Colossians 3:12–17 (NKJV)

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 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. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17

Paul continues his teaching of the Colossians by lifting up several traits or practices that will typify their life in Christ. He points out that tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, patience, and forgiveness are all characteristics of Christian living. Several of these are also identified as fruit of the Spirit in Galatians. He sums up these characteristics with the admonition to seek the greatest trait, love, which is the bond of perfection in the body of Christ. Not only is it included as the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, but is also the answer of Jesus to the man who asked Him to identify the greatest commandment in the gospels. The payoff for seeking and implementing these traits and practices is the fact that the peace of God will rule their hearts. Anxiety and fear will not rule. One body will live and work together, and all will be thankful for these blessings of God.

Paul goes on to accentuate the need for studying and internalizing the word of God. He describes it as rich, full of wisdom, and exhorts them to teach it, admonish one another with it, and to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. They are told to sing with grace in their hearts, lifting up Christ to the lost and drawing them in. The final exhortation here is “…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Paul has given his disciples in Colosse a powerful message of hope and a call to discipleship. We all could answer this call and be better Christians. We can all live in peace. Do everything in the name of the Lord, giving thanks, and the peace of God will walk with you everywhere and every day.

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