What does Colossians 3:17 really mean?

Colossians 3:17 is about reminding believers to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, expressing gratitude to God the Father through their actions and words.

17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Setting the Scene for Colossians 3:17

In Colossians chapter 3, the scene is set in a bustling marketplace in the ancient city of Colossae. The marketplace is filled with merchants selling their goods, customers haggling over prices, and the aroma of various spices and foods wafting through the air. Among the crowd are a group of early Christians who have gathered to discuss their faith and study the teachings of the apostle Paul.

The group includes Lydia, a wealthy businesswoman who was converted to Christianity after hearing Paul speak by the riverside in Philippi, and Onesimus, a runaway slave who found refuge in the Christian community. Also present is Philemon, Onesimus’ former master who has now become a brother in Christ. They are joined by other believers from different backgrounds and social statuses, all united in their faith in Jesus Christ.

As they sit together in a shaded corner of the marketplace, they read aloud from a letter they received from Paul, which contains instructions on how to live a life that is pleasing to God. The words of Colossians 3:17 resonate with them as they strive to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. In this diverse group of believers, they find unity in their shared commitment to follow Christ and live out His teachings in their daily lives.

What is Colossians 3:17 about?

This verse reminds us that everything we say and do should reflect the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the importance of aligning our actions with our faith and honoring God in all aspects of our lives. We strive to show kindness, compassion, and understanding to others by living in the name of the Lord Jesus, ultimately spreading His message of love and salvation.

Have you ever thought about how your words and actions impact those around you? This verse challenges us to consider the intentions behind everything we do and say, reminding us that we are called to live a life that glorifies God. It encourages us to cultivate a mindset of love, humility, and servitude, allowing the light of Christ to shine through us in our interactions with others. We should strive to be ambassadors of His grace and truth, embodying the values of our faith in all that we do.

Understanding what Colossians 3:17 really means


In the Book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul addresses the Christian community in Colossae, emphasizing the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. In Colossians 3:17, Paul writes, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Paul’s purpose in writing to the Colossians was to encourage them to live out their faith in every aspect of their lives, honoring Christ in all they do.

Verse Breakdown

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed” underscores the inclusivity of all actions and speech, highlighting the need for consistency in living out our faith. This echoes the sentiment in 1 Corinthians 10:31, where believers are urged to do everything for the glory of God. “Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” emphasizes aligning our actions with the teachings and character of Jesus, reflecting the concept found in John 14:13-14 about asking in His name. “Giving thanks to God the Father through him” stresses the importance of gratitude, mirroring the exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all circumstances.

Relevance to People Today

This verse challenges believers to integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives, promoting a holistic approach to spirituality. It encourages a mindset of gratitude and purpose, which can be transformative in navigating the complexities of modern life. By providing a framework for ethical decision-making, Colossians 3:17 guides individuals in aligning their actions with their Christian values.


Consider a professional who exemplifies living out Colossians 3:17 in their daily life. This individual integrates their faith into their work, treating colleagues with kindness and integrity, and approaching challenges with a spirit of gratitude. As a result, they not only experience personal fulfillment but also positively impact those around them, fostering a culture of respect and compassion in their workplace.

Meaningful Phrases and Detailed Explanation

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed” challenges us to be mindful of how our actions and words reflect our beliefs, urging us to consider the influence of our daily choices. “Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” reminds us to act as representatives of Christ, seeking His guidance and strength in all our endeavors. “Giving thanks to God the Father through him” underscores the significance of gratitude in acknowledging God’s presence in our lives, leading to a deeper sense of contentment and joy.


In conclusion, Colossians 3:17 serves as a powerful reminder for believers to live out their faith authentically and intentionally. As you reflect on this verse, consider how you can apply its principles in your own life, honoring Christ in all that you do. May you find strength and guidance from God as you strive to embody the teachings of Colossians 3:17, living a life that glorifies Him in every aspect.

How can I do everything in the name of Jesus?

To do everything in the name of Jesus means to do everything with the awareness of His authority and character. It involves living a life that represents Jesus and His teachings, acting in a way that is in line with His will and desires. When you do things in His name, you are recognizing His lordship over your life and acknowledging that you are representing Him in all that you do. This mindset leads you to make decisions and take actions that align with the values and principles of Jesus, ultimately bringing glory to Him. Constant mindfulness and intentionality are required to do everything in the name of Jesus in practical terms. It means seeking guidance from Him through prayer and the study of His Word, and allowing His teachings to shape your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors. Living in His name involves surrendering your will to His, trusting in His wisdom and guidance, and striving to honor Him in all aspects of your life. You invite His presence and influence into every area of your life by doing everything in the name of Jesus, allowing Him to work through you for His purposes. A way of life that reflects a deep relationship with Jesus is ultimately doing everything in His name. It is a continuous act of worship and surrender, where every thought, word, and action is done with the aim of glorifying Him. Walking in His name honors and obeys Him and also brings joy and fulfillment from living a life aligned with His will.


Think about Colossians 3:17 during your daily hustle. Every word, every action, and every thought should honor Jesus, just like you’d strive to meet deadlines or care for your family. Let His love and grace shine through your work and interactions. Are you ready to infuse your life with gratitude and devotion to our Creator?