“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.”

Paul now gives us a command that has three parts.

Part #1:  Regarding the Word of Christ

“Let the Word of Christ”– The Doctrine of Christ–i.e., the Gospel word by which you have been called.

This precise phrase is used only here, although Paul does use, “the word of the Lord” in I Thess. 1:8; 4:15; II Thess. 3:1. Elsewhere “the word of God”" Paul is exalting Christ in this Epistle.

Part #2:  Regard the Word Indwelling Us       

“dwell in you, in all wisdom”
Literally:  “dwell in you richly, in all wisdom”-Abundantly, producing the spirit of true  wisdom. “The Word of Christ” is the doctrine that is adapted to make you wise. The     meaning here is that they were to lay up the doctrines of the gospel in their hearts; to    meditate upon them; to allow them to be their guide, and to endeavor wisely to improve  them to the best purpose.

Paul means that the Colossians should be well instructed in the Doctrine of Christ;
1.      That it should be their constant study;
2.      That it should be frequently preached, explained, and enforced among them; and,
3.      That all the wisdom comprised in it should be well understood.

DWELL:  (Grk.-enoiketō)–Literally: “to be at home in.”  It is one thing for the believer to be in the Word; but it is another thing for the Word to be in the believer; to have free access to all parts of his life.

Part #3:  Regard the Word Richly Indwelling Us      

          RICHLY:  (Grk.-plousiōs)–This “Word of Christ” must dwell “richly” in order to be totally effective.  It must be highly prized and appreciated.  The believer must realize that he is a spiritual pauper apart from it.

Not just one part of the Scriptures but the whole of it, every truth and doctrine in it, even the whole counsel of God; is to be declared and preached in its utmost compass, so all and every part of it is to be received in the love of it. 

          IN ALL WISDOM: (Grk.-en pasē sophiai)-Or, “unto all wisdom.”  In order to attain to all wisdom; not natural wisdom, which is not the design of the Scriptures, nor of   the Gospel of Christ; but spiritual wisdom, in things relating to salvation; or wisdom in spiritual things.

Wisdom which is, and may be, arrived through attendance to the Word of Christ, reading and hearing of it, meditating on it; and especially when accompanied with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and which is to be desired and prayed for.

“teaching and admonishing one another”
Literally:  “Teaching and exhorting yourselves”–That is, striving to
edify one another, and to promote purity of heart by songs of praise.

This has the force of a command, and it is a matter of obligation on Christians. From the beginning of the church, praise was an important part of public worship, and is designed to be to the end of the world. Nothing is more clear than that it was practiced by the Savior Himself and the apostles, Matt. 26:30), and by the primitive church, as well as by the great body of Christians in all ages.

Participle #1:  Believers will Teach Each Other “in all Wisdom 

                     TEACHING:  (Grk.-didaskontes)–That teaching” is here used first being suggested by “wisdom.”

Participle #2:  Believers will Admonish Each Other

         EXHORTING:   (Grk.-nouthetountes)-Literally:  “admonishing.”     Admonition is essentially warning and correction.

Participle #3:  Believers will be Singing

“in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,”–Their psalms and hymns were to be regarded as a method of “teaching” and “admonishing.”  . Their singing will display thanksgiving for the grace of God that has been given to them.

            It is true, in a more important sense, that he who is permitted to make the hymns of a church need care little who preaches, or who makes the creed. He will more effectually mold the sentiments of a church than they who preach or make creeds and confessions. Hence, it is indispensable, in order to the preservation of the truth, that the sacred songs of a church should be imbued with sound evangelical sentiment. Music in a local church really set the mood of the people for worship of God. That is why this so-called “Christian Rock” or “Contemporary Christian Music” is really a detriment to worship.  Think about it:  if your “music” is of this world, and the Word of God tells us that this world belongs to Satan who is the enemy of God (I John 5:15-16), then how in the world can such music prepare our hearts to worship a holy God?
          Their singing was to contain Scriptural truth, and to be such as to elevate the mind, and withdraw it from error and sin  The singing of Christians should express verbally what is a reality in their hearts. Here we have three different types of songs. Such singing cannot be cold, or lifeless or without meaning since it originates within the heart.  I am afraid we fundamentalists have come to the point the we are afraid to show any emotion in our worship.  Our worship, including our music, should be done, “to the Lord,” and not to entertain or to impress men.

