Colossians 3 - Let the Word of Christ Dwell in You Richly
INTRODUCTION: Paul provides more advice to the believers for the constant practice of those characteristics that should be expected of saints. Christ is in each saint, and each saint is also in Christ. Paul lists some specifics of things to do, and things to avoid, as all saints continue in prayer, and the Word of Christ dwells in each of us richly.
NOTE: All Bible text is from the Modern KJV unless otherwise designated. Numbers in angle brackets "<>" are Strong's reference numbers.
"1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth."
COMMENTS: The saints are indeed raised to a new life with Christ, so therefore, we should keep our thoughts on "things above", because Passages from both Old and New Testaments alike, tell us it is always the right hand of God who is in heaven, that sustains the saints. Christ Jesus came from heaven, paid the penalty for all sin, and then returned to the right hand of the Father to intercede for the saints that are yet on earth. While we are here, we must be mindful of things above; or said another way, lay up treasure in heaven.
"3 For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ our Life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."
COMMENTS: Our hope is not in anything of the earth, even physical life itself; because our faith is more precious than physical life; but the glory of heaven is promised to the saints of God through Christ.
"5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry), 6 on account of which things' sake the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience, 7 among whom you also once walked, when you lived in these."
COMMENTS: We must continually die to the old nature, and allow the Holy Spirit to renew us until our redemption is complete. Faith in Christ should prevent us from returning to those things that are done continually by those who know not Christ. Before the grace and mercy of our Savior Christ Jesus transformed us, we were part of that group, regardless of what form our transgression took. And how important to realize our sinfulness, because those who think they are righteous cannot be saved by the one who came to save sinners!
"8 But now also put off all these things: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, shameful speech out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, having put off the old man with his deeds;"
COMMENTS: Paul provides a "short list" of things to avoid, because saints have put off the old nature; and it is good for us to review such Biblical lists, because our sinful nature is very deceitful, allowing us to quickly return to our old ways. And certainly those in the world around us will mock and ridicule our efforts to avoid the very things they desire.
"10 and having put on the new, having been renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave or freeman, but Christ is all things in all."
COMMENTS: As saints, we are made in the image of our creator, by our creator, and therefore we should make no deprecating distinction among any saints, regardless of how they seem to differ in human origin or social background. All of us have the unparalleled benefit of His grace and mercy, and can make no boast of what we have accomplished in righteousness through our own effort.
"12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender feelings of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, 13 forbearing one another and forgiving yourselves, if anyone has a complaint against any. As Christ forgave you, so also you do. 14 And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness."
COMMENTS: As the elect, or chosen, and beloved of God, make a conscious decision about your own behavior, and then demonstrate through action, an affection for brothers and sisters in Christ, which in turn demonstrates your love of God; remembering above all, to be forgiving through love because of the greatness of God's forgiveness towards you.
"15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you also are called in one body, and be thankful."
COMMENTS: Be grateful, thankful, and appreciative of what the Lord has done for you, because the peace He gives is not transitory nor of minor significance.
"16 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. 17 And everything, whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."
COMMENTS: As we read and study the word of God, His word becomes part of our thoughts to be displayed through our speech and actions in daily living; and by the transforming power of the word, we realize that all is to the glory of God, not ourselves. This we proclaim in the name of Jesus.
"18 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as is becoming in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they be discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your masters according to the flesh in all things; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God."
COMMENTS: All saints are called to a life of submission to authority, and to one another in love, in the family, and in all other aspects of corporate interaction.
"23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. For you serve the Lord Christ."
COMMENTS: As we continue to mature as saints in faith, whatever we do should be done as if directly done for our Lord, Christ Jesus, and not to impress those around us. We are in fact his servants, and we serve him by serving others.
"25 But he who does wrong shall receive justice for the wrong which he did, and there is no respect of persons."
COMMENTS: Through Adam, all inherit death by sin.
--- Reflections in prayer ---
Thank you Lord for raising me with Christ to newness in life, that I now can seek with sure hope those things which are above, with you as you are seated at the right hand of the Father. Remind me Lord that since I have died to this world, with my life now hidden in Christ, only the things of heaven have true value to me. For when Christ who is my life, appears, I will appear in glory with him. Therefore, my desire is to put to death my former worldly deeds: any form of immorality, lust, and greed, which is idolatry; for which things' sake comes the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience: and I once practiced such things Lord, and lived in disobedience to you. But because I have put off the old man, and have put on the new man, I also want to avoid lingering anger, a hot temper, malicious thought or action, verbal attacks or condemnation, obscene language, or lying. Remind me Lord, that I have become new in knowledge after the image of my maker; Where there is no Gentile or Jew, no one with circumcision or without circumcision, no division between nations, no servant or free man: but for His saints, Christ is all, and in all.
Because you have chosen me to be holy and beloved to you, I want to be eager to have this behavior to others: sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient; with tolerance to forgive, remembering that the Lord has forgiven me far more than I will ever need to forgive another. Guide me Lord, to use love to bind all these things together in perfection, that I may express thankfulness that you have called me to be part of your body. As your peace rules my thoughts, may the word of Christ dwell in me richly as I teach others or am taught. And may the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs be a rich melody of grace in my heart unto my God. Whatever I do, in word or in deed, I want to do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Thank you Lord for establishing a pattern for the family and for all who serve under authority as workers, because following this pattern is pleasing to you. Wives are to submit to the authority of their husbands, and husbands are in turn to love their wives and not to treat them harshly. Children are to obey their parents, and as parents exercise their authority, they should be cautious not to provoke the children and cause discouragement. Slaves should always obey their earthly masters; and not only while being watched, as if merely to please people; but with sincerity of heart in the fear of the Lord, who is the real master. Whatsoever a saint does, should be done heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord we shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: we serve the Lord Christ. The unjust shall receive for the wrong they do, without respect to their position in the world. May the word of Christ dwell in me richly, that I might be serving you in whatever I do, and offer all up as a sacrifice of praise. Amen.
Published revision 25 January 2007, first issued 26 September 2004