As those who have proactively put off the old and put on the new (3:9b-10), we are now called to exhibit the new traits that belong to God's chosen people.
God's Chosen People (12a): So far, Paul has emphasized our active role in our repentance and conversion. This doesn't, however, mean we chose God. Instead, God chose us. Thus, we are called "chosen of God." Moreover, we are objects of God's love ("beloved"), and we are set apart ("holy") unto God. All of this privilege means a duty to live up to our identity as God's chosen people.
New Traits (12b-14): Hence, Paul calls us to put on the new traits that befit God's people: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. He then brings up two actions we are to maintain: forbearance ("bearing with one another") and forgiveness ("forgiving each other"). With the latter, we are to reflect the Lord's treatment of us. Lastly, we are to put on love like a coat that covers everything underneath. Paul also specifies that this is the love believers already know to practice. This is also the glue ("perfect bond") that holds the church together, and without it, the church falls apart.
 Paul repeatedly used the middle voice in 3:5-10: "put to death," "put aside," "put off," and "put on."
 Or, "elect of God" (NKJV). Scripture often describes believers as this (cf. Rom. 8:33; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:1-2).
 "Beloved" is a passive participle (ē-ga-pē-men-oi [ἠγαπημένοι]). We are here seen as recipients of God's love.
 We are set apart unto God. Cf. 1:22 ("holy before God"); 1:26 ("His holy ones"); 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1; 1 Pet. 2:5.
 NASB's "heart of compassion" is literally "bowels of compassion." This is affectionate mercy toward others.
 "Bear with" is the opposite of passion (as in anger and wrath). The second verb "forgive" comes from the noun "grace [cha-ris (χάρις)]," and it emphasizes the gracious treatment of others. These are both set in contrast to the earlier vices (3:5, 8). Lastly, both verbs are imperfective, hence, continual. We keep these up.
 Scripture resounds with the call to imitate God's forgiveness toward us (cf. Matt. 18:32-35; Eph. 4:32).
 "Beyond" is literally "upon," so that love is seen as overarching the other traits. This imagery continues the clothing metaphor. The primacy of love is repeated throughout Scripture (cf. 1 Cor. 16:14; 1 Pet. 4:8).
 "Love" is articular and points to their love, which Paul had heard about (1:4, 8). Cf. also 1 Thess. 4:9.