“Thanks-living” | Colossians 3:12-17 Sermon

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Good morning, my brothers and sisters. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I know these are difficult times, but I hope you were able to enjoy some food and fellowship.

Speaking of food, we all know that, when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, turkeys are the stars of the show. But what’s your favorite side dish? What is the best side dish? If you’re on Facebook Live, please type your favorite side dish in the comments.

For me, it’s a toss up between macaroni and cheese and sweet potato souffle. They’re the unsung heroes of the holiday. Thanks be to God, my wife cooked both. The LORD is good and His love endureth forever (cf. Ps 106:1, etc.).

No matter what your favorite side dish is, on Thanksgiving, turkeys get most of the attention.

My brothers and sisters, I know Thanksgiving is a special day – but we should give thanks everyday. And though we can savor a side dish, we can’t treat the Savior like a side dish.

Every single day, Jesus deserves most of the attention. He should be in first place, not an honorable mention.

And how can we properly give thanks, to the One who gave us everything? How can you possibly repay someone who saved your life?

The best way to give thankfully to Christ is to live thankfully for Christ. During this season of Thanksgiving, let’s focus on the reason for Thanksliving.


Christ Died For Our Salvation; Let’s Be Dressed For His Service

We’re living in a season of social distancing. We can’t gather together like we want to, can’t comfort others like we want to, we can’t hug and kiss like we want to. Social distancing is tough.

But what’s worse than social distancing is spiritual distancing. Through our sin, we distance and alienate ourselves from God.

But thanks be to God, all who put their active trust in the Resurrected Lord – who died for our sins – are reconciled back into right relationship with the Father.

So, if we can’t think of anything else to be thankful for, we can always be thankful for the Gospel. Paul reminds the Colossians of the Gospel in Col 1:21-23, which says:

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (Col 1:21-23, NIV).[1]

In spite of the non-stop cycle of bad news on television, the Gospel is always the Good News of God’s Mission.

In light of the Good News, Paul is about to tell the Colossians to metaphorically put on five Christian virtues[2] (cf. 2 Cor 6:6; Gal 5:22; 2 Tim 3:10, 4:2)[3] (virtue lists were common in the first century)[4] like clothing.

And this comes right after he tells them to take off their old sinful ways and put on the new self[5] (cf. Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:16).[6]

This may refer to baptism, where the baptized would put on new clothes after coming out of the water[7] (cf. Gal 3:27).[8] Metaphorically, we have to take off our old, evil attire and put on the new divine dressing.[9]

Beginning in Colossians 3:5, he says:

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: [1] sexual immorality, [2] impurity, [3] lust, [4] evil desires and [5] greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: [1] anger, [2] rage, [3] malice, [4] slander, and [5] filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Col 3:5-11, NIV).[10]

If you notice, in both Colossians 3:5 and Colossians 3:8, there is a list of five vices.[11] Now, in verse 12, Paul elaborates on what it means to put on the new self – with a list of five virtues.[12]

There is a direct contrast. As a result of salvation in Christ, the previous lists of five vices should be overturned by this list of five virtues.[13]

And as we’ll see, these are all virtues that the Lord Himself possesses.[14] These are godly garments (cf. Mt 5:9; Lk 6:36).[15]

Sunday Best, Daily

We all know the phrase “Sunday Best”, right?

It means we gotta look our best-on-Sundays
We look fly, like we’re dressed to impress-on-runways
But we can’t just wear Sunday best-on-Sundays
It should be our daily attire not jest(just)-on-some-days

Everyday we need to put on godly garments, the Christian qualities the Jesus exemplifies. Christ died for our salvation, so we should be dressed for His service.

Thus, Paul says in Colossians 3:12

Colossians 3:12

Clothe yourselves, therefore, as God’s chosen people – holy and beloved – with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and forbearance. (Col 3:12, AT)

Followers of His Fashion

As we often hear in sermons, when you see the word therefore, it’s wise to ask, “What is the therefore, there for?”

Well, since we have put on the new self, since we are being renewed and re-created[16] by God into Christ’s image, therefore we should imitate our Savior’s style[17] (cf. Rom 13:14).[18]

The Lord is operating within us, and yet we have to be cooperating with Him.[19] As imitators of Jesus, we must be followers of His fashion (cf. 1 Pet 2:21-23).[20]

When you put on Jordan’s, you’re a walking advertisement for Michael Jordan. When you carry a Michael Kors purse, you’re a walking advertisement for Michael Kors. When you put on an Eagles Jersey, you’re a walking advertisement for the Eagles.

How much more should we be walking advertisements for Jesus?[21]

You ever see someone’s outfit and be like, “Girl, I love those shoes!” “Oooh, I love your earrings!” “I love that dress!” What’s the very next question we usually ask?… “Where did you get it? Where’d you get that from?”

My brothers and sisters, when people see our heartfelt compassion, our kindness, our humility, our gentleness, our forbearance – they should ask, “Where’d you get that from?”

And we can answer, “I got these clothes from Christ!” Be a walking advertisement for Jesus.

The new fashion accessory we all have to wear is the mask. But we can still rep Christ while taking proper precautions.

We will cover our faces that we may be safe; will we open our mouths that others may be saved?

Christian clothing is always in style.

Chosen, Holy, Beloved

Now when Paul calls the Colossians God’s chosen people, holy, and beloved (cf. Rom 11:28; 1 Th 1:4; 2 Th 2:13),[22] he is using terms often applied to Israel in the Old Testament[23] (cf. Dt 4:37, 7:7; Ps 33:12;[24] Is 43:20, 65:9;[25] Dt 7:6, 14:2; Ps 16:3, 34:9; Jer 31:3;[26] Dt 26:18-19; Ps 105:43, 135:4; Jer 2:3;[27] Dt 10:15, Ps 78:68; Is 41:8;[28] Ps 105:6; Is 65:15)[29] since Christians are the New Israel in the New Testament[30] (cf. 1 Pet 2:9;[31] cf. Ex 19:6;[32] Rom. 8:33; Phil. 3:3; 1 Pet. 2:9; Jas. 1:1; Rev. 1:6;[33] 1 Th 1:4; 2 Th 2:13; Jude 1)[34] – the true Israel.[35]

For example, in Exodus 19:5-6, at Mount Sinai, before the LORD gives the Ten Commandments, He tells Moses to say to Israel:

5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Ex 19:5-6, NIV).[36]

We see almost identical language in 1 Pet 2:9-10, which says:

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Pet 2:9-10, NIV)[37]

Even though the Colossian church was largely Gentile, in Christ, they are now God’s chosen people[38] (cf. Col 1:24-27)[39] (cf. Rom 8:30, 9:24-25).[40]

In addition, these terms are also applied to Jesus Himself – Jesus is the Chosen One (Lk 23:35;[41] Lk 9:35; 1 Pet 1:20, 2:4,[42] 1 Pet 2:6),[43] the Holy One of God (Mk 1:24; Lk 4:34[44]; Jn 6:69; Ac 4:27, 30).[45]

And as you may recall, after His baptism, God the Father calls Jesus His beloved Son (Mt 3:17;[46] cf. Eph 1:6;[47] cf. Mk 1:11).

So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, when you think about who you are – first remember Whose you are. You have been chosen by God (Eph 1:4),[48] you are loved by God (cf. Rom 1:7; Eph 5:1),[49] and we must be holy like God (1 Pet 1:15-16).

