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EPHESIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 32

Verse 32. And be ye kind one to another. Benignant, mild, courteous, politecrhstoi. 1 Pe 3:8. Christianity produces true courteousness, or politeness. It does not make one rough, crabbed, sour; nor does it dispose its followers to violate the proper rules of social intercourse. The secret of true politeness is benevolence, or a desire to make others happy; and a Christian should be the most polite of men. There is no religion in a sour, misanthropic temper; none in rudeness, stiffness, and repulsiveness; none in violating the rules of good-breeding. There is a hollow-hearted politeness, indeed, which the Christian is not to aim at or copy. His politeness is to be based on kindness, Col 3:12. His courtesy is to be the result of love, good-will, and a desire of the happiness of all others; and this will prompt to the kind of conduct that will render his intercourse with others agreeable and profitable.

Tenderhearted. Having a heart disposed to pity and compassion, and especially disposed to show kindness to the faults of erring brethren, for so the connexion demands.

Forgiving one another. See Barnes "Mt 6:12".

 

As God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. As God, on account of what Christ has suffered and done, has pardoned you. He has done it

(1.) freely—without merit on our part—when we were confessedly in the wrong.

(2.) Fully; he has forgiven every offence.

(3.) Liberally; he has forgiven many offences, for our sins have been innumerable. This is to be the rule which we are to observe in forgiving others. We are to do it freely, fully, liberally. The forgiveness is to be entire, cordial, constant. We are not to rake up old offences, and charge them again upon them; we are to treat them as though they had not offended, for so God treats us. Learn,

(1.) that the forgiveness of an offending brother is a DUTY which we are not at liberty to neglect.

(2.) The peace and happiness of the church depend on it. All are liable to offend their brethren, as all are liable to offend God; all need forgiveness of one another, as we all need it of God.

(3.) There is no danger of carrying it too far. Let the rule be observed—"As God has forgiven you, so do you forgive others." Let a man recollect his own sins and follies; let him look over his life, and see how often he has offended God; let him remember that all has been forgiven; and then, fresh with this feeling, let him go and meet an offending brother, and say, "My brother, I forgive you. I do it frankly, fully, wholly. So Christ has forgiven me; so I forgive you. The offence shall be no more remembered. It shall not be referred to in our intercourse to harrow up your feelings; it shall not diminish my love for you; it shall not prevent my uniting with you in doing good. Christ treats me, a poor sinner, as a friend; and so I will treat you."

{e} "one another" Mr 11:25,26

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