Colossians 3:12-17

12 So, as those who have been 1chosen of God, holy and beloved, 2put on a 3heart of compassion, kindness, 4humility, gentleness and 5patience;
13 6bearing with one another, and 7forgiving each other, whoever * has a complaint against anyone; 8just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is 9the perfect bond of 10unity.
15 Let 11the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in 12one body; and be thankful.
16 Let 13the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom 14teaching and admonishing one another 15with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, 16singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 18giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

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Colossians 3:12-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO COLOSSIANS 3

This chapter contains exhortations to several duties, some more general, which relate to all Christians, and others more particular, which belong to saints in such and such a state of life. The apostle begins with an exhortation to seek things heavenly, and not earthly, and to set the affections on the one, and not on the other: the arguments used to enforce it are taken from the saints being risen with Christ; from Christ being in heaven at the Father's right hand; from their being dead to sin, the law, and the world; from their having life in Christ safe and secure; yea, from Christ being their life, and their appearance with him in glory, Col 3:1-4. And next he proceeds to an exhortation to the mortification of sin, and the deeds of it, which he urges from the wrath of God coming upon men for these things, and from the consideration of their former state and condition, expressed by walking and living in them, Col 3:5-7, and by a metaphor taken from the putting off and on of garments, he exhorts to the putting off of the old man, with his deeds, several of which are mentioned, Col 3:8,9, and to the putting on of the new man, and to the exercise of various graces, as mercy, meekness, forbearance, forgiveness, charity, and peace, Col 3:10-15. And then he proceeds to exhort to such duties as relate to the word and worship of God; as that the word of Christ should have an abiding place in them, and that they should teach and instruct one another by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and do all they did in a religious way, in the name of Christ, with thankfulness to God by him, Col 3:16,17. And closes the chapter with the duties of wives to their husbands, and of husbands to their wives, and of children to their parents, and of parents to their children, and of servants to their masters, Col 3:18-25.

Colossians 3:12-17 In-Context

10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-
11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord .
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

Cross References 18

  • 1. Luke 18:7
  • 2. Ephesians 4:24
  • 3. Luke 1:78; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 2:1
  • 4. Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3
  • 5. 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6
  • 6. Ephesians 4:2
  • 7. Romans 15:7; Ephesians 4:32
  • 8. Romans 15:7; Ephesians 4:32
  • 9. Ephesians 4:3
  • 10. John 17:23; Hebrews 6:1
  • 11. John 14:27
  • 12. Ephesians 2:16
  • 13. Romans 10:17; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:8
  • 14. Colossians 1:28
  • 15. Ephesians 5:19
  • 16. 1 Corinthians 14:15
  • 17. 1 Corinthians 10:31
  • 18. Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 3:15

Footnotes 9

  • [a]. I.e. forbearance toward others
  • [b]. Lit "the uniting bond of perfection"
  • [c]. Or "act as arbiter"
  • [d]. Lit "also"
  • [e]. Or "show yourselves thankful"
  • [f]. One early ms reads "the Lord"
  • [g]. Or "in"
  • [h]. Or "one another, singing with psalms..."
  • [i]. Or "by;" lit "in His grace"
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