About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Shelf To Heart
3:16 reads. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you
teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…"
what's Paul saying here? To
start, this statement is directed to both the individual believer, as
well as the group of believers in Colosse.
If the individual believer can follow Paul's instruction, both
the individual and the group will benefit.
I've always said that the spiritual health of any group of
believers depends on the spiritual health of the individuals in the
thing to note is that this particular instruction is just one in a
larger list. The rest of
this list needs to be considered as well, but I'll leave that for
instruction begins with, "let the word of Christ…"
The word of Christ is all the words that Jesus spoke, much of
which are recorded in the gospel accounts.
Yet since Jesus is the exact representation of His Father, all
words spoken by God the Father are the words of Christ as well.
This would include all of the Old Testament and the rest of the
inspired New Testament. So
for us, the word of Christ is the Bible.
next words Paul writes are, "dwell in you richly."
There are three things to consider in these four words.
The first is the word dwell.
The word of Christ must dwell or live someplace other than on the
pages of the Bible that sits on our shelves.
The next two words tell us where the word of Christ is to dwell,
and that's within you and I. The
words of the Bible should move from the pages of the Bible that sits on
our shelves to deep within our being.
In order for the word of Christ to find its way into that most
sacred part of us, we need to digest the Bible, as if it's our spiritual
food, and allow it to become part of the very fabric of who we are.
That means reading, studying, and understanding the Bible the
best we can, with the intent to live out what we understand.
next word Paul uses is the word "richly."
The Greek word that "richly" is translated from means
"in abundance". This
Greek word is used in other New Testament passages in connection with
the abundance of material things. So
just as you and I want to be rich with an abundance of material wealth,
so we should want to be rich with an abundance of spiritual wealth.
Actually, being rich spiritually should be a higher priority that
being rich materially. That's
not often the case in western Christian culture.
This spiritual wealth only comes through understanding the words
of Christ that are found in the Bible.
Many Christians today are attempting to find spirituality without
a good hermeneutical understanding of the Bible.
That just doesn't work and the spirituality found is not godly.
the individual aspect to Paul's instruction is the corporate aspect.
One reason why he tells us to have the word of Christ live in us
richly as individuals is so we can "teach and admonish one another
in all wisdom." What we
understand from God's word should eventually benefit those to whom Jesus
has joined us to.
that this teaching and admonishing is in wisdom that comes from Biblical
understanding. We shouldn't
be beating each other up with Bible passages because we have a
disagreement with our brother as is often the case.
rich with an abundance of Biblical understanding should be near the top
of our list of priorities in life. It
will benefit us as well as those to whom Jesus has joined us to. There's
not much more important than this in life.
May we all have a greater desire for Biblical understanding
without the inclusion of post-modern humanistic philosophy with its
false spirituality. The
words of the Bible are better placed in our hearts instead of on our