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. (Colossians 3:16)
Today’s big question: does the inerrant Word have lasting impact in the church?
I just love church days. I rise from my bed knowing that I am going to a place where my family (i.e., family in Christ) will gather together as one body, and we will do as Colossians 3:16 says. Around the Word of Christ, we will come together in all our diversity to unite in His teaching and praise His name in attitude and song. Not only is this how it is supposed to be, but this is how—in authenticity—it has always been. Since the apostles set forth the foundations for the church on the Word of Christ, the church has always relied on Scripture for wisdom, truth, teaching, and practice.
Throughout the history of the church, there have certainly been occasions where the church has abandoned the inerrancy of God’s Word to proclaim human tradition or philosophy, but God has always raised up His people to bring us back to the truth. The Word of Christ (which is all of Scripture) has always been the sole source of wisdom in which we are to dwell, as it dwells in us.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul is helping a newly established church know that its foundation in the inerrancy of Scripture dwelling richly within them will keep them united in the faith and strong on the task. Previous to this verse, Paul warns them against allowing human philosophy to take them captive, away from the inerrant truth of Christ. So it is no surprise that, when talking of their unity as a gathering, he first centers upon that wisdom richly dwelling within them.
Biblical inerrancy is not, nor has ever been, a doctrine invented through a reaction to negative “higher” biblical criticism. The true church has always believed in biblical inerrancy (i.e., the truth of the Word of Christ), at its foundation, whether we have realized it or not. The wonderful reality is that a correct understanding of this foundation of biblical inerrancy leads us to a confidence in true worship. By allowing the Word of Christ to dwell richly within them, the Colossian believers could then teach and admonish each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as an outpouring of that truth. The church does not corporately worship on a flimsy foundation, and never has. We have the firmest foundation for the most confidence in praise, thanksgiving, teaching and understanding, practice of sacraments, and even just for the warmth of Christian fellowship. We have this confidence because Christ’s Word is true and utterly reliable—the firmest of foundation.
Today’s big idea: The doctrine of inerrancy is not a reaction to criticism but a foundation for worship.
What to pray: ask God to help you measure your worship of Him by the truth of His Word.