Heartfelt Compassion

The phrase translated “heartfelt compassion”[50] (cf. Php 2:1)[51] is more literally bowels [σπλάγχνον | splanchnon] of compassion (cf. “bowels of mercies”; Col 3:12, KJV).[52]

Ever see something that made you sick to your stomach? Ever get some news that was gut-wrenching? Ever lay eyes on a beautiful person and get butterflies?

It seems we feel some of our most intense emotional reactions in our guts. We have gut feelings. We have empathy in our entrails.[53] We feel sympathy in our stomach.

So, it makes sense that when it comes to describing the seat of our emotions, biblical authors typically refer metaphorically to the guts[54] (Luke 1:78; 2 Cor. 6:12; 7:15; Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Phlm. 7, 12, 20; 1 John 3:17; compare Ac 1:18).[55]

Nowadays we refer to the heart as the seat of our emotions. We say, “I love you with all my heart.” I guess, “I love you with all my bowels” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Nonetheless, compassion is an attribute of God (cf. Ps 24:6; 50:1; 102:4; 144, 9; cf. Ex 34:6; 2 Ch 30:9;[56] cf. 2 Cor 1:3;[57] Rom 12:1).[58] And compassion should be an attribute of the godly (see Lk 10:33, 15:20).[59]

Compassion is a characteristic of Christ (cf. Mt 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 20:34; Lk 7:13;[60] Mk 6:34).[61] And compassion should be characteristic of Christians.[62]


The word translated kindness (cf. 2 Cor 6:6; Gal 5:22; Eph 2:7)[63] is (χρηστότης | chrēstotēs). The word for Christ is (Χριστός | Christos). The words sound similar – and our kindness should be similar to Christ’s.

We must also put on kindness. We must be concerned for others – their needs and their feelings.[64] Even if they act like enemies. As Jesus says in Luke 6:35-36:

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Lk 6:35-36, NIV).[65]

Kindness is an attribute of the Lord (cf. Ps 25:7; Jer 33:11;[66] Rom 2:4, 11:22, Eph 2:7;[67] Tit 3:4;[68] Ps 34:8;[69] Ps 119:68).[70] And kindness should be an attribute of the Lord’s people.

By being kind to others – even when they don’t deserve it – we are following in our Father’s footsteps.[71] Because the Lord is kind to us – even when we don’t deserve it!


Humility is a Christian virtue (also see Mic 6:8; Is 57:15,[72] 66:2), but it wasn’t a worldly virtue.[73] In Greek society, meekness was weakness.[74]

But Christ set the ultimate example of humbling Himself – even to the point of enduring death on a cross (Php 2:8).[75]

So, as we read in Philippians 2:9-11:

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:9-11, NIV).[76]

You see throughout Scripture, God has a habit of bringing down those with pride, and lifting up those with humility (cf. Amos 2:6, 7; Isa. 2:9; Job 5:11; Prov. 3:34; Pss. 10:17, 18; 25:18, etc.).[77]

So, let’s imitate Christ’s humility, that we may also have eternal exaltation.

Paul tells the Philippians to imitate such sincere (cf. Col 2:18, 23),[78] humility. In Philippians 2:3-4, he says:

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Php 2:3-4, NIV).[79]

In this 1st-century honor-and-shame culture, honor was a precious commodity.[80] Everybody was trying to one-up everybody else – for their own glory.[81] But we must serve each other humbly – for God’s glory.


In addition to humility, we must also put on gentleness (cf. Gal 6:1; 2 Tim 2:25;[82] Tit 3:2; 1 Cor 4:21;[83] Jas 1:21, 3:13; 1 Pet 3:16).[84]

Throughout Scripture, God delivers those who are gentle (cf. Isa. 32:7; Ps. 37:14; Job 24:4; Zeph. 2:3; 3:12; Isa. 41:17).[85] And Jesus says the gentle – the meek – shall inherit the earth (Mt 5:5; cf. Ps 37:11).[86]

And in Scripture we read that Jesus has both humility and gentleness. In Matthew 11:28-29, He says:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt 11:28-29, NIV).[87]

If we confess Jesus, we have to dress like Jesus. Like Him, we must clothe ourselves with gentleness, (cf. Zec 9:9; Mt 21:5;[88] 2 Cor 10:1)[89] humility, and forbearance.


Now this word translated forbearance (ακροθυμέω | makrothymeō) is often translated patience. But this word is not just about enduring a wait, but enduring a weight. When something is weighing on you. When someone is getting on your last nerve.[90]

Forbearance entails the ability to endure provocation[91] and not retaliate.[92] To stay grounded when people try to get a rise out of you. To stay cool when situations heat up.[93]

As it’s been said, forbearance is “the control of the wrath that easily boils over.”[94]

A short fuse is not a part of the Savior’s fashion. But short fuses are always fashionable for fools. As we find in Proverbs 12:16:

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. (Pr 12:16, NIV)

If one has a short fuse to blow, one has a long way to grow.

As a doctor, my wife Kristin has a lot of patients/patience. Get it? Doctors have patients?… Wait, did you hear that? I thought I heard the sound of my wife rolling her eyes…

Could you imagine putting up with my corny jokes everyday? Kristin may have to have a lot more patience at home than at the hospital. Honey, I know you’re watching. And, I just wanna say: “I love you with all my bowels.”

In any case, Christians need not only patience, but forbearance – godly long-suffering[95] (cf. Rom 2:4, 9:22;[96] 2 Pet 3:9; Tit 1:16;[97] 1 Tim 1:16; 1 Pet 3:20; 2 Pet 3:15).[98]

These are all qualities that God demonstrates toward us, and we should demonstrate them towards others[99] (cf. 1 Th 5:14; 2 Tim 4:2; Jas 5:7-8;[100] Lk 18:7;[101] Col 1:11; 2 Tim 3:10, 4:2; Heb 6:12; Jas 5:10).[102]

Using three of these five virtues, Paul gives the Ephesians a similar command in Ephesians 4:2:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Eph 4:2, NIV;[103] cf. Eph 4:15-16).[104]

Paul elaborates on such patient forbearance in verse 13 (Col 3:13)[105] and love in verse 14 (Col 3:14) (also see 1 Cor 13:4).[106]

Colossians 3:13

– putting up with each other and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against someone. Just as the Lord forgave you, so you should do also. (Col 3:13, AT)


As we see, this forbearance should be reciprocated.[107] We sing, “I pray for you; you pray for me.” We could also sing, “I put up with you;[108] you put up with me.”

Because Paul knows that life in the church isn’t always going to be smooth sailing.[109] We must prepared to put up with (cf. 1 Th 1:4; Mt 17:17 par Mk 9:19; Lk 9:41)[110] people who make waves (cf. Gal 6:2).[111] We must be fast to forgive those who rock the boat.


