Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, for to this you were called as members of one body. And be thankful.
Gratitude the One Thing NeededW. Baxendale.Colossians 3:15
Peace and ThanksgivingT. Croskery Colossians 3:15
Peace the UmpireW.F. Adneney Colossians 3:15
Rest and be ThankfulA. K. H. Boyd, D. D.Colossians 3:15
ThankfulnessJ. H. Wilson, M. A.Colossians 3:15
Thankfulness Should be PracticalE. Foster.Colossians 3:15
Thankfulness; NaturalR. South, D. D.Colossians 3:15
The Heart Controls the LifeW. Arnot, D. D.Colossians 3:15
The Peace of ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 3:15
The Peace of God Ruling the HeartC. H. Spurgeon.Colossians 3:15
The Power of Divine PeaceJ. Spence, D. D.Colossians 3:15
The Ruling Peace of ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 3:15
Unity and PeaceF. W. Robertson, M. A.Colossians 3:15
A Holy ChurchT. W. Jenkyn, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
A Holy LifeH. Bonar, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
Bowels of MerciesBishop Davenant.Colossians 3:12-15
ElectionPaxton Hood.Colossians 3:12-15
Gentle ChristiansColossians 3:12-15
Humbleness of MindColossians 3:12-15
Humility a SafeguardColossians 3:12-15
Humility and CheerfulnessJ. Ruskin.Colossians 3:12-15
KindnessJ. Morison, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
Long-SufferingN. Byfield.Colossians 3:12-15
Long-Suffering RewardedW. Jay.Colossians 3:12-15
Meekness: its BlendingD. Thomas, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
Meekness: its BlessednessArchdeacon Hare.Colossians 3:12-15
Meekness: its NatureJames Hamilton, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
Meekness: its PowerE. Foster.Colossians 3:12-15
Meekness: its UsefulnessGotthold.Colossians 3:12-15
PityAddison.Colossians 3:12-15
Pity the Secret of Prophetic LightR. Glover.Colossians 3:12-15
Religion Moves to PityR. Glover.Colossians 3:12-15
The Blessings of a Benignant SpiritA. Barnes, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
The Costume of a SaintT. G. Horton.Colossians 3:12-15
The Elect and Their DutiesJ. Daille.Colossians 3:12-15
The Essentials of a Christian CharacterW. Barlow.Colossians 3:12-15
The Garments of the Renewed SoulA. Maclaren, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
The King's LiveryNewman Hall, LL. B.Colossians 3:12-15
The Nature of HolinessBishop Huntington.Colossians 3:12-15
The Power of KindnessJ. Parker, D. D.Colossians 3:12-15
The Power of KindnessAmerican AgriculturistColossians 3:12-15
Tire Power of CompassionArchbishop Thomson.Colossians 3:12-15
The Marks, Method, and Motive of the Christian LifeU.R. Thomas Colossians 3:12-17
The New Life of LoveR.M. Edgar Colossians 3:12-17
What Particularly We are to Put On. How We are AddressedR. Finlayson Colossians 3:12-17
A Threefold Cord of GraceE.S. Prout Colossians 3:14, 15
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.


1. Its Author.

(1) Christ is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14), and "the Lord of peace" (2 Thessalonians 3:16), and "the Prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

(2) It is his legacy to the Church (John 14:27). It is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

(3) He proclaims it - "that publisheth peace" (Isaiah 52:7).

2. The sphere or element of its exercise. "To the which also ye were called in one body." As "God hath called us in peace" (1 Corinthians 7:15), we are to realize our unity by it as members of the body. Unity is out of the question without peace. Let us show the fruit of our calling by being lovers of peace. The kingdom of God is "righteousness and peace."

3. Its enthronement as umpire in the heart. "Let it be umpire in your hearts."

(1) It is to act with decisive force in the conflict of impulses or feelings that may arise in a Christian life.

(2) Yet we must retain truth along with peace (Hebrews 12:14; Mark 9:50). The true wisdom is to be "first pure, then peaceable" (James 3:17).

