To Teach and Admonish: Colossians 3:16

Yesterday’s post concerned our responsibility to our fellow Christians. Today’s post takes a look at what the Apostle Paul has to say concerning the subject. In Colossians 3:16, he writes:

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16, NASB).

There’s a great deal to unpack in this verse! Paul writes that we should, with all wisdom, teach and admonish one another. The word “teach” means to communicate and impart truth while the word “admonish” means to caution and warn away from error. Stop and consider these words for just a moment. We are to teach truth while warning against error. The world will teach us that it’s okay to believe whatever we want provided we are sincere. The Apostle Paul seems to have directly addressed this notion with just two words; truth and admonish. We have a responsibility in our churches to teach truth and to warn others away from error!

Skeptics will warn us that no one knows what the truth actually is and scoff at the notion we can be sure we’re teaching what is true. Fortunately, the Apostle Paul tells us in this verse how to accomplish such a task. We are to “let the word of Christ richly dwell within us” and teach with all “wisdom.” Paul isn’t instructing us to teach our subjective notions of what truth may be, rather, he is instructing us to teach the objective Word of God! We are to allow the Word of God to dwell in our hearts! Warren Weirsbe writes, “Many saved people cannot honestly say they that God’s Word dwells in their hearts richly because they do not take the time to read, study, and memorize it.” Teaching the Word of God isn’t something to be taken lightly. We can be sure we are teaching God’s Truth but first we must be sure to consider His Word carefully and prayerfully. We have a responsibility to our fellow Christians to take the Word of God seriously and to teach and preach the truth while warning against error. This is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly. This is why James wrote, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgement” (James 3:1, NASB).

The Apostle Paul says we are to do this joyfully, “singing with thankfulness in [our] hearts to God.” Studying the Word, teaching it, and warning others against error is an act of worship. God’s Word should be at the heart of our worship, our Bible studies, and our sermons. Failing to impart God’s truth is failing to meet our responsibilities to one other.


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