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"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." Colossians 3:16

So important to spiritual growth -- nourishing the new nature created in us by the Spirit of God when we were baptized into Christ -- is the use of God's Word! That is why the Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Colosse: "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."

We, as believers in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, are to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom. Why? The Scripture tells us the answer in the words which Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:15-17): "From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

The Scriptures teach us of our salvation -- of forgiveness and life -- in Christ Jesus; and the Scriptures are the source of all true Christian doctrine, being useful for the study of the truth, for reproving, correcting and instructing in righteousness. Through the study of Scriptures, believers know and are assured of God's salvation through faith in Christ Jesus and are given the knowledge they need to live for God in accord with His will.

Jesus said to those who believed on Him (John 8:31-32): "If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

It is through the continual study of God's Word, the Bible, that we learn and are assured of the truth and are made free. The Scriptures teach and reveal to us God's holy will and our utter sinfulness and shortcomings before the LORD God; but the Scriptures also reveal to us that in God's own dear Son, Messiah Jesus, we have a Savior. He fulfilled all righteousness for us, and He paid in full for our sins and the sins of the whole world with His blood when He suffered and died upon the cross. Through faith in the crucified and risen Christ Jesus, we have forgiveness and life -- we are made free and brought into fellowship with God our Maker.

We read and study God's Word, letting it dwell in us richly and in all wisdom, that we may be strengthened and confirmed in our faith in Jesus and that we may teach and admonish and encourage others in their faith in Christ Jesus through psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. As we read and study God's Word, we are assured of forgiveness and life in Christ and are guided by its counsel, we can share that same assurance and guidance with others.

Certainly, the importance of using and basing our psalms and hymns and spiritual songs upon the very Word of God cannot be overemphasized. What good are songs and hymns with catchy tunes and phrases if they are not based on Scripture? How can they give comfort and teach us or give praise to God if they do not reflect God's Word?

Indeed, when we let the Word of Christ dwell in our hearts richly and meditate on the Word and consider it in our hearts, we will be moved to sing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. Our hearts will be filled with thanksgiving and praise for the LORD God who so loved us that He gave His only-begotten Son to die for us to redeem us and make us His own dear children.

O LORD God, thank You for Your Word and for making us wise unto salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. By Your Spirit, move us to continue in Your Word, to study it and learn from it, that we might continue in the true and saving faith, encourage others in that faith and give You praise and glory forever and ever. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]

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