II. THANKSGIVING. "And be ye thankful." It is our duty to be always thankful to God. It held a constant place in the apostle's thoughts. The word, in its substantive and verbal forms, occurs thirty-seven times in his Epistles. We must be in a constant mood of thanksgiving for his mercies, for his grace, for his comforts, and for his ordinances. - T. C.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.
The various reading "peace of Christ" is not only recommended by MS. authority, but has the advantage of bringing the expression into connection with the great words of our Lord, "Peace I leave you," etc. A strange legacy left at a strange moment. It was but an hour or so since He had been "troubled in spirit" as He thought of the betrayer — and in an hour more He would be beneath the olives of Gethsemane; and yet even at such a time He bestows on His friends some share in His deep repose of spirit. Surely the "peace of Christ" must mean what "My peace" meant: not only the peace which He gives, but the peace which lay like a great calm on the sea on His own deep heart, and we must not restrict it

to mutual concord. When He gave us His peace He gave us some share in that meek submission of will to His Father's will, and in that stainless purity, which were its chief elements. The hearts and lives of men are made troubled not by circumstances, but by themselves. Whoever can keep his own will in harmony with God's enters into rest. Even if within and without are fightings, there may be a central peace. Christ's peace was the result of the perfect harmony of His nature. All was co-operant to one great purpose; desires and passions did not war with conscience and reason, nor did the flesh lust against the spirit. Though that complete uniting of all our inner selves is not attained on earth, yet its beginnings are given us by Christ, and in Him we may be at peace with ourselves, and have one great ruling power binding all our conflicting desires in one, as the moon draws after her the heaped waters of the sea.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The connection between this verse and the foregoing is obvious. The man who has this peace is most likely to cultivate love. Christian calmness is the concomitant and stimulus of Christian affection which is hindered by doubt, anxiety, or fear.


1. It is the highest blessing. It is peace with God and the rest of the soul in Him — the peace which comes from Christ and through Him. In its character it is that which Christ Himself enjoys, and when we have it, with no gloom from the past, no forebodings for the future, no pursuing vengeance and no depressing fear, we stand strong and calm amid the troubles of this world, like the rock unmoved amid the ocean surges. It is a Divine tranquillity which the world cannot take away and no earthly sorrow diminish.

2. It is a present blessing — not one hoped for to be realized by and by. Yet there are many who are in uncertainty about it, and they go about doubting and unhappy. It ought not to be so when Christ gives it freely. Come forth and dwell in the glory of the Divine love and it will flow into the soul.

3. It is a powerful blessing.(1) A power of stimulus. It is the mightiest help on the side of piety, it leads and lifts the soul to Him from whom it comes.(2) A power of defence (Philippians 4:7).

(a)It fortifies against temptation and sin;

(b)against infidelity.A Christian may be a poor logician and unacquainted with historical evidences, but if Divine peace rules his heart, he has a stronger defence than reason or learning can supply.(3) A power of control. It is a wise and safe monitor. We are often perplexed as to what is right or wrong in pursuits, amusements, alliances, etc. But if the peace of God is supreme it will settle these moral difficulties at once.(4) A power of concentration. It gathers together all the powers of manhood that they may go forth in obedience to Christ. It enabled Paul, freed as he was by it from all doubts and fears, to say, "This one thing I do."


1. The Divine call to it — "To which we also are called." They surely forget this who go in doubt or uncertainty. It is God's gracious design that we should have it. The gospel summons us to happiness. "Peace on earth" was the proclamation of the angels. To give it was the mission of Christ, and His promise to the disciples, "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but in Me peace."

2. Our condition in this world of turmoil and sin. By it we may be raised above the sorrows and anxieties of time. We can and ought to be calm when other men are agitated — when panic is abroad, credit shaken, commerce paralyzed, the bonds of society loosened, human hopes stricken.

3. The unity of the Church — "in one body." The more we are conscious of it, and let it rule, the more shall we contribute to the manifest oneness of the body of Christ. No strifes and divisions can exist where it reigns.

III. THE SPIRIT IN WHICH IT IS TO BE CHERISHED. Thankfulness is an habitual exercise of the Christian soul; here it is for peace. And when we think that God has called us to it, and contemplate the way in which it has come to us through the Cross, and estimate its value in this world of sorrow, how profound should be our gratitude.

(J. Spence, D. D.)

The figure is that of the umpire or abitrator at the games who, looking down on the arena, watches that the combatants strive lawfully, and adjudges the prize. The peace of Christ, then, is to sit enthroned as umpire in the heart; or if we might give a mediaeval instead of a classical shape to the figure, that fair sovereign, Peace, is to be Queen of the Tournament, and her "eyes rain influence and adjudge the prize." When contending impulses and reasons distract and seem to pull us in opposite directions, let her settle which is to prevail. We may make a rude test of good and evil by their effects on our inward repose. Whatever mars our tranquillity, ruffling the surface so that Christ's image is no longer visible, is to be avoided. That stillness of spirit is very sensitive, and shrinks away at the presence of an evil thing. Let it be for us what the barometer is to the sailor, and if it sinks let us be sure that a storm is at hand. There is nothing so precious that it is worthwhile to lose the peace of Christ for the sake of it.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

There are here four pieces of advice.

