Even as God, for Christ’s Sake, Hath Forgiven You

BY PGF
10 months, 4 weeks ago

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

The last phrase of that final verse of Ephesians four is astounding and so very plain. It truly can only be arrived at through childlike faith. If reading along in your bible, it’s easy to miss as you finish the chapter and close the book, but this truth is at the centrality of the doctrine of soul salvation. Of course, the context of the later part of Ephesians four, from verse 20 onward to 32, is critical instruction for the Christian believer, discussing personal effort, putting off your former self, and allowing the Lord to continue His sanctification of you. A man born afresh by the Spirit of God ought to recompense to the brethren all these duties mentioned and more. Give no place to evil speaking or doing. Grieve not the Holy Spirit, verse 30 says.

But found so simple and proper are those few words toward initial faith in Christ at the end of verse 32. Don’t miss it; God did not save you because of you, or because of anything about you, or because of anything you’ve done, said, promised, confessed, nor anyplace you’ve joined in whichever ceremonies or rites you may partake; God, for Christ’s sake alone, because He loves His son, is the sole reason the Father has granted you reprieve and given you to His only begotten.

Salvation is not about you; it’s not for you, and it’s not because of you; it’s all for Jesus Christ.

Oh, the unmerited favor of God who, by grace in salvation, calls men to Christ. God forgave you for Christ’s sake, giving you to Jesus as His Church, the body, for He loves His Christ. Not because of you; what is a man such as you to God and Christ? But God gave you to be the bride of His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. You are the inheritance of Jesus Christ, for His own good pleasure; not for your sake, but entirely by miracle has your faith arrived unto conversion that Christ be magnified among men, hallowed in the highest to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. The degree to which you are blessed by God to be converted for His purposes, chosen in Him, is immeasurable.

On the verge of tears, there’s no way to adequately describe the depths of God’s mercy to be numbered among those forgiven. The complete degree is unknowable; who can reconcile such an act, that God would glorify His Son, and you being what, a hapless stranger alienated from the commonwealth of God, struggling in the toil of daily grind full of labor when God out of heaven called you to His Son. Who are we to complain or object or refuse anything He asks, now living in the freedom of Christ as the gift of His Father? To sound the depths of this blessing is impossible; it’s much too far for a man to understand what it is to be pardoned because he is given to Christ.

God made man in the first place for His own great purposes; male and female created He them; and blessed them. And He formed you, and breathed into your nostrils the breath of life; and you became a living soul, sentient, aware of Him. But the world is filled with liars telling men to be their own gods, the center of it all; humanism is a contagious viral cancer consuming the West and profoundly damaging the Church. Is He the holy Creator, owner of all that is, sovereign in the purposes of His actions and will, knowing and ordering the beginning from the end of all things, or is He less than a man?

The feast is polluted, soiled, and having spots; a plague of leprosy is among us. Most Christians are trained to think of God as their cosmic butler. Manpleasers, false teachers have beguiled us, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Biblical Christianity requires a logically consistent world-life view and a conformable understanding of who God is. The fact is that you are a slave to Christ and not your own, but bought with a price in blood to bring glory to Him, and for no other purpose at all do you now draw breath.

The Lord would tuck you under His wings, cover you with His feathers, be your shield and buckler; “how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” The river runs its course, yet the ocean is not overflowing; the wind on her circuit returns all things, bringing a whirlwind, yet you still have not. When will God’s people stop asking for worldly gain and stuff but again cry unto God; quicken me for thy name’s sake, for thy righteousness, here am I God; send me.

When the twoedged sword of conviction by the Spirit arrives, it convinces us of our unrighteousness and the totality of the perfect righteousness that is Christ our Lord. Righteousness is the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable – without guilt or sin. Born in sin, you were not and are not righteous, but Christ was, is, and will forever be the sinless Holy One. In Christ is the only place of uprightness for the sinner.

Not because of your righteousness: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” – Romans 3:10. And again: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” – Isaiah 64:6.

Not by any measure of your own works: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” – Titus 3:5

Not by the keeping of any religious rules or law, which only condemn for sin: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20.

Not by your religion, for a million blood sacrifices to God over millennia were still not enough: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” – Hebrews 10:4

But the only hope of men is the offering of the Lamb of God to die on the cross that He might receive those who, by faith, Father God has given. And Jesus rose from the grave, ascending to the Father, preparing His bride over generations for His return to claim what is rightfully His. Holy Father, God gave those whom Christ would convert through faith at His will, not for your sake, but for Christ’s. By no deserving acts of your own, the full measure of the miracle of soul salvation is unknowable to the mind of man. It truly is a grant that you, not of your power, but that God would use you to bless His faithful Son, Jesus Christ.

No man shall boast; salvation is a gift of God. Only Jesus Christ is righteous: love God and have mercy on the brethren, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.


Comments

  1. On August 25, 2023 at 11:09 pm, Dave Lindesmith said:

    Amen and thanks for the early prep for a Sunday sermon.

  2. On August 26, 2023 at 8:05 am, Jeff said:

    Thank you for sharing. I am reading the Bible daily, but value these posts for greater understanding.

  3. On August 27, 2023 at 11:24 am, Houston said:

    This is God’s sovereignty in a nutshell. Man can look at the universe and know, without God, we are just specks and atoms. We are created for his own pleasure and it is for his own pleasure that he chooses us through the Son. Man fools himself when he thinks he has freewill when it comes to the salvation of the soul. No man can stand before God on judgement and utter the word I. And Jesus Christ did not fail. All who are chosen by God are redeemed and saved by the Son and none will be lost. To say there are those God has chosen and are not finally redeemed is foolish.

  4. On August 27, 2023 at 4:24 pm, PGF said:

    @Houston, if you think the post failed to convey the absolute sovereignty of God, it’s because that was not the intent.

  5. On August 28, 2023 at 1:47 pm, Houston said:

    @PGF. I think your post was awesome. I think it conveyed the absolute sovereignty of God perfectly. My last comment was not meant for you but for those who, for some reason, feel as if they have some say in the matter.

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