Colossians 3:12
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Elect of God.—For the description of the election here signified see Ephesians 1:4-6. The name is obviously applied to the whole Church, as “elect to privilege “; it is not opposed to “called” (as in Matthew 20:16), but coincident with it, representing, indeed, the secret act of God’s gracious will, which is openly manifested in calling. (Comp. the other instances of the word in the Epistles, Romans 8:33; Romans 16:13; 1Timothy 5:21; 2Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1Peter 1:1; Revelation 17:14.)

Holy and beloved.—Of such election there are here two signs. The elect are “holy,” consecrated to God in thought and life; and “beloved,” accepted and sustained in their consecration by His love. Both epithets belong to them as conformed to the image of Christ (Rev. 8:29); for He is “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34), who “sanctifies Himself for us, that we also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19); and He is also the “Beloved,” the “Son of God’s love” (Colossians 1:13; Matthew 3:17; Ephesians 1:16), and we are accepted in Him. The two epithets here seem intended to prepare for the two-fold exhortation following. They are “beloved,” therefore they should love one another (Colossians 3:12-15); they are holy, therefore they should thank God and live to His glory (Colossians 3:16-17).

(12, 13) Comp. Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:31; Ephesians 5:1-2. The word “tenderhearted” in those passages corresponds to the “bowels (or, heart) of mercies” here;” kindness” and “forgiveness,” “humility,” “gentleness,” “forbearance,” appear in both. But the enumeration here is more exact in order of idea. St. Paul starts with the natural and universal instinct of compassion or sympathy; he next dwells on “kindliness and lowliness of mind,” which are closely akin, since readiness to oblige others grows naturally out of a self-neglectful humility; from these he passes to “gentleness and long-suffering “in case of injury, ready” to forbear and to forgive; lastly, from these particulars he rises to the general spirit of “love,” ruling under “the peace of God.”

Colossians 3:12-13. Put on therefore — In a higher degree than before; as the elect, or chosen, of God — The appellation given in the New Testament to all the true disciples of Christ, to all that so believe in him as to be pardoned and renewed; see on Ephesians 1:4 : holy — Dedicated and conformed to him; and beloved — By him, or set apart to his service, and blessed with the tokens of his peculiar favour. Bowels of mercies Οικτιρμων, of tender mercies, namely, toward all the afflicted, destitute, and distressed, especially those of the household of faith; kindness — Benevolence toward one another and all men, or sweetness of disposition, as χρηστοτης properly signifies; humbleness of mind — In your behaviour toward others, engaging you to condescend even to those that are in the lowest stations of life; meekness — Under whatever injuries or provocations you may receive, always restraining you from returning evil for evil, railing for railing, and from resenting any injury that may be done to you; long-suffering — Amidst the failings, weaknesses, and faults of your fellow-Christians; or when your trials, whether immediately from the hand of God or man, are either continued long, or are violent in their degree; forbearing — Or patiently bearing with one another, if any thing is now wrong; and forgiving one another — What is past; if any man have a quarrel Μομφην, complaint; against any: even as Christ forgave you, &c. — And thereby set you an example, that you might be always disposed to forgive the faults of your offending fellow-Christians or fellow- creatures. See on Ephesians 4:32.3:12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word, but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.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, Philippians 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.

12. the elect of God—There is no "the" in the Greek, "God's elect" (compare Ro 8:3; 1Th 1:4). The order of the words "elect, holy, beloved," answers to the order of the things. Election from eternity precedes sanctification in time; the sanctified, feeling God's love, imitate it [Bengel].

bowels of mercies—Some of the oldest manuscripts read singular, "mercy." Bowels express the yearning compassion, which has its seat in the heart, and which we feel to act on our inward parts (Ge 43:30; Jer 31:20; Lu 1:78, Margin).

humbleness of mind—True "lowliness of mind"; not the mock "humility" of the false teachers (Col 2:23; Eph 4:2, 32).

