew exactly what it was; and
when he reached his home, and was at leisure to think, he could look
up the passage, and see how appropriate it was to his case. If you
will take the Word of God for your guide, even in domestic and
business matters, you will often manifest a shrewdness which, perhaps,
may not be natural to you, but which will come to you through "the
word of Christ" dwelling in you richly in all wisdom. That, however,
is only a small part of the profit which it will bring to you.
Do you want wisdom with which to master yourself? "Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly." Do you need something to cheer a
naturally sinking spirit? "Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly." Do you wish for that which will calm an angry mind, a temper
all too apt to be suddenly excited? "Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly." Are you in a calling where you are sorely tempted, and do
you long to know how to be kept from falling into sin? "Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly."
Is your position a very difficult one? Are you scarcely able to
balance the claims of different relationships? "Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly." Are you expecting to have a time of intense
strain and trial such as you have never experienced before? Prepare
yourself for it by letting "the word of Christ dwell in you richly."
It shall give you all manner of wisdom by which you shall be able to
baffle even the subtlety of the old serpent himself.
We used to have, in many of our churches, a number of solid,
substantial men, — "men that had understanding of the times, to know
what Israel ought to do;" and an equal proportion of deeply-taught,
godly matrons, true mothers in Israel. Well, those stalwart Christians
were brought up on such spiritual meat as I have been commending to
you. They were diligent students of the Word of God; and if we are to
have a succession of such men and women, they can only be qualified by
going to the University of Scripture, and taking their degree by
permitting "the word of Christ" to dwell in them richly.
The next way of using "the word of Christ" to profit is to seek to
profit others by it: to seek to profit others by it: "Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing
one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with
grace in your hearts to the Lord." We are to know the truth ourselves
so as to be able to teach and admonish one another.
First, we are to seek the profit of our fellows by teaching one
another. No one man can ever teach such a vast congregation as I
have, so as to give the separate instruction that is needed by each
one; this work must be done by the members of the church themselves.
"The word of Christ" must dwell in
you, and then you must become a Mutual Instruction Society. Every
Christian should exercise the office of the pastorate according to his
ability and his opportunity. In such a church as this, every one of
the members must look well not only to his own spiritual affairs, but
also to the well being of others. What sweet and gracious instructions
the older ones among you can give if you tell out your experience! It
is very interesting to any of us to hear it, but how helpful it is to
the beginners in the divine life!
And if, in addition to relating your experience, you talk of the
Scriptures that have been opened up to you, — the promises that have
been fulfilled to you, — the passages in the Bible that have been
applied to your heart by the Holy Spirit who inspired them, — you will
greatly instruct your fellow-Christians.
You who are deeply taught in the Scriptures should try to teach others
also for their profit. One way of teaching one another is mentioned in
the text: "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."
A learned divine, a little while
ago, discovered that no hymn ought to be sung unless it was distinctly
directed and addressed to God, and was intended to be throughout full
of praise. Well, we do have some remarkably wise men nowadays, — at
least, in their own estimation, — but it appears that the apostle Paul
thought that "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" were to be used
for instruction and admonition as well as for the praises of God.
And, to my mind, there is no
teaching that is likely to be more useful than that which is
accompanied by the right kind of singing. When I am preaching, I often
find a verse of a hymn the very best thing I can quote; and I have not
the shadow of a doubt that, frequently, a verse of sacred poetry has
struck a man who has been altogether missed by the rest of the sermon.
Think how compactly truth can be taught by means of "psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs," and how likely it is to be remembered when the
very measure and rhyme and rhythm help the memory to treasure up the
It is well to have truth put into the form of a verse that the memory
may be able to lay hold of it, and to retain it.
Do try, dear friends, to get so
full of "the word of Christ" in all forms of it, that you may run over
with it. You know, it cannot come out of you if it is not first in
If you do not get "the word of
Christ" into you, you will not be instructive in your general
In addition to instruction, there is to be admonition. That is
a very difficult thing to administer wisely. I have known a brother
try to admonish another, and I have felt that he would have done
better if he had left the task alone, for he has only caused
irritation and resentment; but there is a gracious way of admonishing
which cannot be too frequently practiced.
Now and then, if you are discreet, you can quote an appropriate verse
— as people say, "accidentally for the purpose," — and you can bring
in a portion of a psalm that shall exactly say for you what you might
have said in a blundering way; and the dear brother who has done wrong
will accept the rebuke without being enraged by it.
What can we do unless you all look after one another? And how shall we
ever get on unless, in addition to preaching, there shall be continual
mutual instruction going on, wise and joyful and cheerful, and
accepted in a kind, loving, and generous spirit? God fill you with
"the word of Christ," that you may thus teach and admonish one
But, lastly, "the word of
Christ," when it dwells in us, is to profit us in our relation to God
himself; to profit us in our relation to God himself; for, after
all, the main object of our singing — the principal purpose of our
teaching and admonishing — must be the glory of God: "singing with
grace in your hearts to the Lord." Oh, may "the word of Christ dwell
in us" so richly that you shall bless God from morning to night! May
you who overflow with holy thought and sacred knowledge that your
whole being shall be a hymn of praise to the Most High, and your
entire existence shall be a glorious hallelujah! I do not think that
we any of us sufficiently value the divine ordinance of praise;
neither do I think that we ever shall till "the word of Christ" has
taken full possession of our souls.
