I would like to confine my answer to one verse in Scripture. Let’s read Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God” (DARBY). Notice how this admonition starts out with “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Why is the “word of Christ” mentioned first? Ah, because the “Word of God” is the basis for everything we do. If we don’t have the “word of Christ” dwelling in us we cannot truly obey the rest of the verse, for it is the Word of God that gives us the ability to “teach and admonish one another” and to be “singing with grace in your hearts to God.”

This precious verse brings before us the attitude we need towards: 1) Ourselves; 2) Others; and 3) God. It is all-important that we study the Word and allow it to DWELL IN US. This doesn’t refer to simply memorizing Scripture; it means to store it up in our hearts. The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” The Word of God will make us holy! It will give us the desire to please the Lord and empower us as well.

When the Word of God is dwelling in us we are then able to “teach and admonish OTHERS.” The apostle Paul told Timothy, “Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all” (1st Timothy 4:13 & 15). Paul knew that unless Timothy had the word of Christ dwelling in him richly he would not be qualified to teach the Word of God to others. And so it is with us!

And finally, when the word of Christ is dwelling in us richly, we will be in the proper state of heart to be worshipping GOD through “psalms, hymns, spiritual songs.” If the word of Christ doesn’t have this place in our hearts we will be merely “singing worship songs” because “we love singing” and not because we love the Lord and want to express to Him through “hymns and spiritual songs” the praise that He so richly deserves. To add to this thought, I would ask you, “What are hymns and spiritual songs?” A “hymn” is a song that has been composed to express the truth as to who God is. For example, when we sing that precious hymn, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” we are praising God for His holiness. A “spiritual song” is a song that has been written to convey the “spiritual experiences” we have had based on the truth in God’s Word. In “Amazing Grace” we sing, “Twas grace that taught my heart o fear, and grace my fears relieved: How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.” The heart of the believer should be filled to overflowing as they sing those words, for they express to God the gratitude we have for His amazing grace.  We are reminded, every time we sing those words, that grace alone brought us to fear God because of our lost, sinful condition, and how that same grace relieved those fears when we saw that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1st Timothy 1:15). It was through the Word of God that we learned of God’s holiness and His amazing grace!

I trust we have seen how important the “word of Christ” is and that we MUST treasure it up in our hearts in order to truly worship God. So, dear friend, I pray you will come to “enjoy the Word of God” just as much as you “enjoy worship,” for in truth you can’t have one without the other.  (223.5)  (DO)