Ephesians 4:25-32 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
We have received a new identity in Christ that leads to new activity as Christians in the world. In Ephesians 4:25-32, Paul tells Christians that they have a new way to use the truth, a new way to be angry, a new way to use their hands and mouth, a new way to view sin, and a new way to respond to sin. Like Jesus has forgiven us, at great cost to himself, we too are to forgive those who sin against us. Forgiveness is not diminishing sin, enabling sin, letting someone brake the law without facing consequences, ceasing to feel pain, trusting, or reconciliation. Sin is a big deal and forgiveness is very costly. Forgiveness is so costly that Jesus had to die in order that we could be forgiven by God. Forgiveness is releasing someone from a debt they owe, forsaking revenge, leaving final justice in God’s hands, and wanting good for your offender. When we are sinned against, we have two choices: forgive or get bitter. Forgiven people forgive.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
2. What stands out to you in Ephesians 4:25-32 and why?
3. Have you been forgiven by God in Christ? Have you repented from your sin and trusted Jesus and his work on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins? Paul says in Ephesians 1:7, “In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” and Peter says, in Acts 2:38, “Repent [turn from your sin to Jesus] and be baptized every one of you, for the forgiveness of your sins.”
4. In verse 29, Paul says the words we speak to one another should meet three qualifications. They should 1) build the hearer up, 2) fit the occasion, and 3) give grace to the hearer. How does this new way to use your mouth change the way you think about the way you speak?
5. When someone sins against you, you have two options: forgive them or get bitter. How have you seen bitterness in your own heart toward people that you hadn’t forgiven? Try and be specific.
6. Forgiveness is likened to letting someone go (i.e. releasing them, not holding anything over their head). Who do you need to forgive?
In Christ, you are forgiven- totally forgive. Forgiven people forgive. You’ll never be able to forgive others- you’ll never be able to live in these new ways- until you see and trust that Jesus, at infinite cost to Himself, died to forgive you by grace.
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