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indeed you were
Amplified: And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from
Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and
settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in
that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you
were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving
praise to God always].
Bible - Lockman)
let the peace of God be the decider of all things within your
hearts, for it is to that peace you were called, so that you might
be united in one body.
NET Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart, for
you were in fact called to this peace, and be thankful. (NET
NLT: And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your
hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in
peace. And always be thankful. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
remembering that as members of the same body you are called to live
in harmony, and never forget to be thankful for what God has done
for you. (New
Testament in Modern English)
And the peace of Christ, let it be acting as umpire in your hearts,
into which also you were called in one body. And be constantly
thankful persons. (Wuest:
Expanded Translation: Eerdmans)
Weymouth: And let the peace which Christ gives settle all
questionings in your hearts, to which peace indeed you were called
as belonging to His one Body; and be thankful
Young's Literal: and let the peace of God rule in your
hearts, to which also ye were called in one body, and become
PEACE OF CHRIST
RULE IN YOUR HEARTS: hê eirene tou Christou brabeuetô (3SPAM) en tais kardiais humon:
(Ps 29:11; Isa 26:3; 27:5; 57:15,19; Jn 14:27; 16:33; Ro 5:1; 14:17;
15:13; 2 Co 5:19, 20, 21; Ep 2:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 5:1; Php
verb eiro = to join or bind
together that which has been separated)
literally pictures the
binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or
divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common
expression of one “having it all together”. It follows that peace
is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace as a state of
concord and harmony is the opposite of war.
In this present verse peace is that which Christ gives. So
instead of division there is to be a unity or oneness. If you don't
feel that peace in a local body, then it may be because the umpire
(see "rule" below) is saying that you are "out of bounds" so to speak.
The psalmist promises
The LORD will give strength to
His people. The LORD will bless His people with peace. (Ps 29:11
The steadfast of mind Thou
wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. (Isaiah 26:3)
Before Jesus left this earth He
promised His disciples a peace unlike any other declaring...
Peace I leave with you;
My (His very own personal) peace) I give to you; not as the
world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let
it be fearful. (Jn 14:27)
The peace of Christ, the peace He
gives is not only peace we experience when there is no conflict, but
like the Hebrew counterpart (see
study of shalom)
gives us a sense of wholeness and well-being, completeness and
totality. And ultimately, the peace of Christ is even more for it is
in its essence the very presence of Christ. (See study on
Seven "thieves" that can steal your peace)
And all believers share this same
peace Paul writing...
Therefore having been
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, (Ro 5:1-note)
John MacArthur writes that eirene...
includes both the
concept of an agreement, pact, treaty, or bond, and that of an
attitude of rest or security. Both aspects are in view here.
J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
Johnson (Bib Sac, Jan, 64) writes...
I remember reading somewhere in F. B. Meyer’s writings a story of a
man crossing the channel towards a continental port on a dark starless
night. One of the passengers was chatting with the captain over the
difficulty of making port under such circumstances. The captain
pointed to the distant shore and said: “Do you see the three lights
shining faintly ahead on land? Well, I steer our ship until the three
lights merge into one, and then I head straight into port with the
light ahead of me. I know that course is the right course.” In similar
fashion the believer may trust the united witness of the Word of God,
the witness of the Spirit, and the peace of Christ. When the three
agree in a course of action, or approve a particular decision, the
believer may have strong assurance of the will of God and head
related word =
brabeús = an umpire) (Only use in the NT here) means literally to award the prize
and is a cognate (related) to
the word "prize" (brabeion = gift received as
a prize or reward as result of having won in competition) used by Paul in 1Co 9:24
3:14-note. In later Greek brabeuo
was frequently used in the sense of rule because a conspicuous part of
a ruler’s work was to pronounce decisions in matters open to question.
is used once in the
in the apocryphal
work Wisdom 10:12 where "Wisdom" is described as the umpire in Jacob's
struggle with the "angel" (Who I think was most likely the
Angel of the LORD
- see especially Ge 32:30 = see Ge 32:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
picture of brabeuo is
that of an umpire deciding the outcome of an athletic contest. The umpire
would preside over the athletic games so popular in the Greek culture
(cp American sports!) and distribute the coveted
prize to the winner.
In the present
context brabeuo is used figuratively to picture the peace of Christ
arbitrating, deciding in arguments, and thereby restraining the passions of the
that might threaten to disrupt the peace in the body. The peace of Christ would
settle any friction and strife so that the believers could remain strong
calling for this to
be one's continual attitude. Thus this verse can be rephrased...
"let the peace of Christ
continually decide as umpire or arbitrate in your hearts."
By way of
application, the peace of
Christ should act as our umpire when anger, envy, and other such
passions arise in our hearts. Let the peace of Christ be the umpire in
your heart amidst the conflicts of life, this "divine umpire" helping you decide what is
right (However see the discussion below regarding using this
passage to "discern the will of God".)
applies this very practically asking...
How much misery we would avoid if
we permitted “the peace of Christ” to umpire in our hearts. How many
words we would hold back if he were the arbitrator in our lives. How
many sleepless nights we would forego if we did that. How the Church
needs this too, “since as members of one body you were called to
R. K.: Colossians and Philemon: The Supremacy of Christ. Preaching the
Word. Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books)
The KJV Study
Bible writes that Paul's intent is that
when believers are at odds with
each other, whatever course of action best maintains peace and fosters
harmony is the course to be taken. (KJV
Study Bible. Nelson)
Greek, brabeuo meant to be a brabeús, an umpire,
director or arbiter in public Greek games. He would assign a prize in
the public games. He was to be a judge and award the prize.
Paul uses a
derivative on brabeuo in Colossians 2:18 writing...
Let no one
= with a negative means to stop
letting this happen) you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement
and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has
seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind...
Paul is using
the well known illustration of a the judge at athletic games (brabeus)
who would disqualify any athlete from competition if they had broken
the rules of the games (see discussion of ancient athletics in context
of 2Ti 2:5-note). They would not be
awarded the prize (Greek = brabeion). In ancient Greece although the
athlete might be disqualified from competition, they would not cease
to be citizens of the country they belonged to but they would forfeit
the glory and honor that was associated with wining at the Olympic
games. What Paul is saying in Col 2:18
(note) is that some men were
coming in and saying to the Christians who failed to keep all there
man made rules (self abasement, etc) would lose their reward.
explains rule in your hearts writing that Paul...
employs, however, a very
appropriate metaphor (Ed note: "rule" or "umpire"); for as among
wrestlers, he who has vanquished all the others carries off the palm
(Ed note: the prize, for the leaf of a palm was a symbol of victory),
so he would have the peace of God be superior to all carnal
affections, which often hurry us on to contentions, disagreements,
quarrels, secret grudges. He accordingly prohibits us from giving
loose reins to corrupt affections of this kind. As, however it is
difficult to restrain them, he points out also the remedy, that the
peace of God may carry the victory, because it must be a bridle, by
which carnal affections may be restrained. Hence he says, in our
hearts; because we constantly feel there great conflicts, while the
flesh lusteth against the Spirit. (Gal 5:17-note) The clause, to
which ye are called, intimates what manner of peace this is — that
unity which Christ has consecrated among us under his own direction.
For God has reconciled us to himself in Christ, (2Co 5:18)
with this view, that we may live in entire harmony among ourselves.
verse is often applied to discern the will of God (eg, if I don't
experience the "peace of Christ" then the "umpire" is saying I am out
of bounds, so to speak). The idea is that when a believer loses his
peace, he can know that he has in some way disobeyed God (or as
someone has said “Darkness about going is light about staying.”).
There is no question that when a believer obeys the will of God, they
will (or should) experience God's peace; and when they disobey
intentionally or unintentionally they forfeit His peace. Although
certainly peace in our heart is part of discerning God's will, the
context speaks more to the interpersonal relationships of those in the
body of Christ. Paul's point is that if we have peace, we will
certainly be more likely to experience peace in the church. If we are
not experiencing peace individually, we are more likely to contribute
to discord and disharmony in the church.
Concise Bible Commentary writes that...
Christ’s rule of peace pulls
believers together in unity (cf. Col 1:15, 16, 17, 18 - see notes
18). When differences
threaten the unity of the body, the peace of Christ must be accepted
as arbitrator. (Hughes,
R. B., Laney, J. C., & Hughes, R. B. Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary.
Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers).
explains that this peace is...
God’s being at peace with you, and
the comfortable sense of his acceptance and favour: or, a disposition
to peace among yourselves, a peaceable spirit, that keeps the peace,
and makes peace...We are called to this peace, to peace with God as
our privilege and peace with our brethren as our duty. Being united in
one body, we are called to be at peace one with another, as the
members of the natural body. (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole
No heart is right with God where
the peace of Christ does not rule; and the continual prevalence of the
peace of Christ is the decisive proof that the heart is right with
God. When a man loses his peace, it is an awful proof that he has lost
something else; that he has given way to evil, and grieved the Spirit
of God. While peace rules, all is safe.
the idea of letting the peace of Christ rule in your hearts picture a
baseball umpire. Baseball fans know that the man
in the black suit who stands behind the catcher rules on the plays and
makes the calls. He remains absolutely unruffled no matter what
happens. Managers curse him and kick dirt at him, fans throw pop
bottles at him, yet he remains unperturbed. That is the idea. Let
the calmness of Christ rule among you. Consider Jesus in the gospels.