Now Paul uses a different word to refer to forgiveness than we normally see in the New Testament (χαρίζομαι | charizomai) (cf. Lk 7:42; Rom 8:32; 1 Cor 2:12).[112]

This word is related to the Greek word for “grace” (χάρις | charis).[113] More literally, it means “to show oneself gracious.”[114]

We show ourselves gracious when we forgive others for doing us wrong.[115] We have to forgive each other when we have grievances or complaints[116] against one another other.[117]

And why should we graciously forgive others? Because God graciously forgave us (cf. 2 Cor 2:7, 10; Eph 4:32; Col 2:13; 3:13;[118] also see 2 Cor 12:13;[119] Rom 15:7;[120] Rom 4:7; Eph 1:7).[121]

And God continues to graciously forgive us. Therefore, we should graciously forgive others – continually. Jesus says to forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times (cf. Mt 18:22; present tense participle in Greek)[122] (cf. Mt 18:21-35).[123]

This is very similar to what Paul tells the church in Ephesus. Ephesians and Colossians are actually very similar.[124] In Ephesians 4:32, he says:

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph 4:32, NIV).[125]

In addition, after teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:9-13), in which they are to ask for forgiveness as they forgive others (Mt 6:12),[126] Jesus says in Matthew 6:14-15: 14

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Mt 6:14-15, NIV).[127]

It’s tempting to try to repay evil for evil (cf. Rom 12:17-21;[128] 1 Th 5:15).[129] But God has been gracious to us, therefore we should be gracious to each other (cf. Lk. 6:36–38; Jn. 13:14, 34; Eph. 5:1–2).[130]

Knowing that we have been forgiven should help us to forgive others.[131]

Grace and Gratitude

Also, in Greek, the word for grace can also mean thanks[132] (cf. Col 3:16). Just like when we thank God for the food we’re about to eat we say… “grace”.1

If I’m honest, sometimes I be like two or three bites in before I realize I forgot. So, I thank God for the food I’m already eating.

In any case, it’s a common tradition that before families say “grace” for Thanksgiving dinner, they go around the table and say what they’re thankful for.

There’s an association between grace and thanksgiving.[133] And almost every verse of this passage has a word related to grace or thanksgiving.

Colossians mentions thankfulness several times[134] (cf. Col 1:3, 12; 3:17; cf. 2:7, 4:2).[135]

And everything we do should be related to God’s grace and our gratitude – to God’s grace and our thanksliving.

Colossians 3:14

Paul continues outlining our outfit in verse 14. Colossians 3:14 says

Over all these things [clothe yourselves with] love, which is [the] bond of perfect unity (Col 3:14, AT).

Love Over All

This word “over” can refer to putting love on above all the others[136] – like love is the most important part of the outfit. Also, it could mean “beyond” all these things.[137]

Or “over” can refer to metaphorically putting love on top of the other articles (i.e., virtues) of clothing[138] – like love is the overcoat.[139]

Regardless, the Lord loves us (Rom 5:8, 8:35, 39; 2 Cor 13:14; Eph 3:18, 5:2),[140] therefore we should be loving. As Paul writes in Ephesians 5:1-2:

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2, NIV).[141]

The Lord gave us the greatest loving example (cf. Jn 15:13). Love is the greatest Christian quality[142] (Rom 13:10; 1 Cor 13:13;[143] cf. 1 Cor 13:4; Gal 5:6;[144] Gal 5:14).[145]

And love is the greatest Christian command. For we are to love the Lord our God with all that we have, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves[146] (cf. Mk 12:29-31).[147]

And love is more than a secondhand emotion. Christian love entails obedience to God (Dt 5:10;[148] 1 Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15, 21, 15:14) – and sacrifice for others.[149]

Loving Unity

Now when Paul calls love the uniting bond (also see Col 2:19 where it means ligament),[150] he actually uses a term related to the word for the bonds or shackles[151] of prisoners (δεσμός | desmos).[152]

We should be chained together in charity.

This is the same word used in Ephesians 4:3 when he says:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph 4:3, NIV).[153]

My brothers and sisters, we have to be united. How can we be ready for spiritual warfare (cf. Eph 6:10-20), if we’re warring against each other?

You ever pluck someone? Ever been plucked? We know that one finger can do some damage.

Now have you ever punched someone? Ever been punched? We know that five fingers can do even more damage.

Individually, we can make some waves. And, of course, God can use a single person to make a major difference.

But imagine if we were all on one accord. If we were all united in purpose. If we all fully surrendered to the King and were ready to follow His orders in battle.

We could do some serious damage, in the name of Jesus. We need unity in the Christian community.[154] Perfect unity.

Perfect Unity

Here, as in many places in this passage, the Greek is a little ambiguous.

Now Paul may be saying that love is the bond that unites all of these Christian virtues perfectly.[155] But Paul is likely saying that love is the bond that unites all Christians perfectly.[156]

This doesn’t mean that any of us can or will be morally perfect (as Paul’s Jewish opponents claimed)[157] or be able to follow certain moral codes perfectly[158] (cf. Col 2:8, 20-23).[159]

In Scripture, this word perfection (τελειότης |teleiotēs) often refers to maturity and completeness.[160] (cf. Eph 4:13).[161]

Many of us have family recipes that, over the years, have been perfected. Well love is the ingredient that makes this tasteful. Love is what really brings the whole outfit together.

Colossians 3:15

Paul continues in verse 15 :

And the peace of Christ must rule in your hearts, [peace] into which you also were called in one body. And you must be thankful. (Col 3:15, AT)

True Peace

God is a God of peace (Rom 15:33; 16:20; 1 Co 14:33; Php 4:9; 1 Th 5:23; cf. 2 Th 3:16; Rom 14:17; Php 4:7).[162]

And Christ came to bring about and give peace (cf. Jn 14:27; Eph 2:14; 2 Th 3:16;[163] cf. Jn 16:33).[164]

Thus, with one another, Christians should live in peace[165] (Rom 14:19; 1 Th 5:13;[166] 1 Cor 7:15;[167] cf. Gal 5:13; Eph 4:4; 1 Th 4:7; 2 Tim 1:9).[168]

Moreover, the peace Christ brings to the world is not merely peace between people. It’s peace between people and God (cf. Rom 5:1f.).[169] It is shalom[170] – well-being, wholeness.[171] It is salvation[172] – a cosmic restoration.[173]

For in a sense, Jesus came to bring division (cf. Mt 10:34f.; Lk 9:51f.) – because the Gospel is divisive. There will be sheep and there will be goats (Mt 25:31-46). There will be wheat and there will be weeds (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43).

Yet as Paul has already said in chapter 1 (Col 1:21-23), Christ came to bring reconciliation between God and those who distanced themselves from Him through sin. Christ’s work on the cross brings about true reconciliation, true peace.

As we find in Col 1:19-20:

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col 1:19-20, NIV).[174]

And this vertical peace with God, should lead to horizontal peace with God’s people[175] (cf. Gal 6:3-5, 10).[176]

As it’s been said, our personal salvation should bear fruit in our public relationships.[177]

True Unity

Apparently, there were some false teachers in the Colossian church who had come and sowed division.[178] But Paul calls for unity as one body in Christ.[179]

As he’s already said in verse 11 (Col 3:11) and as he also says elsewhere (Eph 2:14; Gal 3:28),[180] our nationality, our race, our gender, our class – all of the categories in which people like to divide us – these don’t really matter. These are not categories in the Kingdom.[181]

Once again Col 3:11 says:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (Col 3:11, NIV).[182]

We have a new identity in Christ,[183] and Christ is all that matters.[184] We sing the song, “God is my all in all.” We sing the song, “God is my everything.”

If Christ is everything to everyone[185]– if Christ is truly all in all – there should be unity.

