Colossians, Chapter 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.


Colossians 3:1-2

"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.
Exodus 15:6 (AV) "Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy."
Psalm 110:1 (AV) "<<A Psalm of David.>> The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."
Mark 16:19 (AV) "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."
Ephesians 2:4-6 (AV) "4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:"


Colossians 3:3-4

"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.
John 14:6 (AV) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Galatians 2:20 (AV) "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Galatians 5:24 (AV) "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
2Timothy 1:9-10 (AV) "9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:"


Colossians 3:5-7

"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!
Psalm 119:36 (AV) "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness."
Mark 7:21-23 (AV) "21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Matthew 9:13 (AV) "But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Romans 5:8 (AV) "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Ephesians 5:3 (AV) "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;"
Proverbs 28:13 (AV) "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy."
Romans 6:17 (AV) "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."


Colossians 3:8-9

"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.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (AV) "22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation {conduct} the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
1Peter 4:1-4 (AV) "1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]:"


Colossians 3:10-11

"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.
Psalm 51:10 (AV) "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
Romans 12:2 (AV) "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
2Corinthians 4:16 (AV) "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day."
Titus 3:5 (AV) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Galatians 3:28 (AV) "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."


Colossians 3:12-14

"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.
Romans 8:33 (AV) "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect <1588>? [It is] God that justifieth."
1Peter 2:9 (AV) "But ye [are] a chosen <1588> generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
Galatians 5:22 (AV) "[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;" (Ro 12:10 AV) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"


Colossians 3:15

"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.
Psalm 100:4 (AV) "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name."
John 14:27 (AV) "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Philippians 4:7 (AV) "The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)"
Acts 10:36 (AV) "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Romans 15:13 (AV) "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."


Colossians 3:16-17

"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.
Psalm 119:11 (AV) "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Luke 8:15 (AV) "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience."
Romans 10:8 (AV) "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;"
1Corinthians 1:10 (AV) "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Ephesians 5:20 (AV) "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"


Colossians 3:18-22

"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.
Ephesians 5:21-25 (AV) "21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
1Peter 3:1 (AV) "Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"
1Peter 3:7 AV) "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."
Ephesians 6:1 (AV) "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."
Ephesians 6:4-5 (AV) "4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 6 Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;"


Colossians 3:23-24

"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.
Matthew 6:2 (AV) "Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."
Matthew 6:16 (AV) "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."
Ephesians 6:7-8 (AV) "7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free."


Colossians 3:25

"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.
Romans 5:12 (AV) "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
The only remedy is to receive the gift of life by faith in Christ, the last Adam, who provides the life-giving spirit. God is not a man that he should be influenced, and there is no gift to be given to the creator of all that exists because it is already his.
2Chronicles 19:7 (AV) "Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do [it]: for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons nor taking of gifts."
Acts 10:34-35 (AV) "34 Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."
Romans 2:11 (AV) "For there is no respect of persons with God."
Romans 4:5-8 (AV) "5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 [Saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute 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.


Bible Studies for the other 3 chapters of Colossians
Colossians 1 - Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
Colossians 2 - Established in Christ
Colossians 4 - Continue in Prayer

Published revision 25 January 2007, first issued 26 September 2004