He moves into every situation with total poise. He is not upset by
others but remains calm and collected when other people are panicking
around him. He is in control. That is to characterize the church in
its functioning as a body. Though
subjective in nature, yet very really indeed the peace of God produced
by the Spirit of God (Ga 5:22-note) “acts as umpire” in the heart to make
definite the right decision in accord with the divine purpose. The
means used by the Spirit in making each decision is the written Word
(Col 3:16; cf. Ps 119:105). As noted above, it is the Scriptures which
are used to prepare the heart and cause it to yield to the sovereign
purpose of God. The Spirit of God through the Word of God also
produces the peace of God in the heart.
We must beware, however, of a false peace in the heart. Jonah
deliberately disobeyed God, yet he was able to go to sleep in the hold
of a ship in a storm! “I had peace about it!” is not sufficient
evidence that we are in the will of God. We must pray, surrender to
His will, and seek His guidance in the Scriptures. The peace of heart
alone is not always the peace of God.
Fausset and Brown write...
Let the peace of Christ act as
umpire when anger, envy, and such passions arise; and restrain them."
in your hearts - Many wear a peaceful countenance and speak
peace with the mouth, while war is in their hearts (Psalm 28:3 =
Spurgeon's note; Ps
Spurgeon's note). (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory)
Peace is not only objective and
subjective, but also relational. Believers were called to live in
peace in one body. Individuals who have peace with Christ and in their
own hearts will live in unity and harmony with each other.
Life Application Bible Commentary
has an excellent note on
When we exercise the traits of
compassion, kindness, humility, patience, and, above all, love, we are
going to face conflict. Not everyone will be playing by these rules.
Not all Christians show the self-restraint needed in conflict. How can
we deal with these conflicts and live as God wants? When we are hurt
by others or our gracious efforts are rebuked, we must have an umpire
inside that says, “Peace.” We need to call a time-out on our passions
and reactions; then we can think about the peace that God has won for
us in Christ’s death. Paul does not teach “peace at any price.”
Instead, he encourages believers to embrace God’s peace and be under
his control as they make courageous moral decisions for the truth and
the right. (Barton,
B. B., & Comfort, P. W.: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Life
Application Bible Commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers)
Lightfoot writes that...
Wherever there is a conflict of
motives or impulses or reasons, the peace of Christ must step in and
decide which is to prevail.
in depth study) in
this context describes the home and the throne of the peace of Christ.
Our heart is like our "control center", a good place to have the peace
of Christ ruling!
W H G Thomas once
explained this verse by first asking a question...
What does the peace of Christ do?
Primarily it gives assurance of acceptance with God (cf. Ro 5:1-note),
and the protection of God (cf. Php 4:7-note,
Gr., "shall garrison," a paradoxical use of a warlike term). But here
Christ's peace is to be received into the heart as the arbiter
deciding the course and ruling the life (Gr., "umpire"). A similar
idea and practically the same Greek word is found in Col 2:18
as we have seen, where the apostle is warning his readers not to let
anyone judicially deprive them of their reward as though they were
This word, translated here "rule,"
suggests that which settles differences, especially where there is any
conflict of thoughts and feelings. Under such circumstances the
peace of Christ is to decide; and if it be asked how peace is able
to do this perhaps the explanation is that just as peace with God is
the result of our acceptance of Christ as Savior (Ro 5:1-note),
so the experience of peace in the soul, in union with Christ and
through the presence of the Holy Spirit, will at once settle every
difficulty, resolve every conflict, and show us what is the will of
In this case there is a special
reason for such divine peace--the essential unity of the body of
Christ, the Church, and to this peace, we are told, every believer has
been called. When we are one with Christ, in whom God "called us with
an holy calling" (2Ti 1:9-note),
and also one with Christians, "called in one body," as Paul says here,
there is no question as to the great power of divine peace in our
lives. We read of "government and peace" (Isa 9:7 in multiple translations), of
"righteousness and peace" (Ps.
in multiple translations;
in multiple translations),
and of "grace...and peace" (Titus 1:4-note).
Until these prevail universally, however, "the God of peace himself"
ASV) will be with us, keeping us meanwhile "in perfect peace" (Isaiah
in multiple translations)
INDEED YOU WERE CALLED IN ONE BODY: eis en kai eklethete (2PAPI) en heni sômati:
a peaceful countenance and speak peace with the mouth, while war is in
their hearts as the psalms testify...
Do not drag me away with the wicked
and with those who work iniquity; who speak peace with their
neighbors, while evil is in their hearts. (Ps 28:3 -
elsewhere describes one whose...
speech was smoother than butter,
But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were
drawn swords. (Ps 55:21 - see
With one Head
(Christ) as in Col 1:18
[note], Col 1:24
if we have peace in our hearts, we will be at
peace with others in the church. We are called to one body, and our
relationship in that body must be one of harmony and peace. The unity
of the body of Christ is a strong reason for peace among the
members, and the peace of Christ enables the body to retain its
oneness (a body so unified thereby retains its efficacy and its
function as salt and light in the spiritual decaying, dark world - see
commentary on salt and light in Mt 14, 15, 16
[notes]). If we are
out of the will of God, we are certain to bring discord and disharmony
to the Body of Christ.
Spurgeon exhorts us...
Do not fall out with one another.
You are called to peace, for you are cared in one
body. Does one hand in the body fight with the other hand? Does
the foot contend with the eye? Of course not, for they are in one
body. So are you in one body with all your fellow-Christians,
therefore lay aside all strife. I deeply deplore when I see Christians
— and especially eminent Christians — contending with one another
about minor matters of small account. Surely, almost anything ought to
be borne before there should be public strife among members of the one
body. God grant that such a state of things may speedily come to an
end wherever it has existed! We have enough to do to “earnestly
contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,”
without contending for our own dignity or honor.
kai eucharistoi ginesthe (2PPMM): (Col
3:17; 1:12; 2:7; Ps 100:4; 107:22; 116:17; Jonah 2:9; Lk 17:16, 17,
18; Ro 1:21; 2Co 4:15; 9:11; Ep 5:20; Php 4:6; 1Th 5:18; 1Ti 2:1; Heb
13:15; Re 7:12)
Keep on becoming thankful
we need to allow this to be our habitual
practice. Praise on the lips naturally flows out of peace in one's
heart (what fills you controls you, out of the mouth comes that which
fills the heart). When we do not have the peace of Christ ruling in our hearts
individually or in the local body, the corporate body, we are not likely to offer up
sincere thanks to God.
This spirit of thankfulness is shown by an entry in the diary of the
godly Matthew Henry, the famous Biblical commentator, after he had
LET ME BE THANKFUL: first, because I was never robbed before; 2nd,
because, although he took my purse, he did not take my life; 3rd,
because, although he took all I possessed, it was not much; 4th,
because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.
Notice the emphasis on thanksgiving placed at the close of the exhortations
in this short epistle (Col 1:12-note;
Kent Hughes adds that...
When the buckets we carry are full
of Christ, our lives are bathed with the peace of God in thanksgiving.
R. K.: Colossians and Philemon: The Supremacy of Christ. Preaching the
Word. Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books)
When a Christian loses the peace of God, he begins to go off in
directions that are out of the will of God. He turns to the things of
the world and the flesh to compensate for his lack of peace within. He
tries to escape, but he cannot escape himself! It is only when he
confesses his sin, claims God’s forgiveness, and does God’s will that
he experiences God’s peace within. When there is peace in the heart,
there will be praise on the lips. The Christian out of God’s will is
never found giving sincere praise to God. When David covered up his
sins, he lost his peace and his praise (Ps 32; 51). When he confessed
his sins, then his song returned.
C H Spurgeon wrote...
It looks like a very small virtue
to be thankful. Yet, dear friends, the absence of it is
one of the grossest of vices (Ro 1:21-note).
To be ungrateful is a mean thing; to be ungrateful to God is a base
thing. And yet how many may accuse themselves of it! Who among us is
as grateful as he should be? Be thankful.
When you are grumbling at your
plain food, put this as a sandwich between your bread and butter,
Be ye thankful.
When you are complaining of the
East wind, just try if you cannot spell this little sentence, Be
When you are murmuring about those
sharp pains and that long sickness, this is the kind of tune for the
little bird to whistle at your window, Be ye thankful.
We have all much for which we ought
to be thankful, however sad we may think our lot to be. Look on the
bright side, rejoice in God: Be ye thankful.
MacDonald comments on "be thankful" writing that...
This refrain is repeated over and
over again in Paul’s writings. There must have been a good reason: The
Spirit of God must consider a thankful spirit very important. And we
believe that it is!—important not only for a person’s spiritual life,
but for his physical welfare as well. Doctors have found out what the
Scriptures have taught through the years—that a cheerful, thankful
attitude of mind is beneficial for the body, and that worry,
depression, and a complaining spirit are definitely harmful to one’s
health. Usually we think of thankfulness as something that is
determined by our immediate circumstances, but Paul here shows that it
is a grace to be cultivated. We are responsible to be thankful. Of all
peoples of the world, we have the most for which to give thanks
(compare Dt 33:29). The fault is not in any lack of subject matter,
but only in our selfish hearts. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
To preserve in us this peaceable
disposition, we must be thankful. The work of thanksgiving to God is
such a sweet and pleasant work that it will help to make us sweet and
pleasant towards all men. "Instead of envying one another upon account
of any particular favors and excellence, be thankful for his mercies,
which are common to all of you.’’ (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the
Vine notes that...