You have been to pray, you say, and you have got no comfort from the
exercise. Let me suggest that, next, you sing a psalm. "Oh, I have
been up and down!" says one, "trying to arouse myself into earnestness
of supplication." May I also propose to you that you do not try that
method again for a while, but begin to praise God. How many times a
day do you praise him? I think you do get alone to pray, and you would
be ashamed if you did not, once, twice, or three or even more times in
the day; but how often do you praise God? Now, you know that you will
not pray in heaven; there it will be all praise. Then do not neglect
that necessary part of your education which is to "begin the music
Start at once praising the Lord. Many of our doubts and fears would
fly away if we praised God more; and many of our trials and troubles
would altogether vanish if we began to sing of our mercies.
Oftentimes, depression of spirit, that will not yield to a whole night
of wrestling, would yield to ten minutes of thanksgiving before God.
Praying is the stalk of the wheat,
but praise is the very ear of it.
Praying is the leaf of the rose,
but praise is the rose itself, redolent with the richest perfume.
Praise God, then, "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," and if
you say you do not know how to do it, then "let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly." It is a praise-begetting thing.
Out of every Book of Scripture will
stream praise unto Jehovah.
Out of every promise will spring a
Out of every divine truth, enjoyed
and lived upon, will rise a spiritual song.
The whole revelation of God is the
condensed essence of praise; you have only to give it a fitting
opportunity, by setting it simmering on the fire of a graceful heart,
and you shall find a sweet cloud of holy incense rising from it
acceptable to the Most High.
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.
WITHIN YOU: enoikeito (3SPAM) en humin plousios: (Deuteronomy
6:6, 7, 8, 9; 11:18, 19, 20; Job 23:12; Psalms 119:11; Jer 15:16; Lk
2:51; Jn 15:7; 1John 2:14,24,27; 2John 1:2) (1Ti 6:17; Titus 3:6)
Alexander ("the Great") had a
casket of gold studded with gems to carry Homer’s works. Let your own
heart be a casket for the command of Christ. “Let the word of Christ
dwell in you.”
from en = in + oikéo = dwell)
means literally to “dwell in”, to take up residence, make one's home
in or among. To live in, inhabit; dwell in. All the NT uses of enoikeo
are metaphorical. The idea of “be at home,” defines the depth and
extent to which faith has become a vital and integral part of their
lives. Apply this same thought to the other things that dwell in
believers in the NT -- the Word of Christ, the Spirit, God, sin.
Note also that
Paul uses "you" plural, so that he is referring to the body of
believers at Colossae which of course includes individual believers.
What is the point? The idea is the Word would not make just a short
stay or an occasional visit, but that it would take up residence and
be given the run of the house. Christ’s teachings are to “live” in the
Vine observes that enoikeo
is used, with a spiritual
significance only, of
(a) the indwelling of God in
believers, 2Co 6:16;
(b) the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit, Ro 8:11-note;
(c) the indwelling of the word of
Christ, Col 3:16-note;
(d) the indwelling of faith, 2Ti
(e) the indwelling of sin in the
believer, Ro 7:17-note.
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
In your local
body are the sermons sharper than a two edged sword because they are
word centered? Are the Sunday School classes taught by a live human
being (including the elders) or by a video series of the latest
fashionable teaching that includes a few verses for "effect"? Do you
individually set out the "welcome mat" for the Word?
James speaks of
this exhorting his readers to be...
putting aside all filthiness and
all that remains of wickedness, (and) in humility receive
(accept deliberately and readily, receive kindly & so to take to
oneself what is presented) the word implanted, which is able to save
your souls. (James 1:21-note)
letting the word richly dwell look like? Job declares that...
"I have not departed from the
command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than
my necessary food. (Job 23:12-note)
To richly dwell
also means to treasure the word like the psalmist writes...
Thy word I have treasured in my
heart, That I may not sin against Thee. (Psalms
In a difficult
and somewhat depressive state, Jeremiah testified...
Thy words were found and I ate
them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah
Notice that Paul
is not giving a suggestion but a command (present
the church as Colossae let the Word continually be at home in their
local body? Is His Word truly at home in your local body? Remember
that the church at Colossae ceased to exist and so will any church
that drifts away from the Word of Christ. There might still be a
building that is called a church but there will be no power and no
salt and light effect from that church in the local community (see
commentary on salt and light in Mt 5:14, 15, 16- see
an insightful comment writing that...
Dwell in is
enoikeo. The word oikos means “a home.” Oikeō means “to live in a
home.” The exhortation is to the effect that the Christian is to so
yield himself to the Word that there is a certain at homeness of the
Word in his being. The Word should be able to feel al home in his
heart. The saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
MacArthur - Dwell is from enoikeo and means “to live in,” or “to be at
home.” Paul calls upon believers to let the Word take up residence and
be at home in their lives. (Colossians.
Chicago: Moody Press)
has an excellent note on the Word dwelling richly in believers
it must dwell in us, or keep house,
not as a servant in a family, who is under another’s control, but as a
master, who has a right to prescribe to and direct all under his roof.