         PSALMS:  (Grk.-psalmois)-This is referring to the O.T. psalms sung (or rather chanted) to a  musical accompaniment.

         HYMNS:  (Grk.-hymnois)-This is referring to songs composed by believers and which consist of praises to the glory of God.  “Christian Rock” and/or “Contemporary Christian (a total misnomer) in no way does this. 

          SPIRITUAL SONGS:  (Grk.–pneumatikais oidais)–This is referring to songs that embrace all other forms of Biblical truth that promote an emotional, spiritual and lyrical response within the believer.

It is interesting, but true, that from its beginning, the church was a singing church.  This was probably inherited from the Jews, for the Jewish philosopher Philo tells us that they (the Jews) would often spend the whole night in hymns and songs.  The gratitude of the church has always gone up to God in praise and song.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, and the Father by Him.”

This may be considered to be the “Golden Rule” for the believer.  Here Paul lays down a general rule for the right management of all our words and actions, in the whole course of  our lives.

         This admonition includes whether we are preaching the Word of Christ, or in hearing the Gospel, or in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and in conference and conversation with each other; or in whatever action (civil or religious) we perform, in the world or church.
         One of the best tests of any action is the question:  “Can we do it/” That is, “Can I do it calling upon the Name of Christ or asking for His help?”  Likewise, the test for any word or speech is,:  “Can we speak it and in the same breath name the Name of Jesus?”  Or, “Can we speak it, remembering that He will hear it?”  Simply stated:  if we bring every word or action to the test of the presence of Christ, we will not go wrong.

            “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,”      
            Literally:  {do} all things in the name of {the} Lord Jesus”–Do it all because he requires and commands it,
            and with a desire to honor   him. His
authority should be the authorization; His glory the aim of all our actions and words.

                        NAME:  Grk.-onomati)–The noun form of this Greek adverb (onoma)–means, “title, person, authority, power.”   

            I know this has been stated in a previous study, but since Paul has repeated the word, “name”I feel this explanation bears repeating.  A sad misunderstanding, and therefore, misuse, of this word “name” has caused much trouble within the Body of Christ, especially regarding how water baptism (immersion), is administered.  Some take it to mean we are to baptize (immerse) three times, each time in a different Person of the Trinity.  Some even believe (erroneously and unScripturally) that we are to baptize in Jesus’ Name only. 
         The problem really comes about from not understanding the phrase, “in the Name of…”  The Greek word that is rendered as “name” is onoma, which literally means, “power or authority.”  What Jesus is doing is telling His disciples (Matt. 28:19)–“…baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”–is that all Three Persons of the Tri-unity are giving them the authority to do the baptizing. 
        If you get a knocking on your door and you hear the words, “Open up, in the name of the law,” you know that the speaker is telling you that he has the authority given to him by the law to order you to open up.  Now to give this phrase in Matt. 28:19 a better and literal translation, it would really read, “Having gone, then, disciple all nations, baptizing them (literally:   immersing them)  by the authority (or authorization) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  In other words, we have the authority of the full Tri-unity (i.e., all Three Persons of the Godhead) to do this baptizing.

UNDERSTAND:  We should so act in all things as to honor Him as our Lawgiver, our Creator, our Redeemer; and so as to lead others by our example to praise Him and to embrace His gospel. We may observe in regard to that the rule is universal.

“giving thanks to God, and the Father by Him.”
Literally:  “giving thanks to God, and {the} Father through Him.”– Through Him; or in His Name. All our actions are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.

We now come to a change in Paul’s theme to the Colossian believers.  He now transitions from his general instructions to more specific instructions for the Christian household.  The Christian ethic is one of mutual obligation:  not one in which all the duties are on only one side.


“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as it is fit in
{the} Lord.”

         “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands”
         Literally:  “Wives, be subject to {you} own husbands Paul now comes to
particular duties, which are commonly called relative;
         because they only belong to persons in certain situations; and are not incumbent on all.