Where love is in exercise, and
where the peace of Christ rules, thankfulness is inevitably produced,
and that out of a sense of entire indebtedness to God for what was
wrought by Him in Christ to bring about that peace, and out of a sense
of deep gratitude for it and its governing power. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
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F B Meyer
writes the following devotional from "Our Daily Homily"...
Let the peace of God rule in your
hearts, to the which also ye are called.
The peace of God is the peace of the Divine nature — the very
tranquillity which prevails in the heart of the God of Peace. It was
of this that Jesus spoke when He said, “My peace I give unto you”; for
his own being was filled and blessed with it during his earthly
career. In each of us may be a sea of glass, reflecting on its
pellucid and tranquil bosom the untroubled calm and rest, which are
unspeakable because eternal and Divine. “The Lord of peace Himself
give you peace always.”
There are three things against
which we must ever be on our guard, lest they rob us of our peace.
First, unconfessed sin;
third, the permission of an unrebuked selfish principle.
As on the Sabbath the good Nehemiah
carefully excluded the Tyrian fishwives from Jerusalem, lest they
should mar its spirit of rest by their cries and traffic, so we must
preserve an unbroken Sabbath-keeping within. “There remaineth
therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”
The apostle says, Let it rule. The
Greek word means arbitrate. Whenever there is a doubtful issue to be
decided, and by one course your peace may be disturbed, whilst by
another it may be maintained, choose those things that make for peace,
whether for yourselves or others. Let God’s peach act as umpire.
At the same time, this does not
mean peace at any price. When the cause of truth is assailed, or the
rights of others invaded, we must stand up boldly and strongly for
Righteousness. Then the effect of Righteousness will be Peace.
Melchizedek was first King of Righteousness, and after that King of
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The apostle Paul had never been to
the church in Colossae, but he had heard all about it from Epaphras.
He knew it was a church under attack by false teachers, so he prayed
fervently for this congregation (Col 1:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; 2:4, 5,
Among his requests, Paul asked that they would give joyful thanks to
the Father because He had rescued them, moving them from the kingdom
of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:12, 13-notes
13). We too need
to be thankful for what Christ has done for us.
Thankfulness seems to be a lost art today. Warren Wiersbe illustrated
this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a
ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a
life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake
Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into
the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health
was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted
that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
Let's take time often to recall how God has rescued us from eternal
death and has given us eternal life through His Son. Let's make
certain that we never allow thanking the Father to become a lost art.
- D C Egner (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Give me a spirit of thankfulness,
For numberless blessings given;
Blessings that daily come to me
Like the dewdrops falling from heaven.--Dawe
With practice, anyone can master
the art of thankfulness.
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The story is told about a wounded
soldier who was being taken to a hospital tent by some of his
comrades. After they had carried him but a short distance, he urged
them to put him down and go back to rescue someone else. As he was
mortally wounded, he knew there was no hope for him anyway. Granting
his request, they left him and returned to the combat area. In a few
minutes, however, an officer stopped to ask him whether he could
assist him in any way.
The wounded soldier weakly replied,
"No, thank you, sir. There's
nothing at all you can do."
"But can't I at least get some
water to quench your thirst?" the officer inquired.
The dying man again shook his head
"No, thank you, sir. There is one
thing, however, you could do for me. In my knapsack you will find a
New Testament. Please open it to John 14. Near the end of the chapter
you will find a text beginning with the word `Peace.' I would
appreciate it if you would read just that one verse to me."
The officer found the passage and
read these words,
"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" (Jn
"Thank you, sir," said the dying
"I have that peace
and I am going to the Savior who made that promise. God is with me, I
want no more."
Shortly after that, the wounded man entered into the
presence of his Lord. Because he had Christ, he had peace with God,
and since he had learned to commit everything to His care, he also had
the peace of God. How important for all of us to remember that the
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known
unto God. And the peace on God . shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus!" (Php 4:6, 7-notes
Yes, in our joys and in our
sorrows, in life's sunshine, or in the "valley of the shadow," we who
are at peace with God can also know the peace of God which passeth all
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Peace, perfect peace, in this dark
world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging 'round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.—E. H. Bickersteth
Peace rules the day when Christ rules the heart!
3:16 Let the
the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your
hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you
teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and
intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing]
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with
[His] grace in your hearts.
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Let the words of
Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you
wise. Use his words to teach and counsel
each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with
(NLT - Tyndale House)
Christ's teaching live in your hearts, making you rich in the true
wisdom. Teach and help one another along the right road with your
psalms and hymns and Christian songs, singing God's praises with
Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: The word of Christ, let it be continually at home in
you in abundance; with every wisdom teaching and admonishing each
other by means of psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, with the grace
singing in your hearts to God. (Wuest:
Expanded Translation: Eerdmans)
Weymouth: Let the teaching concerning Christ remain as a rich
treasure in your hearts. In all wisdom teach and admonish one
another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and sing with grace
in your hearts to God.
Young's Literal: Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing each other, in
psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your
hearts to the Lord;
LET THE WORD
OF CHRIST: ho logos tou Christou: (Jn 5:39, 40; 2Ti 3:15; He
4:12,13; 1Pe 1:11,12; Re 19:10)
Don't read this passage too fast.
Paul exhorts us to let. Will you invite His Word into your
heart and mind? He won't force His Word upon you beloved. You have to
make the volitional choice to allow it entree and might I suggest not
just a crack in the door and not with the chain on the door so it
cannot open too wide. No, beloved, open widely the door to your heart
and mind, and ask God's Spirit to flood your soul so that your very
being is saturated with His Word of Truth. You won't regret such a
simple prayer, I can assure you.
is this verse? I think it is vitally important for the Spirit
filled and controlled believer. The parallel passage is found in
Ephesians where Paul discusses the effects of being continually filled
with the Holy Spirit. The astute observer will note that the "effects"
of being filled with the Spirit and being filled with the Word of
Christ are virtually identical (see table below).
Does this give you any clue as to how
a believer might be continually filled with the Holy Spirit?
And do not get drunk with wine, for
that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one
another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all
things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. (Ep 5:18, 19, 20,
Eph 5:18; 19; 20; 21)
OF BEING FILLED...
Be filled with
Teaching and Admonishing
In Psalms and Hymns and
With Psalms and Hymns and
Singing and making melody
with your heart
to the Lord
Singing with thankfulness
in your hearts
Always giving thanks
Of Christ - The Greek here (Christou) can be either the
subjective genitive (the word delivered by Christ) or the objective
genitive (the word about Christ).
Paul is exalting Christ in Colossians.
The false teachers came to Colossae with man-made traditions,
religious rules, and human philosophies (Col 2:8-note). They tried to harmonize
God’s Word with their teachings, but they could not succeed. God’s
Word always magnifies Jesus Christ. It was not the word of false
teachers that brought salvation to the Colossians; it was the Word of
the truth of the Gospel (Col 1:5-note). This same Word gives us life and
sustains and strengthens us (1Pe 1:22, 23, 24, 25, 2:1, 2, 3 - see notes
puts in a good word about letting the Good Word dwell in the midst of
The diligent and prayerful reading
of God's holy word is a great means of increasing and promoting
spirituality of mind (cp 1Pe 2:2-note).
This, we fear, is not an element in the Christianity of many. It
defines a duty sadly and, to a great extent, totally neglected. The
tendency of the age is to substitute the writings of man for the Book
of God. Let them come but with the robe of religion gracefully thrown
around them, and whether they assume the form of history, or story, or
song, they are devoured by the professing multitude, who would deem
their true spirituality unquestionable!
But the Divine life of the soul is
not to be fed and nourished by the profound discoveries of science, or
the recondite axioms of philosophy, or the brilliant flowers of
genius, or the dreams of a poetical imagination. It ascends to a
higher and a diviner source; it aspires towards the nourishments of
its native climate. The bread that comes down from heaven (Jn 6:31,
32, 33, 41, 50, 51, 58) and the water that flows, pure as crystal,
from beneath the throne of God and the Lamb, can alone feed, and
nourish, and refresh this hidden principle (cp Jn 4:10, 13, 14, 15,
7:37, 38, 1Co 10:4).
Jesus is its sustenance; and the gospel, as it
unfolds Him in His glory and grace, is the spiritual granary from
where its daily food is drawn. To this it repairs, oftentimes pressed
with hunger, or panting with thirst, weary and exhausted, drooping and
faint, and it finds its doctrines and its precepts, its promises and
its admonitions, its exhortations and revelations, a "a feast of fat
things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of
wines on the lees well refined." And thus refreshed and satisfied, the
grateful soul adoringly exclaims, "Your words were found, and I did
eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my
heart." (Jer 15:16)
Truly did Jesus testify, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you
have no life in you;" (Jn 6:53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59) evidently and solemnly implying, that if there
exists no appetite for spiritual food, there is lacking the great
evidence of the life of God in the soul. A mere semblance of life, an
informed judgment, a "fair show" of religion "in the flesh," can
content itself with anything short of the spiritual aliment contained
in God's word. But the Divine life of a quickened soul, while it
disdains no auxiliary to its spiritual advance, can yet feed on
nothing but Divine food.
The "flesh and the blood of Immanuel can
alone meet and satiate its hungering and thirsting. It is from heaven,
and its supply must be heavenly; it is from God, and its nourishment
must be Divine. Jesus, and Jesus alone, received into the heart,
rested in, and lived upon by faith, is the food of a believing man.
Nothing but Christ-"Christ all" in Himself, and Christ "in all," means
"in all" ordinances, "in all" channels, "in all" seasons, sustains a
soul whose "life is hid with Christ in God."
