“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.”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you”
This is the only occurrence of the phrase “the word of Christ” in the New Testament. The normal way the New Testament phrases the idea of the Bible is “the word of the Lord” or “the word of God.”
Note the word “let.” The word of Christ is ready and willing to dwell in us. The only issue that remains is our volition. The word will indwell us if we let it. God manufactures the word of Christ in our hearts.
The word “dwell” means to keep house. We should live in the Word of God like we live in our homes. We are familiar with our home where all the closets are, where we have items stored. We must thoroughly acquaint ourselves with the Word. The Word should become so familiar to us that we know it like the back of our hand. The idea is to let the Word of God dwell inside and live at home in our lives. The Word of God needs to inhabit us. This is more than just reading the Bible. God wants us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (v. 15) and the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts.
Some treat the Word of God like a rabbit’s foot or charm. We use it like a fetish. We cannot use the Bible that way. We cannot rub the Bible on warts and they disappear. We cannot flip the pages of the Bible and blindly put our finger on a verse and claim it. The Bible is no prayer wheel or magic book. We must systematically study the Bible and memorize pertinent verses to deal with weak areas of our Christian life (Deut. 6:6; 11:18; Josh. 1:8; Job 22:21,22; 23:12: Ps. 1:2;119:9-11; Jer 15:16).
There are some believers who think that when they get into a jam all they have to do is pray “Oh Lord, help me.” Others think that all they need to do is put their finger on a Bible verse and God will lead them. They give glowing testimonies of how in a time of duress they flipped open their Bible and put their finger on a verse that helped them. The odds of doing that are about as good as loaded dice in a crap game.
The Word of God needs to find lodgment in our souls.
If we spent as much time in the Word of God as we do in the newspaper, just think how much we would know of God’s will for our lives! We might know how many robberies and murders took place in our city for that week but what difference does that make in our lives? We might be better off if we did not know.
If we generate a serious attitude about letting the Word of God dwell in our lives, we will be richer and our character will grow stronger. Our individual lives will change and our homes will be better.
You may say, “But I do not understand what I read in the Bible.” We must work at it. Gradually we will retain more. We do not learn to ride a bicycle the first time we get on it. Neither do we learn the Bible without effort. It takes time, effort and dedication. The results will gratify our souls.
Most of us do not take the Word of God seriously. We play at it. We do not mark our Bible or memorize it. We do not make it a part of us. There are people who memorize hundreds of plays for a football game. Yet if we memorize a verse of Scripture we want a medal!