Put on - as the elect of God - As the principal design of the apostle was to show that God had chosen the Gentiles, and called them to the same privileges as the Jews, and intended to make them as truly his people as the Jews ever were, he calls them the elect or chosen of God; and as the Jews, who were formerly the elect, were still beloved, and called to be holy, so he calls the Colossians beloved, and shows them that they are called with the same holy calling.
Bowels of mercies, etc - Be merciful, not in act merely, but in spirit and affection. In all cases of this kind let your heart dictate to your hand; be clothed with bowels of mercy - let your tenderest feelings come in contact with the miseries of the distressed as soon as ever they present themselves. Though I know that to put on, and to be clothed with, are figurative expressions, and mean to assume such and such characters and qualities; yet there may be a higher meaning here. The apostle would have them to feel the slightest touch of another's misery; and, as their clothes are put over their body, so their tenderest feeling should be always within the reach of the miserable. Let your feelings be at hand, and feel and commiserate as soon as touched. See on Ephesians 4:2; (note). Instead of οικτιρμον mercies, in the plural, almost every MS. of importance, with many of the fathers, read οικτιρμου, bowels of mercy, in the singular. This various reading makes scarcely any alteration in the sense.
Put on, therefore, as the elect of God - The fact that you thus belong to one and the same church; that you have been redeemed by the sameblood, and chosen by the same grace, and that you are all brethren, should lead you to manifest a spirit of kindness, gentleness, and love.
Bowels of mercies - Notes, Philemon 2:1.
Kindness - See the notes at Ephesians 4:32. The language here is a little different from what it is there, but the sentiment is the same.
Without thorough purification of the life, without meekness and humbleness of mind, the professing followers of Christ can not honor Him before the world. If the graces of Christ are not revealed in their lives, they can never be admitted to the heavenly mansions He has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments. TDG 73.2Read in context »
In this representation the Lord desired to teach the lesson that He requires in His people purity of character, holiness of life. He desires to see revealed in them toward each other the attributes of mercy and loving kindness and longsuffering, that His people may demonstrate that “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Psalm 19:7). The Lord is ready to manifest Himself to us if our hearts are seeking and serving Him. It is ever His desire to impart the richest blessings to those who serve Him with a pure heart. Christ will be our teacher if we will open our hearts to His instruction and obey His voice.... TDG 71.2Read in context »
Affection may be as clear as crystal and beauteous in its purity, yet it may be shallow because it has not been tested and tried. Make Christ first and last and best in everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him will daily become deeper and stronger as it is submitted to the test of trial. And as your love for Him increases, your love for each other will grow deeper and stronger. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. 7T 46.1
You now have duties to perform that before your marriage you did not have. “Put on therefore, ... kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering.” Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.” Give careful study to the following instruction: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.... Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 5:2, 22-25. 7T 46.2
Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other. 7T 46.3Read in context »
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” “To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers [not talking the truth in a boasting, triumphant manner], but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.” “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 2T 389.1
Brother C wants his mind to control others, and unless he can have this privilege he is dissatisfied. He is not a peacemaker. His course will cause more confusion and distrust in a church than any ten persons can counteract. His peculiar temperament is such that he will be picking flaws, and finding fault with all but himself. He will not prosper until he learns the lesson that he ought to have learned years ago, humbleness of mind. At his age he will learn this lesson at much cost to self. All his life he has been trying to build himself up, to save himself, to preserve his own life; and he has lost his labor every time. 2T 389.2
What Brother C needs is to have the deceptive gloss taken from his eyes, that he may look, with eyes enlightened by the Spirit of God, into his own heart, and test and weigh every motive, and not let Satan put a false coloring upon his course of action. His position is extremely perilous. He will soon turn decidedly to the right, or he will go on deceiving others and deceiving himself. He needs to have his inmost soul converted, and to be subdued and transformed by the renewing of his mind. Then he can do good. But he can never come into the light until he encourages a spirit of humble confession and takes hold with decision to right his wrongs and, as far as he can, to do away the reproach he has brought upon the cause of God. 2T 389.3Read in context »