“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
The death and resurrection of Jesus are the greatest displays of forgiveness the world will ever know. In fact, according to Ephesians 4:32, it is the foundation for forgiveness in the life of every Christ follower.
Paul instructed the saints in Ephesus to forgive one another “just as in Christ God forgave you.” That is a tall order, isn’t it? It is, in fact, an impossible order without the grace and Spirit of Christ.
Isn't it interesting that God would issue a command to His sheep that requires the presence and power of the Shepherd? Without forgiveness from God, we cannot forgive others in a way that accurately represents the heart of God.
“Just as” Christ has forgiven us, Paul said. We are to forgive in the exact same way we've been forgiven. So with that in mind, how have we been forgiven? We have been forgiven regardless of the offense. We have been forgiven unconditionally and irrevocably. We have been forgiven based on God’s character and not our own. We aren’t forgiven because we are sorry…we are forgiven because God is gracious. God’s forgiveness in Christ is free, full, and final.
Freely we have received, so freely we must offer this forgiveness to others who wrong us. Forgiveness is not something that others must earn from us or merit with their behavior. As the forgiven, we must forgive. Only then will Christ be magnified in our relationships. Anyone can forgive someone who is contrite and sorry. As children of the Most High God, we must do more…we must be more than ordinary. Our lives should display the glory of Christ through a supernatural ability to compassionately forgive.
Father, thank You for forgiving me. Please change me into a more compassionate and forgiving person. If there is any unforgiveness in my heart, please show it to me and help me to let it go. In Jesus’ name, amen.