We must take our instructions and directions from it, and our portion
of meat and strength, of grace and comfort, in due season, as from the
master of the household. It must dwell in us; that is, be always ready
and at hand to us in every thing, and have its due influence and use.
We must be familiarly acquainted with it, and know it for our good,
Job 5:27. It must dwell in us richly: not only keep house in our
hearts, but keep a good house. Many have the word of Christ dwelling
in them, but it dwells in them but poorly; it has no mighty force and
influence upon them. Then the soul prospers when the word of God
dwells in us richly, when we have abundance of it in us, and are full
of the scriptures and of the grace of Christ. (Matthew Henry's
Commentary on the Whole Bible)
UBS Handbook - In all
its richness is a metaphor for all the resources and blessings
which are to be found in the Christian message. The phrase in all its
richness may characterize either the message or the way in which the
message must live in the believer. The meaning is essentially the same
in either case. In the first instance, one may speak of the “the
wonderful message” and in the second instance, “must live in a
George Mueller - The vigor
of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by
the Bible in our life and thoughts. I solemnly state this from the
experience of 54 years. The first 3 years after conversion I neglected
the word of God. Since I began to search it diligently the blessing
has been wonderful. Great has been the blessing from consecutive,
diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a lost day when I have not
had a good time over the word of God.
from adjective plousios [4146
see uses below]
= rich, in turn from the noun ploutos = wealth, abundance, riches) is an
adverb which pertains to that which exists in a large
amount with the implication of its being valuable in large amount, in
abundance and so can be translated rich or richly. The basic sense is
"fullness of goods." A literal sense would be a "rich man." The
figurative sense (as in this passage) describes rich in
(actually the related word
gives us our English word plutocrat which describes a person
whose power derives from their wealth.
describes incredible abundance, extreme or vast material wealth, enormous affluence,
great prosperity, immense riches, magnificent opulence, extravagant
The word-group associated with ploutos is related to polus,
much, and means initially abundance of earthly possessions of every
kind. Later its meaning divided in two directions. In the one it meant
riches in a technical and material sense. In the other it was more
general, and occurs with a qualifying word, generally in the gen.,
e.g. riches of wisdom, honour, mercy, etc. All the words in this group
can bear this double meaning: plouteo, be or become rich; ploutizo,
make rich; ploutos, possession of many goods, super-abundance of
something, riches; and plousios, as an adjective, wealthy, rich and as
a noun a rich man.
is much more common than the adverb (28x in 28v) = Matt 19:23, 24; Mt
27:57; Mark 10:25; 12:41; Luke 6:24; 12:16; 14:12; 16:1, 19, 21, 22;
18:23, 25; 19:2; 21:1; 2Cor 8:9 (describes the wealth of Christ!); Eph
2:4 (God "rich in mercy"); 1Ti 6:17; Jas 1:10,11; 2:5, 6; 5:1; Rev
2:9; 3:17 (= Note the deception produced by riches in the church at
Laodicea and the striking contrast with spiritual riches in the church
in Rev 2:9!); Rev 6:15; 13:16
To dwell in us
“richly” has the twofold meaning of quantity and degree; it means
abundantly, applying it and using it in all its teaching, but also
using it constantly, at all times and in all circumstances.
Plousios - 4x in
NAS - abundantly(1), richly(3).
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of
Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and
admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct
(present imperative - paraggello = to transmit a order. Used by doctor
to give instructions or prescription. It was used as a military
command calling for unhesitating and unqualified obedience) those who are rich
(plousios 4146) in this present world not
to be conceited or to fix their hope (Life in Christ is an endless
hope, but without Him it is a hopeless end) on the uncertainty of riches, but
on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (“A
lavish emphasis to the generosity of God” - Parry).
Whom (Titus 3:5 - refers to the Holy Spirit, cp Ro 5:5) He poured out upon us
richly through Jesus Christ our
2 Peter 1:11-note for in this way
(What way? see context - 2Pe 1:10 and preceding verses) the entrance into the eternal kingdom of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
MacArthur - Plousios (richly) could also be translated “abundantly or extravagantly rich.”
The truths of Scripture
should permeate every aspect of the believer’s life and govern every
thought, word, and deed. The Word dwells in us when we hear it (Mt
13:9), handle it (2Ti 2:15-note), hide it (Ps
and hold it fast (Php 2:16-note). To do those things, the Christian must read, study, and
live the Word. (Colossians)
comments that "richly" means
"In the largest measure, and with
the greatest efficacy; so as to fill and govern the whole soul."
Wuest - Not only must the saint be yielded
to the Word, but he must have a good knowledge of it. The Holy Spirit
uses the Word of God that we know as He talks to us and guides our
lives. He can efficiently talk to us to the extent to which know the
Word. That is the language He uses.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
(Ed: I would add that this spiritual dynamic [Word in us,
indwelling Spirit speaking to us through that indwelling Word] helps
us understand the Will of God, which is predominantly found in the
Word of God.)
Rick Renner - "Let the Word
of God dwell in you richly! Throw open the doors, roll out the
red carpet, and give it a grand reception! If you'll let the Word
dwell in you in this way, it will produce an amazing amount of
spiritual wealth in your life...." You may ask, "How can the Word make
us spiritually rich?" Paul continues to tell us what the Word can
produce in us if we allow it to do so. He says, "Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in
your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16). These words describe
people so full of the Word of God that their entire being is affected.