Dear reader, do you see
the importance and feel the solemnity of this truth? Oh, it is a great
and solemn one! Except by faith you "eat the flesh and drink the blood
of the Son of man, you have no life in you!" Nothing short of
Christ-Christ's righteousness, Christ's atonement, Christ's flesh and
blood, Christ in us, Christ without us, Christ risen, Christ alive at
the right hand of God, yes, "Christ all and in all" (Col
3:11-note)-can meet the deep,
immortal necessities of your soul. You need all that Christ is in the
matter of pardon, and justification, and sanctification, and wisdom,
and redemption. If anything less than Jesus had sufficed, if an
expedient less magnificent, or if an expenditure less costly, had
answered for God and man, then less would save you. But since the
incarnate God alone is the Savior of a poor, lost sinner, see that you
detract not from, or add to, this salvation by any works of human
Be exhorted, then, to an intimate acquaintance with God's holy word,
as supplying a powerful help to the progress of the soul in deep
spirituality. And if your time for reading is limited, limit it to one
book, and let that one book be-the BIBLE. Let it be the companion of
your hours of solitude; the solace in your seasons of sorrow; the
store-house in all your necessities; the man of your counsel in all
your doubts and perplexities. Then will your blessed experience
resemble that of the psalmist: "Your word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against You. This is my comfort in my affliction:
for Your word has quickened me. Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and
a light unto my path. I rejoice at Your word, as one that finds great
Evening Thoughts - A 365 Day
Devotional) (See also
Spurgeon exhorts us...
Do try, dear friends, to get so full of the word of Christ in
all forms of it, that you may run over with it. You know, it cannot
come out of you if it is not first in you. If you do not get the
word of Christ into you, you will not be instructive in your
Richison writes that...
The word dwell means to keep
house. We should live in the Word of God like we live in our homes. We
are familiar with our home where all the closets are, where we have
items stored. We must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the Word. The
Word should become so familiar to us that we know it like the back of
our hand. The idea is to let the Word of God dwell inside and live at
home in our lives. The Word of God needs to inhabit us. This is more
than just reading the Bible. God wants us to let the peace of Christ
rule in our hearts (v. 15) and the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts.
Some treat the Word of God like a rabbit’s foot or charm. We use it
like a fetish. We cannot use the Bible that way. We cannot rub the
Bible on warts and they disappear. We cannot flip the pages of the
Bible and blindly put our finger on a verse and claim it. The Bible is
no prayer wheel or magic book. We must systematically study the Bible
and memorize pertinent verses to deal with weak areas of our Christian
life (Deut. 6:6; 11:18; Josh. 1:8; Job 22:21,22; 23:12: Ps.
1:2;119:9, 10, 11; Jer 15:16).
There are some believers who think that when they get into a jam all
they have to do is pray “Oh Lord, help me.” Others think that all they
need to do is put their finger on a Bible verse and God will lead
them. They give glowing testimonies of how in a time of duress they
flipped open their Bible and put their finger on a verse that helped
them. The odds of doing that are about as good as loaded dice in a
Principle: The Word of God needs to find lodgment in our souls.
Application: If we spent as much time in the Word of God as we
do in the newspaper, just think how much we would know of God’s will
for our lives! We might know how many robberies and murders took place
in our city for that week but what difference does that make in our
lives? We might be better off if we did not know.
If we generate a serious attitude about letting the Word of God dwell
in our lives, we will be richer and our character will grow stronger.
Our individual lives will change and our homes will be better.
You may say, “But I do not understand what I read in the Bible.” We
must work at it. Gradually we will retain more. We do not learn to
ride a bicycle the first time we get on it. Neither do we learn the
Bible without effort. It takes time, effort and dedication. The
results will gratify our souls.
Most of us do not take the Word of God seriously. We play at it. We do
not mark our Bible or memorize it. We do not make it a part of us.
There are people who memorize hundreds of plays for a football game.
Yet if we memorize a verse of Scripture we want a medal (Colossians
Christ's Indwelling Word
, Spurgeon writes...
THAT is a very beautiful name for
Holy Scripture, I hardly remember to have met with it anywhere else:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you." Remember, dear friends, that
Christ Himself is the Word of God, and recollect also that the
Scriptures are the word of the Word. They are "the word of Christ." I
think that they will be all the sweeter to you if you realize that
they speak to you of Christ, that He is the sum and substance of them,
that they direct you to Christ, in fact, as John says of his Gospel,
that they were "written that ye might believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through
his name." (John 20:31)
Remember, also, that the Scriptures do, in effect, come to us from
Christ. Every promise of this blessed Book is a promise of Christ,
"for all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the
glory of God by us; they all come to us through Christ, God speaks
them to us through Him as the Mediator. Indeed, we may regard the
whole of the Sacred Scriptures, from the beginning of Genesis to the
end of Revelation, as being "the word of Christ."
The text tells us, first, how to treat the Scriptures: "Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly;" and, secondly, it tells us how to
profit by them: "in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your
hearts to the Lord."
First, then, we are told here
HOW TO TREAT THE SCRIPTURES: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you
In order that it may dwell in you, it must first enter into youit must
first enter into you. It is implied, in our text, that the apostle
says, "Let the word of Christ enter into you." Then you must read it,
or hear it, for, unless you do, you will not know what there is in it.
Yet there must be something more than the mere hearing or reading of
it; for some hear the truth with one ear, but let it go away out of
the other ear; and others are great readers, yet they seem to read
only what is on the surface. The letter passes under their eye, but
the deep spiritual meaning never enters into their heart. If you read
a portion of Scripture every day, I commend you for doing so; if you
make a practice of reading right through the Bible in a stated period,
I commend you still more.
Some I know read the Bible through every year, in due course. This is
well; but all this may be done, and yet "the word of Christ" may never
have entered into the reader. You know how children sometimes learn
their lessons. I am afraid that, at a great many schools, there is no
true instruction; but the scholars have simply to repeat their
lessons, without ever getting at the sense and meaning of them; and, a
week or two after, they have forgotten all that they were supposed to
have learnt. Do not let it be so with our knowledge of Scripture; let
us not merely know it so as to be able to turn to its different
chapters, or to be familiar with certain passages in it, or even to
repeat all its words. This is but to let "the word of Christ" pass by
your door, or look in at your window; but Paul says, "Let it dwell in
So I say again that, in order that it may dwell in you, it must first
enter into you. You must really know the spiritual meaning of it; you
must believe it; you must live upon it; you must drink it in; you must
let it soak into your innermost being as the dew saturated the fleece
of Gideon. It is not enough to have a Bible on the shelf; it is
infinitely better to have its truths stored up within your soul. It is
a good thing to carry your Testament in your pocket, it is far better
to carry its message in your heart.
But mind that you let it get right into you. How differently some
people read the Bible from the way in which they read any other book!
I have seen a young woman sitting down, on board a steamboat,
completely absorbed in a very suspicious-looking book. I have passed
behind her, and passed before her, but she has not taken the slightest
notice of me. Presently, I saw a tear brushed away from her eye; I
knew that she was not reading the Bible, and it was my firm conviction
that she was reading a novel. I have often noticed how such people let
the novels get right into them, trash as they generally are; but when
the most of people do read the Bible, they appear to be anxious to get
the unpleasant task finished, and put away. In some cases, they seem
to think that they have performed a very proper action; but they have
not been in the least affected by it, moved by it, stirred by it.
Yet, if there is any book that can thrill the soul, it is the Bible.
If we read it aright, we shall, as it were, lay our fingers among its
wondrous harp-strings, and bring out from them matchless music such as
no other instrument in the world could ever produce. There is no book
so fitted or so suited to us as the Bible is.
There is no book that knows us so well, there is no book that is so
much at home with us, there is no book that. has so much power over
us, if we will but give ourselves up to it; yet, often, we only let it
look in at our window, or knock at our door, instead of inviting it to
enter our very heart and soul, and therefore we miss its power.
Then, when it once gets into you, let it remain there. let it remain
there. A person could not be said to dwell in a house even though he
should enter into the most private part of it, if he only passed
through it, and went away. A man who dwells in a house abides,
resides, remains, continues there. Oh, to have "the word of Christ"
always dwelling inside of us — in the memory, never forgotten; in the
heart, always loved; in the understanding, really grasped; with all
the powers and passions of the mind fully submitted to its control!
I love those clear Christian people who do not need to refer to the
printed page when you speak to them about the things of God, for they
have the truth in their hearts. They have a springing well within
their souls at all times; and they have only to hear a Scriptural
theme started, and straightway they begin to speak of the things which
they have looked upon, and their hands have handled, of the Word of
life, because it dwells in them.
Further, "let the word of Christ dwell in you" so as to occupy your
whole being. so as to occupy your whole being. If it dwells within
you, let it take such entire possession of your being that it shall
fill you. To push the truth of Christ up into a corner of your nature
— to fill the major part of your being with other knowledge and other
thought — is a poor way to treat "the word of Christ." It deserves the
fullest attention of the best faculties that any man possesses. The
truth revealed by the Holy Ghost is so sublime that its poetry
outsoars the eagle-wing even of a Milton. It is a deep so profound
that the plumb line of Sir Isaac Newton could never find the bottom of
it. The greatest minds have been delighted to yield their highest
faculties to its wondrous truths. Dear young friends, you who have
only lately put on Christ, I beseech you not to let other books stand
on the front shelf, and the Bible lie behind. Do not, for the most
part, read those other books, and only read small portions of
Scripture now and then; let it always have the chief place.
