The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 44 of 207
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pp. 142 - 145
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4: 32).
Paul was an example to us. "Be ye followers together of me" he wrote to the
Philippians (Phil. 3: 17). In Eph. 5: 1 he wrote "Be ye therefore followers of God, as
dear children" while in I Cor. 11: 1 he says "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
Christ". It is evident that a high standard of conduct is demanded of us.
In Eph. 4: 32, which we have quoted above, we are enjoined to forgive one another
even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us. The word translated `forgive' means "to
be gracious to" and so the message is that as Christ has shown grace to us, so we should
be gracious to others.
This brings us back to the grace by which we are saved, and this basic doctrine has its
practical implications.
Paul wrote in Phil. 3: 1, "To write the same things to you is not irksome to me, and
it is safe for you" (R.S.V.) so we may not hesitate to go back to elementary things which
we surely know, but rather be willing to meditate on what Christ has done for us,
knowing that our practice should balance the doctrine.
So let us remind ourselves of the 12 occurrences of the word `grace' in Ephesians.
The epistle begins and ends with a salutation and benediction of `grace'. In chap. 1:,
we are reminded that we have been blessed with every blessing that is spiritual in
heavenly places. We have been chosen in Him, and blameless before Him, we have been
predestinated unto the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will, to
the praise of the glory of His grace.
We have been accepted in the Beloved, we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Then, passing to chapter 2:, we are reminded of God's great love; we have been
quickened together with Christ, and have been raised up together, and made to sit
together in heavenly places in Christ, that in the ages to come, He might show us the
exceeding riches of His grace toward us through Christ Jesus.
Twice we are told "By grace are ye saved" and our salvation does not depend on our
own works, lest we should boast. But we have been created "unto good works" and those
good works should be the fruit and not the basis of our salvation.