Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…
The apostle, in view of the right exercise of the foregoing graces, counsels the Colossians to make the Word of Christ the subject of experimental study. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
1. THE EFFICACY OF CHRIST'S WORD.
1. The Scriptures are Christ's Word. They have Christ for their Author, for their Subject, for their End. This is the Word that is "sounded forth" everywhere (1 Thessalonians 1:8), that "runs" everywhere, to be glorified in its success. It is Christ, too, who gives power to this Word.
2. This Word ought to dwell in us. Not come and go, but tarry as in a fixed abode. It ought to be an abiding power within us. "The Word of God abideth in you" (1 John 2:14).
3. The place of its indwelling is the heart; not the memory or the head, but the heart. "Thy Word have I hid in my heart" (is. 119:11).
4. The manner of its indwelling. "Richly in all wisdom."
(1) Not "with a scanty foothold, but with a large and liberal occupancy."
(2) It implies
(a) receiving the Word with all meekness and humility (James 1:21);
(b) dividing it aright (2 Timothy 2:15);
(c) trying all things so as to keep that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
II. THE USE OR END OF CHRIST'S WORD. "Teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." There is a double function here assigned to the Word: one making its influence felt upon the mind - "teaching;" the other upon the heart - "singing" with thanksgiving.
1. The Word is useful for teaching and for warning. These represent the positive and the negative sides of instruction.
(a) This implies that the Word is to be used by every Christian for the purposes of instruction (Exodus 24:12). When we have received the "ingrafted Word" into our hearts, we must spread it abroad.
(b) It deepens our sense of the value of the Word to impart it to others.
(c) It is a test of the sincerity of our attachment to make it known.
(d) It is by the efforts of all Christians in this way that the Word will eventually reach the ends of the earth.
(a) It must be grounded on the Word (Titus 1:6).
(b) It must be done in love and meekness (2 Thessalonians 3:1; Galatians 6:1).
(c) With a reasonable secrecy (Matthew 18:15).
(d) With compassion and tenderness (2 Corinthians 2:4).
(e) With perseverance (Proverbs 13:19).
2. The Word is useful for the purpose of sacred song. As those who make the songs of a nation can shape its political and moral life, so the hymn writers have in a large degree shaped the theology of the Church.
(1) Singing is a necessary part of Divine worship (Ephesians 6:19; James 5:13; Psalm 66:1, 2). It is good for spiritual recreation (James 5:13). We should sing in our houses as well as in our churches (Psalm 101:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 14:26).
(2) The matter of singing - "psalms, hymns, spiritual songs." These are supposed to represent three varieties of the psalms of Scripture. There is evidence, however, that Christians themselves composed hymns for public worship (1 Corinthians 14:26).
(3) The manner of singing - "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
(a) It was to be with the accompaniment of Divine grace, that is, with a holy joy (Psalm 9:2), with a humble trust in the Lord's mercies (Psalm 13:5), with a lively recollection of his benefits (Psalm 47:7).
(b) It was to be the outcome of the heart's feeling as well as the expression of the life. This implies singing with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14). Therefore we are to prepare our hearts before we sing (Psalm 57:7).
(c) It was to be addressed to the Lord, not to man. - T. C.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.