Their hearts are full of joy; their minds are flooded with wisdom and
understanding; and their mouths are singing songs to the Lord. This
describes people who have struck it rich spiritually! It is a fact
that when the Word of God really comes to feel at home in you,
dwelling lavishly inside your heart, it enriches you with the wisdom,
the gifts, and the power you need for today. You become so filled with
the riches of God that you automatically find yourself admonishing and
encouraging other people in their faith. When the Word dwells in you
richly, there's always a song of rejoicing in your heart! When you are
filled with the Word to this extent, those inward spiritual riches
will easily flow out of you to bring life to everyone around you. By
using the word "richly" in this verse, Paul is painting a
picture of what the Word of God will produce for you if you allow it
to take up residency in you and become a vital part of your life. So
if you're tired of striving with no results—if you're tired of feeling
spiritually weak and worn out with nothing to offer—stop right where
you are today. Don't take another step without making the decision to
let God's Word play a more important role in your life. As you do, the
Word of God will enrich you with spiritual wisdom and insight. It will
put victory in your heart and a song in your mouth! It will turn you
into a spiritual billionaire! It will enrich your life so much that
you'll always have something spiritually to donate, to bequeath or to
freely share with someone else!...
1. How can you roll out the red
carpet and give God's Word a grand reception today? 2. Do you want the
wisdom, gifts, and power of God to be more active in your life so you
can minister more effectively to those around you? 3. What can you do
differently in your private times with the Lord to "let the Word of
Christ dwell in you richly"?
Gems From The Greek- 365 Greek Word Studies For Every Day Of The Year
To Sharpen Your Understanding Of God's Word)
Illustration of Letting the Word Dwell Richly - A beautiful and touching story is told of a young
French girl who had been born blind. After she learned to read by
touch, a friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark’s gospel. She read it
so much that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an
effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her
fingers. Tragically, however, her callouses were replaced by permanent
and even more insensitive scars. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye
kiss, saying, “Farewell, farewell, sweet word of my heavenly Father.”
In doing so, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive
than her fingers had been, and she spent the rest of her life reading
her great treasure with her lips. Would that every Christian had such
an appetite for the Word of God! The exhortation is to the effect that
the Christian is to so yield himself to the Word that there is a
certain at hominess of the Word in
his being. The Word should be able to feel al home in his heart. The
saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.
A more tragic
illustration of letting the word (sad because it was not God's Word)
dwell richly is found in the life of
Alexander the Great who had a casket of gold studded with gems to
carry Homer's works!
illustration of letting the word dwell richly - H. A. Ironside
told of visiting a godly Irishman, Andrew Frazer, who had come to
southern California to recover from a serious illness. Though quite
weak, he opened his worn Bible and began expounding the deep truths of
God in a way that Ironside had never heard before. Ironside was so
moved by Frazer’s words that he asked him, “Where did you get these
things? Could you tell me where I could find a book that would open
them up to me? Did you learn them in some seminary or college?” The
sickly man gave an answer that Ironside said he would never forget.
“My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud
floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my
open Bible before me I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the
Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my
heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever
could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”
A pilot was
flying his small plane one day, when he heard a noise which he
recognized as the gnawing of a rat. Wondering what its sharp teeth
were cutting through, he suddenly realized with horror that it might
be an electric wire. Then he remembered that rodents can’t survive at
high altitudes. Immediately he began climbing until finally he had to
put on his oxygen mask. Soon the gnawing sound ceased, and when he
landed he found the rat—dead. Do you want to destroy the power of evil
in your life? Then read the Bible regularly, meditate upon its truths,
and actively do God’s will. Sinful appetites can’t survive in such
spiritual heights. Listen to the Heavenly Father as He calls,
“Children, come up higher!”
Spurgeon - If other forms of knowledge are useful, they are like the planets; but
the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ Jesus is as the sun. Let
this always be the center of your system of knowledge, and let all the
rest that you know move in subordination and subjection to that first
and best form of knowledge....if you find a professing Christian
indifferent to his Bible, you may be sure that the very dust upon its
cover will rise up in judgment against him...My dear friends, I should
like you so to read the Bible that everybody in the Bible should seem
to be a friend of yours. I should like you to feel as if you had
talked’ with Abraham, and conversed with David. I can truly say that
there is hardly anybody in the world that I know so well as I know
David. But do find your choicest friends in the Scripture...Take the
whole company of Bible saints home to your heart, let them live inside
your soul. . Let old Noah come in with his ark, if he likes; and let
Daniel come in with his lions’ den, if he pleases; and all the rest of
the godly men and women of the olden time, take them all into your
very nature, and be on familiar terms with them; but, most of all, be
specially intimate with him of whom they all speak, namely, Jesus
Christ your blessed Lord and Master.
Dr. Wilbur Chapman once said that...
My rule for Christian living is this: anything that dims my vision of
Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer
life, or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must,
as a Christian, turn away from it.
Not "among you" but "within you" -
The Word is to be personalized and personally possessed.
- What makes the difference is not
how many times you have been through the Bible, but how many times and
how thoroughly the Bible has been through you.