For we are all unified in Christ – we’re all a part of God’s body – a loving and peaceful family (2 Cor 13:11;[186] Rom 12:5).[187]

Speaking of family, doesn’t it seem like our relatives can do almost anything… and we put up with them? Why? Because they’re family.

Ever have someone in your family talk about you behind your back? Lie on you? Steal from you? Curse you out? Maybe even take a swing at you? But they’re still family.

But one person in the church says one thing wrong and we don’t wanna ever talk to them again. One person in the church does something we think is wrong, and we don’t ever wanna deal with them again.

Tell me, does holding a grudge do any good?[188] But how much good could we do, if we come together for the Gospel?

Family, if we’re in Christ, we’re family. They say, “blood is thicker than water”. But we’re blood brothers and sisters – thanks to the blood of Jesus.

The church is to be a new society – a glimpse of God’s renewed creation (cf. Col 3:10)[189] – as we’re being conformed to the image of Christ (cf. Rom 8:29).[190]

And this new race[191] shouldn’t have the same divisions as the world.[192] Christ breaks down these old barriers[193] in His new brotherhood (cf. Eph 2:11-22; Rom 2:25-29, 4:9-12; Gal 5:6).[194]

As it’s been said, “At the foot of the cross the ground is level.” (cf. 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:26-28).[195]

Peaceful Reign

There’s no greater calling than that of Christ. And, there’s no greater membership than membership in Christ’s Church.[196] Thus, to no other organization should we have more allegiance.

We can’t be more loyal to our earthly teams and clubs, than the Savior’s heavenly society. Christ the King must reign in our lives.

And the peace of Christ must rule in our hearts. In Greek, this is a command not an option.

Now while the bowels were the ancient metaphor for one’s emotions, the heart was the ancient metaphor for one’s thoughts, desires, will, and emotions.[197]

In other words, the peace of Christ should rule in our minds – directing us to take godly courses of action and to make godly decisions.[198]

And though this word may mean rule in a general sense here,[199] more specifically it often refers to acting as a judge or a referee[200]or an umpire[201] (cf. Col 2:18).[202]

We could say that just as an umpire judges between balls and strikes, the peace of Christ within us should tell us what’s in and out of the moral strike zone.[203]

Like a referee, the peace of Christ should tell us what is in and out of bounds in God’s sight. It should tell us when we’re out of line.

Yet, the peace Paul writes of here is likely less about peace within ourselves and more about peace with one another in the body of Christ.[204] The body of Christ must make collective decisions that are characterized by peace.[205]

That being said, inner peace within individuals should lead to inner peace within the community.[206]

You know they say “hurt people hurt people.” Well forgiven people should forgive people. Loved people should love people. Those who have made peace with God should be peacemakers.

Into this peace of Christ is where Christians have been called to be – together in one body, in the Church[207] (cf. Col 1:18;[208] Col 1:24, 2:19).[209] United.

Some may say that the lack of the definite article means that Paul is referring only to the local church and not the Church.[210]

Be Thankful

And we must[211] be thankful. Again, this is another command; not just optional advice.

This is not, “Oh if you have some time, think about all the good things God has done for you and say thank you…” No, we must be thankful all the time!

And, you know, it’s hard to engage in empty arguments when your heart is full of thanksgiving.[212]

It’s hard to have an attitude when you’ve got gratitude.

We must be grateful for God’s grace.[213] Paul again emphasizes the importance of thanksliving.

Colossians 3:16

Paul continues in verse 16:

The word of Christ must indwell you richly, teaching and admonishing each other with all wisdom; [and] with psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit, singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts. (Col 3:16, AT)

The Word of Christ

Now, the word of Christ is the word “about Christ”;[214] it is the Gospel[215] (cf. Col 1:5).[216]

Paul emphasizes this likely because it seems some false teachers in the Colossian church were questioning the sufficiency of Christ for salvation.[217]

Earlier, Paul had to emphasize that through Christ, all things have been created and that in Christ, all things are re-created (cf. Col 1:15-20). If anyone in Christ, the new creation has come (cf. 2 Cor 5:17).

While the false teachers were sowing dissatisfaction[218] and disunity;[219]  Paul is preaching thanksgiving and harmony.

This word about Christ – the Gospel – is Good News.


So, he gives another command. This word of Christ must indwell (cf. 2 Tim 1:15; also see sin in Rom 7:17;[220] also Rom 8:11; 2 Tim 1:14; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16;[221] 2 Cor 6:16)[222] the church richly.

This term translated “indwell” (ἐνοικέω   enoikeō) is related to the Greek word for house (οἶκος | oikos).[223] More literally, among us, the word of Christ must make itself at home.[224]

Sometimes, when we have guests come over, we’ll tell them, “Come in, make yourself at home.”

Now we don’t mean that they should come to live in our house permanently;[225] we just want them to be comfortable. After too long, we know guests can overstay their welcome.

But, as we’ve said before, we can’t treat God like a houseguest; He’s the homeowner.

Paul uses similar language in 1 Corinthians 3:16 when he tells the Corinthian church:

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Cor 3:16, NIV).[226]

The Church doesn’t belong to us; it belongs to God. This ain’t our house; it’s God’s house.

Speaking of houses, have you already started seeing houses with Christmas lights up? Who already has their Christmas decorations up?

Around us, seems like the skeletons went back in the closet on October 31st and the reindeer came out on November 1st.

This time of year, people love to decorate their houses – on the outside. But what do our households look like on the inside?

Thanksliving is not merely about outward appearance, it’s about inward adherence.[227] It’s about letting the seed of the Gospel grow; it’s not about putting on a show.

You can have on a nice outfit and not have a nice heart. You can put on a fresh suit and have a rotten soul. You can go through the motions, with no true devotion.

That being said, as a result of being recreated by Christ, a heavenly reproduction – Christ-like behavior should be a by-product.[228] If we have spiritual roots, we should bear spiritual fruits.[229]

In fact, five of the virtues Paul mentions here are also listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as fruit of the Spirit:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23, NIV).[230]

If the Gospel has truly taken root on the inside, it should bear fruit on the outside.[231]

There’s a saying, “What comes up in the bucket is usually what’s down in the well.”[232] Sometimes we get too focused on trying to treat the well water when the problem lies deeper.

And the word of Christ must indwell us richly – abundantly.[233] If His word abounds among us, if we are full of the gospel, there should be no need look for food elsewhere (cf. Col 2:4, 18, 20-22).[234]

After stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving dinner, why order a pizza? We should be so stuffed with the truth of Christ that these other falsehoods don’t even look appetizing.

The following participles (teaching, admonishing, singing) may be circumstantial, elaborating on the circumstances in which the word of Christ may indwell believers.[235]

Or the participles may be imperatival, acting as separate commands[236] — though some scholars doubt that is the case here.[237]

We have to tear our eyes from the screens, and glue them to the Scriptures.[238] Our homes, our churches – they should be treasure troves of Christian instruction.[239]

Teach and Admonish

How should the word of Christ indwell us richly?[240] By teaching and admonishing one another – from the pulpit to the door[241] (cf. Rom 12:7; 15:14; Eph 4:11; 1 Th 5:12, 14).[242]

This command is not only for church leaders (e.g., Col 2:7; 1 Tim 3:2, 5:17; 1 Cor 12:28; 2 Tim 2:2).[243] This also doesn’t seem to only apply to men.[244]

For Perfection (i.e., Maturity)

And we see similar wording earlier in Colossians 1:28, which says:

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ (Col 1:28, NIV).[245]

Some take the phrase “with all wisdom” as going with command to let the word of Christ indwell, but most do not.[246] In light of Col 1:28, it seems that “with all wisdom” should go with teaching and admonishing.

