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Dec 03, 2017

Living In the Living Word

Living In the Living Word

Passage: Colossians 3:16

Preacher: Andrew Repsold

Series: Colossians

Keywords: bible, god's word, living in christ, memorization, meditation


Application of biblical truth often is lacking in much of our church teaching/preaching. This message, done by a father-son duo, while having plenty of meat to chew on in teaching, is weighted to engage people in the process of "letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly."


Living In the Living Word

Colossians 3:16

December 3, 2017

INTRO:  Conversation with Pastor Russ this week, Pastor at New Community Church next door.

  • Some students who had come to him saying they would be changing churches. “Why?”  You don’t do enough exegesis of the text, i.e. picking it apart grammatically, teaching the theology, giving hitherto unknown knowledge about it.  Too much time in APPLICATION! 
  • How much of, say, a 30 minute message do I spend on app? 15? “No.” 10?  “No.”  5?  “Maybe.”  So maybe <20%.
  • Russ asked, “How much of, say, Ephesians, does Paul make about application? 6 chapters >> 3 (4-6)
  • Romans? 16 chapters >> 5 (12-16)
  • So really, even at 20%, he’s doing less than the Apostle Paul modeled.

Jesus said, “Blessed is he who hears my word and obeys it.”  Not “studies and knows,” not “exegetes and parses.”  Not “hears and thinks about.”  It is “hears & OBEYS!”  (Mt. 7:24, 26; Lk. 6:47, 49)

            So this morning, rather than train and condition you for more disobedience by just having us all sit here and listen to more teaching, today’s teaching is going to seek to help us all DO what just one verse of Colossians is calling us to DO.

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

Let me spend 3 minutes unwrapping what it is teaching us. Then I’ll let someone who is much better at teaching us HOW to do WHAT Paul is commanding us to do. 

[Colored breakdown of the verse—another good Bible study tool.]

  • Word of Christ”—the logos of Christ. His words to us.  His teachings.  His truth.  The spoken/written word of the Living Word of God, Jesus.
  • Dwell”—Present, Active, Imperative. It’s THE command of this passage.  Used only 5 times in the N.T.—refers either to the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit in every Christ-follower (Rm. 8:11; 2 Cor. 6:16; 2 Tim. 1:14) OR of the “faith” of a believer that lived in Timothy’s mother and grandmother their whole lives (2 Tim. 1:5) and the “word of Christ” in this passage.  Meaning? God’s word is to take up permanent, active, ongoing residence in us in such a rich way that we are made ‘rich’ in our experience of Christ. 
  • HOW? 3 present participles: 
    • “Teaching”—“to impart skill or knowledge”; Notice that we are ALL to be doing this. We are all to come together with a heart and mind not only to receive
    • “Admonishing”—instruction with passion (Acts 20:31); training as you would a child (1 Cor. 4:14); calling to active work (I Thess. 5:14). Calling someone into growth, growing up

HOW?  “In all wisdom….”  Not our own ideas but the eternal wisdom of God and His Spirit. 

  • “Singing”—exactly what it says: your voice in song.  Usually the Psalms; also spiritual truths put to words. 

HOW?  Is to be done in the spirit of thankfulness of heart TO GOD..

So Jesus’ word is to take up residence in each of us to such a degree that we are teaching and admonishing each other to growth in Christ AND expressing our heartfelt gratitude to God with song. 

Clear enough?

INTRO Andrew—has grown very good at causing both music and words to “live in/dwell in” him.  2 music degrees require a vast amount of memorization.  So I’ve asked him to come and teach us how to obey the “dwell in you richly” part of this passage.  Get ready to have some fun!   

Andrew Repsold's Message

Memorizing (Scripture)

  1. Q. How many of us would like to have more scripture memorized?

-Maybe people want to memorize, they just don’t know how to.

Today’s Goal:  Learn how to memorize…by memorizing a verse! 

(you will have John 15:7 memorized by the end of today)

  1. Learn about memory. What is happening in our brain when we repeat something.
  2. Explore how we can memorize better? (more efficiently and deeper)

(3.)  Application: Memorizing John 15:7

-Recite John 15:7 to them…JUST LISTEN. (put on screen)

-how I chose this verse. 