I. POSSESS THE PEACE OF GOD. Many persons have peace but it is a false peace, the peace of ignorance, stupidity, indifference — the followers of the false prophet who cried "peace, peace,"' when there was no peace. Woe to the man whose peace of mind is like the deadly smoothness of the current just as it nears the cataract! The text refers to —

1. Peace with God. If you are reconciled through Jesus Christ, don't act as though it were doubtful (Romans 5:1). Growing out of this there is peace with God in all His providences which can only come through an entire submission to the Divine will. If thou canst not change thy place change thy mind till thy mind shall love thy place. If forgiven why raise minor points. It is like quarreling on small points of law when the great case has been decided.

2. Peace such as God commends. Perfect peace with Himself and then with all men. What are men's offences against us compared with those which God has forgiven? And what can men do to us at the worst that we should fear or revenge their injuries? "Peace on earth: good-will toward men."

3. Peace which God works in the soul. We cannot create this. To take the wild-beast heart out of us and to put a new heart in us is a Divine work.

4. The peace of God — a Hebraism for excellence, as great mountains and trees are called hills and trees of God. It is greater than any other peace. It is the holiest, deepest, one which passeth all understanding, and eternal.


1. In order to peace there must be a ruler. Those people who are for putting down all governors may bid farewell to peace. The worst king is better than the despotism of the mob, the carnival of misrule wherein every man doth what is right in his own eyes, and all eyes love darkness rather than light. See how it is in a house! Where the head is not the head, the hand is not the hand, and nothing is itself. You must have a governing faculty somewhere; and if nothing governs within your heart the devil governs.

2. It is a blessed gift of grace when the peace of God rules in the heart. If it is in your heart at all, it must rule, for it has power to put down all rebellion. When a riot arises we appeal to the lawful power to come and put down the uproar. So in our hearts we can say to the master principle, the peace of God, "Come, put down my murmuring, arrest this bad temper, help me that I may not break out into anger."

3. Yield yourself to the blessed umpireship of the peace of God. Resolve to judge all things by it, and do nothing that would upset its government. If you do — say by getting angry — you harm yourself physically, but much more spiritually. In such a case you cannot pray as you did, nor read some scriptures as you did, nor look the Well-beloved in the face and say "I am acting in a way that pleases Him." It is therefore a serious thing for a believer to break this peace.

4. If a man has this peace he may go down to any meeting, however turbulent — and yet he will be wise to answer and be silent, to do or not to do, for it will keep him quiet. But if his mind be unhinged before the Lord he will be weak as another man, and say and do what he will wish to wipe out with tears.


1. Only can you be happy in heart and healthy in spirit as long as you keep the peace of God.

2. Only then can the Church prosper. A Church disputing is a Church committing suicide', and most disputes are about little points?

3. Only thus can God be glorified. If you are always fretting and anxious how can you promote that; or if you are finding fault with everybody.

4. God calls you to this. If you are not a peaceful man you have not inherited your true calling. He called you to be a peacemaker.

5. He calls you in one body. What would you think of the hand if it should say, "I will have no peace with the eye," or the foot if it should say, "I will not carry the heavy body about"? What is to become of the glory of Christ if the members live in contention?


1. That is the way to keep our peace with God. Bless Him for all your miseries as well as for all your mercies.

2. That is the way to keep our peace with men. Be thankful in the home. society, etc., for benefits received.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. It may surprise us to find peace urged as a duty, whereas it seems a matter over which we have no control. But the text proceeds upon the supposition and urges thankfulness for it also.

2. Moreover, remember that these words were written when the apostle lay in prison, expecting a violent death; when false doctrines were rife and religious animosities fierce; and they are part of an eager controversial Epistle. Therefore it is possible to be in the midst of danger, to breathe the atmosphere of religious controversy, and even to be a controversialist, and yet the soul not lose its deep peace. Joined with this is the doctrine of Church unity as its basis.


1. Distinguish between the unity of comprehensiveness and that of singularity. The army is one, that is the oneness of unity; the soldier is one, that is the oneness of the unit. The body is a unity of manifold comprehensiveness, a member of a body exhibits a unity of singularity. Without unity peace is impossible. There is no peace in a soldier, but there is in an army; none in a limb, only in a body. In order to have peace you must have a higher unity, and herein consists the unity of God's own being. When the Unitarian speaks of God as one, he means simply singularity of number. We mean that He is of manifold comprehensiveness. "I and My Father are one."

