August 24, 2009

New Way of Life

Ephesians 4:25-32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32


As we saw yesterday, the Christian’s faith journey begins with a change of direction. Paul describes this as putting on a new self, a new way of life. Christians are called to reflect this way of life in all their thinking and in all their actions.

Behavior normally follows the way of our hearts and what’s embedded in our minds, so it is difficult for us to change. But we can do so in the power of the Spirit.

In our reading for today, Paul gives examples of real life experiences and specific attitudes. Being kind and compassionate toward another person is encouragement and wholesomeness in action. Forgiving someone for a wrong committed takes that a step further. It is not too difficult to be kind and compassionate toward someone we like, but to forgive someone who has wronged us takes an extra measure of grace. We are called to treat others in the same gracious way that God has treated us.

The foundation of Christian kindness, compassion, and forgiveness is that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Grace in its fullness is demonstrated in God’s kindness, compassion, and forgiveness toward all who believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God and confess him as Savior and Lord. To have received God’s grace and to live out that gift in our own lives is to know the freedom of new life in Christ!

For your gift of grace and for the power of your kindness and compassion toward us, we thank you, our Lord and our God. Teach us to treat others in that same spirit. Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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