Let the Word of Christ Dwell Richly in you

In Colossians 3:16 Paul writes:

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. (NKJV) – Col 3:16

There are a few things I would like us to consider before I delve a little bit into this verse and for complete context, I suggest that you read the Colossian letter in its entirety and then focus on chapter 3.

Paul writes to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and he says:

1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (NKJV) – 1 Cor 4:1-2

You may wonder what this has got to do with the letting the Word of God dwell richly in you.  For starters, we are blessed to have God’s word, in its entirety, revealed to us through the Holy Spirit – Inspired by God.

When one looks at the word steward (Greek: oikonomos), it means to oversee, or to entrust into the care of.

Just like Paul and the apostles, today, we are stewards of the mysteries of God.  And what are these mysteries. They are no longer mysteries as they have been revealed to us – we have the full revelation of God’s word.  There is nothing more to be added and there should be nothing that should be taken away (Revelation 22:18-19).

25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJV) – James 1:25

Perfect law also means the complete law. The law of liberty, liberty from the oppression of the evil one, and sin, and the old ways, and look to things above where Jesus is.  (Colossians 3)

Peter further writes in his second epistle that God has given to us everything that we need that pertain to both life and godliness.

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (NKJV) – 1 Pet 1:2-3.

As stewards, entrusted with God’s word we are to study it and rightly divide the word of truth.

Let the Word Dwell in you Richly.

Coming back to our text in Colossians 3:16, we can now start to unpack a little of what Paul is writing to the Colossian church and to us today.

In order that the word of Christ dwells richly in us we must put off the old ways,  

Colossians 3 starts off by we are to set our minds on things above, where Jesus is. 

Verses 3 tells us that we have died – “you died”.  How can this be?  The only way to die is to our old selves and so that we can be with Jesus, i.e., die to the old ways. 

Verse 4 is quite a remarkable verse where we see that “Jesus who is our life……….”

As described in chapter 3, there are things that we must “put off” and “put to death”, before we can “put on” the new man and what entails the characteristics of the new man.

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. (NKJV) – Col 3:16

Continuing to look at verse 16, if the word of Christ does not dwell in your richly then what does mean, and what are the consequences?

It implies that one will not have fullness, richness and completeness of God’s word dwelling in them.  This will further impact on dwelling richly in all wisdom as wisdom is the application of the knowledge we receive and if the word of God does not dwell fully or richly in us, then the wisdom imparted will not be that from God but of our own vices. 

and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. (NKJV) – Col 3:10-11

Teaching and admonish one another

Teaching and admonishing one another will also not be fully accomplished.  Teaching will not grow when knowledge seizes to be attained. The renewing of knowledge never stops, does not end, there is constantly growing and developing and learning and studying, and maturing when one undertakes the reading and studying of the holy scriptures.  Discontinuation of studying God’s word means that richness of the dwelling of Christ’s words in you also fades or stops growing, which has a direct impact on the growth of one’s wisdom, and teaching and admonishing others.

The word richly (Greek – plousiōs) (Vine’s Dictionary) means abundantly; present in great quantity; more than adequate; oversufficient – dictionary.com).

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (NKJV) – John 1:1-3

Jesus is the word, so when we let the Word richly dwell in us (v16), Jesus is in us all (v.11).

What does this mean?

As children of God who have obeyed Him, we are the “elect of God, holy, beloved (v.12), we are His chosen people, and hence holy, why, because God is holy, and God has loved us before we loved Him. 

There is a lot more that can be said about these few verses, however, as a start, consider what it means to you to let the word of Christ dwell richly in you.