"God For Christ's Sake Hath Forgiven You"   

Ephesians 4:32


     The text which heads this page contains both the glorious revelation of the gospel and the believer's motivating, governing principle and rule of life.

     HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS REVEALED IN AND PROCLAIMED BY THE GOSPEL - "God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The forgiveness of sin is not something that is conditioned upon the will, work, or worth of the sinner. It is something accomplished by the will of God, the work of Christ, and the worth of his precious blood. The gospel of God does not proclaim the possibility of forgiveness, but the effectual accomplishment of forgiveness (Isa. 40:1-2). Every sinner who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ receives from God the forgiveness of all sin for Christ's sake. This forgiveness was accomplished when Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. He obtained eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12). And in the New Testament redemption and forgiveness always go together (Eph. 1:7); Col. 1:14). The forgiveness Christ obtained by his sin-atoning death is bestowed upon sinners in regeneration (Heb. 9:14) and received by faith (John 3:18; 5:24). If you now believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God for Christ's sake has forgiven you of all your sins forever (Rom. 8:1, 32-34). And his forgiveness is perpetually effectual (I John 1:9). For Christ's sake, because of Christ, God will never charge you with sin (Rom. 4:8).

     HERE IS THE BELIEVER'S RULE OF LIFE. Paul has been telling us how to live in this world for the glory of God, how to walk in love, kindness and tenderness of heart with men and women who are weak, sinful and often offensive, freely forgiving one another. What will he offer as a motive? Will he take us back under the yoke of the Mosaic law? No. Pharisees who pretend to honor the law are the meanest, most unkind, unforgiving people in the world. Those people who crucified the Lord of glory did so in the name of the Mosaic law! What rule of life will Paul give to effectually motivate God's saints to be "kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another?" Here it is - "Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The gospel is not only our source of life, it is also every believer's rule of life. What a blessed rule it is (I John 3:23)! So easy, so kind, so pleasant a law is just what we might expect from the Prince of Peace.


Don Fortner