April 6, 2021

What Does Colossians 3:16 Mean?

What Does Colossians 3:16 Mean?

Colossians 3:16 (NIV) Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 


Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth. 

In Colossians 3, Paul instructs us on how to live out our faith in Jesus Christ. Since we have been made fully alive in Christ our lives should reflect this as Paul instructs us not to participate in sins such as sexual immorality, jealousy, anger, hurtful words, etc. But rather we are to live a life full of humility, patience, forgiveness, and above all love.

Today, Paul continues with that idea as he writes in verse 16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

So, Paul says let the word of Christ, or some translations say the let the word of God, dwell in you richly. Two things to note, first you must let it in. And 2, once you do, you must let it dwell there which translated literally means “to make itself feel at home” or “to take up residence.” In other words, Scripture becomes so familiar to you that it has made its home in your life. It’s not foreign or like a distant relative that only comes to visit you once a year. And it’s with those words stored up in your heart that the Holy Spirit guides your life

And under the influence of God’s Word, we are to do two things. 

One, we are to teach and admonish one another using all the wisdom that comes from Christ. Notice, it doesn’t say that only the pastor or a few select people with your church are to teach. It’s every believer’s responsibility to teach and admonish one another.And what happens as a result? As you learn God’s Word and His incredible love and plan for you, thankfulness erupts from within causing a joyful sound to overflow. Singing will break out in the form psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Most scholars believe that Paul’s purpose here is to not make a rigid distinction between the three – that is psalms, hymns and spiritual songs - but rather he is simply emphasizing incredible variety in Christian song.

It's interesting to note that William Barclay’s commentary says that the Church from the very beginning has always been a singing church. They would often spend the whole night singing hymns and songs to God. 

So, your Simple Truth for today: As you fill your life with God’s Word, you are to teach and admonish one another and as you do you will naturally break forth in songs as gratitude overflows from within you towards God. 

Have a blessed day. I’ll see you again tomorrow.