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Church InteriorPastor Richard D. Harris. Reflections on the Word of God and other observations.
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  • Jan31Sun

    The other half of Ephesians 4:32

    January 31, 2016
    Filed Under:
    Church
    "FORGIVE each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Eph 4:32b

    A parallel passage is Col. 3:13 "Bear with each other and forgive whaever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  The forgiveness spoken of in these two passages is NOT a "teeth-gritting; eye rolling" put up with it kind of thing. It is not a cover up nor minimizing of sin. Neither is it a passive "hope it goes away" dream. We are expected to forgive BECAUSE Christ has forgiven us. 

    The Greek word has several "senses" it is used in various contexts. It means to "show kindness; give forgiveness graciously."  It is also used to express the idea of "cancel the debt" or to "PARDON." 

    One of the things we take for granted in the church is the good nature of most of the people who frequent there. It seems, in my observation, that Christians do not practice this full concept of 'freely forgive and graciously forgive' one another. We sometimes grudgingly give our forgiveness, but are not happy to do so.  This, of course, does NOT mean we overlook the behaviors and words that sometimes are extremely hurtful. What this forgiveness is about is a heart change, where we are willing to have our "rights" infringed upon, and put in a position where we are out of our comfort zone. We are willing, by God's grace, to offer forgiveness when our "feelings" are trampled upon, and we don't "feel like it."  This forgiveness is the kind of forgiveness that is a reflection of the enormous forgiveness that God has given to us in Christ!