“Above all put on love which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:14).
In all of life there is always, when enumerating anything, the highest and best, the “above all” which is the perfect. In the Apostle’s discourse in his Epistle, he enumerates virtues that we esteem highly among our higher values: mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness (cf. Colossians 3:12-13); but “above all” there is “love” the “bond of perfection”.
Bond: (Gr. Sundesmos, from sun, desmon): a band, ligament, shackle, joint tie, uniting principle, control
Perfection: (Gr. Teleiotes, from Teleios): of full age, the state of completeness
We know God is good, merciful, kind, patient, and forgives us when we fail; but above all God is Love. The Apostle John knew well of this Love calling himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved“ (cf. John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). Then in John’s First Epistle he spoke frequently of the God of Love and the bond of perfection that comes from Him (I John 3:17; 4:7-12, 16, 20-21).
Bonding with God in love comes from being birthed into Him by the Spirit. This bonding is perfect and brings us into holiness, truth, and into God’s love. The Holy God is in the bonds of love with His Son, the bond of perfection; and we, the communion of saints in Christ, are held together in unity and in the “bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) in the Son of God’s love, the Beloved.
The Apostle Paul described Christ as the Head of His Body, “from Whom all the Body by joints and bands (sundesmos) having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God”. The bond of perfection in the love of God is nourishment to the spirit and is the unifying joint tie, the ligament that keeps us bound together in one Body in Him.
It is the desire of God, the Father, that we grow into the maturity and fulness of the stature of Christ, unto the perfect (teleios) man, into a state of completion. We must cease being children carried away with every wind of doctrine by those who seek to deceive (cf. Ephesians 4:14). This will be accomplished as we above all put on love, the controlling power of perfection for those of full age and maturity in the Lord.
The Greatest of These: We all know the power of faith, the joyful expectation of hope and the virtue of love. Yes, indeed, as the Apostle so well described in the Love Chapter of I Corinthians 13: “And now abides faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13). Love, the above all, the highest, the best, the bond of perfection.