“Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you..”
Colossians 3:16a, CSB
In this passage of Scripture, Paul is using a metaphor of putting on clothes to show characteristics of the Christian life. He shows us in verse 12 5 characteristics: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. But in verse 14 he says,
“Above all, put on love.”
Colossians 3:14a, CSB
In a metaphorical way, love is the item of clothing in which Christians should never walk out the door without, for love is the driving force of all characteristics in verse 12.
But Paul gives a list of commands here in chapter 3 of Colossians: put on love, let Christ’s peace rule, let Christ’s word dwell richly within you, and whatever you do, do it in the name of Jesus Christ.
What does it truly mean to let Christ’s word dwell within us?
Paul is now moving from a collective command to a personal command. Although there are ways in which the word of Christ can dwell in all of us collectively as a body, this is not what Paul is saying here in this passage. Paul is saying here literally that Christ’s word should make a home inside of you. Literally, it means that Scripture should be at home within us. But Paul doesn’t stop there. He says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you RICHLY.” The word richly literally means as one writer puts it –
“Let it dwell not with a scanty foothold, but with a large and liberal occupancy.”
Another idea Paul is not communicating that some may see on the surface in this passage is that this is neglecting the virtues mentioned earlier in these verses. Paul is not at all communicating the neglecting of these virtues, but rather communicating the necessity of these virtues as a result of Christ’s word dwelling or “making home” in us with “liberal occupancy.”
What all does this entail?
How do we let the word of Christ dwell richly? The most important and productive way for the word to dwell richly is for you to make it a priority to delve into it in study and meditation on a daily basis. This is the most important, but also the most difficult. We all have busy schedules with other things taking up space in our lives and taking the time to stop in a busy culture is difficult, but necessary thing to do in the life of a believer.
Taking the time to study the Word of God is essential in the life of a believer. You cannot have any influence for Christ if you first don’t have a union with Christ.
Take time today to “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you.”