The most excellent of all sciences is the science of Christ crucified,
and the Bible is the textbook for all who would learn it. If other
forms of knowledge are useful, they are like the planets; but the
knowledge of God as revealed in Christ Jesus is as the sun. Let this
always be the center of your system of knowledge, and let all the rest
that you know move in subordination and subjection to that first and
best form of knowledge. If I may know myself, and know my Savior — if
I may know my sin, and the atonement by which it is put away — if I
may know my way through this life, and my way into the eternal life
above, I will be content if I know but little else. Fain would I
intermeddle with all knowledge; and, though "much study is a weariness
of the flesh," yet would I find a pleasure in such weariness, if I
only knew even as much as Solomon knew. But it would be vanity of
vanities, and altogether vanity, if you and I were as wise as Solomon,
and yet did not know the truth of God. Therefore, "let the word of
Christ dwell in you" so as to occupy the whole of your being; let it
be the resident, the occupant, the master and ruler of your entire
Once more. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you;" that is, let it be
your most familiar friend. let it be your most familiar friend. We
know the people who live in our home, but we do not really know other
people. When someone asked Mr. Whitefield, "What do you think of Mr.
So-and-so’s character?" He answered, "I cannot say, for I never lived
with him." Ah! that is the true test; it is living with people that
lets you know what they are. In like manner, if you will live with
"the word of Christ," especially if you will let it dwell in you, and
abide with you as a constant friend, you will get to know it better;
and the better you know it, the more you will love it. Ninety-nine
times out of a hundred, if you meet with a man who finds fault with
the Bible, you may be certain that he never read it. If he would but
read it in the right spirit, he would be of another opinion. And if
you find a professing Christian indifferent to his Bible, you may be
sure that the very dust upon its cover will rise up in judgment
against him. The Bible-reader is ever the Bible-lover, and the
Bible-searcher is the man who searches it more and more.
Various pursuits have a measure of fascination about them, but the
study of God’s Word is fascinating to the highest degree. Jerome said,
when he was pondering a certain text, "I adore the infinity of
Scripture." I have often felt that I could say the same. The Bible is
a book that has no bounds to it. Its thoughts are not as men’s
thoughts, a multitude of which may go to make up half an ounce; but
any one of the thoughts of God can outweigh all the thoughts of men.
This Book is not a book of pence, or a book of silver, or even a book
of gold, but a book whose every leaf is of untold value. He shall be
enriched indeed who lets "the word of Christ" richly dwell in him.
My dear friends, I should like you so to read the Bible that everybody
in the Bible should seem to be a friend of yours. I should like you to
feel as if you had talked with Abraham, and conversed with David. I
can truly say that there is hardly anybody in the world that I know so
well as I know David. In making The Treasury of David, I have labored,
year after year, in that rich field of inspiration, the Book of
Psalms, till I do assure you that David and I are quite familiar
friends, and I think I know more about him than about any man I ever
saw in my life, I seem to know the ins and outs of his constitution
and experience, his grievous faults and the graces of his spirit. I
want you to be on just such intimate terms with somebody or other in
the Bible, — John, if you like; or Mary. Sit at Jesus’ feet with her.
Oh Martha; it will not hurt you to make the acquaintance of Martha,
and do a great deal of serving, though I do not want you to get
cumbered with it.
But do find your choicest friends in the Scripture. Take the whole
company of Bible saints home to your heart, let them live inside your
soul. Let old Noah come in with his ark, if he likes; and let Daniel
come in with his lions’ den, if he pleases; and all the rest of the
godly men and women of the olden time, take them all into your very
nature, and be on familiar terms with them; but, most of all, be
specially intimate with him of whom they all speak, namely, Jesus
Christ your blessed Lord and Master.
As for the doctrines revealed in the Bible, you should have them at
your fingers’ ends. The great truths of the Word of God should be as
familiar to you as a scholar makes his much-loved classics to be, or
as the mathematician makes his plus and minus, his a and his x,
familiar to him from hour to hour. So do you prize "the word of
Christ;" "let it dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
II. But now, secondly, I am to tell you How TO PROFIT BY THE WORD
OF CHRIST, if we once get it to dwell in us.
First, seek to profit by it yourself: seek to profit by it
yourself: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom." Let it make you wise. The man who studies his Bible well will
become a wise man. If God the Holy Ghost teaches him, I believe that
he will become a wise man even in something more than a spiritual
sense. Every Scotch child used to be taught the Book of Proverbs, it
was one of the class-books of Scotch schools; and I have heard it said
that this particular form of instruction has largely helped to make
our Scotch friends so sharp and cute; and I should not wonder if that
is the case. They certainly are as wise a race of people as we are
likely to meet with.
I wish that English people also would read more of the Bible. I can
truly say that, when I have met with men in whom "the word of Christ"
has dwelt richly, I have often found them very shrewd even about
commonplace things. I recollect a man, in a certain workshop, making a
great many very rude remarks, and at last he was silenced by one of
the workmen who said to him, "I think, sir, you are referred to in the
twentieth chapter of Proverbs." He did not explain his meaning; but
the man who was thus addressed went home, and when ‘he looked up the
chapter, he found these words in the third verse, "Every foot will be
meddling." It was an admirable rebuke for him, and all the better
because, he had an hour or two before he knew exactly what it was; and
when he reached his home, and was at leisure to think, he could look
up the passage, and see how appropriate it was to his case. If you
will take the Word of God for your guide, even in domestic and
business matters, you will often manifest a shrewdness which, perhaps,
may not be natural to you, but which will come to you through "the
word of Christ" dwelling in you richly in all wisdom. That, however,
is only a small part of the profit which it will bring to you.
Do you want wisdom with which to master yourself? "Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly." Do you need something to cheer a
naturally sinking spirit? "Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly." Do you wish for that which will calm an angry mind, a temper
all too apt to be suddenly excited? "Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly." Are you in a calling where you are sorely tempted, and do
you long to know how to be kept from falling into sin? "Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly."
Is your position a very difficult one? Are you scarcely able to
balance the claims of different relationships? "Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly." Are you expecting to have a time of intense
strain and trial such as you have never experienced before? Prepare
yourself for it by letting "the word of Christ dwell in you richly."
It shall give you all manner of wisdom by which you shall be able to
baffle even the subtlety of the old serpent himself.
We used to have, in many of our churches, a number of solid,
substantial men, — "men that had understanding of the times, to know
what Israel ought to do;" and an equal proportion of deeply-taught,
godly matrons, true mothers in Israel. Well, those stalwart Christians
were brought up on such spiritual meat as I have been commending to
you. They were diligent students of the Word of God; and if we are to
have a succession of such men and women, they can only be qualified by
going to the University of Scripture, and taking their degree by
permitting "the word of Christ" to dwell in them richly.
The next way of using "the word of Christ" to profit is to seek to
profit others by it: to seek to profit others by it: "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." We are to know the truth ourselves
so as to be able to teach and admonish one another.
First, we are to seek the profit of our fellows by teaching one
another. No one man can ever teach such a vast congregation as I
have, so as to give the separate instruction that is needed by each
one; this work must be done by the members of the church themselves.
"The word of Christ" must dwell in
you, and then you must become a Mutual Instruction Society. Every
Christian should exercise the office of the pastorate according to his
ability and his opportunity. In such a church as this, every one of
the members must look well not only to his own spiritual affairs, but
also to the well being of others. What sweet and gracious instructions
the older ones among you can give if you tell out your experience! It
is very interesting to any of us to hear it, but how helpful it is to
the beginners in the divine life!
And if, in addition to relating your experience, you talk of the
Scriptures that have been opened up to you, — the promises that have
been fulfilled to you, — the passages in the Bible that have been
applied to your heart by the Holy Spirit who inspired them, — you will
greatly instruct your fellow-Christians.
You who are deeply taught in the Scriptures should try to teach others
also for their profit. One way of teaching one another is mentioned in
the text: "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."
A learned divine, a little while
ago, discovered that no hymn ought to be sung unless it was distinctly
directed and addressed to God, and was intended to be throughout full
of praise. Well, we do have some remarkably wise men nowadays, — at
least, in their own estimation, — but it appears that the apostle Paul
thought that "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" were to be used
for instruction and admonition as well as for the praises of God.
And, to my mind, there is no
teaching that is likely to be more useful than that which is
accompanied by the right kind of singing. When I am preaching, I often
find a verse of a hymn the very best thing I can quote; and I have not
the shadow of a doubt that, frequently, a verse of sacred poetry has
struck a man who has been altogether missed by the rest of the sermon.
Think how compactly truth can be taught by means of "psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs," and how likely it is to be remembered when the
very measure and rhyme and rhythm help the memory to treasure up the
It is well to have truth put into the form of a verse that the memory
may be able to lay hold of it, and to retain it.
Do try, dear friends, to get so
full of "the word of Christ" in all forms of it, that you may run over
with it. You know, it cannot come out of you if it is not first in
If you do not get "the word of
Christ" into you, you will not be instructive in your general
In addition to instruction, there is to be admonition. That is
a very difficult thing to administer wisely. I have known a brother
try to admonish another, and I have felt that he would have done
better if he had left the task alone, for he has only caused
irritation and resentment; but there is a gracious way of admonishing
which cannot be too frequently practiced.
