Tuesday, July 12, 2016
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 KJV).
What is true forgiveness?
It is evident from their eponymous epistle that the Ephesian believers were mature Christians. Ephesians is certainly a more advanced version of the grace teaching found in the book of Romans. Believers in Ephesus were surely no Corinthians (extremely carnal and worldly), but they still had their own problems. Friends, that should tell us something. Contrary to those who hold to the nonsensical idea of “entire sanctification,” spiritual maturity does not mean sinlessness! Some of the common sins in Ephesus are exposed in the context of today’s Scripture. The Holy Spirit through Paul wrote to correct such un-Christian behavior.
Let us begin reading in verse 31 and continue into today’s Scripture: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Now we proceed to dissect these two verses into their individual thoughts. Nine particular terms or phrases can be extracted: “Let all (1) bitterness, and (2) wrath, and (3) anger, and (4) clamour, and (5) evil speaking, be put away from you, with all (6) malice; And be ye (7) kind one to another, (8) tenderhearted, (9) forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
The first six items are spoken of in a negative light. Therefore, they need to be “put away” (removed) from the Christian’s life. Such actions are contrary to our identity in Christ. They do not belong in our lives because they are not the fruit of the Spirit of God. Then, there are three positive actions in this passage. These three belong in the Christian’s life; the final clause is the key to experiencing them in your Christian life. Now, we proceed to define all nine items. Having a working knowledge of them will help us better understand today’s Scripture and thereby forgiveness.
Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we use the word ‘demons?’”