The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:32 ~ Principles of Conduct for the New Man Pt 4 ~ Kind, Compassionate and Forgiving

Vol. 15 No. 48 – December 18, 2016

eph-4-vs-32-for-word-and-12-18-16-notesVs. 32

Eph 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

In this passage we have three counter positive characteristics of the New Man that we are to “put on,” in contrast to the six negative ones, we saw in vs. 31, that we are to let God remove. Like vs. 31, these three traits or virtues are a summation of all the positive traits the New Man is to “put on,” as noted in vs. 25-30.

Our Lord tells us that we must put off resentful attitudes (bitterness), indignant outbursts (wrath), festering anger, public shouting (clamor), abusive language (slander), and all evil actions (malice). In their place we are to put on kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Wear these virtues like you wear your clothes, every day.

It begins with “And,” which is the contrasting Conjunction DE that typically is translated “but, rather, or however.”

Then we have, “be” in the Present, Passive Deponent, Imperative of GINOMAI, γίνομαι that means, “to be, to come into being, to be made, be done, become, etc.” To go along with the Passive voice command in vs. 31, this is a Passive Deponent command, which too stresses that we “let God” work out these positive attributes in our New Man. The Deponent places volitional responsibility on the believer to walk in his new nature through positive volition to God’s Word and the filling of the Holy Spirit. When he does, the Word and Spirit will form these New Man traits in the believer’s life. The Customary Present tense emphasizes this command for the believer to regularly and consistently receive these attributes and then walk in the New Nature of holiness, righteousness, and love as characterized in the three following attributes of kind, compassionate, and forgiving. So, we could say, “keep on becoming.” That is, we have to abandon the mental condition of our Old Man and make our way, beginning now, into its opposite, the New Man and its Christ-like nature. In other words, we are to abandon the Old Man attributes and attitudes completely, and allow God to replace them with the New Man attributes and attitudes.

Next in the Greek is “to one another,” that begins with the Preposition EIS, “to or toward.” This is the direction our New Man attributes are to be applied.

ALLELON is the direct object Accusative that means, “each other or one another.” These are the ones we are to apply these characteristics towards; our fellow members of the Royal Family first, and then to our fellow man; our neighbors.

Next, we have the three traits the New Man must walk in that are a summation of all the holy and righteous attributes he is to acquire and apply. Note that these are also attributes of God. Therefore, they speak to the Christ-like nature and walking in brotherly love.

The Three New Man summary attributes include:

  • Kind,” which is the Adjective CHRESTOS, χρηστός that means, “Good, pleasant, easy; useful, reputable; kind, or even loving.” It is used in Mat 11:30 regarding the “easy” yoke of the Lord. It is also in Luke 5:39; 6:35; Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 15:33; Eph 4:32; 1 Peter 2:3. Only in our passage is it used regarding the New Man. Mostly it is a reference to the attributes of God.

1 Peter 2:3, “If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Luke 6:35, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

In 1 Cor 13:4 we have the verb CHRESTEUOMAI used regarding the New Man. 1 Cor 13:4, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.” Read vs. 4-8a.

In the context of the uses of CHRESTOS, it means “useful, serviceable,” as well as being “good” ethically and morally. It is also associated with “bravery, kindness, and honesty.” Finally, it describes the qualities of being “kind, merciful, generous, etc.”

All are in view concerning how we deal with our fellow members of the Royal Family of God and our neighbors as we operate in impersonal and unconditional love; being “kind, benevolent, and gracious” as opposed to being, “harsh, hard, bitter, and sharp.” Kindness is often mistaken for weakness, but it absolutely is not. It is actually a strength and it takes strength to love, especially the unlovable.

  • Tender-hearted,” which is the Adjective EUSPLAGCHNOS, εὔσπλαγχνος that means, “Compassionate or tenderhearted.” It is only used here and in 1 Peter 3:8.

1 Peter 3:8, “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”

It comes from EU that means, “good,” and SPLAGCHNON that means, “inward parts.” Originally, it was a medical term for the inwards parts, (intestines, liver, heart, etc.), but later became used for “affection or tender mercies,” as in the verb SPLAGCHNIZOMAI, (splangk-nid-zom-i), that means to, “have compassion, feel sympathy, or have mercy.”

Outside of the Bible, this term was used for human virtues in general. So we could say, “have virtue,” which means integrity, honesty, righteousness, etc. Nevertheless, compassion and tenderheartedness are the application of this word.

Compassion and being compassionate mean, “the deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another in the inclination to give aid or support, or to show mercy.” It has the connotation of overt graciousness because of graciousness in the soul.

We have all experienced the graciousness or compassion of God and we are to share that same experience with those around us. This is why there is no place for revenge or rejoicing when you see your enemy fall.

