VERSE OF THE DAY
Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Instead be gentle loving and kind to one another not quarrelsome forgive of each other just as God through Christ alone has forgiven you being tender hearted in the image of Jesus
One example comes from Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God has forgiven you.”Oct 15, 2021
What Does Ephesians 4:32 Mean? ►
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Forgiveness was a matter that was dear to the heart of our compassionate God – and forgiveness paid a tremendous part in the redemption of mankind. Forgiveness of sin is what fallen man yearns for and yet is incapable of receiving, unless he comes to the foot of the cross and is washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, for there is no forgiveness of sins – except through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness was also a theme that was close to the heart of our kind and gracious Lord Jesus and much of His teaching and training surrounds the principle of forgiveness – gracious, beautiful, unconditional forgiveness. Forgiveness was one of the final thoughts on the heart of our Messiah as He hung on the cross – and uttered those universe-shattering words, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
Forgiveness should be a subject to which we should also play close attention for forgiveness is one of the godly garments with which we have been covered and clothed – and our call to kindness, compassion and forgiveness rests on the immeasurable forgiveness and mercy that each of us have received in Christ Jesus.
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It seems to be the case that those who are not able to forgive have never come to an understanding how much they have been forgiven – for the more understanding we have of the grace that we have received the deeper our gratitude and the greater our capacity to forgive other people.
Loving heavenly Father, Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love and Your immeasurable forgiveness towards me. May I reflect You in my thoughts, words and deeds and I pray that I will be kind, compassionate and forgiving towards others just as You forgave me, in Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.
Ephesians 4:32 Meaning of Be Kind and Compassionate
Aug 26, 2020 by Editor in Chief
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Explanation and Commentary of Ephesians 4:32
If only all people would follow these commands, it would be a heavenly world. Paul’s imperative here encompasses the whole of the Christian life towards one another. Though he does not say in this verse to love one another, he does show key component parts of Christian love by this statement. The previous verse dealt with anger and malice, showing that there is no place for them in the heart of a Christian. Kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are what will take the place of those things in the heart of a believer
The grounds for this behavior is that this is the way our Master, our teacher, Jesus Christ behaved towards us. His death on the cross atoned for our sin, bringing us peace with God, redemption, justification, and adoption as his sons and daughters in Christ. But the other thing Christ accomplished on the cross was a perfect example of how we should be toward others. Our kindness is grounded in God’s kindness for us in sending his Son. Our compassion is modeled on Jesus’ compassion in his earthly ministry, and on the cross. And most importantly, our forgiveness is made possible by his forgiveness of us and is a model for us to imitate toward others. Thanks to Christ’s sacrifice, we are wholly unable to see a person’s sin against us as unpardonable. If we are unable to forgive, then we have not yet been forgiven (Mt 6:15).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ephesians 4:32
#1 “Be kind…”
Our being is rooted in God’s creation of us. We exist because he exists and spoke us into being. As we are being, we should live in kindness. Kindness should be a state of our being.
#2 “…and compassionate to one another,”
Compassion comes from being willing to feel along with others what they might be feeling. It is to understand the state and the pain someone is in and to show that we understand.
#3 “forgiving each other,”
Forgiveness is a superpower for the Christian who wants to live in perfect peace. We forgive others because God is the ultimate rememberer of wrongs on our behalf. He wants to be the one to exact vengeance when it is necessary (Ro 12:19). Forgiveness removes anger and wrath from our shoulders and leaves us in peace.
#4 “just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We forgive because we have been forgiven. God forgave us “in Christ.” His amazing plan to save the world was to send his Son to live on the earth, to never sin, but then die for the sin of the world. Whoever believes in him has been forgiven and will be able to forgive others.
Bible Study on Ephesians 4:32
3 Reasons Ephesians 4:32 Encourages Us to ‘Be Kind to One Another’
• Hope Bolinger
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32
This year certainly has revealed the worst sides of people. From social media to in public, people have been unkind, unloving, and uncompassionate to one another.
In a world that promotes revenge over reconciliation, personal gain over kindness, and apathy over compassion, we may wonder how in the world we can emulate Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another” in an ever-growing hostile environment.
In this article, we’ll explore the context behind this passage Paul wrote in Ephesians, what the Bible says about kindness and forgiveness (as opposed to what our world appears to promote), and how to practically exemplify being kind to one another in our own lives.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/shironosov
Get Back to What You Love
The Context of Ephesians 4:32
The Ephesian church, in the middle of a metropolis in Asia Minor that was bursting full of pagan worship, seemed to start out well. In fact, they were known as “Christ’s church.” Nevertheless, divisions appeared to infiltrate the church later. They’d forgotten the purpose behind their mission and worst of all, had forgotten to carry out all their actions in love (Revelation 2:5).
In other words, they were going through the motions. They did everything else right. They refused to succumb to the cultural norms which worshipped pagan gods such as Artemis. They persevered under heavy
But they had not the love in which they’d started (1 Corinthians 13).
Under these circumstances, Paul writes this Gospel and extols the Ephesians to in humility consider others, and to love one another.
As mentioned in this commentary, Paul uses the first three chapters of Ephesians to give this church a few doctrinal reminders. But for this chapter, he chooses to go the practical route and also to remind them why they carry out certain duties.
After all, we can do all the right things and still get it wrong if we forget our true purpose and forget to love our neighbor in the process.
Although we do live in a different cultural and historical world than that of the Ephesians, the encouragement to seek revenge has permeated the history of mankind. The idea that perpetuates our media to “clap back,” to say the last word, to argue with friends and complete strangers in Facebook comments to prove you’re right, the principle behind all of these—to be rooted in anger—has existed throughout the history of sin.
Instead of taking the prideful, wrathful route, Paul reminds believers about kindness and forgiveness. After all, Jesus has shown both to us, so why shouldn’t we, in turn, do the same for other’s
What Does the Bible Say about Kindness?
Our culture sees kindness as a weakness. The Bible says the opposite. Let’s explore some verses below about kindness and its defining factors.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. – Luke 6:35
Kindness involves loving everyone, not just those who treat us well. And not just those who are easy to love. After all, God shows kindness to everyone, even those whom we believe don’t deserve it. See the entire story of Jonah for confirmation of this.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. – Galatians 6:10
We should especially exercise kindness to brothers and sisters of Christ. No matter if our personalities clash or we don’t always agree with one another, if we have a Christian in need, we should always find an opportunity to show them kindness.
And of course, we can point to Galatians 5:22 and show that one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is kindness. Therefore, if we walk in step with the Spirit, if we hope to further in our spiritual journey, we need to bear the fruit of kindness.
For more verses on kindness, check out this article here.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/coffeekai
What does Ephesians 4:32 mean?
Paul’s final verse of this section offers three brief commands. First, he explicitly tells his readers to exhibit kindness. The focus is not merely on generic helpfulness. Paul is specifically thinking of compassion for other believers in the congregation.
Second, Paul uses the Greek word eusplanchnoi, which means to be “tenderhearted,” or “compassionate.” It is sometimes taken to mean “strong-hearted,” as well. Paul’s use of it here focuses on the idea of showing sympathy. Believers are not to be known for a harsh attitude, but rather for compassion. The account of the Good Samaritan offers Christ’s picture of living with compassion toward others (Luke 10:25–37).
Third, Paul commands readers to forgive one another. This instruction comes with an explanation, referring to the forgiveness believers have received from Christ (Matthew 18:21–35). Forgiveness is a unique characteristic of the Christian faith. Scripture often includes reminders of God’s forgiveness toward us. For example, Matthew 6:12, part of the “Lord’s Prayer,” asks God to “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 26:28 reminds us that the blood of Jesus was specifically “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Ephesians 4:17–32 is a valuable, highly practical explanation of how to live out a Christian life. Paul notes the difference between a life wallowing under the power of sin, as opposed to a life thriving in the power of Christ. Christians are called on to ”put away” the things which entangle unbelievers. This includes sins such as malice, slander, commotion, and bitterness. Instead, we should demonstrate a Christ-like attitude of love and forgiveness.
Truly understanding saving grace, as Paul explained in prior chapters, is the Christian’s first motivation for living a godly life. Here, Paul encourages believers to live in way which honors that gift. All saved Christians are part of a single, unified family, part of the ”body” of Christ. At the same time, different believers are given different talents. Some are called to positions of leadership and authority. All Christians should turn away from the ”old self” we were prior to being saved. Paul’s explanation of the ”new self” includes some basic, practical steps.
What does it mean to be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32)?
In this day of entitlement, self-promotion, and impersonal, virtual relationships, many people have forgotten what it means to be kind to one another. To Christians, who are called to become like Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31–32, ESV).
The apostle Paul told the Ephesians to put away six sinful attitudes and behaviors: bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, and malice. Bitterness is an inward frame of mind that refuses to forgive. Wrath and anger are combined here to refer to violent outbreaks of uncontrolled human rage. Clamor speaks of shouting and loud quarreling. Slander means evil speaking, and the Greek word translated “malice” implies wickedness, which is at the root of all the other sins listed here. All these practices to be rejected center on our relationships with others.
In place of these things, believers are to put on kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. These three virtues also deal with interpersonal relationships. In the original Greek, the phrase rendered “be kind to one another” literally means “keep on becoming kind toward one another.” The graciousness of God, which is also found in Jesus Christ, shows us what it means to be kind to one another. Because God acts kindly toward us, we are to behave the same way toward others. Because Christ offered grace as the basis for our forgiveness, so too should we.
Being kind to one another is not optional for the people of God (Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:9; 1 Peter 3:8). In the very next verses, Paul instructed the Ephesians to “imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:1–2, NLT). Walking in love means following the example of Jesus Christ.
Paul reiterated the teaching on kindness to the Colossians: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12–14). Paul mentioned several virtues that believers were to clothe themselves with or “put on”: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, and love. Again, these all have to do with personal relationships.
Compassion and kindness are closely linked. Compassion can be defined as “heartfelt sympathy or empathy toward those who are suffering or in need.” Kindness is the helpful spirit that sees someone else in need and is motivated to respond through good deeds. Kindness is the tangible action that results from compassion. Kindness goes beyond mere words; it translates into helping and serving one another (Acts 28:2).
Kindness is one of the attributes of God (Titus 3:4), one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and one of the proofs of a faithful minister of the gospel (2 Corinthians 6:6). Being kind to one another is how we show love: “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
Being kind to one another involves caring for others, bearing their burdens, and valuing them above ourselves (Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:3). Kindness motivates us to speak life and encouragement to others instead of death and discouragement (Proverbs 16:24; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Expressing support and affirmation instead of condemnation is characteristic of kindness (Proverbs 15:4).
Being kind to one another means finding a way to forgive rather than blame (Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36; 10:37; James 2:13). Perhaps the most stunning example of this is found in God’s supreme act of kindness that provided for our forgiveness and salvation when He sent His Son to die for us on a cross: “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Romans 2:4, NLT; see also Romans 11:22; Titus 3:4–7).
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Colossians and Philemon, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by G.K. Beale
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