Put on therefore: as he had mentioned some particular vices of the old man they were to put off, Colossians 3:8, he doth here infer, that they might be complete in Christ, there be particular virtues and graces of the new man they are to put on, or, being new creatures, continually to exercise themselves in.

As the elect of God, holy and beloved; chosen of God before all time, and effectually called in time from the rest of mankind; see John 15:16 Romans 8:29,30 Eph 1:4,5 2 Thessalonians 2:13: saints not only by obsignation, but renewed by the sanctifying Spirit, Colossians 1:2 1 Peter 1:2; beloved with a gratuitous and special love of complacency, John 14:21 Romans 1:7 1 Thessalonians 1:4.

Bowels of mercies; he would have us put on, i.e. exercise, (being sanctified by the Spirit), mercy, not simply, but according to the Hebrew phrase, bowels of mercies, i.e. tendernesses of compassions, resenting the miseries of our brethren, as sharing with them in their sufferings, from our very heart: see Luke 6:36 Romans 12:15 Galatians 6:2 Ephesians 4:32 1 Peter 3:8.

Kindness; courtesy and goodness, Galatians 5:22; endeavouring to succour one another in all offices of benignity, 2 Corinthians 6:6 1 Peter 5:14.

Humbleness of mind; a sincere (not an affected) lowliness of spirit: See Poole on "Ephesians 4:2", See Poole on "Philippians 2:3".

Meekness; gentleness and mildness, receiving one another with an open heart and pleasant countenance: see Galatians 5:13,23 6:1 1 Thessalonians 2:7.

Long-suffering; patience, bearing affronts and outrages, with other vexatious afflictions, without exasperation, abiding sedate after many wrongs offered, Colossians 1:11 Acts 5:41 2 Timothy 2:10 4:2 1 Peter 4:16. Put on therefore,.... As the apostle had argued for the putting off of the members of the body, from their having put off the old man himself; so he now argues from their having put on the new man, to their putting on of his members; that is, to the exercise of the various graces of the Spirit, and the discharge of the several duties of religion; which though they would not be a robe of righteousness, or garments of salvation to them, yet would be very becoming conversation garments, such as would be adorning to themselves, to the doctrine of Christ, and their profession of it, without which they would be naked in their walk, and exposed to shame, , "to be clothed with the Holy Spirit", is a phrase used by the Cabalistic doctors (d); and is indeed a Scripture phrase, "the Spirit of the Lord came upon", clothed Zechariah, 2 Chronicles 24:20 and so Esther is said, by the Jewish writers (e), to be "clothed with the Holy Ghost" Here the metaphor is taken from the putting off of clothes; and what is here directed to, is like Joseph's coat, a coat of many colours. The arguments made use of lie in the characters under which the saints are addressed,

as the elect of God, holy and beloved; that is, "as becomes the elect of God", as the Arabic version renders it; as such who were chosen in Christ from eternity, according to the sovereign will and pleasure of God, and his free grace unto salvation and eternal life; which carries in it a strong argument to enforce the performance of good works, since men are hereby chosen unto holiness, and good works are what God has foreordained that they should walk in, and especially to mercy, and acts of it; since hereby their salvation appears to be not of man's will and works, but of God, that shows mercy; and such who are the objects of this grace are vessels of mercy. The apostle calls all the members of this church by this name, though every individual of them might not be chosen of God; but because they were all under a visible profession of faith and holiness, and the greater part of them were truly believers, he in a judgment of charity gives them all this appellation, and upon the same foot, the next, "holy"; not by birth, for they were by nature unclean and filthy, conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; nor by baptism, which takes away neither original nor actual sin, but leaves men as it finds them, and who ought to be holy before they partake of that; but in Christ imputatively, as he was made of God unto them sanctification; and by him efficaciously, in virtue of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, by which he sanctifies his people; and by his spirit inherently and internally, who is the author of the work of sanctification in the heart; and they were likewise so externally in a professional way, and therefore it highly became them to exercise and practise the following graces and duties, to which they were still more obliged, inasmuch as they were "beloved"; that is, of God, as appeared both from their election and sanctification. God had loved them, and therefore had chosen them in his Son, and had given his Son to die for them, that he might sanctify them; and because of his great love to them, had quickened them when dead in sin, and sanctified them by his spirit: wherefore, since God had so loved them, they ought to show love again to him, and to one another, and put on

