The Meaning of Colossians 3:15 Explained

Colossians 3:15

KJV: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

YLT: and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye were called in one body, and become thankful.

Darby: And let the peace of Christ preside in your hearts, to which also ye have been called in one body, and be thankful.

ASV: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.

What does Colossians 3:15 Mean?

Study Notes

God Christ.
rule See John 14:27 ; Romans 14:17 ; Philippians 4:7 .
God Christ.
rule See John 14:27 ; Romans 14:17 ; Philippians 4:7 .

Verse Meaning

Four imperatives in Colossians 3:15-17 identify the precepts believers must follow. The first of these is "let rule." When Christians need to make choices, the peace that Christ produces in our hearts should be a determining factor. [1] We should choose what will result in peace between us and God, and between us and one another, if such a course of action lies within God"s moral will (cf. John 14:27).
"This directive forms, with the Word of God and the witness of the indwelling Spirit, one of the most important principles of guidance in the Christian life." [2]
When these three indicators line up we can move ahead confidently. Realization of the unity of the body and the peace of Christ results in thankfulness that should also mark our behavior. The second imperative is "be thankful."

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 3:15

The peace of Christ [η ειρηνη του Χριστου]
The peace that Christ gives (John 14:27). [source]
Rule [βραβευετω]
Imperative active third singular of βραβευω — brabeuō to act as umpire With one Head (Christ) as in Colossians 1:18, Colossians 1:24. Be ye thankful “Keep on becoming thankful.” Continuous obligation. [source]
In one body [εν ενι σωματι]
With one Head (Christ) as in Colossians 1:18, Colossians 1:24. [source]
Be ye thankful [ευχαριστοι γινεστε]
“Keep on becoming thankful.” Continuous obligation. [source]
Peace of Christ []
Which comes from Christ. See John 14:27; Ephesians 2:14. [source]
Rule [βραβεύετω]
Lit., be umpire. Only here in the New Testament. See on Colossians 2:18. The previous references to occasions for meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, etc., indicate a conflict of passions and motives in the heart. Christ is the one who adjusts all these, so that the metaphorical sense is appropriate, as in Colossians 2:18. [source]
Called in one body []
See Ephesians 4:4. So that ye are in one body according to your call. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Colossians 3:15

Romans 1:21 Heart [καρδία]
The heart is, first, the physical organ, the center of the circulation of the blood. Hence, the seat and center of physical life. In the former sense it does not occur in the New Testament. As denoting the vigor and sense of physical life, see Acts 14:17; James 5:5; Luke 21:34. It is used fifty-two times by Paul. Never used like ψυχή , soul, to denote the individual subject of personal life, so that it can be exchanged with the personal pronoun (Acts 2:43; Acts 3:23; Romans 13:1); nor like πνεῦμα spiritto denote the divinely-given principle of life. -DIVIDER-
It is the central seat and organ of the personal life ( ψυχή ) of man regarded in and by himself. Hence it is commonly accompanied with the possessive pronouns, my, his, thy, etc. -DIVIDER-
Like our heart it denotes the seat of feeling as contrasted with intelligence. 2 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 9:2; Romans 10:1; 2 Corinthians 6:11; Philemon 1:7. But it is not limited to this. It is also the seat of mental action, feeling, thinking, willing. It is used - -DIVIDER-
1. Of intelligence, Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:18. -DIVIDER-
2. Of moral choice, 1 Corinthians 7:37; 2 Corinthians 9:7. -DIVIDER-
3. As giving impulse and character to action, Romans 6:17; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22. The work of the law is written on the heart, Romans 2:15. The Corinthian Church is inscribed as Christ's epistle on hearts of flesh, 2 Corinthians 3:2-3. -DIVIDER-
4. Specially, it is the seat of the divine Spirit, Galatians 4:6; Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:22. It is the sphere of His various operations, directing, comforting, establishing, etc., Philemon 4:7; Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:5. It is the seat of faith, and the organ of spiritual praise, Romans 10:9; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16. -DIVIDER-
It is equivalent to the inner man, Ephesians 3:16, Ephesians 3:17. Its characteristic is being hidden, Romans 2:28, Romans 2:29; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 14:25. -DIVIDER-
It is contrasted with the face, 1 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 5:12; and with the mouth, Romans 10:8. -DIVIDER-

1 Corinthians 9:24 Prize [βραβεῖον]
Only here and Philemon 3:14. The kindred verb βραβεύω tobe umpire, occurs once, Colossians 3:15. See note. [source]
1 Corinthians 5:10 Idolaters [εἰδωλολάτραις]
Only twice outside of Paul's writings: Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15. This is the earliest known instance of the use of the word. For the collocation of the covetous and idolaters, compare Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 5:5. New-Testament usage does not confine the term to the worship of images, but extends it to the soul's devotion to any object which usurps the place of God. [source]
Ephesians 4:4 Even as []
To the facts of one body and one Spirit corresponds the fact of their calling in one hope. Compare Colossians 3:15. [source]
Colossians 3:17 Giving thanks []
Notice the emphasis on the duty of thanksgiving placed at the close of the exhortations. See Colossians 1:12; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:15; Colossians 4:2. [source]
1 Timothy 6:12 Lay hold on [επιλαβου]
Second (ingressive) aorist middle imperative of επιλαμβανω — epilambanō “get a grip on.” See same verb with genitive also in 1 Timothy 6:19. Thou wast called (εκλητης — eklēthēs). First aorist passive of καλεω — kaleō as in 1 Corinthians 1:9; Colossians 3:15. The good confession Cognate accusative with ωμολογησας — hōmologēsas (first aorist active indicative of ομολογεω — homologeō the public confession in baptism which many witnessed. See it also in 1 Timothy 6:13 of Jesus. [source]
1 Timothy 6:12 Thou wast called [εκλητης]
First aorist passive of καλεω — kaleō as in 1 Corinthians 1:9; Colossians 3:15. [source]

What do the individual words in Colossians 3:15 mean?

And the peace - from Christ let rule in the hearts of you to which also you were called one body thankful be
καὶ εἰρήνη τοῦ Χριστοῦ βραβευέτω ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν εἰς ἣν καὶ ἐκλήθητε ἑνὶ σώματι εὐχάριστοι γίνεσθε

εἰρήνη  peace 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: εἰρήνη  
Sense: a state of national tranquillity.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Χριστοῦ  from  Christ 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: Χριστός  
Sense: Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
βραβευέτω  let  rule 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: βραβεύω  
Sense: to be an umpire.
καρδίαις  hearts 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Plural
Root: καρδία  
Sense: the heart.
ὑμῶν  of  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
καὶ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
ἐκλήθητε  you  were  called 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 2nd Person Plural
Root: καλέω  
Sense: to call.
ἑνὶ  one 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.
σώματι  body 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: σῶμα  
Sense: the body both of men or animals.
εὐχάριστοι  thankful 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: εὐχάριστος  
Sense: mindful of favours, grateful, thankful.