This chapter is rich with practical teachings.  Let’s begin by reading Colossians 3:12-13, “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (NASB)

Writing to those who had already believed on the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul speaks of ‘putting on’ some special and needed things so that we might represent Christ in the world by ministering to others.  The Greek word, ‘enduo’ which is translated ‘put on’ here is also translated as ‘clothe’ in other places.  This shows that the instruction from the Lord is that we should ‘put on’ or ‘clothe ourselves’ in the truth being given.  In a natural sense, when we get dressed, people notice what we are wearing.  So, in the spiritual sense, people who look at us should be able to see these things that we ‘put on’.  Believers are referred to as ‘chosen of God, holy and beloved’ and we are told to:

  • Put on a heart of compassion.
  • Put on kindness.
  • Put on humility.
  • Put on gentleness.
  • Put on patience.
  • Put on forbearance (Bear with one another.)
  • Put on forgiveness. (Forgive one another.)

These are all qualities that the Lord displayed and since we are now the sons and daughters of God through faith in the Lord Jesus, we are called upon to display the same qualities and characteristics of our Lord.  We read in the Word of other things we are to ‘put on’.

  • Romans 13:12, “…let us PUT ON the armour of light.”
  • Ephesians 4:24, “…PUT ON the new man…”
  • Ephesians 6:11, “PUT ON the whole armour of God…”

Now let’s direct our attention to Colossians 3:14, “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”  Beyond, or above all things, love is necessary.  In fact all these other things are useless without it.  Love is the perfect bond that truly unites all the other things, and makes them complete.  We read in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”  Without love being the motivation for our interaction with others, we ourselves are nothing.  This is much more than having natural affections for others.  This is the love of God that we must ‘clothe’ ourselves in so that we might truly serve Him and serve others.  To put on all those other things without putting on this practical love makes us incomplete in our dress.  Romans 5:5 tells us that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  The love of God is inside every believer.  We need to practically clothe ourselves in His love so that the other articles of clothing will be made truly functional and complete.  (222.2)