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God’s influence through His Word

And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17

If believers are to be transformed into the character of Christ, the word of Christ should find a home in our hearts. It should not come and go, show up occasionally, or be something we visit like a vacation spot. As Eugene Peterson translates this phrase, “Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives” (Colossians 3:16, The Message Translation). The parallel between Paul’s letters in Colossians and Ephesians must not be missed. “…be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20). The structure and terminology are almost identical. The Ephesians passage exhorts believers to be filled with the Spirit, while the Colossians passage exhorts believers to let the Word of Christ dwell in them. The two concepts must be synonymous. The external results are the same. The internal effect is the same. The believer is to be under the influence of the word of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit. When the word of Christ finds a comfortable home in the life of individual believers and in the new community, His church, there will be teaching (positive instruction), admonishing one another (negative correction), and thankful worship, evidenced by singing and gratitude. Such influence and indwelling of His Spirit will result to life transformation. This process is to include any and all areas and activities of life. In all places, in all ways, the believer is to honor the name of the Lord Jesus. Genuine spirituality is not found by following false teaching which leads away from Christ. Genuine spirituality is found in having our lives transformed into the character of Christ through His Word and the Holy Spirit.


Noel De Guzman

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