Tell Yourself the Truth – March 3, 2023

I know my habit or sin will ultimately lead to problems. I have tried to overcome and cast off this idol, but I simply cannot. Over the last few weeks, we looked at the path to successfully killing our idols. We concluded last week with the observation that our idols lie to us. As a result, we must speak the Truth to ourselves.

Often, we do not overcome our idols, and we do not overcome sin because we listen to ourselves instead of talking to ourselves. We listen as our flesh states that we need those idols and sins. We listen as our flesh tells us that we do not have the power to overcome these idols. But we do have the power and ability. So, Paul challenged us to talk to ourselves. 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 (Colossians 3:16). In this text, Paul gives us three ways we are to walk in the spirit. Three ways we are to speak Truth to ourselves.

First, Paul tells us to let Christ’s Word dwell in us richly. We are to speak the Word. The Word is the power for life change. So, we are to let the Bible dwell in us. This insinuates consistent reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture. If we ignore the Word, we cannot overcome our idols. We cannot overcome sin if we fail to spend time in the Word. As a result, Paul challenges us to let it dwell in us richly. The Word is to be overabundant in our lives. Letting the Word dwell richly in us is like sitting at a buffet and going all in. When we let the Word dwell in us richly, it is more than reading a few verses out of duty. It is more than trying to get our God stuff out of the way for the day. It is something that characterizes who we are. We ooze the Word. You cannot grow, and you cannot overcome your idol without God’s Word.

Second, we speak the Truth to ourselves through God’s people. Paul continues in Colossians 3:16 that we are to teach and admonish one another. God did not design the Christian life to be a solo sport. God does not intend for you to do this Christian life alone. God created this institution called the church for a reason. One of the reasons God created the church was for our mutual spiritual growth. We are to look out for one another. As a result, one of the ways that we overcome sin and idols is through the sanctifying work of the body of Christ. What does this look like? It means we edify one another daily. We speak to each other throughout the week. In these conversations, we challenge one another to overcome our sins. We ask how each other is doing in our fight against sin. We encourage one another with what God has taught us in His Word. We speak the Truth to one another.

Cambria Baptist Church is not a social club. This church is the visible body of Christ where we gather and scatter to exhort one another to overcome sin and idols and declare God’s glory to all people. You cannot overcome sin or your idol if this church body is not your priority. You will always struggle with idols when you separate your church life from the rest of your life.

Third, Paul informs us in Colossians 3:16 that we are to speak Truth through song. This means several things to us. First, it means that our singing is essential. When we sing as a congregation, it is not simply a duty we perform. We are singing to one another. Therefore, it is not dependent on your ability, nor is it not dependent on your mood. You are responsible to the rest of this body to sing for all you are worth.

Second, it means that what we sing is important. God’s Truth must mark our songs. They must mean something. The Truth that they proclaim must be clear. They cannot be surface or trite. And if they are theologically deep, I must think about them. I cannot disengage my mind and go through the motions because singing is not my thing. Here is the reality, it better become your thing because you will do it all eternity.

Third, it means that we sing corporately. This is why I am passionate about our congregational singing. We do not come to church to be entertained. We come to church to participate. So, we sing! We sing heartily. We sing loudly. And we sing passionately because we sing for God and one another. My Christian duty as a member of God’s church is to sing passionately to you as a congregation.

Speaking Truth to ourselves through God’s song also has some ramifications about what you listen to in your own time. You will struggle with sin and idols if you engage in a steady diet of this world’s music. Nothing is redeeming about the music of the popular culture. There is nothing about it that will make you more like Christ. Nothing is worthwhile, from the philosophies behind the songs to the emotional concepts driving the songs, to the lyrics, and to the performers’ lifestyles. And if you engage in a steady diet of it, you will struggle. Fill your heart with God’s songs: true songs that challenge you to live Truth (not just songs that make you feel an emotional high). Fill your mind with theologically deep songs and Scripture-saturated. When we fill our minds with these things, we begin to think like Christ.

There are two more important aspects to overcoming our indwelling sin and idols of our hearts. We will conclude this topic with these aspects next week. In the meantime, speak the Truth to yourself this week through God’s Word, people, and song.