2. Unity subsists between things dissimilar.(1) There is no unity in the separate atoms of a sand-pit; they are things similar. Even if they be hardened into a mass they are only a mass. There is no unity in a flock of sheep; it is simply a repetition of things similar.(2) But a body is made up of dissimilar members and is thus a unity; so that if you strike off from this any one member the unity is destroyed and only a part is left..(3) So with the Church.(a) The unity of its ages is not that every age is the repetition of every other, but that each has put forth its own fragment of truth. In early ages martyrdom proclaimed the eternal sanctity of truth rather than give up which a man must lose his life. This age by its revolutions and socialisms proclaims the brotherhood of man. So that just as every separate ray — violet, blue, and orange — make up the white ray, so these manifold fragments blended make up the perfect white ray of truth.(b) With regard to individuals. At the reformation, e.g., it was given to one to proclaim that salvation is not local; to another, justification by faith; to another, the sovereignty of God; to others, the supremacy of the Scriptures, the right of private judgment, the duty of the individual conscience.(c) So again with regard to Churches. Would we force upon others our Anglicanism? Then in consistency you are bound to demand that in God's world there shall be but one colour, and one note. But the various Churches advance different truths, varieties to be blended in unity.

3. Unity consists in submission to one single influence or spirit. Take away the unifying life of the body, and decomposition begins, the principle of cohesion being gone. We know the power of a single living influence. Take, e.g., the power wherewith the orator holds together a thousand men as if they were one; or that which concentrates the conflicting feelings of a people when the threat of foreign invasion has fused down the edges of variance and makes the classes of this manifold and mighty England one; or the mighty winds which hold together the various atoms of the desert, so that they rush like a living thing across the wilderness. And this is the unity of the Church, the subjection to the one uniting spirit of its God. You cannot produce unity by ecclesiastical discipline, by consenting to some form of expression, such as "Let us agree to differ," by parliamentary enactments. Give us the living Spirit of God and we shall be one. This was exhibited at Pentecost, and may be so again.


1. This peace is when a man is contented with his lot, when the flesh is subdued to the spirit, and when he feels in his heart that all is right. To this we are called, "Come unto Me all ye that labour, etc."

2. This was the dying bequest of Christ; and herein lies the power of Christianity to satisfy the deepest want of man — the repose of acquiescence in the will of God.

3. It is God's peace. God is rest. The "I am" of God is contrasted with the "I am becoming" of all other things. And this peace arises out of His unity. There is no discord between the powers and attributes of God.

4. It is a living peace, and must be distinguished from the peace of the man who lives for and enjoys self: the peace on the surface of the caverned lake that no wind can stir; that is the peace of stagnation: the peace of the stones which have fallen down the mountain's side; that is the peace of inanity: the peace in the hearts of enemies who lie together on the battle field; their animosity is silenced in death. If ours is the peace of the sensualist, or of inaction, apathy or sin, we may whisper to ourselves "Peace, peace," but there will be no peace.

5. It is the peace which comes from an inward power — "rule." There is no peace except where there is the possibility of the opposite of peace, although now restrained and controlled. You do not speak of the peace of a grain of sand, or of a mere pond, but of the sea, because its opposite is there implied. And we make a great mistake when we say there is strength in passion. If the passions of a man are strong, the man is weak if he cannot control them. The real strength of a man is calmness, the word of Christ saying, "Peace!" and there is "a great calm."

6. It is the peace of reception, but not of inaction.(1) The peace of obedience. Very great is this when a man has his lot fixed, and his mind made up, and sees his destiny before him and acquiesces in it. Deep is the peace of a soldier to whom has been assigned an untenable position, with the command, "Keep that, even if you die," and he obediently remains to die. Great was the peace of Elisha. "Knowest thou," said the excited men around him, "that the Lord will take," etc. "Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace."(2) The peace of gratefulness; that peace which Israel had when these words were spoken. "Stand still and see the salvation of God."