As Pastor has preached through the Letter of James, he has been emphasizing the importance of spiritual maturity.

And here, Paul says that the goal of godly instruction and admonition is that everyone may be fully mature – that they may be perfected.

This (τέλειος | teleios) is related to the word used in the phrase “perfect” (τελειότης |teleiotēs) unity.

Love is necessary to complete the perfect Christian outfit. And so is teaching and admonishing.

As Paul says in Ephesians 4:15, people can be tossed back and forth by the waves of false teaching, and blown here and there by the winds of deceptive philosophies. But

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ (Eph 4:15, NIV).[247]

Loving and truthful teaching and admonition is how our Christ-likeness is perfected – it’s how we mature (cf. Eph 4:13).

For Love

But when it comes to love, this world often gets things backwards.

The world will tell you that if you love someone, you should support them in doing whatever they want to do. That you should affirm whatever lifestyle they want to live. That you should help them reach whatever dream they want to dream.

But Christian love ain’t blind. Christian love isn’t uncritical. In the love chapter, the passage we often hear at weddings, 1 Corinthians 13:6 says:

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor 13:6, NIV).

If you help someone as the follow the way of falsehood and fantasies instead of the truth of the faith, that ain’t loving.

Christian love doesn’t delight in evil. It hates it. For Paul writes in Romans 12:9:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Rom 12:9, NIV; cf. Ps 97:10).

Love if the reason for Christian correction. We should teach and admonish each other, because we love each other – and hate what is evil. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t say anything.

Because we love people, because we want the best for them, we should correct them when they’re going down the wrong path. And loving parents know they have to correct their children.

As Proverbs 13:24 says:

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them (Pr 13:24, NIV).

My parents… they really showed how much they loved me. It often brought tears to me eyes…

But if it were not for the loving and wise teaching and admonition of my parents – and others, I would not be very spiritually mature.

As Christ’s word makes itself at home in and among us,[248] we must teach and admonish (cf. 1 Cor 4:14; Rom 15:14, 1 Th 5:12)[249] one another.

(Holy) Book Smart

Now there’s many students who get good grades but are biblically illiterate. They might spend a lot on history books but spend little time on the most important book in history.

They might go to a good school, but will they make good choices? You can get a good job and not live a good life – a godly life.

In our increasingly secular society, that is increasingly hostile toward Christ and His teachings, we should be teaching one another more than ever.

Maybe we won’t be so infatuated with falsehood and fantasy if we’re trained in God’s trustworthy truth.

With All Wisdom

Such teaching and admonition must be wise “in every way”.[250] Wisdom is a theme found throughout Colossians (Col 1:9; 1:28; 2:3; 4:5).[251]

For apparently Paul is addressing some of the false wisdom of some false teachers.[252]

And true wisdom comes from Christ (cf. Col 2:3;[253] cf. Col 2:23).[254] Not from the world, but from the Word.

The more we know about Christ’s word, the more should embody Christ’s wisdom.[255]


Spiritual Songs

And like good macaroni goes together with cheese, a godly message goes together with godly music. Sermons, studies and songs should be complementary.[256] For songs can be instructive[257] (cf. Col 1:15-20).[258]

But it don’t matter how good the music sounds if the message ain’t right.[259] Many of the world’s catchiest choruses are about the most sinful subjects.

In any case, Paul again tells the church that they must express their thankfulness.[260] We must give thanks to God in song.

To refer to all kinds of singing from the Spirit (spiritual arguably applies to all three terms, not just the last one),[261] Paul uses three terms: (cf. 1 Cor 14:26; Eph 5:19)[262] psalms, hymns, and songs (or more literally odes). Like the Ode to Joy.

There likely isn’t much of a difference between the three terms.[263] Together they refer to all kinds of Christian singing.[264]

But “psalm” (cf. Lk 20:42; 24:44; Ac 1:20; 13:33),[265] is of course a biblical term from the Hebrew Scriptures[266] while “hymn” (cf. Mt. 26:30; Mk 14:26; Ac 16:25; Heb. 2:12;[267] also see the Christ hymns of Col 1:15-20[268] and Php 2:6-11; cf. 1 Tim 3:16)[269] and “ode” (Rev. 5:9; 14:3; 15:3)[270] were Greek terms.[271]

The three terms could go with “teaching and admonishing” as if the spiritual songs were the means by which believers were taught and admonished[272] (cf. Col 3:16 NIV; Col 3:16, NASB; Col 3:16, KJV).

I think it makes more sense if the spiritual songs are what is sung when believers are to sing with gratitude to God[273] (cf. Col 3:16, NRSV; Col 3:16, HCSB, etc.).

But no matter what you call it, don’t you sometimes just get the urge to burst out with a song of praise?[274]

We sing the song that says: “There’s a praise on the inside / That I can’t keep to myself / A holler stirring up / From the depths of my soul / So excuse me if I seem a little giddy / Or maybe even strange / But praise is the way I say thanks.”[275]

Spontaneous songs[276] (cf. 1 Cor 14:15)[277] of praise are a part of thanksliving.

These spiritual songs are manifestations of thanksgiving to God – from God’s Spirit-filled people. Some people get full of wine spirits; we should be full of the divine Spirit.

As Paul writes in Ephesians 5:18-20:

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:18-20, NIV).[278]

Music of the Culture vs. Music of the Christ

Now there’s a difference between the music of the culture and the music of the Christ.

Some of these rappers be rapping about how they’re like drug kingpins. They seem so proud to sell poison to their own people.

As if drugs don’t destroy lives and tear families apart. I’ve lost two too many friends to overdoses.

Some rappers may have actually sold drugs, but there’s been a few who’ve been exposed as posers. They embellish about a lifestyle that they never lived.

They’re putting on a show. They’re not really about that life.

Likewise, think of all these singers that be singing about love. Many of the artists who’ve made some of the greatest love songs… have had some of the worst love lives.

These actors be lying to Americans-just-to-sell…
got more exes than the Samaritan-at-the-well. (See John 4:27-34 Bible Study “Hangry? Hungry? or John 4:35-42 Bible Study “Wholly Harvest the Holy Harvest”)

Stop glorifying these professional-pretenders;
sing to God with confessional-surrender.

We have to sing from the heart.[279] When we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving, we really have to be about that life – we gotta be about that life of thanksliving.

Alternatively, “singing” could go with “in your hearts” – as if they were to sing enthusiastically with all that was within them.[280]

That the word of Christ has made itself at home in and among us should be obvious – not only in our teaching and admonition, but in our songs of praise.[281] We should respond to God’s grace (cf. Col 1:6) with gratitude.[282]

Colossians 3:17

Paul wraps this section up in verse 17, which says:

And whatever you do, in word or in work, [do it] all in the name of the Lord Jesus – giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col 3:17, AT)

Minority Mentality

Nowadays, in the Western world, fewer and fewer people believe in God. Creatures reject their Creator. They deny the existence of anything supernatural.

Now there’s been a lot of protest and advocacy for various minorities. In various industries, there’s been a push for more minority representation. And, on various issues, there seems to be this pressure for minorities to stick together.

