100 Verses #76 Colossians 3:16

100 Verses

76. Colossians 3:16

Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. —Colossians 3:16


Just as John 3:16 provides the core of the gospel, Colossians 3:16 provides the core of worship. As you memorize this verse, consider it as Paul’s notes for a sermon he might have preached about church worship services. Here are his points:

  1. Worship includes biblical exposition. Paul was concerned the message of Christ be richly presented through teaching and admonition. The word richly means “abundantly, in great measure, in large amounts.”
  2. Worship involves “one another.” Teaching and admonition aren’t just pulpit-to-pew affairs. We teach and admonish one another. I’m reminded of another 3:16: Malachi 3:16: “At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened.”
  3. Singing is a big part of worship, and…
  4. Variety in musical styles is welcomed. We’re to sing out God’s Word in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Psalms are Bible-based praises that are solid, deep, echoing the words of Scripture (especially the book of Psalms). Hymns are rich and sturdy songs that stand the test of time. Spiritual songs are lighter, livelier expressions of our faith and worship.
  5. Worship rises on the wings of thanksgiving. Even though Paul ended the previous verse with the words “Be thankful,” he came right back in this verse to repeat the thought with the phrase “with gratitude.”
  6. Worship includes prayer. Notice the last two words of the verse: “to God.”
  7. Worship should engage both mind and emotions. Colossians 3:16 tells us to admonish with all wisdom (our minds) and to sing with our hearts (our emotions). This recalls our Lord’s words in John 4, that God desires us to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

As you memorize these verses, you may get them confused with the previous passage from Ephesians 5. Paul wrote Ephesians and Colossians at the same time and from the same cell, and he expressed similar sentiments in both. But there are significant differences. Ephesians 5 tells us that when we’re filled with the Spirit, we’ll be speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Colossians 3:16 says the same will be true when the Word of God dwells richly among us. Think of your automobile. Your engine needs both fuel and spark. For the engine of worship, the fuel is the Word of God, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit gives the spark. Biblical teaching without spiritual power produces cold orthodoxy. Spiritual excitement without the Word of God promotes religious fanaticism. Put both together, and you’ve got biblical worship.

The rule is… that we turn each truth that we learn about God into a matter of mediation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God. —J. I. Packer

100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.

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