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

An engine, dragging its train on the rail, is sweeping along the landscape. As it comes near it strikes awe into the spectator. Its furious fire and smoke, its rapid whirling wheels, its mighty mass shaking the ground beneath it, and the stealthy quickness of its approach, — its whole appearance and adjuncts make the observer bate his breath till it is past. What power would suffice to arrest that giant strength. Although a hundred men should stand up before it, or seize its whirling wheels, it would cast them down, and over their mangled bodies hold on its unimpeded course, with nothing to mark the occurrence but a quiver as it cleared the heap. But there is a certain spot in the machinery where the touch of a little child will make the monster slacken his pace, creep gently forward, stand still, slide back, like a spaniel fawning under an angry wold at the feet of his master. I find a law in my members that when I would do good evil is present with me. No power in heaven or earth will arrest that downward fall, unless it be laid upon the heart.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

Be ye thankful

1. Providential mercies.

(1)Your food.

(2)Your clothing.

(3)Your health.

(4)Your learning.

(5)Your reason.

(6)Your parents, friends, and homes.

(7)Deliverance from danger.

2. The means of grace.

(1)Your Bible.

(2)Your sabbaths.


(4)Christian companion ships.

(5)Christian books.

3. Christ and salvation.


1. In word. Thank God —

(1)at your meals.

(2)In your prayers.

(3)In your praises.

2. In deed.

(1)By giving of our money.

(2)Your time.


III. THE SIN OF UNTHANKFULNESS. It is ranked with the vilest sins.

(J. H. Wilson, M. A.)

If you consider the universe as one body, you shall find society and conversation to supply the office of the blood and spirits: and it is gratitude that makes them circulate. Look over the whole creation, and you shall see that the band or cement which holds together all the parts of this glorious fabric is gratitude or something like it. You may observe it in all the elements; for does not the air feed the flame, and does not the flame at the same time warm and enlighten the air? Is not the sea always sending forth as well as taking in? And does not the earth quit scores with all the elements, in the noble fruits and productions that issue from it? And in all the light and influence that the heavens bestow on this lower world, though the lower world cannot equal their benefaction, yet, with a kind of grateful return, it reflects those rays that it cannot recompense; so that there is some return, however, although there can be no requital.

(R. South, D. D.)

As physicians judge of the condition of men's hearts by the pulse that beats in their arms and not by the words that proceed from their mouths; so we may judge of the thankfulness of men by their lives rather than by their professions.

(E. Foster.)

A gentleman in Bombay seeing an anchorite sitting under a cocoa nut tree, asked for an interest in his prayers. The anchorite replied he would with pleasure grant the request, but he scarce knew what best to ask for him. "I have seen you often," he said, and you appear to have everything you want that can conduce to human happiness; perhaps the best thing I can ask for you will be a grateful heart.

(W. Baxendale.)

There is a picturesque tract of the Western Highlands of Scotland, in passing through which the traveller has to ascend a long winding path, very steep, rough, and lonely, leading up a wild and desolate glen. The savage and awful grandeur of the scenery, with its bare hills and rocks, is hardly equalled in this country. But if the traveller goes up that glen on foot (and it is hardly possible to go up it otherwise), his appreciation of the scene around him is gradually overborne by the sense of pure physical fatigue. Not without a great strain upon limbs and heart, can that rugged way be traversed. At last' you reach a ridge, whence the road descends steeply on the other side of the hill. You have ended your climbing, and you may now begin to go down again, from whichever side you come. And there, at this summit, you will find a rude seat of stone, which bears the inscription in deeply-cut letters, "Rest and be thankful." Many weary travellers have rested there: let us trust that a good many have been thankful. We all know that the like name has been given to more than one or two like restingplaces, that it is borne by various seats, at the top of various steep ascents in this country. There is something pleasing, and something touching, in the simple natural piety which has dictated the homely name. He was a heathen who said it, but he spoke well who said, Wheresoever man feels himself in peace and rest, let him think of God, and give thanks to Him. "Rest and be thankful," says the stone in the Highland glen: "Be ye thankful," says St. Paul to the Christians of Colossae. It is not said to whom we are to be thankful. There is a touch of natural piety in the fact, that that does not need to be said. That is taken for granted. We all know who it is that is the Giver of all good: and when we are told, generally, to be thankful, of course we know to whom! Resting at the summit of the mountain path, it is not to the man who erected that seat for the weary traveller: though it is fit and right that he should be kindly thought of while we are enjoying the effect of his work, yet we are to look beyond him to a cause above him. He erected that seat, acting (as it were) for God: every mortal who does a kind and good deed, in a right spirit, is acting for God, and in God's name: and he went away when his work was done, asking of the wayfarer, putting his request on record with a pen of iron upon the stone, — that for whatever comfort and rest might be experienced there, the wayfarer might bestow his thanks in the right quarter. And St. Paul does just the same!

(A. K. H. Boyd, D. D.)

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