Some people act like all black people should think the same, like all black people should vote the same. If you don’t, you’re an Uncle Tom. You’ve lost your black card.

In an interview on The Breakfast Club, Joe Biden said if you don’t vote for him, you ain’t black.

In any case, we have to realize that in this wicked world, true believers are a minority. And in most industries, there’s no push for more spiritual minority representation.

When’s the last time you saw a good representation of a Christian on the screen? When’s the last time you heard the name of Jesus in a movie, when it wasn’t used as a curse word? For Christ’s sake…

My brothers and sisters, we have to realize that we are a minority. Thus, there should be pressure for us to stick together.

This wicked world is against us, dissing Christ at any opportunity.

So, we can’t be against each other; brothers and sisters we need unity.

Under the Influence of Christ

In the Western world, fewer and fewer people believe in God. But back in the first-century, virtually everyone believed in gods.

Christians were actually thought to be atheists, because they only believed in one God – the one, true God.

In any case, in the ancient world, most pagans performed certain religious rites and rituals. But these rituals and rites didn’t make individuals live right.

That is, usually, these religious practices did not influence their moral conduct.[283]

In contrast, Paul says that every single aspect of our lives must be under the influence of Christ[284] –our loving Lord.

We know people drive under the influence of drugs. Our lives should thrive under the influence of love.

In The Name of Jesus

The Bible doesn’t have an exhaustive list of do’s and don’t’s for any and every occasion (cf. Col 2:21f.).[285] But it provides general principles that we should be able to apply in specific situations.[286]

And when you get to know someone really well, you should know how they think. You should know what they would say.

Sometimes people ask me what Pastor would think about a certain suggestion, and I be like, “Nah, I don’t think he’d go for that.” After three decades, I’m pretty good at discerning my father’s will.

And many of us have been Christians for longer than three decades. And we should be pretty good at discerning our heavenly Father’s will.[287] Long lists of do’s and don’t are for children (cf. Gal 3:23-47).[288]

To put it bluntly, if we can’t say what we’re about to say in the name of Jesus, we probably shouldn’t say it. If we can’t do what we’re about to do in the name of Jesus, we probably shouldn’t do it.[289]

Paul writes of the peace of Christ, the message of Christ, and now the Name of Christ.[290] It’s all about Jesus. The Name of Jesus – His authority and His reputation – must be our constant concern.[291]

We must be empowered (Jn 14:26; Lk 10:17)[292] ambassadors of the Savior in our sinful society[293] – representatives of Christ in a world that is crooked.[294]

Whatever we do – in word or deed[295] (cf. 1 Cor 10:31;[296] cf. Lk 24:19; Ac 7:22; Rom 15:18; 2 Th 2:17)[297] – should be done in the name of Jesus – as an expression of our thanksgiving to God (cf. Col 1:12),[298] because[299] of what He has done for us through Christ[300] (not necessarily that we pray in the name of Jesus, the intermediary who passes our prayers on to God the Father).[301]

Through Christ, we have been reconciled to God the Father.[302] And through Christ we can praise God[303] – without any human intermediaries.[304]

We must submit to Christ the King – not only with our lips – but with our lives.[305]

Worship doesn’t stop when the song ends.[306] Our true and proper worship is being a living sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1).[307]

If Christ lives in us, we should live for Him (cf. Col 2:6).[308]

We must be thankful – giving thanks in all circumstances (cf. 1 Th 5:18).[309] And our obedience to Christ should be how we express our thankfulness to God[310] (cf. Col 1:12).[311]

We – the Bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-32; 2 Cor 11:2; Jn 3:28-30; Mt 22:1-14; Mt 25:1-13; Rev 19:7, 21:2, 9; 22:17) – should be grateful representatives of His grace.[312]

Thanksgiving to God is the cause for our thanksliving for God.[313]

The participle “giving thanks” could also be imperatival.[314]


So, let me try to wrap/rap this up:

If your spiritual life feels dry like old-turkey
All of these idols, we gotta quit ‘em cold-turkey
I don’t care if you like baked or fried-turkey
If your main dish ain’t Christ, man it’s a jive-turkey

Christ gave His life for His wife; we ain’t no sidechick
He’s the true superhero; he ain’t no sidekick
It’s all about His will, it’s not about my-wish
So no matter your favorite, don’t’ treat’em like a side-dish

He’s been so good to us, we don’t deserve-Him
So, everyday let’s be dressed to serve-Him
I hope you had a nice day-on-Thanksgiving.
But let’s always live Christ’s way-of-thanksliving.

Bibliography & Footnotes

  • Aland, Barbara, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger, eds. The Greek New Testament. Fifth Revised Edition. Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2014.
  • Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. [BDAG]
  • Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. [EDNT]
  • Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. [UBS]
  • Bruce, F. F. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984.
  • Cohick, Lynn. “Colossians”. In The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary, edited by Gary M. Burge and Andrew E. Hill. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Davids, Peter H. “Colossians”. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, Philemon. Vol. 16. Hoehner, Harold W., Philip W. Comfort, and Peter H. Davids. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008.
  • Evans, Craig A., and Craig A. Bubeck, eds. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon. First Edition. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2004.
  • Garland, David E. Colossians and Philemon. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998.
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Second Edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014.
  • Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996. [LN]
  • Lucas, R. C. Fullness & Freedom: The Message of Colossians & Philemon. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
  • Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991.
  • Moo, Douglas J. The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2008.
  • O’Brien, Peter T. “Colossians.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 1260–76. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.
  • Pao, David W. Colossians and Philemon. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.
  • Patzia, Arthur G. Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.
  • Porter, Stanley E. Idioms of the Greek New Testament. Sheffield: JSOT, 1999.
  • Silva, Moisés, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. [NIDNTTE]
  • Still, Todd D. “Colossians.” In The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition), edited by Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, Vol. 12. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.
  • Wall, Robert W. Colossians & Philemon. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
  • Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996.
  • Witherington, Ben, III. The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007.
  • Wright, N. T. Colossians and Philemon: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 12. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986.

[1] O’Brien, 1273; Still, 331

[2] UBS, 85

[3] UBS, 86; cf. Still, 331

[4] Keener, 577

[5] UBS, 85; Wall 3:12; Pao, 240

[6] Cohick, 1408

[7] Jewish ritual baptisms were performed naked: Keener, 577; Patzia, 77

[8] UBS, 85

[9] Wright, 145; cf. Melick, 299

[10] Moo, 274; Cf. UBS, 85; Wall 3:12; Patzia, 76; Melick, 300; Pao, 240

[11] O’Brien, 1273; Davids, 289; Still, 331; Wright, 146

[12] O’Brien, 1273; Davids, 289; Still, 331; Wright, 146

[13] Wall 3:12; cf. Davids, 289; Still, 331; Moo, 274; Pao, 241

[14] Lucas, 150; Wall 3:12

[15] Bruce, 153

[16] Davids, 288

[17] Patzia, 77; Moo, 275

[18] Bruce, 152; Moo, 277

[19] Davids, 289

[20] Davids, 290

[21] Cf. Garland, 210

[22] UBS, 85

[23] UBS, 85; Keener, 577; Lucas, 147; Moo, 275

[24] Gurtner, 604; cf. Garland, 210; Moo, 276

[25] O’Brien, 1273; Pao, 240; cf. Lucas, 150 FN 6; Wall 3:12; Still, 331; Garland, 210; Bruce, 152

