Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 AMP
This verse speaks first about something that happens TO US:
- The spoken Word of God
- Making its home within us
And then about what WE DO in response:
- We teach (spiritual things)
- We admonish and train one another with spiritual wisdom
- We sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs in thankfulness to God
The gospel is the opposite of a virus, it is the cure. But it travels amongst us in a very similar way. The Word of Christ is spoken — and it travels through the air and is received by others “who have ears to hear” — and it is received into our hearts ands minds so that it permeates, infects, overwhelms, impacts every aspect of who we are.
Once we become aware of our own sinfulness. Once we stop listening to our own self justifications for why we have done the things we have done, why we have said the things we have said, why we have thought the things we have thought — and we realize our own filth in comparison to God’s perfect will –and we see our undeniable need for both forgiveness and for change — we know that we need the cure for no longer being blind to what is right and wrong. And the cure is not to ignore or forget the truth about ourselves — but to look to Christ the LORD and Saviour who provides cure and change from the inside out by coming to live in us and through us.
I remember SciFi movies from when I was young about body snatchers and alien imposters, where a person was replaced by someone else who looked and sounded like them, but whose actions were different enough to draw attention and cause suspicion that the person was an imposter. But I’m not talking about an imposter/replacement of a person by someone else — I’m talking about a surrender to walk with a companion and a comforter. A born again experience that changes the hearts and lives of men and women.
And this change, this “coming of the new”, it produces symptoms. Those symptoms are what we do in response to the gospel. Can those symptoms be faked? Well, teaching, correcting, training, and singing can easily be manufactured and imitated and performed by a mere man or woman to pass the “eye test” of onlookers. But spiritual wisdom and thankfulness to God has to pass the “smell test” of those who walk with Christ themselves and know His sweet aroma personally. So don’t judge others by outward appearances — teach, train, and admonish with spiritual wisdom — and sing and rejoice with thankfulness that flows from thankfulness to God.
And each of us has our part to play in this.
First, have you heard the spoken Word of Christ?
Have you received Christ into your life by turning away from your own ways to God’s will?
Have you believed that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead?
Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ is LORD?
If you cannot say yes to these four questions, if you have any doubt in your mind at all at this point — it is not too late to get it right, to make a change, to believe and receive. The Word of God would compel you to “choose today who you will serve” because “we are not promised tomorrow” and that “today is the day of salvation“. You can do this right now. Right here. It is between you and God, and He is here with you closer than the breath in your lungs.
If you know Him, tell someone today the hope you have found in Jesus — because we can all use hearing more of the spoken Word and praise and thankfulness being poured out into the world around us. Help build up and encourage, and even correct in love your fellow believers so that we all grow in spiritual wisdom. And give your thankfulness to God an outlet in praise and worship and service to God.
I stumbled upon this original song by a new acquaintance this morning on an app where I like to sing in thankfulness to God with people all over the globe. Don’t hide your light. Shine bright, friend!
What is at home within you? Is it Christ? Then GO, SPEAK, TEACH, TRAIN, CORRECT, and SING! This is your act of worship, to DO THE WILL OF GOD!