Colossians 3:12-14 — Put On

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.

therefore (v.12) — referring back to vs. 10-11

elect of God (v.12) — The adjective eklektoi is from the verb eklego, “to select out from a number.” It refers to God’s choice of certain from among mankind who were saved individuals, to be channels through which others might learn the way of salvation, this choice having been made before the universe was created. “As” is hos, “like as, even as, in the same manner as.” The word is an adverb of comparison. It does not merely identify. The idea is, “Put on therefore in the same manner as the elect of God.” — Wuest, page 223.

holy (v.12) = set apart — translated “saints” in Colossians 1:2.

put on (v.12) — tense indicates complete and decisive action

tender mercies (v.12) = bowels, thought to be the seat of the emotions — tenderness toward the hurting

kindness (v.12) = goodness expressed in deeds — sweet disposition

humility (v.12) = dependence on God — humble opinion of self

meekness (v.12) — consideration for other’s feelings — grace of soul

longsuffering (v.12) — bearing insult and injury without retaliation

bearing with (v.13) = holding up

one another (v.13) = lit. “yourselves” — other Christians

even as (v.13) = in the same degree as, in the same way as, to the same extent as

above (v.14) — “Above” is epi, which latter could better be translated here, “upon.” That is, Paul is carrying on the figure of putting on as a garment all the qualities spoken of in verses 12 and 13, and he exhorts the Colossian saints to put on over these, love as the binding factor, which will hold them together and make them usable. — Wuest, page 225.

love (v.14) = agape

bond of perfection (v.14) — the power which unites and hold together all those graces and virtues which together make up perfection. “Bond” is sundesmos, “that which binds together.” “That in which all the virtues are so bound together that perfection is the result, and not one of them is wanting to that perfection.” “Perfection” is teleiotes. The word means “completeness, full growth, maturity, in good working order. — Wuest, page 225.

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