R S Candlish
- Let the Word of Christ so
dwell in you. Let it be Christ Himself, dwelling in you; Christ
Himself, the living Word. Let His word, or Himself the word, dwell in
you richly; molding, fashioning, vivifying, regulating, your whole
inner man; all its powers, faculties, affections; its susceptibilities
and sensibilities; its movements of will. Let His word, let Himself in
His word, give His own tone and temper to all your emotions of joy and
sorrow; of fear, or anxiety or love, or hope. Let all within you be thus imbued,
not stiffly and artificially, but spontaneously and gladly, with the
word of Christ dwelling in you richly by the Spirit; and so
becoming Christ Himself dwelling in you as the word of life. Then, let there go forth from you,
not stiffly and artificially, but spontaneously and gladly and
lovingly, streams of overflowing benignity and benevolence; rich and
gracious influences of holy zeal and love and joy; to the glory of
God, celebrated in songs of praise; and the edifying of the church, in
wise teaching and admonition.
What do you need to clean up in your
house so that He, the living Word, might dwell richly, as "Master of
If ''the WORD of Christ richly dwells within'' what comes out of your
mouth is what fills you! The Word will come out (when you walk around
your home, when you are at work or school and most importantly when
you pray!) The Spirit of Christ will be our
Teacher and we will be but vessels as He teaches through us by the way
we respond to the trials and pressures of life. Your
LIFE speaks LOUDER than your WORDS. To ABIDE IN HIS WORD IS TO SUBMIT
to the Word and let Him direct and instruct our actions based upon
His Word of Truth. This God-ward LIFESTYLE models for the disciple, teaches
the teachable and admonishes the faint-hearted and the hypocrites who
do not have a genuine faith! This teaching is "In opposition to the
doctrine of an intellectual exclusiveness taught by the false
teachers" (Col 2:8-10-note)
As we have already emphasized, to let the word of Christ richly dwell
within yields spiritual dividends virtually identical to being filled
with the Spirit (Eph 5:18-note).
- The Word in the heart and mind is
the handle by which the Spirit turns the will. It is clear that these
two concepts are identical because the passages that follow each are
so similar. (Ibid)
Illustration of the Power of the
Indwelling Word - Michael Billester once gave a Bible
to a humble villager in eastern Poland. Returning a few years later,
he learned that 200 people had become believers through using it. When
the group gathered to hear him preach, he suggested that before he
spoke he would like each person to quote some verses of Scripture. One
man rose and said, "Perhaps, Brother, we've misunderstood you. Did you
mean verses or chapters?" Billester was astonished. "Are you saying
there are people here who could recite complete chapters of the
Bible?" That was precisely the case. In fact, 13 of them knew half of
Genesis and the books of Matthew and Luke. Another had committed all
the psalms to memory. Combined, the 200 knew virtually the entire
WISDOM TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER: en pasêi sophiâi didaskontes (PAPMPN) kai nouthetountes (PAPMPN) heautous:
(Col 1:9; 1Kings 3:9, 10, 11, 12,28; Pr 2:6,7; 14:8; 18:1; Isa 10:2;
Ep 1:17; 5:17; Jas 1:5; 3:17) (Col 1:28; Ro 15:14; 1Th 4:18; 5:11,12;
2Th 3:15; He 12:12, 13, 14, 15)
- Literally "in all".
Unless the word of Christ dwelt richly within them, they could not
fulfil this duty; for they could not teach and admonish
unless they knew what lessons to impart, and in what spirit to
communicate them; but the lessons and the spirit alike were to be
found in the Gospel. Mutual exhortation must depend for its fitness
and utility on mutual knowledge of the Christian doctrine. Sparing
(minimal) acquaintance with Divine revelation would lead to scanty
counsel and ineffective tuition. (Ref)
is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of
action, based on knowledge and understanding.
Thayer makes an excellent point that wisdom is "used of the knowledge of very
diverse matters, so that the shade of meaning in which the word is
taken must be discovered from the context in every particular case."
(didasko) means to provide instruction in a formal or
informal setting. Didasko refers to imparting positive truth.
“Teaching” is the orderly presentation of Christian truth for converts
so that they may know how to grow. Inherent in didasko is the intent
to influence understanding of person taught with the aim being
to shape will of one taught by communication of knowledge and/or by
the content of what is taught.
from noús = mind +
títhemi = place, this verb describing exertion of influence
upon nous implying resistance)
(warning, cautioning, gently reproving, exhorting) literally means to
place in the mind and so to warn or give notice to beforehand
especially of danger or evil. The idea is to lay it on the mind or
heart of the person, with the stress being on influencing not only the
intellect, but also the will, emotions and disposition. Noutheteo
means to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of
conduct or to
warn by giving notice to beforehand especially of potential danger or
Depending on the
context noutheteo can convey ideas including encouragement, reproof,
is in the
present tense (as is
teaching) which indicates Paul is calling for saints to be continually
admonishing, warning, cautioning, (teaching) etc ... one
dictionaries state that to admonish is to indicate duties or
obligations to; to express warning or disapproval to especially in a
gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner; to give friendly earnest
advice or encouragement to; to reprove firmly but not harshly; to
advise to do or against doing something; warn; caution.
describes "putting sense into someone’s head", alerting them of the
serious consequences of their actions and does not mean being
judgmental or critical in a superior manner but instead imparting a
caring kind of warning against danger.
