Skip to main content

Ephesians 4:32: Forgiving One Another


Ephesians 4:32
[32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

Have you ever come across a section of Scripture that you think it would be easier to just take a Sharpie marker and black it out?  Have you ever avoided a verse because it had a way of pointing out just how inept you were as a follower of Christ?  If you haven't wanted to eliminate a verse of Scripture, today's verse might be the very verse that you would like to get rid of.

We are instructed to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.  Well, that is easy if it is for people who are sorry for the way that they have wronged us.  And it is easy to be tenderhearted and kind to those who treat us with kindness.  But, I can assure you, that is not what this verse is saying.  It is saying that we are to be kind, and tenderhearted, and forgiving AS GOD IN CHRIST FORGAVE YOU.

In other words, the way that we are to forgive is to be the very same as God's way of forgiveness.  And what way is that?  While we were sinners.  While we were in complete rebellion to him.  While we hated him, He sent Christ to die for us and forgive our sin.  We did not deserve the forgiveness.  We did not deserve kindness.  We did not deserve God's tender heart.  But, he offered it, freely. And that is what we are to do to everyone. 

We are to offer forgiveness to people who are not sorry and do not deserve it.  And in this letter to the Ephesians, and to us, Paul is helping us to see what separates us from the pagan, godless world around us.  Our forgiving spirit is one of the defining characteristics of people who have been saved and now belong to the kingdom of God. Listen to what the great preacher Charles Spurgeon said about the topic:

"You are nothing better than deceitful hypocrites if you harbor in your minds a single unforgiving thought. There are some sins which may be in the heart, and yet you may be saved. But you cannot be saved unless you are forgiving. If we do not choose to forgive, we choose to be damned."

Who do you need to forgive.  Do it right now.  Maybe you will need to make a phone call.  Do not hold unforgiveness over someone's head.  It's not worth it.  And if you are a Christian, it is not part of your identity.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…