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Summary: Message 21 in our Colossians study on our responsibility to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ.1

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Chico Alliance Church

“Ambassadors for Christ”

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Col. 3:16

The word of Christ is that body of truth endorsed by Christ, spoken by Christ and passed on by Christ to his disciples who in turn recorded them for us. Teaching the truths of Christ is as much part of our Great Commission as baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We often focus on the baptizing part and forget the teaching part. In order to effectively teach the word of Christ, it must be allowed to be at home in every part of our life. To live implies ownership or authority. So often we don’t want the word that close because it requires life-change. It requires we allow someone else to be in charge. The Word of God is active and living. Psalm 119 Blesses, Stabilizes, Purifies, Counsels, Delights, Strengthens, Encourages Reverence, Saves, Revives, Comforts, Preserves, Illumines, Sustains, Makes wise, Delivers, Establishes, Enlightens.

It is the source of faith.

It is the source of life.

It is the source of new birth.

It is the source of spiritual growth.

It is the source of blessing.

It is he source of hope.

It is the source of answered prayer.

It purifies and sanctifies.

It transforms and revives the soul.

It continually nourishes the soul.

It works.

It brings stability in the storms of life.

It defends against the lies of the enemy.

It defeats the enemy as a sword.

It keeps from sin.

It exposes sin.

It brings freedom from sin.

The impact of the Word is realized as each individual believer is filled with the Word of Christ and ministers the Word of Christ to one another as a way of life. We have the wonderful promise that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, we know the heart of the father and have the ear of the Father. When we have God’s ear we are in tune with his will and when we are in tune with God’s will we become usable tools. God’s word to provides the framework for life here in our fallen world. It communicates how we are to live as representatives of the Kingdom.

The natural result when we abide in the word and the word abides in us it to communicate it to others. In this passage Paul refers to teaching and admonishing. Paul highlighted these very two vital body functions earlier in his letter (1:28)

There he expressed his all consuming purpose in life.

We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Here Paul calls believers to teach and admonish one another. This is the core of body life. The results of a believer or body in which the Word of Christ is allowed to dwell is ministry to one another.

“teaching” present participle

Common from Homer, this word denotes teaching and learning in the wide sense of imparting theoretical and practical knowledge with the highest possible development of the pupil as the goal.

The word to teach is also the word to learn. It refers to both. The teacher has not really taught until the student has learned. Biblically they are the same.

“admonishing”

The verb means “to impart understanding,” “to set right,” “to lay on the heart.” The stress is on influencing not merely the intellect but the will and disposition. The word thus acquires such senses as “to admonish,” “to warn,” “to remind,” and “to correct.” It describes a basic means of education. Philo and Clement of Alexandria speak about God or Christ warning, censuring, and encouraging us in this way. The idea is not that of punishment but of a moral appeal that leads to amendment. In this sense it takes on the meaning “to discipline.”

God enlists each one of us is in the teaching and admonishing business. God intends that His Word implanted in our heart bear fruit out of our mouth in order to energize those we touch. God used Ezra to spur a national revival. Look at his attitude toward the Word of God.

the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:10

Ephesians warns against the relentless recitation of worthless words and instructs all believers to verbalize words that build up those who hear and offer grace to those in need.

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