It is not clear whether with all wisdom goes with richly or with the participles following. Either
would make good sense.
Richison notes that...
Teaching has to do with the
communication of truth. If we are going to teach we must learn. If we
are going to talk we must listen. If we speak we must hear.
Admonishing has to do with showing someone else how to execute
the Christian life. Admonishing means to place in the mind
personally. Sometimes the New Testament translates it “warn” (Acts
It is our privilege not only to teach others but to warn
them. Most of us do not like to become involved in the problems of
other people. All of us have a circle of Christian friends to whom we
are a blessing (all things being equal). God expects us to warn them
graciously when an occasion arises to do so.
Admonish has to do with application. Some people cannot apply
Scripture for themselves. They need others to help them. When a person
learns to fly, he needs someone there to personally show him how to
turn without stalling out. If you stall out things can get quite
Admonishing helps another person
make application. We do not teach another person how to shoot by
saying, “Here is a gun go out and shoot.” He must squeeze the trigger
for an accurate shot. It is in application where we hit the target. (Colossians
One another -
Study the "one anothers" - most
positive, some negative
PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS: psalmois, humnois, odais
pneumatikais: (Matthew 26:30; 1Co 14:26; Ep 5:19; Jas 5:13)
(1Chr 25:7; Neh 12:46; Ps 32:7; 119:54; Song 1:1; Isa 5:1; 26:1;
30:29; Re 5:9; 14:3; 15:3)
Eadie's discussion of these musical terms in his comments on
Ephesians 5:19ff (click
adds "We have there (Eph
5:19) said that
probably by Psalms may be understood the Hebrew book of that
name, so commonly used in the synagogues; that the hymns might
be other compositions divested of Jewish imagery and theocratic
allusions, and more adapted to the heathen mind; while the
spiritual odes were freer forms of song, the effusion of
personal experience and piety, and do not simply point out the genus
to which the entire class of such compositions belonged. Still the
sentiment hangs on the first clause—“let the word of Christ dwell
within you nobly.” These sacred songs, whether in the language of
Scripture, or based upon it, could be sung in the right spirit only
when the indwelling “word” pressed for grateful utterance. When the
gospel so possessed the heart as to fill it with a sense of blessing,
then the lips might be tuned to song. Experimental acquaintance with
Christianity could only warrant the chanting of the sacred ode." (Ref)
Vincent wrote that in the early Christian Church, it was
not unusual to employ verse or rhythm for theological teaching or
statement (sadly this is a far cry from most praise music today as
from psállo = to sing, chant)
describes a set piece of music, sacred ode (originally accompanied by
a stringed instrument). Psalms in OT originally with musical
accompaniment. The idea of accompaniment passed away in usage, and the
psalm, in NT phraseology, is an OT psalm or a composition having that
(humnos) is a song or hymn in honor of God. It also came to mean
praise to men. Whereas a psalm is the story of man's deliverance or a
commemoration of mercies received, a hymn is a magnificat, a
declaration of how great someone or something is. A hymn
is a direct address of praise and glory to God. According to Augustine
a hymn has three characteristics: It must be sung; it must be praise;
it must be to God. The word "hymn" nowhere occurs in the
writings of the apostolic fathers because it was used as a praise to
heathen deities and thus the early Christians instinctively shrank
Spiritual (4152) songs (5603)
(oide from ado = to sing in praise or
honor of someone) describes a chant or "ode" and is the general term
for any words sung whether
with or without instrumental accompaniment.
An example of a "spiritual song" might be
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
THANKFULNESS IN YOUR HEARTS TO GOD: en (te) chariti adontes (PAPMPN)
en tais kardiais humon to theo: (Col 4:6; Ps 28:7; 30:11,12;
47:6,7; 63:4, 5, 6; 71:23; 103:1,2; 138:1; 1Co 14:15)
(aido) means to sing and in NT always of praise to God.
More literally Paul says the saints are to "Singing with the grace
in their hearts". The phrase “with
grace” goes with “singing.”
Charis may mean thanksgiving, and
that meaning is consistent with the context, as it indicates a grateful spirit
which should characterize singing. Our singing must be
from the heart and not just with the lips. If the Word of Christ is
not richly dwelling within our heart, we will be much less likely to sing
thankfully from our heart.
Colossians 3:16 parallels
where the singing of hymns, etc, is the outgrowth of being
filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. Here in Colossians 3:16
the singing is the result
of an intake of the Word of God. Do you see the parallel relationship,
beloved? A believer who is filled with the Word is much more likely to
be a believer who is being controlled by the Spirit.