bowels of mercies; a sympathizing spirit with saints in distress, weeping with them that weep, suffering with them that suffer, being touched, as their high priest is, with a feeling of their sorrows and weaknesses: it denotes inward pity and compassion to distressed objects, the most tender regard to persons in misery, and such compassion as is free from all hypocrisy and deceit, and therefore is expressed by "bowels"; and what is very large, and reaches to multitudes of objects, and is displayed and exerted various ways, and therefore signified by "mercies". Now such a spirit is a very beautiful one; the apostle begins with the innermost of these garments, adding to it

kindness, which is this inward, tender, unfeigned, and abundant mercy put into act and exercise; this is doing good to all men, especially to the household of faith, distributing to the necessities of the saints, and a showing mercy with cheerfulness, and is very ornamental to a Christian professor: as is also

humbleness of mind; which lies in the saints entertaining mean thoughts of themselves, looking upon themselves as the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints; as inferior to others in knowledge, experience, gifts, and graces; in esteeming others better than themselves; in ascribing all they have, and are, to the grace of God; in doing works of mercy and righteousness without ostentation, and boasting of them, or depending on them; owning, that when they have done all they can, they are but unprofitable servants; and this is a beautiful dress for a believer to appear in: be ye clothed with humility; see 1 Peter 5:5. And of the like nature is

meekness; which shows itself in not envying the gifts and graces, the usefulness and happiness of others, but rejoicing therein; in quietly submitting to the will of God in all adverse dispensations of Providence, and patiently bearing what he is pleased to lay on them; and in enduring all the insults, reproaches, and indignities of men with calmness. This ornament of a meek and quiet, spirit is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Peter 3:4. And what follows is natural to it, and explanative of it,

longsuffering: whereby a person patiently bears the evil words and actions of others, and is not easily provoked to wrath by them, but puts up with injuries, and sits down contented with the ill usage he meets with.

(d) Sepher Jetzirah, Nethib, 17. p. 136, (e) T. Megilla, fol. 14. 2. & 15. 1. Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 3. & 76. 2. & Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 38. 3.

{f} Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, {g} bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

(f) Put on in such a way, that you never put off.

(g) Those most tender affections of exceeding compassion.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 3:12. οὖν] for these virtues are in keeping with the νέος ἄνθρωπος, according to what has been said in Colossians 3:11; it would be a contradiction to have put on the new man, and not to have put on these virtues. The new moral condition, into which ye have entered by your conversion, passing thereby into the fellowship of equality and unity in Christ described in Colossians 3:11, binds you to this by the necessity of moral consistency. The οὖν therefore serves for the introduction of the direct summons by way of inference from its foregoing premisses, just like the οὖν in Colossians 3:5, but not for the introduction of the apodosis (Hofmann; see on Colossians 3:9), as if it were resumptive.

ἐνδύσασθε] for, although the putting on of the νέος ἄνθρ. has taken place as a fact historically through the conversion to Christ, nevertheless it has also, in accordance with the ethical nature of the νέος ἄνθρ. (comp. τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον κ.τ.λ. in Colossians 3:10), its continued acts, which are to take place, namely, by appropriation of the virtues which the new man as such must have.

ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ κ.τ.λ.] as it becomes such; ἐκλ. τ. Θεοῦ is the subject, and ἅγ. κ. ἀγαπ. its predicates. The consciousness of this distinguished bliss, of being the elect of God—chosen by God from profane humanity for eternal Messianic salvation (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:33; Titus 1:2, al.), who as such[153] are holy (through the ἁγιασμὸς πνεύματος, 2 Thessalonians 2:13), and beloved of God (Romans 5:5; Ephesians 1:6),—how could it fail to touch the consciences of the readers, and incite them to the very virtues, corresponding to so high a position,—virtues of that fellowship described in Colossians 3:11, which are required from them as renewed men! Observe, moreover, that the ἐκλογὴ τ. Θεοῦ is the presupposition of what is said by ἀπεκδυσάμενοι κ. τ. λ. in Colossians 3:10-11, and that therefore ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ κ.τ.λ. is not inserted without significant connection with what goes before. It is likewise admissible to take the words ἅγιοι κ. ἠγαπ. substantively, either as co-ordinate with the ἐκλεκτοὶ τ. Θ. and explanatory of this idea (“as the elect of God, holy and beloved,” Luther, Calvin, Grotius, and the majority, including Bähr, Böhmer, Huther, de Wette, Hofmann), or so that ἐκλεκτ. τ. Θεοῦ stands in adjectival relation to them (Bleek: “elect holy and beloved ones of God”); but it is more in keeping with the purposely chosen order of the words to concentrate the whole stress on ἐκλεκτοὶ Θεοῦ. Bengel, connecting as we do, aptly observes: “Ordo verborum exquisite respondet ordini rerum: electio aeterna praecedit sanctificationem in tempore; sanctificati sentiunt amorem et deinceps imitantur.” Theophylact (comp. also Steiger) took ἅγιοι as the chief word, which is more precisely defined by ἐκλ. τ. Θεοῦ and ἠγαπ. (ἐγένοντο μὲν γὰρ ἅγιοι, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐκλεκτοὶ οὐδὲ ἠγαπημένοι· ὑμεῖς δὲ ταῦτα πάντα). Neither supported by the position of the words nor by the context, which does not suggest any contrast.

σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ] οἰκτ. is the genitive of quality, and the expression is quite similar to that in Luke 1:78, σπλάγχνα ἐλέους; see in loc. Hence σπλάγχνα is not to be taken here in the abstract sense (love, so usually), but in its proper sense: viscera, as the seat of sympathy; consequently: a heart, the moving feeling of which is sympathy. Comp. Ewald and Hofmann. The two are separated in Php 2:1. As to the conception of οἰκτιρμ., comp. on Romans 9:15χρηστότητα] kindliness, the opposite is ἀποτομία, Romans 11:22. Comp. Ephesians 4:32. See generally, Tittmann, Synon. p. 140 ff.

ταπεινοφρ., humbleness, which is meant here, however, according to the entire context, not towards God (Böhmer), but (see Colossians 3:11) in relation to others, as the opposite of haughtiness (ὑψηλοφρονεῖν); Ephesians 4:2; Php 2:3.

On πρᾳοτ., gentleness (opposite: Ephesians 4:31, and ἀγριότης, Plat. Conv. p. 197 D), and μακροθ., long-suffering, bearing with immoral opposition (comp. Ephesians 4:2, and on Galatians 5:22), Colossians 3:13 throws fuller light.

[153] For the act of the divine ἐκλογή, which in itself is before time, has come into temporal realization and manifestation through the calling (comp. ver. 15). Comp. generally, Weiss in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1857, p. 78 ff., and Bibl. Theol. § 88, ed. 2.Colossians 3:12. This verse and Colossians 3:13 are parallel to Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:32. The ethical consequences of having put on the new man are now drawn out in detail.—ἐνδύσασθε οὖν: not since Christ has become all and in all to you (Lightf.), but since you have put on the new man.—ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ: i.e., as conformity to your position as God’s elect demands. The election is God’s choice of them in Christ before creation (Ephesians 1:4).—ἅγιοι καὶ ἠγαπημένοι qualify ἐκλ., and are not vocatives. ἠλ. means, as elsewhere in N.T., beloved of God; he is speaking of their position as Christians.—σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ: “a heart of compassion,” the σπλ. being regarded as the seat of emotion.—χρηστότητα: almost “sweetness of disposition”. It is opposed to “severity” (of God) in Romans 11:22.—ταπεινοφροσύνην, πραΰτητα: both virtues towards fellow-men, and quite different from ταπ. in Colossians 2:18. Neither has reference to man’s relation to God. Each is a specifically Christian virtue.12–17. Universal Holiness: the positive side

