The Meaning of Colossians 3:12 Explained

Colossians 3:12

KJV: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

YLT: Put on, therefore, as choice ones of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humble-mindedness, meekness, long-suffering,

Darby: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;

ASV: Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;

Discover Colossians 3:12

What does Colossians 3:12 Mean?

Context Summary

Colossians 3:12-17 - Love, Peace, And Praise
The articles of the Christian's dress are enumerated here, and we need to refer to this list continually in order to be sure that none of them is missing from our spiritual wardrobe. We must not always live in the negative of avoiding wrong, the positive has a clear claim on us; and in each circumstance of trial or temptation we must advance to meet it, arrayed in Christ. As the Lord acted, so must we. We must partake of the family likeness. When a Christian friend manifests over the breakfast-table some ugly feature of the old life, we may fairly urge him to return to his room and complete his dressing. Love is the girdle of the Christian attire.
Let the peace of Christ rule within. Let the word of Christ dwell in the innermost chambers of the soul. Let there be mutual love and wholesome glee, the song in the life, and the grace in the heart. Whatever is wrong will shiver to pieces like a glass when the name of Jesus is spoken over it. The thought of Him is the touchstone of trial as well as the talisman of victory. A thankful heart makes a victorious and attractive character. [source]

Chapter Summary: Colossians 3

1  He shows where we should seek Christ
5  He exhorts to holiness;
10  to put off the old self, and put on Christ;
12  exhorting to charity, humility,
18  and other duties

Greek Commentary for Colossians 3:12

Put on therefore [ενδυσαστε ουν]
First aorist middle imperative of ενδυνω — endunō (Colossians 3:10). He explains and applies (ουν — oun therefore) the figure of “the new man” as “the new garment.” [source]
As God‘s elect [ως εκλεκτοι του τεου]
Same phrase in Romans 8:33; Titus 1:1. In the Gospels a distinction exists between κλητος — klētos and εκλεκτος — eklektos (Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:24, Matthew 24:31), but no distinction appears in Paul‘s writings. Here further described as “holy and beloved” The items in the new clothing for the new man in Christ Paul now gives in contrast with what was put off (Colossians 3:8). The garments include a heart of compassion (σπλαγχνα οικτιρμου — splagchna oiktirmou the nobler viscera as the seat of emotion as in Luke 1:78; Philemon 1:8), kindness (χρηστοτητα — chrēstotēta as in Galatians 5:22), humility (ταπεινοπροσυνην — tapeinophrosunēn in the good sense as in Philemon 2:3), meekness (πραυτητα — prautēta in Galatians 5:23 and in Ephesians 4:2 also with ταπεινοπροσυνη — tapeinophrosunē), long-suffering (μακροτυμιαν — makrothumian in Galatians 5:22; Colossians 1:11; James 5:10). [source]
Bowels of mercies [σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ]
See on 1 Peter 3:8; see on 2 Corinthians 1:3. Rev., a heart of compassion. [source]
Kindness [χρηστότητα]
See on Romans 3:12. [source]
Meekness [πραΰ́τητα]
See on Matthew 5:5. [source]
Long-suffering [μακροθυμίαν]
See on James 5:7. [source]

What do the individual words in Colossians 3:12 mean?

Put on therefore as [the] elect - of God holy and beloved hearts of compassion kindness humility gentleness [and] patience
Ἐνδύσασθε οὖν ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἅγιοι καὶ ἠγαπημένοι σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ χρηστότητα ταπεινοφροσύνην πραΰτητα μακροθυμίαν

Ἐνδύσασθε  Put  on 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Middle, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ἐνδύω  
Sense: to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self.
ἐκλεκτοὶ  [the]  elect 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἐκλεκτός  
Sense: picked out, chosen.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
ἅγιοι  holy 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἅγιος  
Sense: most holy thing, a saint.
ἠγαπημένοι  beloved 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀγαπάω  
Sense: of persons.
σπλάγχνα  hearts 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: σπλάγχνον  
Sense: bowels, intestines, (the heart, lungs, liver, etc.).
οἰκτιρμοῦ  of  compassion 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: οἰκτιρμός  
Sense: compassion, pity, mercy.
χρηστότητα  kindness 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: χρηστότης  
Sense: moral goodness, integrity.
ταπεινοφροσύνην  humility 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ταπεινοφροσύνη  
Sense: the having a humble opinion of one’s self.
πραΰτητα  gentleness 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: πραΰτης  
Sense: mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness.
μακροθυμίαν  [and]  patience 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: μακροθυμία  
Sense: patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance.

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