Today we look at Colossians 3:14, “And above all these things, put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” (KJV) The NIV says, “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” The previous verses talk about putting on the new man. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (KJV) When we become Born-Again, we become a new creation, a new man, or a new person spiritually. The sinful person we were, is the old man; when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become a whole, brand new person.
Our verse talks about “above all these virtues”, what virtues? Colossians 3:10-13 describes them. The new man has a renewed knowledge of God, who created him. The new man doesn’t distinguish between peoples, saved, unsaved, race, creed, religion, but looks at all men as being loved by God, and we should, as Believers, love the same way as God. The new man is to be holy, kind, humble, meek, patient, and forgiving, but above all, love is to be the first characteristic of a Born-Again Christian.
Love should be the cornerstone of everything we do and say. We are to be Christ-like in everything. We are to mirror Him in our lives, in our speech, our actions, our attitudes, we are to be a reflection of Him to the world. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus said that loving God and then loving others was the first and great commandment, and all the other commandments hinged on that one commandment. We are to love others as He has loved us. Without love for others, we are not exhibiting those Christ-like virtues.
Love ties all the virtues mentioned in verses 10-13 together. Without love, we cannot be holy or kind or humble or meek or patient or forgiving. When we put on the love of God and make His love a part of us, then that is the first step toward holiness in our lives. Putting on God’s love also opens a door for us to be kind-hearted. Love shows us how to be humble, putting others before ourselves. We can then learn patience and how to forgive others for the wrongs they have done against us. We are to forgive others just as Jesus forgave us, but that doesn’t mean we should let others walk all over us like doormats. J. Vernon McGee describes how we are to forgive in his commentary on Colossians, “But it does mean that when we have a complaint, we’re to go to the individual and try to work out the matter.” We are to do so in an attitude of love and humility.
When we “put on love” as the Apostle Paul describes it, we are showing Jesus to the world. In today’s world, we need to see more of God’s love being exhibited. If we can share God’s love with just one person, it will make a difference in that one person’s life, maybe so much so, that they spread that love to someone else, and then it becomes a ripple effect, spreading out to more people, and then we begin to see a world that reflects God’s love and everything around us would change for the better.
The more we share our story of how much God loves us and saved us, we are spreading the Good News of His love for them, and even if they don’t decide to accept Jesus as Savior immediately, it will have an impact upon them. When we do everything with love, others will notice, and it will influence them, and they will see God’s love in us.