After Paul explains to the Colossians their new position in Christ, he exhorts them to keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father (Colossians 3:1). This means that believers should value what Christ values, and one of those things that believers should highly value is to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16, ESV). Believers should be setting their minds on things above, not on the things of earth because of where Christ is and because our lives are hidden in Him (Colossians 3:2–3). One day we will be revealed with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4), but in the meantime we ought to consider the members of our bodies as dead to sinful things (Colossians 3:5–9). We ought to put on the new self—to actually walk according to our new natures—and be renewed according to the true knowledge of Christ (Colossians 3:10).
The lives of believers ought to reflect newness of life in every area of our lives (Colossians 3:10–13), and we especially ought to be exhibiting Christlike love (Colossians 3:14). We ought to be filled with His peace, which is part of our calling, and we ought to be filled with thankfulness (Colossians 3:15). Paul urges his readers to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” God’s Word—His message about Christ—should be at home in us. It should be overflowing in us.
To let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, we must spend a great deal of time in the Bible learning about Him. We must cherish His Word in our hearts, as the psalmist put it in Psalm 119:11. Paul adds that there are some ways that we ought to express the word of Christ dwelling richly in us. We ought to be teaching and challenging each other with thanksgiving and songs (Colossians 3:16). Ultimately, letting the word of Christ dwell richly in us should help us to do everything in the name of Jesus, that is, according to what He has communicated that He desires (Colossians 3:17). Paul explains in the context what it looks like to let the word of Christ dwell richly in us.
In the exhortation to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” Paul provides a vital way to assess whether we are walking according to God’s design. Recall that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). God has a design for our lives, and He has revealed that design in His Word. If we aren’t spending time in the Bible, listening to what God has said there, then we are missing out on the riches of walking according to our calling (see Ephesians 4:1). We ought to be known as people in whom God’s Word dwells richly.