         Sadly, under Jewish law a woman was no more than a thing: the possession of her husband.  She had no legal rights at all.  In Greek society a respectable woman lived a life of seclusion.  She never appeared on the streets alone, not even to go shopping.  She lived in the women’s apartments and did not join the men of the household, even for meals.  Complete servitude and chastity were demanded of her.  Under both Jewish and Greek laws and customs, all the privileges belonged to the husband and all the duties to the wife.
         Paul’s intent here is that wife is to take a place of subordination, not servitude to her husband.  Unfortunately, many in the church, especially many preachers, tend to consider a wife’s submission to be a form of servitude.  This is totally in contradiction to what is intended here.  Paul is in no way suggesting that the wife is naturally or spiritually inferior to her husband.  But he is saying that there is a divinely instituted hierarchy in the order of

“as it is fit in {the} Lord.”
Literally:  “as is becoming in {the} Lord.”–Paul really makes this admonition Christian by adding this phrase.  By treating the relationshi
between the husband and wife in this context he places the essential dignity of women in general and wives in particular to be on a holy   foundation.

      BE SUBJECT:  (Grk.–hypotassethe)–This may be translated in two possible ways:  "be submissive," or 'ssubmit yourselves."  In either case the present tense stresses constant and daily submission.

         This subordination of the wife to the husband, both in the family and in the church, is functional.  Its purpose is to help believers to carry out the divine purpose for the family.  It does not imply personal inferiority or dictatorial rule.  Paul explains what he means here in I Cor. 11:3–“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is CHRIST, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of CHRIST is GOD.”  Understand that within the Godhead there is equality of the three Persons within it, but there also exists a voluntary subordination within the Persons for functional purposes.
         The headship of the man is based on two truths:  the order of creation (I Tim. 2:13) and the judgment imposed on the woman for her deception in the temptation (I Tim. 2:13).  God said to Eve: “…thy desires shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16).  Until there is the establishment of the eternal state, this order must be observed on earth in the family and in the church.  Submission involves both love and obedience (I Tim. 2:4-5).  It should mark the godly wife, even if her husband is not a believer (I Pet. 3:1-6).

“Husbands, love
{your} wives, and be not bitter against them.”

         “Husbands, love {your} wives,”
         Literally:  “Husbands, love the wives”—Here we see that the duty of the subordination of the wife is counter-balanced by the husband’s duty of love to his wife. 

       This is not a matter of affectionate feeling or sexual attraction.  It involves his active and unceasing care for       her well-being.  The addition of “and be not bitter against them” (don’t treat them harshly)     indicates the meaning of the injunction by prohibiting a dictatorial attitude on the part of the         husband.
       The duty of the wife is to obey; the right of the husband is to command.  Paul proceeds to show that the husband, in all his conversation with the wife, should manifest the same spirit which the Lord Jesus did toward the church.  In other words, he holds up the conduct of the Redeemer toward the church as the model for a husband to imitate.  Here is a grand rule, according to which every husband is called to actLove your wife as Christ loved the Church.  But how did Christ love the Church?  He gave himself for it.   He laid down His life for it. So then husbands should, if necessary, lay down their lives for their wives; and there is more implied in the words than mere protection and support.   
          As Christ gave Himself for the Church to save it, so husbands should, by all means in their power, labor to promote the salvation of their wives, and their constant edification in righteousness.  Thus we find that the authority of the man over the woman is founded on his love to her, and this love must be such as to lead him to risk his life for her.

Do you wish your wife to obey you, as the Church is to obey Christ? Then have a concern for her as Christ had for the Church (Eph. 5:23

“and be not bitter against them.”
Literally:  “and do not be bitter against them”—Only here and Rev. 8:11; 10:9 in the N.T..     Ill-tempered and provoking–the
bitter word rankles in the soul.

Many who are polite abroad are rude and bitter at home because they are not afraid to be so there.  Please understand that wherever bitterness is, there love is lacking; and where love is lacking in the married life, there is hell upon earth.  Turning love into hatred of their persons; ruling in a tyrannical manner; behaving towards them in a churlish, and bad natured way; giving them either bitter words, or even blows, and denying them their affection, care, provision, protection, and assistance, but instead, using them as servants, or worse. Such an attitude is really barbarous, brutish, and even worse, unchristian, and even anti-christian,  as well as being unbecoming to the Gospel.