Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Overflowing with the Gospel

In Colossians 3:16 the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16). When Paul refers to “the word of Christ,” he’s referring to the good news of Christ, that is, to the gospel.

The gospel is the story of how God is redeeming lost humanity and restoring the created order through Christ, and since this story is the theme of the entire Bible, it’s fair to say that entire Bible is about the gospel. So the call here is to read Genesis through Revelation in light of Jesus Christ, and to let it dwell in us richly. We’re to soak our minds and marinate our hearts in the good news of Jesus Christ until we can hold it in no longer!

As we fill up with the gospel, Paul tells us to do when we begin to overflow. First, we are to teach one another. The pastors of a church are required to teach, but every member of the church is called on to teach others what Christ is teaching them. We need to speak the gospel to one another, and we need to receive the gospel from one another. The pastors have their place in teaching, but the church will be poor if depends upon their teaching alone. Their calling is to equip the entire church for the work of the ministry, and the work of the ministry begins with the verbal overflow of the gospel. So don’t feel like you have to have an advanced degree. If God is teaching you something, share with someone else. You’ll both be blessed, and God will be glorified.

Second, Paul tells us to admonish one another. This word literally means “to put in the mind,” and the implication is that we should apply the things we teach one another to daily life. We should instruct one another so as to encourage, guide, warn, correct, and even rebuke one another. As we do these things, we should do them “in all wisdom,” that is, we should seek the wisdom of the Spirit as to the practical meaning of each part of the word of Christ, and then we should apply it to one another’s lives.

This process of learning from, teaching, and admonishing is perhaps the best way we can love one another. There is no greater love than to point people toward the living Christ, and there is no better way to do that than to overflow with the very word of Christ. So I pray that we will all resolve to be rivers of blessing rather than reservoirs, and that we will give serious and constant consideration to how we can invest the gospel in each other’s lives. As we do so, we will no doubt come to understand what it means to sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratefulness in our hearts to God.

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