12. Put on therefore] They had already “taken off the old Man” and “put on the new” (Colossians 3:9, and notes). But the ideal would need to be made real, in obedient faith.

the elect of God] For the same phrase (or nearly), cp. Matthew 24:31; Luke 18:7; Romans 8:33; Titus 1:1; and cp. Mark 13:20; John 13:18; John 15:16; John 15:19; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5; Romans 11:7; Romans 11:28; 1 Corinthians 1:27-28; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:10.—The word rendered “elect” (and its cognates) is generally used in the N.T., where the highest level of Divine purpose, or spiritual privilege, is in view, and with a tendency to emphasize the sovereign and (humanly) uncaused mercy of the “choice.” See our note on Ephesians 1:4.—At the same time the truth of a sovereign choice is constantly found in connexions where (as here) practical holiness is in view. See e.g. Romans 8:29. It is mentioned here only to enforce the most practical “obligations of nobility.”

beloved] In the Greek, a perfect participle passive (so 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13), indicating the settlement and fixity of the Divine love; “on whom He has set His love.” On the application to a whole community of such terms as those used in this verse, see above on Colossians 1:2.

bowels of mercies] Better perhaps a heart of compassion; having regard to the English use of the word “heart” as a symbol for tenderness of feeling. See our notes on Php 1:8; Philemon 1:7.

kindness] Almost, sweetness; the character which offers sympathy and invites confidence. See Trench, N.T. Synonyms, Second Series, § xiii.

humbleness of mind] One word in the Greek.—See above on Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23, for the same word (there rendered in A.V. “humility”) in a very different context. It occurs Ephesians 4:2 (A.V., “lowliness”); Php 2:3 (A.V., “lowliness of mind”); where see notes in this Series.—The word is not older in Greek than the N.T., and the grace is essentially Christian, the attitude of a soul which has lost its pride in the discovery of the mercy of its salvation.

meekness] Grouped similarly with “humblenessEphesians 4:2; where see note in this Series. It is the grace of submission under trial.

longsuffering] See note, ch. Colossians 1:11.Colossians 3:12. Ἐκλεκτοὶ, elect) This is equivalent to a substantive; its epithets are, holy and beloved. He calls them the elect of God, as Romans 8:33. The order of the words admirably corresponds to the order of the things [‘elect’ before ‘holy,’ and ‘holy’ before ‘beloved’]: eternal election precedes sanctification in time. The ‘sanctified’ feel the love of God, and then in consequence afterwards imitate it.—σπλάγχνα, bowels) Ephesians 4:32.—ταπεινοφροσύνην, humility of feeling, humbleness of mind) ib. Colossians 4:2 [ταπεινοφροσύνης, “with all lowliness”]. These virtues are kept in exercise by ‘forbearing’ and ‘forgiving.’ [See next ver.]Verse 12. - Put on, therefore, as elect of God, holy, [and] beloved (vers. 9,14; Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 1:3-5; Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:28-39; 1 Peter 1:1, 2; 1 John 3:1). The terms "elect," "holy" (same as "saints," Colossians 1:2; see note), "beloved," apply alike and separately to those addressed. Bengel, Meyer, Alford, Ellicott prefer to read "holy and beloved elect (ones);" but "holy" and "beloved" are used frequently by St. Paul as distinct substantive expressions, and indicate conditions ensuing on, rather than determining, election. Colossian believers are "elect" in virtue of an antecedent choice of them to salvation on the part of God, as those who would believe on his Son (1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4, 5; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Peter 1:1, 2). Their whole Christian standing springs from and witnesses to God's eternal (Ephesians 1:4) election of them - an election which, however, presumes faith on their part from beginning to end (Colossians 1:22, 23; Romans 9:30-33; Romans 11:5-10, 17-24). "Elect" and "called," with St. Paul, are coextensive terms: comp. Romans 1:7 (R.V.) with this passage, also 1 Corinthians 1:26, 27. To address the Colossian Christians as elect is to remind them of all that they owe to God's grace. "Elect" as chosen by God, they are "holy" as devoted to God. By the latter title they were first addressed (Colossians 1:2); holiness is the essence of Christian character. That they should gain this character and appear in it at the last judgment was the purpose of Christ's atoning death (Colossians 1:21, 22), as it was the purpose of God's eternal election of believers (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:9). "And" is marked as doubtful by Lightfoot, Westcott and Heft; "it is impossible not to feel how much the sentence gains in form by its omission" (Lightfoot). "Beloved" (ἠγαπημένοι) is the perfect participle passive; it describes the position of those who, carrying out by their present holiness the purpose of their past election, are the objects of God's abiding love (1 Thessalonians 1:4). This love dictated their election and set at work the means by which it should be secured (Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:4; Romans 8:28-30, 39; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 4:9, 10). As its purposes are increasingly fulfilled in them, it rests on them with an abiding complacency and satisfaction (Ephesians 5:1; John 14:21-23). Christ is "the beloved One" (Ephesians 1:6; Matthew 3:17, etc.), and those who are "in him" in their measure share the same title (John 17:23-26). But their choice by God and devotion to God, who is all love to them (Romans 8:39; 1 John 4:16), must in turn beget a loving heart in them (1 John 4:11). A heart of pity, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long suffering (Ephesians 4:1, 2, 32-5:2; Philippians 2:1-4; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 3:8, 9; Matthew 5:5, 7; Matthew 11:29; Luke 6:35, 36). "The σπλάγχνα are properly the nobler viscera" rather than the bowels. The use of this figure, found three times in Philemon, is Hebraistic (comp. Luke 1:78; 2 Corinthians 6:12; Philemon 1:7, 12, 20; James 5:11; 1 John 3:17), though similar expressions occur in Greek poets. "Pity" (or, "compassion") is an attribute of God in Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3: comp. Luke 6:36 ("pitiful") (On kindness, or kindliness, see Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6 - in each case following "long suffering;" Romans 11:22, where it is opposed to "severity" in God (comp. Romans 2:4); Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4, where it is ascribed to God in his dealing with men in Christ; also Matthew 11:30.) It is synonymous with "goodness" (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 12:35, etc.); but "goodness" looks chiefly to benefit intended or conferred, "kindness" to the spirit and manner of bestowal (see Trench's 'Synonym'). The objects of "pity" are the suffering and miserable; of "kindness," the needy and dependent. The "lowliness of mind" of Colossians 2:18, 23 was something specious and to be guarded against; here it is the central and essential element of the true Christian temper (Acts 20:19; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14), its self-regarding element (Romans 12:3). It is linked with meekness, as in Ephesians 4:2 and Matthew 11:29. "Pity" and "kindness," preceding "humility," relate to the claims of others upon us; "meekness" and "long suffering," to our bearing towards them. "Meekness," the opposite of rudeness and self assertion (1 Corinthians 13:5), is a delicate consideration for the rights and feelings of others, especially necessary in administering rebuke or discipline (Galatians 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Corinthians 4:21; Titus 3:2), and conspicuous in Christ (Matthew 11:29; Matthew 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1). St. Peter marks it as a womanly virtue (1 Peter 3:4). "Long suffering" is called forth by the conduct of "the evil and unthankful" (see Colossians 1:11, and note). St. Paul claims this quality for himself (2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:10). Throughout Scripture it is ascribed to God (Exodus 34:6; Romans 2:4; Romans 9:22; 1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9, 15, etc.). Bowels of mercies (σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ)

See on 1 Peter 3:8; see on 2 Corinthians 1:3. Rev., a heart of compassion.

Kindness (χρηστότητα)

See on Romans 3:12.

Meekness (πραΰ́τητα)

See on Matthew 5:5.

Long-suffering (μακροθυμίαν)

See on James 5:7.

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