It turns out this chapter forms its own chiastic structure:
1a) Col 3:1-9, The affections of the children of obedience and disobedience:
— 1a.1) Col 3:1-4, The risen with Christ set their affections on the things above, appearing with Him in glory (chiasm);
— 1a.2) Col 3:5-9, Put off that for which the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience (chiasm);
1b) Col 3:10-15a, Put on the new man, as the elect of God, holy and beloved (chiasm);
1c) Col 3:15b, And be thankful;
central axis) Col 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly/ teaching + singing with grace;
2c) Col 3:17, Whatever you do in word or deed, do in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to the Father;
2b) Col 3:17-23, What wives, husbands, children, fathers, and servants are to put on (chiasm);
2a) Col 3:24-25, The reward of the children of obedience and disobedience:
— 2a.1) Col 3:24, From the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance;
— 2a.2) Col 3:25, He who does wrong shall receive wrong’s recompense without partiality.
We learn that the things we set the affections of our hearts on, are the things we will do in word and deed. Words and actions do not come from thin air, but they are produced in the heart, the “production room” if you will, of each person. Therefore, the central axis: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. It is something we allow or do not allow, our choice. If we were to honestly look at our lives, and see there a struggle with improper affections or appetites, or anger and filthy talk coming out of our mouths, we can change it by changing what we let our hearts dwell on. If we set our affections on the things of the earth, then we will produce the wrong for which God has stored up wrath, without partiality. No one will escape it because they are members of the right church. But if we let the word of Christ dwell richly in us, setting our affections on the things above, then we will produce those things that receive the reward of the inheritance of the children of God, the children of obedience.