Believer’s New Clothing

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 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. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.


  • Elect is Greek word electors and means chosen, one picked out from among the larger group for special service or privileges.  It is used to refer to Christ as the chosen Messiah of God (Luke 23:35) and believers as recipients of God’s favor (Matt. 24:22; Romans 8:33; and Col. 3:12).

Matthew 24:22 – And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Romans 8:33 – Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

  • Chosen to be holy.  Holy (haggis) means set apart or separated.  Believers have been chosen to be separated from the world and its sin, and set apart for God.
  • Chosen to be the beloved of God.  Believers have been chosen to receive God’s love through Christ Jesus and to experience this new love of God. 
  • This passage is therefore for the believer, the one who has accepted Christ and experienced His forgiveness and His love.  Paul is not writing to the world – he is writing to the Christian.


  • Put on enduno is a picture of a man putting on clothing.  The concept is that when we accepted Christ, we took off our old garments of sin.  Now we must put on something new or we will be naked. 
  • Mercy oiktirmou is compassion, pity, tenderness.  As a Christian, we are to have compassion and reach out to meet the needs of those lonely, hurting, depressed, homeless, hungry, aged, widowed, orphaned, etc.

Isaiah 58:6-7 – Is this not the fast that I have chosen;…to undo the heavy burdens,…Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house and poor who are wandering; When you see the naked, that you cover him and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God

Acts 20:35 – I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Hebrews 13:3 – Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

  • Kindness chrestotes is goodness in action, gentleness in dealing with others.  The ability to act for the welfare of those who tax your patience.  As a Christian, we must be gentle in our actions and our conversation with others.  We must show goodness, not only to those we like, but to those who irritate and even provoke us.

Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, do good and lend, expecting nothing in return…

1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.

Ephesians 4:32 – And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  • Humility tapeinophrosune means modesty, total absence of arrogance and conceit, an attitude of unselfish concern for others

1 Peter 5:5 – …all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6 – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Titus 3:1-2 – Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

  • Meekness praotes means a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has the passions under control.  This does not mean someone who is weak, but rather of someone who has power and strength under control. 

Matthew 5:5 – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

James 3:13 – Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

  • Long-suffering makrothumia means patient endurance, ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment.  It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint.

James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance or perseverance).  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing.

Ephesians 4:1-3 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • Forbearance anechomai means to persevere, tolerate put up with, stand firm and not lose courage under pressure.  As Christians we must “put up with” and “tolerate” the failures, bad habits, irritating behavior and mistreatment of others.

Romans 15:1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:1-3 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • Forgiveness charizomai means to know kindness unconditionally, give freely, and forgive freely.  This word is from the same root word as grace.  The example we are to follow in our forgiving is the example of Christ.  We forgive others only to the degree that Christ forgives us.  Since Christ forgives us of any and every sin and forgives us over and over, we must use that standard as our standard of forgiveness.

Mark 11:25-26 – And when you stand praying, forgive, if you ought against any; that your Father which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses…

Luke 17:4 – And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him. 

Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 7:1-2 – Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.


  • Love is the most important part – “Above all these things”

1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.

  • Love is the bond that makes us complete.  If a believer really has love, then the above qualities will follow. 

Mark 12:29-31 – The first of all the  commandments is…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul…the second is…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.


  • Peace from God.  Peace elrene means an absence of strife, calmness.

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (thlipispressure, oppression, stress, adversity, affliction, crushing distress.  The word is used for crushing grapes or olives in a press); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

  • Peace is to rule.  This is a command, not a suggestion.  The peace is from God, but we make a choice rather we accept his peace or not.  Rule brabeueto means to act as an umpire.  Peace is to be the deciding factor in all situations that arrive in our life.  Matthew Henry said it this way, “Let this peace rule in your heart-prevail and govern there…as an umpire (let it) decide all matters of difference among you.” 

Isaiah 26:3-4 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.   Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Psalm 119:165 Great (rab – abundant, many, large in number, of major importance, significant) peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

  • Peace is to rule because we have been called to be one body.  The church is to act and behave as one people in union with each other.  The only way we can do that is to let peace be the umpire in the differences and conflicts that arise.

Ephesians 2: 14 – For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.

Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:11 – Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  • Peace is something we are to be thankful for.  We are thankful for the peace Christ has given us personally and to the church collectively.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious (merimnao – distracted, preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress and pressure) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:20-12 – Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.


  • The choice is up to the believer – “Let”
  • The word is to dwell (enoikelot – to make a home) in the believer’s heart richly.  A believer is not to be satisfied with a small portion of God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11:18 – Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

John 15:7 -“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

  • The word is to dwell in our hearts so that we can teach and counsel one another.

2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:24 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.


  • Many different ways of worshipping and sharing God’s Truth.
  • Our worship is to be with grace in our heart.  That word grace (charis) comes from the same root as joy (chara) and to rejoice (chairo).  Grace causes rejoicing.  It is the word for God’s grace to sinful man.  So, we sing with joy in our hearts because of God’s grace to us.  That is why we can sing with joy even in difficult times, even when we are sorrowful.  For the reason we sing, God’s grace to us, remains the same regardless of our circumstances.


  • To the Jewish world in the first century A.D., a person’s name stood for the person themselves.  Even in our country, there was a time when a man did not need to sign a contract to validate an agreement.  His name was enough.  Often children were warned, “Don’t disgrace the family name.”  The name stood for the family and their reputation.
  • So, to do all in the name of Jesus, means to represent Jesus in all we do and say.  We must never do anything to bring dishonor on His name.  It means to live our lives trusting and depending upon Jesus in every circumstance.  It means to let the motto WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) really be a part of our lives.
  • Would Jesus go here?
  • Would Jesus say this?
  • Would Jesus read this?
  • Would Jesus watch this?
  • Would Jesus laugh at this joke?
  • Would Jesus listen to this music?
  • Would Jesus wear this outfit?
  • Would Jesus treat his neighbor this way?
  • Would Jesus do his job this way?
  • Would Jesus go to church this often?
  • Would Jesus spend his money this way?
  • It means to let the presence of Jesus saturate, overflow our lives and all we do, say and are.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


  • Giving thanks (eucharisteo) means to be grateful, to express gratitude.  We need to be a grateful people, expressing freely our thanks to God.

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:15 – Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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