hearts to God "describes the sincerity of the service,-the silent
symphony of the heart." (Eadie)
In your hearts (2588)
(kardia) (Click for analysis of
Without a new heart that results from the new birth there is no real
worship "to God". How can an unregenerate individual
lead worship of Christ as Savior? Whether with instrument or
with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration is not
in the heart. It should be noted that the singing is to be "in your
hearts," as well as to God. What a difference this would make in our
While singing involves the audible utterance of harmonious
sounds, there is to be a corresponding inward note of praise by
which the heart goes out to God, the inner praise finding expression
in the audible sounds. All the inmost emotions are the outcome of our
relationship with Christ, and all is for the glory of God, who is the
one great object of our activities. Everything is to be “unto God. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
There is (according to Paul) a definite relationship between our
knowledge of the Bible and our expression of worship in song. One way
we teach and encourage ourselves and others is through the singing of
the Word of God. But if we do not know the Bible and understand it, we
cannot honestly sing it from our hearts. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Tragically there is a
serious paucity of Scripture in many American churches not only from
the pulpits but in the music displayed on the overhead. One of the offshoots of this dearth of sound (healthy)
doctrine is a increasing number of insipid, shallow, often times even overtly unbiblical songs. And
the sad truth is that the elders are not addressing the failure to
retain the standard of sound doctrine (2Ti 1:13-note)
lest they offend the ears of seekers. Shall we forget that our Lord
Jesus routinely "offended the ears" of seekers by confronting
them with the Word of Truth, which the Spirit uses to convict of sin,
righteousness and the judgment to come? The
great hymns of the faith (although they do not all exhibit
Scripturally sound doctrine) were for the most part written by believers
who knew and loved the pure milk of the Word (whereby and only whereby
saints grow in grace! - 1Pe 2:2-note).
It is the height of irony to separate the praise of the Living Word from the "pure milk" of
Word. Many churches need to re-think their approach to acceptable
music and guard through the Holy Spirit Who indwells them the treasure
of Truth which has been entrusted to them and for which they will one
day give a somber account. I know of one Bible church unapologetically
which even posts links overtly non-Christian music favorites on their
website. Such things ought not to be true of the spotless Bride of
Christ for this world is passing away and even its lusts. Perhaps we
need to remember the golden rule that only the God breathed Word is
living and active and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of
our hearts. So let us sing out psalms and hymns and sound doctrine,
the beautiful melodies of which not only touch our senses but which
even more radically impact our innermost being, teaching, reproving,
convicting and correcting us that we might go forth on Monday through
Saturday as men and women who are fully equipped and ready for every
Praise God that His Spirit has moved in some quarters to prompt a return to
the singing of Scripture, especially the Psalms. This practice is
laudatory for such music has the potential to edify and equip
Our singing must be with grace
(thanksgiving) or because we have God’s grace in our hearts.
What does this mean practically? Have you ever sung to the Lord when
you were in pain, or when circumstances seemed
to be against you? I'm sure you have had this experience, but without
His grace, to enable you to sing in such difficult circumstances,
worship and praise would not have been possible. Luke records such an
instance in Acts where we read that the jailer...
threw them into the inner
prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. but about midnight Paul
and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the
prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:24-25)
Singing is not to be a
display of fleshly talent but be a demonstration of the grace of
God in our hearts (cp Eph 5:19 " making melody with your heart to the
Lord" - only the Lord could hear this melody and He is always to be
our ultimate audience.)
All Christian music must contain a
message. Much Christian music is subjective if not sentimental. This
music expresses only personal experience and not the truth of
Scripture. Often these experiences do not correspond to reality.... (ref)
We do not truly sing until we sing
with grace in our hearts. This is the song of the soul. The person may
not be able to sing very well but a song breaks out in the heart. That
is why the Bible says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Some can
carry a tune and others cannot but the point is the expression of the
heart. Maybe that is why God allows for “noise” sung unto him!!
If we have no grace in our hearts we cannot sing unto the Lord. A
non-Christian cannot sing with grace in their hearts to the Lord. A
Christian with little understanding of God’s provisions cannot sing
with grace in their hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19-notes). Some Christians
sound like crippled crows when they sing. God makes crows as well as
canaries. Some of us sing best on the inside.
It is not enough to sing true content. God wants us to sing with our
hearts as well as our lips.
“With grace” — we need the help of God’s grace to sing out of the
Principle: Grace is the basis of the Christian’s song.
Application: We can tell much about an individual or a church by their
singing. We can tell not only by what they sing but how they sing. We
can tell by the singing whether the Bible is honored or whether the
Savior is preached. If we want John Wesley’s preaching we must have
Charles Wesley’s music. If we want D. L. Moody’s preaching we must
have Ira Sankey’s music. If we want Billy Graham’s preaching we must
have Cliff Barrow’s music. These things go together. Dead music goes
with dead preaching. A recognition of the grace of God’s provisions is
the basis of true singing.
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not
boast and lie against the truth” (Jas 3:14). If we have a bitter,
envious, striving attitude toward someone else we cannot sing with
grace in our hearts. A heart full of animosity and criticism cannot
sing. We have gone sour and our heart goes off key. (Colossians
Someone has well said that a successful Christian life involves
attention to three books...
THE POCKET BOOK
THE HYMN BOOK
Do you use a
hymnal in your devotional time, to help express praise to God?
grow in the knowledge of the Word, they will usually also grow in
their expression of praise. They will learn to appreciate the great
hymns of the church, the Gospel songs, and the spiritual songs that
teach spiritual truths.
Richison - Three words in verse 16 end in
“ing:” “teaching,” “admonishing” and “singing.” Some of us would not
know the difference between a participle from a pickle! However, these
three participles are the by-products or side-effects of the previous
part of the verse. If the Word of God finds lodgment in our souls,
then we will teach, admonish and sing. These three characteristics
will trend in our lives and will become a pattern. It will not be
sporadic or intermittent. (Colossians
teaching, admonishing and singing, not just singing? If not could it
be the Word of Christ is not RICHLY but minimally dwelling in your
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We are encouraged in the Scriptures
to sing. Whether songs of praise, worship, adoration, or dedication,
they should emanate from the heart. They must never be mere
hypocritical vocalizations of nice-sounding sentiments.