[26] Davids, 289; cf. Still, 331; Garland, 210; Bruce, 152; Moo, 276; Pao, 241

[27] Still, 331; Pao, 240

[28] Moo, 276

[29] Pao, 240

[30] UBS, 85; Lucas, 147; Still, 331; Moo, 275

[31] Gurtner, 604; Patzia, 78

[32] Lucas, 150 FN 7

[33] Lucas, 150 FN 8

[34] Moo, 276

[35] Wright, 145; Garland, 210

[36] Lucas 150, FN 7; Davids, 289; Pao, 241

[37] Davids, 289; Moo, 276

[38] Pao, 240

[39] Wall 3:12

[40] Moo, 275; Pao, 241

[41] O’Brien, 1273

[42] Still, 331; cf. Wright, 146

[43] Wright, 146

[44] O’Brien, 1273

[45] Wright, 146

[46] O’Brien, 1273; Wright, 146

[47] Wright, 146

[48] Garland, 210; Moo, 275

[49] Still, 331

[50] EDNT, 505; Wright, 146; Moo, 277; cf. Witherington, 180

[51] Still, 331

[52] UBS, 86; Patzia, 78; Moo, 277

[53] Cf. Witherington, 180

[54] EDNT, 476; Gurtner, 604; Patzia, 78; Pao, 242; https://catchforchrist.net/proverbs-21-2-sermon-commentary-message/

[55] Moo, 277; cf. Pao, 241

[56] Gurtner, 604; cf. Bruce, 155

[57] O’Brien, 1273; Patzia, 78; Still, 331; Garland, 210; Bruce, 153; Pao, 241

[58] Patzia, 78; Still, 331; Garland, 210; Bruce, 153; Pao, 241

[59] Wall 3:12

[60] Still, 331

[61] Bruce, 153

[62] Still, 331

[63] UBS, 86; Moo, 277

[64] Patzia, 79

[65] Bruce, 154

[66] Gurtner, 604; cf. O’Brien, 1273; Pao, 242

[67] Patzia, 78; Still, 331; cf. Garland, 210; Bruce, 154; Moo, 277; Pao, 242

[68] Still, 331; Moo, 277; Pao, 242

[69] Bruce, 154

[70] Moo, 277

[71] Bruce, 154

[72] Bruce, 154

[73] Bruce, 154

[74] Patzia, 79

[75] Patzia, 78, 79; Still, 332; Wright, 146; Garland, 210; Moo, 277

[76] Patzia, 78, 79; Wright, 146

[77] Gurtner, 604

[78] UBS, 86; Still, 331; Moo, 277

[79] UBS, 86; Still, 332; Moo, 277

[80] Garland, 210

[81] Garland, 210

[82] UBS, 86

[83] Still, 332; cf. Moo, 278

[84] Moo, 278

[85] Gurtner, 604

[86] Bruce, 154

[87] Gurtner, 604; Stil, 331; Bruce, 154; Moo, 278

[88] Gurtner, 604; cf. Still, 332; Moo, 278

[89] Patzia, 78; Still, 332; Garland, 211; Bruce, 154; Moo, 278

[90] Wright, 146

[91] BDAG, 612

[92] Patzia, 79

[93] Still, 332

[94] EDNT, 381

[95] UBS, 86; Gurtner, 604; Melick, 299

[96] Patzia, 78; Still, 332; Garland, 211; Moo, 441

[97] Still, 332

[98] Moo, 278

[99] Patzia, 77-78

[100] Still, 332; cf. Bruce, 155

[101] Bruce, 155

[102] Moo, 278

[103] UBS, 86; Davids, 290; Still, 332; Bruce, 155; Moo, 278

[104] Patzia, 79; Garland, 211

[105] NIDNTTE, 297; UBS, 87; Still, 332; though it may be a commentary on all five: Moo, 278

[106] Still, 332; Bruce, 155

[107] NIDNTTE, 297-298

[108] Wall 3:12; Davids, 290; Moo, 279

[109] Garland, 211

[110] Moo, 279

[111] Garland, 211

[112] O’Brien, 12732

[113] NIDNTTE, 653; Melick, 300

[114] BDAG, 1078

[115] BDAG, 1078; cf. Moo, 279

[116] BDAG, 657, 269; EDNT, 439

[117] UBS, 87

[118] NIDNTTE, 661; cf. UBS, 87; O’Brien, 1273; Still, 332; Moo, 279

[119] NIDNTTE, 661

[120] UBS, 87

[121] Moo, 280

[122] O’Brien, 1273; cf. Wall 3:13; Bruce, 155

[123] Davids, 290; Still, 332; Wright, 147; Moo, 280

[124] Keener, 577

[125] NIDNTTE, 661; Still, 331, 332; Bruce, 155; Moo, 279; Pao, 241

[126] Still, 332; Bruce, 155

[127] UBS, 87; Wall 3:13; Still, 332

[128] Wall 3:13; Still, 331

[129] Still, 331

[130] Lucas, 151 FN 11

[131] Still, 332

[132] NIDNTTE, 653; Patzia, 82

[133] Melick, 300

[134] Moo, 275

[135] Cf. Moo, 285, 291

[136] UBS, 87; Still, 332

[137] Still, 332

[138] UBS, 87; Still, 332; Wright, 147; Moo, 280

[139] Moo, 274

[140] Still, 333

[141] Still, 333

[142] Keener, 577

[143] UBS, 87; Patzia, 79; Davids, 290; Still, 333; Bruce, 155

[144] O’Brien, 1273; Bruce, 155

[145] Wall 3:14; Patzia, 79; Davids, 290; Still, 333

[146] Bruce, 155

[147] Davids, 290

[148] Moo, 276

[149] Davids, 290

[150] EDNT, 290; Moo, 281

[151] EDNT, 290

[152] NIDNTTE, 676

[153] NIDNTTE, 679; Davids, 290; Garland, 211; Bruce, 156; Moo, 281

[154] Cohick, 1408

[155] UBS, 85, 89; the “crown”: Patzia, 79; Witherington, 180; Moo, 282; cf. Wright, 147

[156] Garland, 212; cf. UBS, 87; O’Brien, 1273; Lucas, 153; Wall 3:14; Still, 332; Wright, 147; Melick, 300; Witherington, 180

[157] Wall 3:14

[158] Cf. Garland, 220

[159] Wall 3:14; cf. Patzia, 82

[160] BDAG, 996; Still, 332

[161] Garland, 212

[162] Still, 333; cf. Bruce, 156

[163] UBS, 88; O’Brien, 1273-1274; Still, 333; Garland, 212; cf. Melick, 301; Moo, 283

