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.
15. peace of God—The oldest manuscripts and versions read, "The peace of Christ" (compare Php 4:7). "The peace of God." Therefore Christ is God. Peace was His legacy to His disciples before He left them (Joh 14:27), "My peace I give unto you." Peace is peculiarly His to give. Peace follows love (Col 3:14; Eph 4:2, 3).
rule—literally, "sit as umpire"; the same Greek verb simple, as appears compounded (Col 2:18). The false teacher, as a self-constituted umpire, defrauds you of your prize; but if the peace of Christ be your umpire ruling in your hearts, your reward is sure. "Let the peace of Christ act as umpire when anger, envy, and such passions arise; and restrain them." Let not those passions give the award, so that you should be swayed by them, but let Christ's peace be the decider of everything.
in your hearts—Many wear a peaceful countenance and speak peace with the mouth, while war is in their hearts (Ps 28:3; 55:21).
to the which—that is, with a view to which state of Christian peace (Isa 26:3); 1Co 7:15, "God hath called us to peace."
ye are called—Greek, "ye were also called." The "also" implies that besides Paul's exhortation, they have also as a motive to "peace," their having been once for all called.
in one body—(Eph 4:4). The unity of the body is a strong argument for "peace" among the members.
be ye thankful—for your "calling." Not to have "peace ruling in your hearts" would be inconsistent with the "calling in one body," and would be practical unthankfulness to God who called us (Eph 5:4, 19, 20).