Navigators, since 1933: “Our purpose is to know Christ and to make him known through making disciples.” (60 Bible verses that decades of Christians have found helpful for their walk with Christ).

-A verse I didn’t understand at first but now really enjoy and benefit from.

note: some of the things I ask us to do may be a little different than we normally do but it is all carefully thought out so that by the end of the service, you will have this verse memorized.

  • (please stand) and read John 15:7 together twice.
  1. Learn about memory.

Watch video:       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2O6mQkFiiw   (stop at 2:03)


-Repetition (of anything) reinforces. This means the more you do something, the better you get at it.   …at doing the thing you repeated.

Explain the image of a super highway in the brain.

Examples: Walking. (Playing an instrument…me with drums)

Efficiency: It is better to repeat something perfectly 10 times then to repeat it with partial correctness 50 or even 100 times.

(application: leaning small chunks perfectly and then adding to them. As opposed to running the entire section over and over again with occasional mistakes).

  • -Practice with the congregation, just the reference…John 15, John 15:7

(for the 65% of visual learners…image of a library wall may be helpful?)

There are positive and negative implications to the truth that repetition reinforces.  (explain)

Positive: you can get better and better at things if you continue to practice them.

Negative: There may be things (behaviors and thoughts) which you reinforce daily that you don’t want to be good at.          or     Patterns of pre-believer life that are really hard for you to break…will very likely take time to break/widdle down/reprogram.   

(talk about release from sinful habits)

God made the brain so that whatever we do over and over again, we get better at…

but it is up to us what we will reinforce.

1 Cor. 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new has come!

  1. Explore how we can memorize better?

-repetition reinforces. (but it also becomes mind numbing) (we think 7x faster than most people speak)

Practice together: “John 15, John 15:7…”If you remain in me…”

Multiple pathways of learning are stronger than a single pathway.

  1. Q. What ways can we approach thinking about this verse so that we are repeating it with an engaged mind?

(Show them the bullet points and then repeat the verse 4 times.)

  • Mental repetition.
  • Verbal repetition.
  • Repetition with physical motions. (optional) but movement helps blood flow which helps oxygen to the brain.
  • Repetition with visual connections/mental associations.

examples, me remembering names  (bellame)    Gary

show my visual drawings

Do the Song! Capo 3       C F C G     C Am F G

ref. 2x  verse 2-4times   reference 2x

(stand or raise hands (if you cannot stand) if you are saying the reference)

  • Repetition with structural (logical) connections…acquired through MEDITATION.
  • Repetition through time. (take breaks and come back to it later)


Meditation on John 15:7

(seeking to understand what it is we are memorizing)

What truth is this verse communicating? The real spiritual benefit of memorizing comes from this…having the verse memorized equates to having powerful truths memorized.

I’m going to walk you through my 3 Parts to this verse

  • Last part is what I noticed first.
  • First part…”REMAIN.”

(two camps, those who are live ‘in Christ’ and those who are not.)

Remain implies I cannot remain in Christ.

Application Question: What might I be doing that pushes me away from Christ. Any behaviors or thought patterns that are unholy and sinful that I am abiding in?

“John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide I my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

This makes me want to pursue study of the Bible to learn what his commandments are and then live them out.

The first part seems to be focusing on Behavior.

  • The Second Part…”My words” …seems to be focusing more on the mind. Specifically, my mind becoming more like the mind of Christ.

The more I abide in his truths (memorize scripture, learn from pastors and Bible commentaries) the more my thinking becomes sanctified, wholesome and true.  …and thereby my desires become more like God’s desires.

Application Question:

How can I do a better job of obtaining the mind of Christ?

  • Back to the last part… “Ask”. What things am I going to ask for?  

God to be glorified in my life.  

and for me to experience the joy (contentment, peace, sureness) that comes from living in that way.

Application Question:

What things can we ask from God with absolute assurance that He will give them?

Take away:   SEEK good things from God.

-Greater Faith

-Be a better Father. Husband. Worker. Musician.

-Release from sin/temptation. (anger at other drivers)

-boldness to talk about God and my relationship with him.


If you remain in me…and my words remain in you…ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.

…because the things you ask for will be in accord with God’s character and will ultimately bring him glory.

The more verses we do this with, the better off we will be.

  • Repetition through time. (take breaks and come back to it later)

-review later today…ideally right before bed.