[164] Moo, 283

[165] Keener, 577

[166] Still, 333; Garland, 212; cf. Moo, 283

[167] Garland, 212; Moo, 284

[168] Moo, 284

[169] Wall 3:15; Patzia, 79-80; Moo, 282

[170] Moo, 282

[171] Witherington, 180

[172] O’Brien, 1274

[173] Moo, 282

[174] Lucas, 153; Patzia, 79-80; Davids, 290; Still, 333; Moo, 282

[175] Patzia, 80; Davids, 290; Bruce, 156-157; cf. Still, 333

[176] Wall 3:12

[177] Wall 3:12

[178] Lucas, 152

[179] Lucas, 152; Moo, 274

[180] Patzia, 77, 80

[181] Davids, 289; Garland, 232

[182] Still, 331; Pao, 240

[183] Moo, 275

[184] Lucas, 147

[185] Cf. Patzia, 77

[186] Davids 290; Still, 333

[187] Still, 333

[188] Melick, 300

[189] Lucas, 151

[190] Patzia, 76

[191] Still, 331

[192] Lucas, 147

[193] Lucas, 147

[194] Patzia, 77

[195] Patzia, 77

[196] Cf. Lucas, 152

[197] Wall 3:15; Davids, 290; cf. Melick, 302

[198] Wall 3:15; Patzia, 79

[199] NIDNTTE, 531; EDNT, 226

[200] EDNT, 226; cf. Gurtner, 605; Still, 333; Witherington, 180; Bruce, 156

[201] NIDNTTE, 531; UBS, 88; O’Brien, 1273; Still, 333; Wright, 148; Melick, 302; Moo, 283

[202] Wall 3:15; Garland, 212

[203] Contra Lucas, 153

[204] Lucas, 153; Wright, 147; Melick, 301

[205] Wall 3:15

[206] Davids, 290; cf. Melick, 302

[207] Patzia, 78

[208] UBS, 88; Wright, 148; Melick, 302; Moo, 285

[209] Moo, 285

[210] UBS, 88; cf. Moo, 285

[211] UBS, 89

[212] Cf. Davids, 291

[213] Still, 333

[214] UBS, 89; though peace comes from Christ in Col 3:15: Melick, 303; cf. Gurtner, 605

[215] UBS, 89; Lucas, 154; Patzia, 81; Davids, 291; Wright, 148

[216] O’Brien, 1273; Wall 3:16; Moo, 286

[217] Keener, 577; cf. Lucas, 154, 156

[218] Lucas, 156

[219] Melick, 302

[220] NIDNTTE, 475; UBS, 89

[221] UBS, 89; cf. Gurtner, 605; O’Brien, 1274

[222] O’Brien, 1274

[223] NIDNTTE, 469

[224] UBS, 89; Still, 334; cf. Davids, 291

[225] Cf. Moo, 286

[226] UBS, 89

[227] UBS, 89

[228] Garland, 220

[229] Cf. Garland, 220

[230] O’Brien, 1273; Wall 3:12; Patzia, 78; Davids, 290; Still, 331, 332; Garland, 210; Bruce, 154; Moo, 278

[231] Cf. Davids, 289

[232] Garland, 221

[233] Lucas, 154

[234] Lucas, 154

[235] UBS, 90

[236] UBS, 90

[237] Wallace, 652; EDNT, 393

[238] Cf. Garland, 227

[239] Cf. Wright, 149

[240] Still, 334

[241] Garland, 212; Moo, 290; cf. Bruce, 158

[242] Melick, 304

[243] Moo, 290

[244] Witherington, 181

[245] NIDNTTE, 423; EDNT, 478; UBS, 90; Lucas, 154; Wall 3:16; Patzia, 81; Davids, 291; Wright, 148; Melick, 304; Witherington, 181; Garland, 212; Moo, 289

[246] UBS, 90

[247] Patzia, 79

[248] Porter, 157; Melick, 303; Bruce, 157. It can mean in the hearts of Christians or among the members of the Church (UBS, 89). Porter takes it as both. My translation “indwell” leaves it ambiguous.

[249] NIDNTTE, 424; EDNT, 478

[250] UBS, 90

[251] Melick, 304

[252] Melick, 304

[253] Wall 3:16; Wright, 149; Melick, 304

[254] Wall 3:16; Wright, 149

[255] Cf. Melick, 304

[256] Wall 3:16

[257] Moo, 288

[258] “The grammar allows the conclusion that singing is viewed as one form of teaching and admonition, and certainly Eph. 5:19 mentions speaking the songs to one another.” (Witherington, 181).

[259] Melick, 305

[260] Bruce, 159

[261] Wall 3:16; Still, 334; Cf. EDNT, 496; NIDNTTE, 719, 739; contra Moo, 290. If we follow the TNIV in attaching pneumatikais to this last word in the series only, then it possibly refers to a spontaneous, musical praise of God or Christ prompted by the Spirit. In this case, it is attractive to identify “psalms” as songs based on Scripture, “hymns” as songs about Christ, and “songs” as spontaneous compositions “prompted by the Spirit”… Moo, 290.

[262] BDAG, 1096; NIDNTTE, 719; EDNT, 393, 495-496; Still, 334; cf. Melick, 305; Garland, 234; Bruce, 158; Moo, 289

[263] EDNT, 393; NIDNTTE, 739; UBS, 90; Gurtner, 605; Lucas, 154; Wall 3:16; Still, 334; Wright, 149; Garland, 212-213; Bruce, 158

[264] Wright, 149; Melick, 305

[265] Gurtner, 605; Moo, 289

[266] UBS, 90; EDNT, 393; Gurtner, 605; Patzia, 81; Davids, 291; Witherington, 181; Bruce, 158; Moo, 289

[267] Gurtner, 605; cf. Still, 334

[268] Still, 334; Wright, 149; Melick, 305; Witherington, 181

[269] Wright, 149; cf. Melick, 305

[270] Gurtner, 605; Still, 334; cf. Wright, 149

[271] EDNT, 393

[272] UBS, 90; O’Brien, 1274; Patzia, 82; Still, 334; Melick, 305; Moo, 287-288

[273] Still, 334; Wright, 149; Bruce, 158

[274] Cf. UBS, 90

[275] J. Moss, “Praise on the Inside”; cf. Still, 334

[276] O’Brien, 1274; Patzia, 81; Bruce, 159

[277] Davids, 291

[278] UBS, 90; Keener, 578; Lucas, 154 FN 15; Patzia, 82; Still, 334; Melick, 303; Witherington, 181; Bruce, 158; Moo, 287

[279] Melick, 306; Moo, 283

[280] UBS, 905; contra Wright, 149

[281] O’Brien, 1274

[282] Lucas, 155; Wall 3:16; Bruce, 157

[283] Keener, 577

[284] Keener, 577; cf. O’Brien, 1274; Wall 3:17; Melick, 306; Bruce, 160

[285] Bruce, 160

[286] Bruce, 160

[287] Bruce, 160

[288] Bruce, 160

[289] Bruce, 160

[290] Moo, 274

[291] Melick, 307; Moo, 291

[292] Melick, 306

[293] Melick, 306

[294] Wright, 149

[295] UBS, 91; Lucas, 156; Davids, 291; Still, 335; Melick, 306

[296] Still, 334; Bruce, 160; Moo, 291

[297] Moo, 291

[298] Lucas, 156; Melick, 307; Moo, 285

[299] UBS, 91; Garland, 220

[300] UBS, 91

[301] UBS, 91

[302] Wright, 150; Melick, 307

[303] Melick, 307

[304] Wall 3:17; Patzia, 82; cf. Moo, 292

[305] Still, 334-335; Melick, 306

[306] Cf. Garland, 213

[307] Still, 335; Moo, 291

[308] Wright, 149; Garland, 213; Moo, 290

[309] Still, 335

[310] Patzia, 82; Moo, 291

[311] Still, 335; Moo, 285

[312] Davids, 291; cf. Wright, 149

[313] Cf. Moo, 291

[314] UBS, 91


  1. cf. EDNT, 87
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Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist