The thought on forgiveness includes the phrase just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Christ is the model of forgiveness. Because He has forgiven us, so also must we forgive others.
Verse 14 indicates the most important of all Christian virtues. “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”
Over all these virtues Christians are to put on love. These virtues must flow from love, which in turn is a fruit of the Spirit-filled life (Gal. 5:22). Love is what lashes all these virtues together and bonds them together in our heart. Nothing is acceptable to God if not motivated by love. In this catalog of virtues love is the binding and cover, because it is of supreme importance. It is the perfect bond, holding them all together in perfect unity. Love is the beauty of the believer.
Verse 15 teaches us that a heart full of grace is a heart where Christ’s peace is in control. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Believers are also to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts because they are called to peace as members of one body. The closer believers are to Christ (and His likeness), the closer they are to each other. In interpersonal relationships “peace” (God-given tranquility and well-being) should rule.
This peace is called the peace of Christ because it is the peace only He can bring. Believers were called to live in peace in one body. Individuals who have peace with Christ and in their own hearts will live in unity and harmony with each other.
Verse 16 teaches us that a heart full of grace is a heart where Christ’s word is overflowing. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
The new life Christians must “put on” is one in which the Word of Christ dwells richly. The words of the Bible, God’s written Word, are to dwell in believers. Paul calls upon believers to let the Word take up residence and be at home in their lives. That is, by study, meditation, and application of the Word, it becomes a permanent abiding part of one’s life. Love, peace, and thankfulness, as well as unity, and all the required virtues, flow from a heart and mind filled with and controlled by Scripture.
God’s Word is supposed to dwell in me. A dweller remains regardless of the circumstances. To let the Word of Christ richly dwell is to be accomplished by being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The Word in the heart and mind is the handle by which the Spirit turns the will. It is clear that these two concepts are identical because the passages that follow each are so similar.
We’re still not through.