Psa 78:38, “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger, and did not arouse all His wrath.”

Lam 3:22-23, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Col 3:12, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Virtuous compassion of the New Man is his or her kindness, sympathy, tenderness, mercy, and clemency directed toward others. It is his commiseration, longsuffering, forbearance toward others as a result of the believer fulfilling his spiritual life under the function of the three spiritual skills, (filling of the Holy Spirit, metabolization of Bible doctrine, and the Problem Solving Devices). It emphasizes grace orientation and the precedence for the Christian way of life, which comes from the humanity of Christ in hypostatic union. Compassion is also a personal function as illustrated by evangelism, the spiritual gift of helps, intercessory prayer, and personal motivation in giving.

  • Compassion is our motivation to desire and/or help others bring about healing in their lives, Mat 14:13-14, Luke 15:20, (Prodigal son).
  • Compassion motivates feeding the hungry, Mat 15:32.
  • Compassion motivates identification with those who have lost loved ones, Luke 7:13.
  • Compassion motivates forgiveness toward others, Mat 18:27.
  • Compassion motivates the believer to perform Divine good, Luke 10:30-37, (the Good Samaritan).

Zech 7:9, “Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother’.”

Jude 1:22-23, “And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

1 Peter 3:8, “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit.”

Col 3:12, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Because of compassion, God forgives sin, just as we should forgive the sins or wrongs others have committed against us, Psa 51:1-13; 78:38; Lam 3:22-23; Dan 9:9; Micah 7:19; Heb 5:2.

Psa 78:38, “But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; and often He restrained His anger, and did not arouse all His wrath.”

Lam 3:22-23, “The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

This now leads us to the third and final New Man characteristic found in this passage, “forgiving.”

  • Forgiving,” which is the Verb CHARIZOMAI, χαρίζομαι in the Present, Middle Deponent, Participle. It means, “Give generously, grant, bestow; remit, forgive, release, or pardon.” In classical Greek, it describes the action of saying or doing something agreeable for or to a person, i.e., “to show favor or kindness.” It further describes the nature of such actions, “to give graciously, freely, or cheerfully.”

It is not the Greek word for “forgiving,” APHIEMI, that is usually used when God forgives or removes our sins, which means, “to put away.” That forgiving is God forgiving our sins in the sense that He in the Person of His Son bore them on the Cross, paying the penalty, satisfying the just demands of His law, cf.

Mat 6:12f; 1 John 1:9. Yet CHARIZOMAI, meaning, “to do a favor to, do something agreeable or pleasant to someone, to show one’s self gracious, benevolent, or to forgive in the sense of treating the offending party graciously,” this word is used in our passage twice. Once for the forgiveness of other’s offenses against us, and the second time, because God forgave the offenses, (sins), we committed against Him, cf. Col 2:13; 3:13.

Col 2:13, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.”

Col 3:13, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”

Likewise, the Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed before faith in Christ is CHARIZOMAI. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed after faith in Christ is APHIEMI. Utilizing CHARIZOMAI in  our passage, Eph 4:32, tells us that the precedence for our forgiving of others is found in God forgiving our sins at the moment of our salvation. It is a benevolent act towards the sinner, the one(s) who sinned against us.

Only Luke and Paul used this word. Luke understood it as the demonstration of our Lord’s “gracious giving,” His “bestowing favor” upon candidates for salvation, and it is the outworking of God’s “grace,” CHARIS, cf. Luke 7:21, 42-43.

Paul uses it six times connecting it to God’s graciousness in His giving of Christ on behalf of the world, Rom 8:32; cf. 1 Cor 2:12.

Rom 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

As you know, God’s grace is freely given and does not depend upon our efforts, Gal 3:18.

Gal 3:18, “For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”

Furthermore, it concerns God’s forgiveness of the individual. That is where the New Man comes in. Just as God forgave and forgives you and others, you too must have forgiveness for “each other,” the Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the plural.

That why this verse closes with, “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you,” KATHOS KAI HO THEOS EN CHRISTOS CHARIZOMAI HUMEIS. This is our motivation to forgive!

Here CHARIZOMAI, χαρίζομαι is in reference to God the Father’s forgiveness towards each of us, as it is in the Aorist, Middle Deponent, Indicative. As such, it is a dogmatic fact of reality, (Indicative mood), that God the Father has forgiven you of your sins, (culminative Aorist tense), with the result that He has entered you into His Royal Family forever, (Middle Deponent voice). Therefore, we get our precedent for forgiving others from God who has forgiven us.

Forgiving other people is not always easy, but we Christians have the greatest of all incentives for doing so, the fact that Christ forgave us all. We also have the greatest power available to be able to forgive, His Word and Spirit operating within our souls.


If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-141 & 16-142



If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins.  He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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