One of our aims at Bethlehem College & Seminary is to raise up Bible-saturated men and women. That particular aim lines up well with the words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Colossae. There, Paul writes these words:
“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 Colossians 3, Paul reminded believers who they were in Jesus. They were those who had been “raised with Christ” (3:1). Therefore, they should “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (3:2). In light of this stunning reality, these raised-to-life believers should put off sin (3:5–10) and put on righteousness (3:12–15). Then, from putting certain realities on, Paul calls them to let something “dwell” within. Namely, the Colossians believers should “let the word of Christ dwell [in them] richly” (3:16).
The question we should ask is how might the believers obey this call to action? That is, what are the means through which the word might be caused to dwell within them? I think Paul gives us the answer in what follows. The Colossians Christians let the word of Christ dwell in them by giving themselves to “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thanksgiving in [their] hearts to God” (3:16). So, let the word of, or about, Christ course through your individual and corporate life by leaning into teaching and admonishing from the Word, which often takes the form of singing the Word (i.e. Bible-saturated songs) to one another. If the believers would do this, the Word of Christ would “dwell in them richly.” Or, to put it in my own words, they would be Bible-saturated people.
Now, here at Bethlehem College & Seminary, we certainly want to heed Paul’s admonition. Charles Spurgeon once said that if you prick John Bunyan, he would bleed Bible. Like Bunyan, we want the Word of Christ to pump through our arteries. Yes, we want our students to engage with Aristotle, read Shakespeare, and to wrestle with Calvin, Edwards, and Piper. But more than anything, we want them to know Moses and David and Mark and John and Paul and Peter (among the other authors of Holy Writ). The Bible, after all, is our most important and central text.
Towards that end, our whole curriculum stands on the foundational realities of God’s Word. In our college, we study the great books in light of the Greatest Book for the sake of the Great Commission. In our seminary, we aim to train pastoral apprentices to handle the Bible with care and precision for the good of churches around the world. And we aim at all of this for the good of our own souls, the joy of all people, and the glory of our God.
Would you pray for us as we undertake this task in this now two-week-old semester? Pray that through all of our efforts, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, the word of Christ would dwell richly within our hearts.
Jonathon D. Woodyard, MDiv ’16
Dean of Admissions
Assistant Professor of Theology & History
- Pray that each of us would be marked by the dwelling of the word of Christ in us.
- Pray for our students and faculty as they adjust back into school rhythms.
- Praise the Lord with us for an excellent start to the school year with the return of community events.
- Pray that the Lord would bring in the final funds needed to cover the costs of our current Alex Steddom Fund grantees and to invite a Boaz Prince for fall 2022.