Some good questions to ask yourself the next time you pick up a
hymnbook in church are these: Do I really mean what I'm singing? Is
this coming from my heart, or am I just going through the motions?
On Wednesday evening we sing, "'Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer" and
then allow our thoughts to wander aimlessly while others pray. We
plead with enthusiasm, "Bring Them In" and later gripe about the
repeated call for Sunday school bus drivers. We sing, "For the Beauty
of the Earth" and then litter it with garbage and debris. We raise our
voices to ask, "Is it the Crowning Day?" and proceed to live as
though we had never heard of the Savior's return. We love the hymn,
"Holy Bible, Book Divine" but spend most of our time reading
newspapers and periodicals. We declare in song, "I Love to Tell the
Story" and can't remember the last time we spoke a word for Christ.
We sing, "Just One Step at a Time" and immediately begin to worry
about tomorrow! This is not singing from our hearts. Someone has
observed that "when the heart moves devoutly with the voice, true
heart-singing results." I would add that it is whenever "the heart and
hand move devoutly with the voice." The sincerity of our devotion is
demonstrated by what we sing and do. When our songs are matched by our
deeds — this is heart music! (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
praying and working,
Zealously walking His way;
Heart and hand active in service,
Living for Jesus each day!
— G. W.
A SONG coupled with SERVICE
usually outlive a
SERMON in the memory.
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Letting the Word Dwell in Your Heart - Before Clara Schumann, the widow of German composer Robert Schumann
(1810-56), would play any of her husband's music in public, she would
first privately read over some of his old love letters. Inspired by
his words, she said it seemed as if his very life filled her, and she
was then better able to interpret his musical compositions to the
public. In the spiritual realm, if we will read God's words of love to
us until we are thrilled by their truth, His Spirit will fill our
hearts and minds. The Lord can change our selfish attitudes and
fretfulness through our meditation on His Word.
We will then experience an increasing evidence in our lives of the
peace and servant hood that characterized the life of Christ. The words
of our Lord are crucial if we are to be able to teach and help others
effectively. The apostle Paul encouraged believers by writing, "Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col 3:16). We can do nothing
by ourselves, but as we let our Savior live through us, others will
see Christ in all we do.
Spend time in God's Word today so that others will see Christ in your
attitudes and actions. --H G Bosch
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Give us, O Lord, a strong desire
To look within Your Word each day;
Help us to hide it in our hearts,
Lest from its truth our feet would stray.
-J D Branon
When the Word of God dwells in you,
the love of Christ shines through you.
Robert Morgan lists Colossians 3:16 as one of the 100 verses
everyone should memorize...
Just as John 3:16 provides the core
of the gospel, Colossians 3:16 provides the core of worship. As you
memorize this verse, consider it as Paul’s notes for a sermon he might
have preached about church worship services. Here are his points:
1. Worship includes biblical
exposition. Paul was concerned the message of Christ be richly
presented through teaching and admonition. The word richly means
“abundantly, in great measure, in large amounts.”
2. Worship involves “one another.”
Teaching and admonition aren’t just pulpit-to-pew affairs. We teach
and admonish one another. I’m reminded of another 3:16: Malachi 3:16:
“At that time those who feared the LORD spoke to one another. The LORD
took notice and listened.”
3. Singing is a big part of
4. Variety in musical styles is
welcomed. We’re to sing out God’s Word in psalms, hymns, and spiritual
songs. Psalms are Bible-based praises that are solid, deep, echoing
the words of Scripture (especially the book of Psalms). Hymns are rich
and sturdy songs that stand the test of time. Spiritual songs are
lighter, livelier expressions of our faith and worship.
5. Worship rises on the wings of
thanksgiving. Even though Paul ended the previous verse with the words
“Be thankful,” he came right back in this verse to repeat the thought
with the phrase “with gratitude.”
6. Worship includes prayer. Notice
the last two words of the verse: “to God.”
7. Worship should engage both mind
and emotions. Colossians 3:16 tells us to admonish with all wisdom
(our minds) and to sing with our hearts (our emotions). This recalls
our Lord’s words in John 4, that God desires us to worship Him in
spirit and in truth.
As you memorize these verses, you
may get them confused with the previous passage from Ephesians 5. Paul
wrote Ephesians and Colossians at the same time and from the same
cell, and he expressed similar sentiments in both. But there are
significant differences. Ephesians 5 tells us that when we’re filled
with the Spirit, we’ll be speaking to one another in psalms, hymns,
and spiritual songs. Colossians 3:16 says the same will be true when
the Word of God dwells richly among us. Think of your automobile. Your
engine needs both fuel and spark. For the engine of worship, the fuel
is the Word of God, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit gives the
spark. Biblical teaching without spiritual power produces cold
orthodoxy. Spiritual excitement without the Word of God promotes
religious fanaticism. Put both together, and you’ve got biblical
The rule is... that we turn each truth that we learn about God into a
matter of mediation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.
—J. I. Packer (100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart)