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Ephesians 4:32 & meaning...

Be 

kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32

Context

Ephesians 4 [30.] Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5 [1.] Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.


Meaning:

  • Kindness:

Mutual Benevolence: The call to "be kind to one another" goes beyond mere politeness. It invites believers to actively cultivate a spirit of benevolence and goodwill in their interactions with fellow believers. Kindness serves as the foundation for healthy relationships within the Christian community.

Imitating God's Kindness: The emphasis on kindness aligns with the overarching theme of imitating God. Believers are called to reflect God's character, and kindness becomes a tangible expression of the divine nature.

  • Tenderheartedness:

Compassionate Sensitivity: The term "tenderhearted" conveys a depth of compassionate sensitivity. It urges believers to approach others with a soft and understanding heart, showing empathy and concern for their joys and struggles.

Modeling Christ's Compassion: The call to be tenderhearted mirrors the compassion displayed by Christ during His earthly ministry. Believers are encouraged to emulate this compassionate sensitivity in their relationships, mirroring Christ's love for humanity.

  • Forgiving Each Other:

Radical Forgiveness: The directive to "forgive each other" echoes the radical forgiveness exemplified by Christ on the cross. It challenges believers to extend grace and forgiveness even in the face of offenses, acknowledging their own debt of forgiveness from God.

Community of Forgiveness: Ephesians 4:32 envisions a Christian community characterized by a culture of forgiveness. It recognizes that forgiveness is not just an individual virtue but a communal practice that fosters unity and reconciliation.

  • Just as God Forgave You:

Modeling Divine Forgiveness: The ultimate standard for forgiveness is set by God's forgiveness in Christ. Believers are called to forgive "just as God also in Christ forgave you," emphasizing the sacrificial and redemptive nature of God's forgiveness.

Grace as a Motivator: The acknowledgment of God's forgiveness serves as a powerful motivator for believers to extend forgiveness to others. It invites them to respond to offenses with the same grace they have received from God.


Practical Application:

Daily Application of Virtues: Ephesians 4:32 is not just a theoretical concept but a call to practical living. Believers are challenged to embody kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness in their everyday interactions, creating a Christ-like atmosphere within their communities.

Resolving Conflict: The verse offers guidance on conflict resolution within the Christian community. It encourages believers to approach conflicts with kindness, sensitivity, and a readiness to extend forgiveness, contributing to the restoration of relationships.


Cross-References:

Colossians 3:13: "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." This parallel passage emphasizes the connection between God's forgiveness and believers' capacity to forgive others.

Matthew 6:14-15: "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Jesus' teaching in Matthew aligns with the imperative of forgiveness, reinforcing the reciprocal nature of divine forgiveness.


In conclusion, Ephesians 4:32 encapsulates a profound call to emulate God's redemptive love through kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. It envisions a community where these virtues shape relationships, reflecting the transformative power of God's forgiveness in Christ.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible