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Dwell: Part 3 of the Four-Week Bible Study

Today, as we come to the third part of the bible study on Colossians 3:16, the key word that stands out in this verse is the word “DWELL”.


But let’s go back and read from verse 1, of chapter 3.



The apostle Paul speaks about looking to Christ and the things of Heaven, not the things of this world which lead to destruction in the hearts and minds of humankind. He challenges the church and the believer to examine their lives, to view sin as shameful and destructive, and we as believers must have Christ-like love and compassion to others. He completes this chapter by giving instructions in relation to marriage and family, masters and servants, inspired by God through the Holy Spirit.


Like every page of scripture, we see Christ throughout this chapter, and especially in verses 22 to 25. We know there is a greater master who we seek and serve after, and as servants of Christ we are to not only share the gospel with others, but we are to be lights for Him by “obey[ing] in all things”, “fearing God”, “and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord”.


Let’s go back again to verse 1 in chapter 3, which says, “If ye then be risen with Christ [being born-again], seek those things which are above.” Isn’t that a powerful statement and a challenging command from God?



SEEK those things which are above.

SET your affection on things above.

LOOK toward eternity when we serve God.



Even when we do simple and seemingly insignificant things every day, we are to look to Christ, knowing that He went to the cross to save sinners like you and I. Look to Christ, believing that He will one day return and we have been given this task on earth to share about His love, mercy but also His judgement.



Verses 5 to 9 speak of the shameful sin that is within each and every single one of us, yet with Christ dwelling in us as believers, we can “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (v10). Romans 8 is a great passage for the sinner, but also the believer, and to know and be reminded that once they are washed by the blood of the Lamb, then we become new creatures in Christ.


Knowing the gospel means we can share the gospel, sometimes without even thinking about it. God provides us with opportunities that we would never think or dream of putting ourselves forward for. We may not ever be on a pulpit or teach a Sunday school, but, even giving a tract to an unsaved neighbour of friend and explaining to them what the Bible teaches, the gospel is dwelling in us more deeply because we know the things of the Bible through studying, reading, examining and praying over them.


You might not believe that you can share the gospel, whether it is through lack of confidence or that it’s the ‘older generation’ that do that sort of thing. Neither of those are true. If you have been “risen with Christ”, He provides us with strength to carry out the task set before us when we repent of our sins and become true believers. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”


It is through studying the scriptures that we can truly experience how they can dwell in us, because they bring us joy. Reading the Bible should never be a chore, and no doubt we have all been there and will be there, but it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that prompts us and challenges us to pick up our Bible, ask God for guidance, patience and understanding, and to dive in and read a passage or verse.


Psalm 1:2 says that “his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night”. Reading the scriptures shouldn’t be a ‘Sunday thing’ or when we can be bothered. God certainly hears the cries of His people when they are struggling, but it doesn’t say “he meditates when he feels like it”. It says “mediate day AND night”.


Do you remember in the book of Daniel, he came to God “three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously” (Daniel 6:10) during the time King Darius was in charge and had signed a petition that if any person was found seeking after any God or man that they would be cast into the lions’ den?


He was a man who know discipline and feared his God”. We, too, should have that discipline to be praying and reading the Scriptures regularly and daily. The veil was torn in two when Christ “yielded up the ghost”, meaning we had full ‘access’ to God from that point onwards because Christ took the punishment for our sins. He petitioned to God (and still does), on our behalf, so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. It’s hard to imagine that Christ did all that for you and I. But He did.


We have a hope that the sinner does not. We have the scriptures to be “a lamp unto [our] feet and a light unto [our] path” when we are going through the ups and downs of life (Psalm 119:105).


Just think about this for a moment.


We are blessed to have that opportunity to not only pick up a Bible and read it, but to own a Bible and not have it confiscated, unlike the countries that Christians are suffering persecution in and smuggle Bibles into regularly.


We probably have become too comfortable, in that the Bible is sitting there whenever we are ready, but God is waiting for us. God is waiting to speak with us through His Word. The devil can make us feel like we will never be ready to hear what God has to say, that’s why dwelling in the scriptures daily can encourage us when we don’t feel like doing our devotions or studying one or two verses.


You, or someone you know, may be cold at heart, or praying for someone who is unsaved or backslidden. But if they were brought up with the scriptures, God promises that His Word “shall not return…void” because “it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). God’s Word, when it dwells in your heart, never leaves. He has promised to never leave us, and that includes the very words of the Bible. It’s a wonderful thought!


This week, ask God to search your heart and know your thoughts, and to take away anything wicked, evil, sinful, ungodly out of your mind, and to lead you to Him through prayer and study. Meditate on the word of God, and it will dwell in you richly, in all wisdom (Psalm 139:23-24).

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