Before arriving at verse 16, Paul tells us to “put on … compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another …[and] forgiving each other.” Above all of this, he says to put on love. This is a tall order, especially in light of what comes naturally to us (see 3:8-10). How does this happen?
First, we “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” (3:15). That is, we allow Jesus to come and sit on the throne of our lives. When Jesus rules our lives, there is peace.
Paul then says, in addition to being in that relationship to Jesus as Lord and Savior, to let the word of Christ dwell in us. Spending time dwelling in the Bible has a transformative effect. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God speaks to us through his word and does a work on our hearts.
It should also be noted that this time in God’s word is not simply personal, but corporate. This is a ministry that is shared with other believers. We should gossip the gospel together.
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)
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.