Colossians 3:12-17

Talks for Growing Christians

Relating to Fellow Believers in Grace and Love

Colossians 3:12-17

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Lesson Number 18

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. We must relate to fellow believers.

Practical Application

  1. Grade yourself on a Relating-to-fellow-believers report card.


  1. What is the Greek origin of “bowels of mercy?”
  2. What does it mean to translate Scripture literally and culturally?
  3. Explain each of the following words in terms of relating to fellow-believers: a. Christian graces, including forbearance (Colossians 3:12-13) b. love (Colossians 3:14) c. peace of God (Colossians 3:15) d. teaching (and admonishing and singing) (Colossians 3:16) e. thankfulness (Colossians 3:15, 17)
  4. What is the key to good relationships?


  1. It means compassion, a heart of compassion, tender mercies. The Greek word means “intestines,” and in that time and culture your intestines were considered the seat of affection.
  2. To read and interpret it just as it is written, and to understand the cultural term, which broadens the meaning and helps to build a bridge to a contemporary meaning of terms.
  3. a. forbearance is more than tolerance (when you could retaliate or humiliate, you withhold for the sake of Christ) b. “agape” type of love (the love of the will, a voluntary denial of self in the interest of others) c. letting peace be the umpire, calling it in relation to one another (an example would be church music, when elders say what type it will be, accept it and live with it, even if it’s not your style) d. relating with teaching, with the word of God by knowing what you are teaching, and being what you can be; singing helps to cement people together, especially singing Scripture e. in the context of relations with fellow-believers, regardless of their faults and our faults, being thankful for one another
  4. Letting Christ be supreme and all-sufficient (in graces and love).


  1. Grade yourself on a relating-to-fellow-believers report card. Use a number grade from 1-10, with 10 being the highest mark. Grade yourself in the following areas: ___ unity ___ Christian graces, including forbearance ___ love ___ peace ___ teaching and admonishing ___ service ___ singing ___ thankfulness
  2. What grade do you think God would give you?


  1. How could you improve the grades on your report card? Which areas are the most troublesome to you? Do something about them.

Key Verses

  • “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:1

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