Today’s verb is very interesting.
Maybe even a little “risky,” too!
Paul is suggesting that we become proficient at “admonishing” one another, Christian to Christian!
Colossians 3:16 provides the warrant for such an idea. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and ADMONISHING one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
The Greek word used here for “admonishing” is a participle. That basically means it is a verb serving as an adjective. Like this: “As God’s Word ‘dwells’ in us … ‘copiously inhabiting our hearts and minds’ … then let us be an “admonishing” people.
So, technically, “admonishing” is NOT an imperative, not a stark command. Not here. It is more a suggestion, an ideal, a perfect scenario.
But still … what does it mean, “admonishing?”
The Greek is “noutheteo.”
It’s a compound word, linking “nous” (the human “mind”) and a form of “tithemi” (a verb meaning “to put, to place, to set”) … thus “to put someone in mind” of a certain truth … or a more Biblical pattern of life.
To remind them, however, with some sternness, if need be.
In fact, in 4 of the word’s 8 appearances in the New Testament (King James Version) it is translated “to warn” someone! Then the other 4 times it is rendered “to admonish.” (In Latin, “monere” means “to advise” someone! The prefix “ad” means “to, toward” them as well, face-to-face!”)
Now, here are the 4 “warning” verses:
Paul, in Acts 20:31, said to a group of Ephesian Christians: “Remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not TO WARN (“noutheteo”) every one night and day with tears.”
Then to the Corinthians, Paul (as their Pastor) communicated: “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I WARN (“noutheteo”) you.” 1st Corinthians 4:14
Then to the Colossians, different than our Text, too. “Whom (our Lord) we preach, WARNING (“noutheteo”)every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:28
Then, to the Thessalonians! “Now we exhort you, brethren, WARN (“noutheteo”) warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” 1st Thessalonians 5:14
Wow, to 4 different congregations! (The Ephesians, the Corinthians, the Colossians and the Thessalonians too!) Paul taught this “admonishing one another” idea everywhere he went, apparently.
And what a strong verb this is!
” … teaching and ADMONISHING one another ….”
“Keep people in mind” … of certain facets of Bible Truth!
And if you see that Christian man or woman begin to “drift,” to “err,” ADMONISH him! WARN her of the dangers that likely are ahead!
Seriously remind them of the pitfalls of drifting from the Lord.
By the way, “admonish” them carefully.
Not like you are “better” than they are, more holy, or superior!
Caution them meekly, having an humble, lowly spirit.
Like Galatians 6:1 teaches us. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one … in the SPIRIT OF MEEKNESS; CONSIDERING THYSELF, LEST THOU ALSO BE TEMPTED.” Galatians 6:1
Love them enough … to warn them!
Our very DUTY one to another!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell