About “within” – About “together”

Let the word which is* Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and thinking** together*** in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts within* the Lord. Col. 3:16

Simultaneously experiencing Christ intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually in physical proximity, in an attitude of mutual support, connection, and unity with each other by singing together strengthens wisdom and grace in us as individuals and as a group.  Much of church form is based on the idea that someone is sharing information or trying to get people inspired about Christ and everyone else is either cooperating or resisting attempts made by the “exhorter.” Considering definitions and context, this verse describes a deeper and more mutual experience that questions the “exhorter” – “exhortee” model.

* ὅ  “ho” and ἐν ὅ  “en ho” are both translated “of” but “en” actually means “in or within” and “ho” denotes “who, which, that, what.” We can sing, talk and teach about Christ but the idea of singing, talking, and teaching within Him seems like a deeper experience.

**νουθετέω nouthetéō means “to put in mind.”   According to Strong’s the translations “admonish, warn, gently reprove, or exhort” are made “by implication.” Sadly, too often in the church  the idea of admonishment and exhortation has lost it’s gentleness and become separated from the mutuality and reciprocity inherent in the idea of being within Christ together.

***ἑαυτοῦ heautou tr. “one another” is a personal pronoun used to indicate that the one doing the action and the one acted upon are the same; to indicate mutual or reciprocal arrangement within the plural pronoun; and to remove ambiguity.

Lord, bring each into all that we may be in You, through You, and of You rather than just about You.