Now and then, if you are discreet, you can quote an appropriate verse
— as people say, "accidentally for the purpose," — and you can bring
in a portion of a psalm that shall exactly say for you what you might
have said in a blundering way; and the dear brother who has done wrong
will accept the rebuke without being enraged by it.
What can we do unless you all look after one another? And how shall we
ever get on unless, in addition to preaching, there shall be continual
mutual instruction going on, wise and joyful and cheerful, and
accepted in a kind, loving, and generous spirit? God fill you with
"the word of Christ," that you may thus teach and admonish one
But, lastly, "the word of
Christ," when it dwells in us, is to profit us in our relation to God
himself; to profit us in our relation to God himself; for, after
all, the main object of our singing — the principal purpose of our
teaching and admonishing — must be the glory of God: "singing with
grace in your hearts to the Lord." Oh, may "the word of Christ dwell
in us" so richly that you shall bless God from morning to night! May
you who overflow with holy thought and sacred knowledge that your
whole being shall be a hymn of praise to the Most High, and your
entire existence shall be a glorious hallelujah! I do not think that
we any of us sufficiently value the divine ordinance of praise;
neither do I think that we ever shall till "the word of Christ" has
taken full possession of our souls.
You have been to pray, you say, and you have got no comfort from the
exercise. Let me suggest that, next, you sing a psalm. "Oh, I have
been up and down!" says one, "trying to arouse myself into earnestness
of supplication." May I also propose to you that you do not try that
method again for a while, but begin to praise God. How many times a
day do you praise him? I think you do get alone to pray, and you would
be ashamed if you did not, once, twice, or three or even more times in
the day; but how often do you praise God? Now, you know that you will
not pray in heaven; there it will be all praise. Then do not neglect
that necessary part of your education which is to "begin the music
Start at once praising the Lord. Many of our doubts and fears would
fly away if we praised God more; and many of our trials and troubles
would altogether vanish if we began to sing of our mercies.
Oftentimes, depression of spirit, that will not yield to a whole night
of wrestling, would yield to ten minutes of thanksgiving before God.
Praying is the stalk of the wheat,
but praise is the very ear of it.
Praying is the leaf of the rose,
but praise is the rose itself, redolent with the richest perfume.
Praise God, then, "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," and if
you say you do not know how to do it, then "let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly." It is a praise-begetting thing.
Out of every Book of Scripture will
stream praise unto Jehovah.
Out of every promise will spring a
Out of every divine truth, enjoyed
and lived upon, will rise a spiritual song.
The whole revelation of God is the
condensed essence of praise; you have only to give it a fitting
opportunity, by setting it simmering on the fire of a graceful heart,
and you shall find a sweet cloud of holy incense rising from it
acceptable to the Most High.
Therefore, beloved, be much with
your Bibles, and let your Bibles be much with you; for your own
profit, for the profit of others, and for the glory of God. So be it,
for Christ’s sake! Amen.
DWELL WITHIN YOU: enoikeito (3SPAM) en humin plousios: (Deuteronomy
6:6, 7, 8, 9; 11:18, 19, 20; Job 23:12; Psalms 119:11; Jer 15:16; Lk
2:51; Jn 15:7; 1John 2:14,24,27; 2John 1:2) (1Ti 6:17; Titus 3:6)
Alexander ("the Great") had a
casket of gold studded with gems to carry Homer’s works. Let your own
heart be a casket for the command of Christ. “Let the word of Christ
dwell in you.”
from en = in + oikéo = dwell) (Click study of
means literally to “dwell in”, to take up residence, make one's home
in or among. To live in, inhabit; dwell in. All the NT uses of enoikeo
are metaphorical. The idea of “be at home,” defines the depth and
extent to which faith has become a vital and integral part of their
lives. Apply this same thought to the other things that dwell in
believers in the NT -- the Word of Christ, the Spirit, God, sin.
Note also that
Paul uses "you" plural, so that he is referring to the body of
believers at Colossae which of course includes individual believers.
What is the point? The idea is the Word would not make just a short
stay or an occasional visit, but that it would take up residence and
be given the run of the house. Christ’s teachings are to “live” in the
Vine observes that enoikeo
is used, with a spiritual
significance only, of
(a) the indwelling of God in
believers, 2Co 6:16;
(b) the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit, Ro 8:11-note;
(c) the indwelling of the word of
Christ, Col 3:16-note;
(d) the indwelling of faith, 2Ti
(e) the indwelling of sin in the
believer, Ro 7:17-note.
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
In your local
body are the sermons sharper than a two edged sword because they are
word centered? Are the Sunday School classes taught by a live human
being (including the elders) or by a video series of the latest
fashionable teaching that includes a few verses for "effect"? Do you
individually set out the "welcome mat" for the Word?
James speaks of
this exhorting his readers to be...
putting aside all filthiness and
all that remains of wickedness, (and) in humility receive
(accept deliberately and readily, receive kindly & so to take to
oneself what is presented) the word implanted, which is able to save
your souls. (James 1:21-note)
letting the word richly dwell look like? Job declares that...
"I have not departed from the
command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than
my necessary food. (Job 23:12-note)
To richly dwell
also means to treasure the word like the psalmist writes...
Thy word I have treasured in my
heart, That I may not sin against Thee. (Psalms
In a difficult
and somewhat depressive state, Jeremiah testified...
Thy words were found and I ate
them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah
Notice that Paul
is not giving a suggestion but a command (present
the church as Colossae let the Word continually be at home in their
local body? Is His Word truly at home in your local body? Remember
that the church at Colossae ceased to exist and so will any church
that drifts away from the Word of Christ. There might still be a
building that is called a church but there will be no power and no
salt and light effect from that church in the local community (see
commentary on salt and light in Mt 5:14, 15, 16- see
an insightful comment writing that...
Dwell in is
enoikeo. The word oikos means “a home.” Oikeō means “to live in a
home.” The exhortation is to the effect that the Christian is to so
yield himself to the Word that there is a certain at homeness of the
Word in his being. The Word should be able to feel al home in his
heart. The saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
has an excellent note on the Word dwelling richly in believers
it must dwell in us, or keep house,
not as a servant in a family, who is under another’s control, but as a
master, who has a right to prescribe to and direct all under his roof.
We must take our instructions and directions from it, and our portion
of meat and strength, of grace and comfort, in due season, as from the
master of the household. It must dwell in us; that is, be always ready
and at hand to us in every thing, and have its due influence and use.
We must be familiarly acquainted with it, and know it for our good,
Job 5:27. It must dwell in us richly: not only keep house in our
hearts, but keep a good house. Many have the word of Christ dwelling
in them, but it dwells in them but poorly; it has no mighty force and
influence upon them. Then the soul prospers when the word of God
dwells in us richly, when we have abundance of it in us, and are full
of the scriptures and of the grace of Christ. (Matthew Henry's
Commentary on the Whole Bible)
George Mueller rightly
George Mueller said this about
God’s word: “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact
proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. I
solemnly state this from the experience of 54 years. The first 3 years
after conversion I neglected the word of God. Since I began to search
it diligently the blessing has been wonderful. Great has been the
blessing from consecutive, diligent, daily study. I look upon it as a
lost day when I have not had a good time over the word of God.”
(plousios) pertains to that which exists in a large
amount with the implication of its being valuable in large amount, in
abundance and so can be translated rich or richly.
To dwell in us
“richly” has the twofold meaning of quantity and degree; it means
abundantly, applying it and using it in all its teaching, but also
using it constantly, at all times and in all circumstances.
comments that "richly" means
"In the largest measure, and with
the greatest efficacy; so as to fill and govern the whole soul."
Not only must the saint be yielded
to the Word, but he must have a good knowledge of it. The Holy Spirit
uses the Word of God that we know as He talks to us and guides our
lives. He can efficiently talk to us to the extent to which know the
Word. That is the language He uses.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Illustration of Letting the Word Dwell Richly - A beautiful and touching story is told of a young
French girl who had been born blind. After she learned to read by
touch, a friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark’s gospel. She read it
so much that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an
effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her
fingers. Tragically, however, her callouses were replaced by permanent
and even more insensitive scars. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye
kiss, saying, “Farewell, farewell, sweet word of my heavenly Father.”
In doing so, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive
than her fingers had been, and she spent the rest of her life reading
her great treasure with her lips. Would that every Christian had such
an appetite for the Word of God! The exhortation is to the effect that
the Christian is to so yield himself to the Word that there is a
certain at hominess of the Word in
his being. The Word should be able to feel al home in his heart. The
saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.
A more tragic
illustration of letting the word (sad because it was not God's Word)
dwell richly is found in the life of
Alexander the Great who had a casket of gold studded with gems to
carry Homer's works!
illustration of letting the word dwell richly - H. A. Ironside
told of visiting a godly Irishman, Andrew Frazer, who had come to
southern California to recover from a serious illness. Though quite
weak, he opened his worn Bible and began expounding the deep truths of
God in a way that Ironside had never heard before. Ironside was so
moved by Frazer’s words that he asked him, “Where did you get these
things? Could you tell me where I could find a book that would open
them up to me? Did you learn them in some seminary or college?” The
sickly man gave an answer that Ironside said he would never forget.
“My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud
floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my
open Bible before me I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the
Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my
heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever
could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”
A pilot was
flying his small plane one day, when he heard a noise which he
recognized as the gnawing of a rat. Wondering what its sharp teeth
were cutting through, he suddenly realized with horror that it might
be an electric wire. Then he remembered that rodents can’t survive at
high altitudes. Immediately he began climbing until finally he had to
put on his oxygen mask. Soon the gnawing sound ceased, and when he
landed he found the rat—dead. Do you want to destroy the power of evil
in your life? Then read the Bible regularly, meditate upon its truths,
and actively do God’s will. Sinful appetites can’t survive in such
spiritual heights. Listen to the Heavenly Father as He calls,
“Children, come up higher!”
