Richly Dwelling

Read: Colossians 3:15-16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (v. 16)

The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus was originally “the Word” who had been with God in the beginning. That Word was made flesh, lived among us, and then spoke many more words of life. Paul now told the Colossians to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” What “word” might that be? Jesus himself? The collective “word” that is the gospel? Probably both. The message and person of Jesus need to live right inside us.

The phrase Paul uses is highly emphatic. You could translate it, “It is utterly imperative and absolutely necessary that the word of Christ dwells in you!” When it does, what is the result? Paul said teaching, admonishing, and singing. We probably understand the singing and teaching part. But admonishing? The word carries with it a whiff of scolding, of rebuke, of correction. Apparently Paul wanted the truth of Christ to dwell in us so that when we spot falsehood in a sister or brother, we can point it out.

Let’s admit we are not very good at this. Worse, if you know someone who is eager to rebuke people, the odds are that this is not your favorite person! It is hard to admonish in love. But Paul expected this to happen now and then—perhaps regularly—among God’s people. When the person and message of Christ dwell deeply in you, then your passion is to see every-one living out that Word’s wonderful truth! —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, ask the Spirit to seal the word of Christ into your heart.

About the Author

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.

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