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Ephesians 4:32

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Father God,


Thank You so much that we have Your Word. I can't imagine how we would learn about You without it many times, so thank You Father.


I love You.



32. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


Clarke comments, "Be ye kind one to another] ginesqe-crhstoi? Be kind and obliging to each other; study good breeding and gentleness of manners. A Christian cannot be a savage, and he need not be a boor. Never put any person to needless pain.


Tender-hearted] eusplagcnoi? Compassionate; having the bowels easily moved (as the word implies) to commiserate the state of the wretched and distressed.


Forgiving one another] Should you receive any injury from a brother, or from any man, be as ready to forgive him, on his repentance and acknowledgment, as God was, for Christ's sake, to forgive you when you repented of your sins, and took refuge in his mercy.


1. THE exhortations given in this chapter, if properly attended to, have the most direct tendency to secure the peace of the individual, the comfort of every family, and the welfare and unity of every Christian society. That God never prohibits any thing that is useful to us, is an unshaken truth.


And that he never commands what has not the most pointed relation to our present and eternal welfare, is not less so. How is it, then, that we do not glory in his commandments and rejoice in his prohibitions? If the gratification of our fleshly propensities could do us good, that gratification had never been forbidden. God plants thorns in the way that would lead us to death and perdition.


2. From the provision which God has made for the soul's salvation, we may see the nature, and in some sense the extent, of the salvation provided. Much on this subject has been said in the preceding chapter, and the same subject is continued here. God requires that the Church shall be holy, so that it may be a proper habitation for himself; and he requires that each believer should be holy, and that he should, under the influences of his grace, arrive at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ! ver. 13. This is astonishing; but God is able to make all grace abound towards us.


3. It is the will of God that Christians should be well instructed; that they should become wise and intelligent; and have their understandings well cultivated and improved. Sound learning is of great worth, even in religion; the wisest and best instructed Christians are the most steady, and may be the most useful. If a man be a child in knowledge, he is likely to be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine; and often lies at the mercy of interested, designing men: the more knowledge he has, the more safe is his state. If our circumstances be such that we have few means of improvement, we should turn them to the best account. "Partial knowledge is better than total ignorance; he who cannot get all he may wish, must take heed to acquire all that he can." If total ignorance be a bad and dangerous thing, every degree of knowledge lessens both the evil and the danger. It must never be forgotten that the Holy Scriptures themselves are capable of making men wise unto salvation, if read and studied with faith in Christ.


4. Union among the followers of Christ is strongly recommended. How can spiritual brethren fall out by the way? Have they not all one Father, all one Head? Do they not form one body, and are they not all members of each other? Would it not be monstrous to see the nails pulling out the eyes, the hands tearing off the flesh from the body, the teeth biting out the tongue, &c., &c.? And is it less so to see the members of a Christian society bite and devour each other, till they are consumed one of another? Every member of the mystical body of Christ should labour for the comfort and edification of the whole, and the honour of the Head. He that would live a quiet life, and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, must be as backward to take offense as to give it. Would all act on this plan (and surely it is as rational as it is Christian) we should soon have glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will among men.


5. A roughness of manners is to some unavoidable; it is partly owing to the peculiar texture of their mind, and partly to their education. But there are others who glory in, and endeavour to cultivate, this ungentle disposition; under this is often concealed a great degree of spiritual pride, and perhaps some malignity; for they think that this roughness gives them a right to say grating, harsh, and severe things. They should be taught another lesson; and if they will not demean themselves as they ought, they should be left to themselves, and no man should associate with them.


They are not Christians, and they act beneath the character of men."


Calvin writes, "And be ye kind one to another. With bitterness he contrasts kindness, or gentleness of countenance, language, and manners. And as this virtue will never reign in us, unless attended by compassion, (ουμπάθεια,) he recommends to us to be tender-hearted This will lead us not only to sympathize with the distresses of our brethren, as if they were our own, but to cultivate that true humanity which is affected by everything that happens to them, in the same manner as if we were in their situation. The contrary of this is the cruelty of those iron-hearted, barbarous men, by whom the sufferings of others are beheld without any concern whatever.


Forgiving one another. The Greek word here rendered forgiving, (χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς,) is supposed by to mean beneficence. Erasmus, accordingly, renders it (largientes) bountiful. Though the word admits of that meaning, yet the context induces me to prefer the other view, that we should be ready to forgive It may sometimes happen, that men are kind and tender-hearted, and yet, when they receive improper treatment, do not so easily forgive injuries. That those whose kindness of heart in other respects disposes them to acts of humanity, may not fail in their duty through the ingratitude of men, he exhorts them to discover a readiness to lay aside resentment. To give his exhortation the greater weight, he holds out the example of God, who has forgiven to us, through Christ, far more than any mortal man can forgive to his brethren."


Henry writes, "The contrary to all this follows: Be you kind one to another. This implies the principle of love in the heart, and the outward expressions of it, in an affable, humble, courteous behaviour. It becomes the disciples of Jesus to be kind one to another, as those who have learned, and would teach, the art of obliging. Tender-hearted; that is, merciful, and having tender sense of the distresses and sufferings of others, so as to be quickly moved to compassion and pity. Forgiving one another. Occasions of difference will happen among Christ's disciples; and therefore they must be placable, and ready to forgive, therein resembling God himself, who for Christ's sake hath forgiven them, and that more than they can forgive one another. Note, With God there is forgiveness; and he forgives sin for the sake of Jesus Christ, and on account of that atonement which he has made to divine justice. Note again, Those who are forgiven of God should be of a forgiving spirit, and should forgive even as God forgives, sincerely and heartily, readily and cheerfully, universally and for ever, upon the sinner's sincere repentance, as remembering that they pray, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Now we may observe concerning all these particulars that the apostle has insisted on that they belong to the second table, whence Christians should learn the strict obligations they are under to the duties of the second table, and that he who does not conscientiously discharge them can never fear nor love God in truth and in sincerity, whatever he may pretend to."


Holy Father,


I don't understand all of this theological discourse and explanations. I've never been one to do well with "don't do this or that"...I tend to go ahead and do the 'don'ts'...


But all I know is that as this craving for You, this desperate need to be close to You, to know and understand You better, is somehow pleasing to You. This cry of my heart You hear...You meet me at my point of need and fill me with Your love, Your peace, Your understanding. In turn, all these things that I'm reading, the 'do's and don'ts' are just naturally and spiritually happening. The closer I draw to You, the more those things just unfold. It's not that I'm not presented by challenges, but as I continue to choose You above all other, You lavish on me the priviledge of being in Your presence and the things of this world truly do become dimmer and dimmer.


Thank You Lord...I love You.


In Jesus Name,

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I read this post this morning and just had to give it some thought and prayer before I responded. I think what's sticking with me is the dramatic similarity between this and 1 Corinthians 13. Here it is:


The Way of Love

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 13:2 And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 13:3 If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, 1 but do not have love, I receive no benefit.


13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 13:6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 13:7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


Basically, if we don't have Love, we have nothing. And he goes into great detail about what love is. Not what most of us walk in or are even close to. And yet, this is the goal. As Paul says in 1 Timothy:


But the aim of our instruction 8 is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.


It's all about love folks. Once I start praying for those characteristics of 'being a lover' as Paul describes, things start happening that are truly beyond explanation. That is the most powerful force in all Creation (Love of God) and nothing can stop it. If it can bring a fool like me to the feet of Jesus Christ, I guarantee it will happen for other people.

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