Spurgeon wrote that...
If other forms of knowledge are useful, they are like the planets; but
the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ Jesus is as the sun. Let
this always be the center of your system of knowledge, and let all the
rest that you know move in subordination and subjection to that first
and best form of knowledge....if you find a professing Christian
indifferent to his Bible, you may be sure that the very dust upon its
cover will rise up in judgment against him...My dear friends, I should
like you so to read the Bible that everybody in the Bible should seem
to be a friend of yours. I should like you to feel as if you had
talked’ with Abraham, and conversed with David. I can truly say that
there is hardly anybody in the world that I know so well as I know
David. But do find your choicest friends in the Scripture...Take the
whole company of Bible saints home to your heart, let them live inside
your soul. . Let old Noah come in with his ark, if he likes; and let
Daniel come in with his lions’ den, if he pleases; and all the rest of
the godly men and women of the olden time, take them all into your
very nature, and be on familiar terms with them; but, most of all, be
specially intimate with him of whom they all speak, namely, Jesus
Christ your blessed Lord and Master.
Dr. Wilbur Chapman once said that...
My rule for Christian living is this: anything that dims my vision of
Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer
life, or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must,
as a Christian, turn away from it.
Not "among you" but "within you".
What makes the difference is not
how many times you have been through the Bible, but how many times and
how thoroughly the Bible has been through you.
R S Candlish
Let the Word of Christ so
dwell in you. Let it be Christ Himself, dwelling in you; Christ
Himself, the living Word. Let His word, or Himself the word, dwell in
you richly; molding, fashioning, vivifying, regulating, your whole
inner man; all its powers, faculties, affections; its susceptibilities
and sensibilities; its movements of will. Let His word, let Himself in
His word, give His own tone and temper to all your emotions of joy and
sorrow; of fear, or anxiety or love, or hope.
Let all within you be thus imbued,
not stiffly and artificially, but spontaneously and gladly, with the
word of Christ dwelling in you richly by the Spirit; and so
becoming Christ Himself dwelling in you as the word of life.
Then, let there go forth from you,
not stiffly and artificially, but spontaneously and gladly and
lovingly, streams of overflowing benignity and benevolence; rich and
gracious influences of holy zeal and love and joy; to the glory of
God, celebrated in songs of praise; and the edifying of the church, in
wise teaching and admonition.
What do you need to clean up in your
house so that He, the living Word, might dwell richly, as "Master of
If ''the WORD of Christ richly dwells within'' what comes out of your
mouth is what fills you! The Word will come out. He will be the
Teacher and we will be but vessels as He teaches through us by the way
we respond to the trials and pressures of life. Your
LIFE speaks LOUDER than your WORDS. To ABIDE IN HIS WORD IS TO SUBMIT
to the Word and letting Him direct and instruct our actions based upon
His Truth. This God-ward LIFESTYLE models for the disciple, teaches
the teachable and admonishes the faint-hearted and the hypocrites who
do not have a genuine faith! This teaching is "In opposition to the
doctrine of an intellectual exclusiveness taught by the false
teachers" (see notes
MacArthur comments on the indwelling of the Word writing that...
Dwell is from enoikeo and means “to live in,” or “to be at
home.” Paul calls upon believers to let the Word take up residence and
be at home in their lives. Plousios (richly) could also be translated “abundantly or extravagantly rich.” The truths of Scripture
should permeate every aspect of the believer’s life and govern every
thought, word, and deed. The Word dwells in us when we hear it (Mt
13:9), handle it (2Ti 2:15-note), hide it (Ps
119:11 - see
note by Spurgeon),
and hold it fast (Php 2:16-note). To do those things, the Christian must read, study, and
live the Word. (MacArthur,
J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
To let the word of Christ richly dwell is identical to being filled
with the Spirit (cf. Eph 5:18-note).
The Word in the heart and mind is
the handle by which the Spirit turns the will. It is clear that these
two concepts are identical because the passages that follow each are
so similar. (MacArthur,
J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
Michael Billester once gave a Bible
to a humble villager in eastern Poland. Returning a few years later,
he learned that 200 people had become believers through using it. When
the group gathered to hear him preach, he suggested that before he
spoke he would like each person to quote some verses of Scripture. One
man rose and said, "Perhaps, Brother, we've misunderstood you. Did you
mean verses or chapters?" Billester was astonished. "Are you saying
there are people here who could recite complete chapters of the
Bible?" That was precisely the case. In fact, 13 of them knew half of
Genesis and the books of Matthew and Luke. Another had committed all
the psalms to memory. Combined, the 200 knew virtually the entire
WISDOM TEACHING AND ADMONISHING ONE ANOTHER: en pasêi sophiâi didaskontes (PAPMPN) kai nouthetountes (PAPMPN) heautous:
(Col 1:9; 1Kings 3:9, 10, 11, 12,28; Pr 2:6,7; 14:8; 18:1; Isa 10:2;
Ep 1:17; 5:17; Jas 1:5; 3:17) (Col 1:28; Ro 15:14; 1Th 4:18; 5:11,12;
2Th 3:15; He 12:12, 13, 14, 15)
- Literally "in all".
(sophia) (Click for in depth word study)
is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of
action, based on knowledge and understanding.
Thayer makes an excellent point that wisdom is...
used of the knowledge of very
diverse matters, so that the shade of meaning in which the word is
taken must be discovered from the context in every particular case.
(didasko) means to provide instruction in a formal or
informal setting. Didasko refers to imparting positive truth.
“Teaching” is the orderly presentation of Christian truth for converts
so that they may know how to grow. Inherent in didasko is the intent
to influence understanding of person taught with the aim being
to shape will of one taught by communication of knowledge and/or by
the content of what is taught.
from noús = mind +
títhemi = place, this verb describing exertion of influence
upon nous implying resistance)
(warning, cautioning, gently reproving, exhorting) literally means to
place in the mind and so to warn or give notice to beforehand
especially of danger or evil. The idea is to lay it on the mind or
heart of the person, with the stress being on influencing not only the
intellect, but also the will, emotions and disposition. Noutheteo
means to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of
conduct or to
warn by giving notice to beforehand especially of potential danger or
Depending on the
context noutheteo can convey ideas including encouragement, reproof,
is in the
present tense (as is
teaching) which indicates Paul is calling for saints to be continually
admonishing, warning, cautioning, (teaching) etc ... one
dictionaries state that to admonish is to indicate duties or
obligations to; to express warning or disapproval to especially in a
gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner; to give friendly earnest
advice or encouragement to; to reprove firmly but not harshly; to
advise to do or against doing something; warn; caution.
describes "putting sense into someone’s head", alerting them of the
serious consequences of their actions and does not mean being
judgmental or critical in a superior manner but instead imparting a
caring kind of warning against danger.
It is not clear whether with all wisdom goes with richly or with the participles following. Either
would make good sense.
Richison notes that...
Teaching has to do with the
communication of truth. If we are going to teach we must learn. If we
are going to talk we must listen. If we speak we must hear.
Admonishing has to do with showing someone else how to execute
the Christian life. Admonishing means to place in the mind
personally. Sometimes the New Testament translates it “warn” (Acts
It is our privilege not only to teach others but to warn
them. Most of us do not like to become involved in the problems of
other people. All of us have a circle of Christian friends to whom we
are a blessing (all things being equal). God expects us to warn them
graciously when an occasion arises to do so.
Admonish has to do with application. Some people cannot apply
Scripture for themselves. They need others to help them. When a person
learns to fly, he needs someone there to personally show him how to
turn without stalling out. If you stall out things can get quite
Admonishing helps another person
make application. We do not teach another person how to shoot by
saying, “Here is a gun go out and shoot.” He must squeeze the trigger
for an accurate shot. It is in application where we hit the target. (Colossians
One another -
Study the "one anothers" - most
positive, some negative
PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS: psalmois, humnois, odais
pneumatikais: (Matthew 26:30; 1Co 14:26; Ep 5:19; Jas 5:13)
(1Chr 25:7; Neh 12:46; Ps 32:7; 119:54; Song 1:1; Isa 5:1; 26:1;
30:29; Re 5:9; 14:3; 15:3)
Vincent wrote that in the early Christian Church, it was
not unusual to employ verse or rhythm for theological teaching or
statement (sadly this is a far cry from most praise music today as
from psállo = to sing, chant)
describes a set piece of music, sacred ode (originally accompanied by
a stringed instrument). Psalms in OT originally with musical
accompaniment. The idea of accompaniment passed away in usage, and the
psalm, in NT phraseology, is an OT psalm or a composition having that
(humnos) is a song or hymn in honor of God. It also came to mean
praise to men. Whereas a psalm is the story of man's deliverance or a
commemoration of mercies received, a hymn is a magnificat, a
declaration of how great someone or something is. A hymn
is a direct address of praise and glory to God. According to Augustine
a hymn has three characteristics: It must be sung; it must be praise;
it must be to God. The word "hymn" nowhere occurs in the
writings of the apostolic fathers because it was used as a praise to
heathen deities and thus the early Christians instinctively shrank
Spiritual (4152) songs (5603)
(oide from ado = to sing in praise or
honor of someone) describes a chant or "ode" and is the general term
for any words sung whether
with or without instrumental accompaniment.
