“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. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Both verses should be familiar to most on this list, rather than segregate the two; I think they go well tied together.
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 3:12-17.
INTERMEDIATE CONTEXT: 3:1-17.
EXTENDED CONTEXT: 3:1-4:6.
Paul addresses practical Christianity and defines what it looks like when found in one’s life. The apostle addressed those who named the name of Christ and were born again through the obedient step of baptism, “If then you were raised with Christ…” (3:1, cf. 2:12). Christians are to center their minds on things above (3:1, 2). A mind set on heaven is living a life that is dead to sin with a view toward the life given when Christ comes again. This requires:
- The mortification of sinful ambitions (3:5-9).
- Living as a new man. It is not only refraining from sinful vices, but employing positive change. A Christian replaces the traits of the old man with tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness, love, and thanksgiving (3:10-15).
- Generous hospitality toward the word dwelling in us richly. His word is our honored guest to teach and admonish us. Christians should be the most teachable and compliable of all people (3:16).
- Singing songs which honor God and admonishes one another (3:16).
- Willful and thankful submission to His name (word or law; Jn. 16:6, 8). We remain thankful to God through Christ (3:17). Rather than being lawless, the Christian is grateful and law abiding.
Domestic applications are made from the points mentioned above (3:18-4:1).
- The wife and her relationship with the husband.
- The husband and his relationship with the wife.
- The children and their relationship with the parents.
- The father and his relationship with his children
- The slave and his relationship to the master and vice-versa.
- The religion of Christ demands a complete makeover. God does not desire that we turn over a new leaf, but rather that we grow into a completely different tree (Col. 2:7; 3:3, 10ff). The Christian’s conversion has a marked death to one lifestyle and a marked birth of a completely new one.
- The indwelling guest? The Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:11; 2 Tim. 1:14). The Spirit dwells in us through the medium of His Word (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:18, 19). The indwelling of the Word and Spirit is having the faith dwell in us (2 Tim. 1:5).
- Can one be thankful for unscriptural worship? Can one be thankful in praising God with instrumental music? How can he, if he cannot prove such to be of the word/name of Christ (Col. 3:16, 17)?
- Parenting: do not be your child’s buddy, but the parent (Col. 3:20, 21).
- Work ethic: work in a way with the Lord in view and not men (Col. 3:23).
- How do you think and speak of God’s ministers? Where the old man slanders, speaks evil, and lies about, the new man earnestly prays for and expresses thanksgiving of (4:2-4; contrast Col. 3:9; Eph. 4:31; 2 Cor. 6:8). The Christian who slanders is a Christian who died in sin and raised up the old man.
- God’s dividing line: outside/inside. God has a dividing line for all humanity. One is either “inside” or “outside” the church (Col. 4:5; 1 Thess. 4:15; 1 Cor. 5:12, 13; Acts 2:47; Col. 1:18; Heb. 12:23). Have deep consideration of one’s example before outsiders (4:5, 6).
- “Be thankful” (Col. 3:15, 17; 4:2). The open display of the attitude of gratitude is consistent with the mind of Christ (Lk. 10:21; Jn. 11:41).
Our newest memory verse is Philippians 1:21:
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 1:19-26.
A small memory verse with a big message! For the Christian who is faithful, this is defining. To continue in the flesh “is Christ.” That is, to continue to live is to continue to bear fruit from labor. On the other hand, to no longer live in the flesh but die, (as he was awaiting his judgment in prison), is to experience gain! For Paul, it is a win-win situation and at the same time one which is hard pressed to answer. He wanted to remain so as to continue his labor and encourage his brethren, but his “departure” was to be with Christ and is “far better.” How many of us can view life with this perspective, this confidence, this attitude?
Steven J. Wallace
Our latest memory verse comes from the book of Ephesians. Ephesians 6:17 takes us back to fundamental of the faith—understanding what the will of the Lord is.
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: Ephesians 5:15-21
EXTENDED CONTEXT: Ephesians 5:1-21
My NKJV Bible provided a good breakdown of this context as:
- Walk in Love (5:1-7)
- Walk in Light (5:8-14)
- Walk in Wisdom (5:15-21)
Steven J. Wallace
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: Galatians 6:6-10.
EXTENDED CONTEXT: Galatians 5:1-6:15.
BREAKDOWN OF CONTEXT:
- Do not become entangled or estranged from Christ (Gal. 5:1-6). The danger of practicing things religiously which are not of the covenant of Christ (circumcision, Law of Moses).
- Our liberty from the Law of Moses is not liberty to live according to the flesh but in love (Gal. 5:7-15).
- The contrast of walking in the Spirit versus walking in the flesh amplified (Gal. 5:16-26).
- Individual duties and applications of walking in the Spirit (Gal. 6:1-15).
- Reach out to reclaim those overtaken in sin (Gal. 6:1, 2).
- Review our own work and standing with God (Gal. 6:3-5).
- Recompense the teacher of the word (Gal. 6:6).
- Remember what you sow is what you reap (Gal. 6:7-9).
- Recognize opportunities to do good (Gal. 6:10).
- Rejoice in the cross (Gal. 6:11-15).
--Steven J. Wallace
Bible Recall Memory Verse:
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21. This could be extended back to 5:9 where the aim is expressly stated to please God and to consider the coming judgment of God heavily.
Historically, the Corinthians heard, believed and were baptized into Christ (Acts 18:8; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13). Their new birth began when they initially obeyed the gospel, and it is the same today. While some were formerly fornicators, idolaters, homosexuals, drunkards, etc. they were forgiven and are no longer identified as such (1 Cor. 6:9-11). In their obedience, they were washed, sanctified, and justified. The Christian is a forgiven person, but he is not pardoned to continue in sin, but to transform into a “new creation.” Paul defined it well, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).