Bear with one another and forgive one another. If anyone has a quarrel against anyone, even as Christ forgave you, so you must do. And above all these things, embrace love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:13-14
The scripture uses a lot a phrases to describe the nature of Christ. When Jesus came, He declared Himself to be the fulfillment of the law. He later stated that “God is love” and that all the law and the prophets depend on love. Using various texts such as these, one can piece together realities about God to better understand His relation to us. This not only helps build our character, but also our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
What is most interesting about this passage from Colossians is Paul’s use of the phrase “bond of perfection.” So often, a fellowship is described as a bond consisting of imperfect vessels. If you have attended any church, you may have even hear the pastors say that “we are not perfect and only serve a perfect God.” What then does Paul mean then when he says “bond of perfection?”
What must always be remembered about various phrases such as these is that they relate to the power of God. Just as when we refer to individuals, a church as a whole has no righteousness other than what they find in Christ. Therefore, while a church is imperfect, the bond of perfection is possible according to who we depend on. When Godly love factors into our association with one another, we are then utilizing a power outside of human capability. While we are imperfect, we are dependent upon a perfect power that is binding us together. This power is the love of Christ.
Paul’s instruction to the church at Colossae is that they “embrace love” to complete what he refers to as the “bond of perfection.” If a fellowship is to thrive in Christ, it needs to embrace Christ. Not only the acknowledgement of His existence, but the putting on of His character.
By Andrew Inman