An example of a "spiritual song" might be
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
THANKFULNESS IN YOUR HEARTS TO GOD: en (te) chariti adontes (PAPMPN)
en tais kardiais humon to theo: (Col 4:6; Ps 28:7; 30:11,12;
47:6,7; 63:4, 5, 6; 71:23; 103:1,2; 138:1; 1Co 14:15)
(aido) means to sing and in NT always of praise to God.
More literally Paul says the saints are to "Singing with the grace
in their hearts". The phrase “with
grace” goes with “singing.”
Charis may mean thanksgiving, and
that meaning is consistent with the context, as it indicates a grateful spirit
which should characterize singing. Our singing must be
from the heart and not just with the lips. If the Word of Christ is
not richly dwelling within our heart, we will be much less likely to sing
thankfully from our heart.
Colossians 3:16 parallels
where the singing of hymns, etc, is the outgrowth of being
filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. Here in Colossians 3:16
the singing is the result
of an intake of the Word of God. Do you see the parallel relationship,
beloved? A believer who is filled with the Word is much more likely to
be a believer who is being controlled by the Spirit.
In your hearts (2588)
(kardia) (Click for analysis of
Without a new heart that results from the new birth there is no real
worship "to God". How can an unregenerate individual
lead worship of Christ as Savior? Whether with instrument or
with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration is not
in the heart. It should be noted that the singing is to be "in your
hearts," as well as to God. What a difference this would make in our
Vine comments that...
While singing involves the audible utterance of harmonious
sounds, there is to be a corresponding inward note of praise by
which the heart goes out to God, the inner praise finding expression
in the audible sounds. All the inmost emotions are the outcome of our
relationship with Christ, and all is for the glory of God, who is the
one great object of our activities. Everything is to be “unto God. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
There is (according to Paul) a definite relationship between our
knowledge of the Bible and our expression of worship in song. One way
we teach and encourage ourselves and others is through the singing of
the Word of God. But if we do not know the Bible and understand it, we
cannot honestly sing it from our hearts. (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor
Tragically there is a
serious paucity of Scripture in many American churches not only from
the pulpits. One of the offshoots of this dearth of sound (healthy)
doctrine is a increasing number of insipid, shallow, oftimes even overtly unbiblical songs. And
the sad truth is that the elders are not addressing the failure to
retain the standard of sound doctrine (2Ti 1:13-note)
lest they offend the ears of seekers. Shall we forget that our Lord
Jesus routinely "offended the ears" of seekers by confronting
them with the Word of Truth, which the Spirit uses to convict of sin,
righteousness and the judgment to come? The
great hymns of the faith (although they do not all exhibit
Scripturally sound doctrine) were for the most part written by believers
who knew and loved the pure milk of the Word (whereby and only whereby
saints grow in grace! - 1Pe 2:2-note).
It is the height of irony to separate the praise of the Living Word from the "pure milk" of
Word. Many churches need to re-think their approach to acceptable
music and guard through the Holy Spirit Who indwells them the treasure
of Truth which has been entrusted to them and for which they will one
day give a somber account. I know of one Bible church unapologetically
which even posts links overtly non-Christian music favorites on their
website. Such things ought not to be true of the spotless Bride of
Christ for this world is passing away and even its lusts. Perhaps we
need to remember the golden rule that only the God breathed Word is
living and active and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of
our hearts. So let us sing out psalms and hymns and sound doctrine,
the beautiful melodies of which not only touch our senses but which
even more radically impact our innermost being, teaching, reproving,
convicting and correcting us that we might go forth on Monday through
Saturday as men and women who are fully equipped and ready for every
Praise God that His Spirit has moved in some quarters to prompt a return to
the singing of Scripture, especially the Psalms. This practice is
laudatory for such music has the potential to edify and equip
Our singing must be with grace
(thanksgiving) or because we have God’s grace in our hearts.
What does this mean practically? Have you ever sung to the Lord when
you were in pain, or when circumstances seemed
to be against you? I'm sure you have had this experience, but without
His grace, to enable you to sing in such difficult circumstances,
worship and praise would not have been possible. Luke records such an
instance in Acts where we read that the jailer...
threw them into the inner
prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. but about midnight Paul
and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the
prisoners were listening to them. (Acts
Singing is not to be a
display of fleshly talent but be a demonstration of the grace of
God in our hearts.
All Christian music must contain a
message. Much Christian music is subjective if not sentimental. This
music expresses only personal experience and not the truth of
Scripture. Often these experiences do not correspond to reality.... (ref)
We do not truly sing until we sing
with grace in our hearts. This is the song of the soul. The person may
not be able to sing very well but a song breaks out in the heart. That
is why the Bible says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Some can
carry a tune and others cannot but the point is the expression of the
heart. Maybe that is why God allows for “noise” sung unto him!!
If we have no grace in our hearts we cannot sing unto the Lord. A
non-Christian cannot sing with grace in their hearts to the Lord. A
Christian with little understanding of God’s provisions cannot sing
with grace in their hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19-notes). Some Christians
sound like crippled crows when they sing. God makes crows as well as
canaries. Some of us sing best on the inside.
It is not enough to sing true content. God wants us to sing with our
hearts as well as our lips.
“With grace” — we need the help of God’s grace to sing out of the
Principle: Grace is the basis of the Christian’s song.
Application: We can tell much about an individual or a church by their
singing. We can tell not only by what they sing but how they sing. We
can tell by the singing whether the Bible is honored or whether the
Savior is preached. If we want John Wesley’s preaching we must have
Charles Wesley’s music. If we want D. L. Moody’s preaching we must
have Ira Sankey’s music. If we want Billy Graham’s preaching we must
have Cliff Barrow’s music. These things go together. Dead music goes
with dead preaching. A recognition of the grace of God’s provisions is
the basis of true singing.
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not
boast and lie against the truth” (Jas 3:14). If we have a bitter,
envious, striving attitude toward someone else we cannot sing with
grace in our hearts. A heart full of animosity and criticism cannot
sing. We have gone sour and our heart goes off key. (Colossians
Someone has well said that a successful Christian life involves
attention to three books...
Do you use a
hymnal in your devotional time, to help express praise to God?
grow in the knowledge of the Word, they will usually also grow in
their expression of praise. They will learn to appreciate the great
hymns of the church, the Gospel songs, and the spiritual songs that
teach spiritual truths.
Richison writes that...
Three words in verse 16 end in
“ing:” “teaching,” “admonishing” and “singing.” Some of us would not
know the difference between a participle from a pickle! However, these
three participles are the by-products or side-effects of the previous
part of the verse. If the Word of God finds lodgment in our souls,
then we will teach, admonish and sing. These three characteristics
will trend in our lives and will become a pattern. It will not be
sporadic or intermittent. (Colossians
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We are encouraged in the Scriptures
to sing. Whether songs of praise, worship, adoration, or dedication,
they should emanate from the heart. They must never be mere
hypocritical vocalizations of nice-sounding sentiments.
Some good questions to ask yourself the next time you pick up a
hymnbook in church are these: Do I really mean what I'm singing? Is
this coming from my heart, or am I just going through the motions?
On Wednesday evening we sing, "'Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer" and
then allow our thoughts to wander aimlessly while others pray. We
plead with enthusiasm, "Bring Them In" and later gripe about the
repeated call for Sunday school bus drivers. We sing, "For the Beauty
of the Earth" and then litter it with garbage and debris. We raise our
voices to ask, "Is it the Crowning Day?" and proceed to live as
though we had never heard of the Savior's return. We love the hymn,
"Holy Bible, Book Divine" but spend most of our time reading
newspapers and periodicals. We declare in song, "I Love to Tell the
Story" and can't remember the last time we spoke a word for Christ.
We sing, "Just One Step at a Time" and immediately begin to worry
about tomorrow! This is not singing from our hearts. Someone has
observed that "when the heart moves devoutly with the voice, true
heart-singing results." I would add that it is whenever "the heart and
hand move devoutly with the voice." The sincerity of our devotion is
demonstrated by what we sing and do. When our songs are matched by our
deeds — this is heart music! (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
praying and working,
Zealously walking His way;
Heart and hand active in service,
Living for Jesus each day! — G. W.
A SONG coupled with SERVICE
usually outlive a
SERMON in the memory.
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Letting the Word Dwell in Your Heart - Before Clara Schumann, the widow of German composer Robert Schumann
(1810-56), would play any of her husband's music in public, she would
first privately read over some of his old love letters. Inspired by
his words, she said it seemed as if his very life filled her, and she
was then better able to interpret his musical compositions to the
public. In the spiritual realm, if we will read God's words of love to
us until we are thrilled by their truth, His Spirit will fill our
hearts and minds. The Lord can change our selfish attitudes and
fretfulness through our meditation on His Word.
We will then experience an increasing evidence in our lives of the
peace and servant hood that characterized the life of Christ. The words
of our Lord are crucial if we are to be able to teach and help others
effectively. The apostle Paul encouraged believers by writing, "Let
the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col 3:16). We can do nothing
by ourselves, but as we let our Savior live through us, others will
see Christ in all we do.
Spend time in God's Word today so that others will see Christ in your
attitudes and actions. --H G Bosch
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Give us, O Lord, a strong desire
To look within Your Word each day;
Help us to hide it in our hearts,
Lest from its truth our feet would stray.
-J D Branon
When the Word of God dwells in you,
the love of Christ shines through you.
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