Sunday Worship at 11AM | 4967 Fincher Rd., Canton, GA 30114

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. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17 ESV)

You and I were created for community (Genesis 2:18). Although we’ve been walking through these 40 days of prayer and fasting as individuals, we’ve also been doing so as a church body. For the majority of our time together, we’ve been looking at the individual believer’s responsibility to God. We’ve discussed over and over again how we grow in knowledge and intimacy with God. We’ve talked about the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and private worship. We’ve only scratched the surface of our Biblical responsibility to each other, so we’ll spend some time doing that today.

Before we dive into the focal verse, I want to remind you that every believer should be a part of a local church body. Although we are individually part of the global Church (capital C) we are also called to belong to, support, and engage with other believers in the local church community. The writer of Hebrews says it this way: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

I need to stop for a minute and address something important: your faith is not a private matter. You are not called to simply come to Christ and keep your faith to yourself. True Christian faith can’t help but invade every part of our lives and our relationships. Said a different way, we need each other. We don’t just need each other when we are hurting, we also need each other when we are straying. We need each other to stir us up to love and good works. We are the family of God and need to support, love, admonish, teach, and stir one another up!

Paul reminds the church at Colossae to teach and admonish one another. As a preacher and teacher, it is my life’s call to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world. It is also God’s call on my life to help disciple believers to become more mature in their faith. Can I share a secret with you? This call is for you too. Now don’t misunderstand… I don’t think God is calling us all to get up and preach or even to teach a Sunday School class, but I do think the call is for us to teach and admonish one another. The call is to accountability and vulnerability in our relationships with one another. In order to see a healthy, thriving church, we must form deep, Biblical, Christ honoring relationships with each other.

The Greek for admonish is noutheteó, meaning to caution or reprove gently. In my experience, admonishing one another is normally where the train runs off the tracks. Because admonish means to reprove, and reprove implies kind intent to correct a fault, admonishing one another means we aren’t all perfect.

If we are supposed to admonish one another but often this causes explosive division among believers, what could possibly be going wrong? Look back at our focal verse. We are called to let the “word of Christ dwell” in us richly. Before we can ever live together in a healthy, mature, thriving community of grace, love, and truth, the word of Christ must dwell within us.

When the word of Christ dwells in us, some things become plainly apparent to us. We remember that it was the mercy, grace, and love of God that set us free in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). We remember that we are sinners too, we need Jesus (1 Timothy 1:15, Romans 3:23). We know that God loves us apart from our own works and we are saved through faith alone in Christ alone (John 3:16, Romans 5:8). We know that we are called to share the love, mercy, and grace of Christ with others (Matthew 28:19-20). Finally, we remember we are called to do good to all people, especially those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).

With the word of Christ dwelling in us richly, now we are ready for teaching and admonishing. Notice something… this isn’t a one-way street. If you are so busy doing all the teaching and admonishing that you are never being taught or gently reproved, something is wrong. From my observation and experience, this is where the train starts to wobble. When people are quick to correct others but slow to listen to correction, people begin to become closed off, guarded, and cold.

I want to challenge you to consider this question: are you actively engaged with the mission of Jesus Christ in our church? Are you teachable? Are you willing to move past superficial, surface level Christianity and move into deep, committed relationships with other believers? Even those you don’t like? Are you willing to have tough, uncomfortable conversations? Are you willing to open your eyes and your ears to hear and see what other believers are saying? If not, you need to stop and seriously consider why.

As we wrap up today, I want to remind you that you aren’t loving others because of who they are. You are loving others because of God’s love for you. The call is to do everything (yes, that too) in the name of the Lord Jesus. This includes how you love people, how you disagree with people, and even how you fight or struggle with other people. Through all this, let us give thanks to God as we honor Jesus with what we do and say.

Father, thank you for the community You created for us in the church. Thank You Lord that I can interact with other believers. Thank You for those who teach me, admonish me, and walk-through life with me. Jesus, I am thankful for the unity we can experience because of You. Holy Spirit, as Jesus and the Father are One, I pray You would help us become one. Help us find true, Biblical, Christ honoring unity. We know that we can’t do this without You. We humble ourselves before You and ask for Your help. In Jesus’ name, amen.




Categories: Devotion