Welcome to The Bible in Three, a podcast where we discuss 3 Things About the Bible in about three minutes. Today we’re starting a new series called That’s My Favorite Verse. I asked some of my friends to share with me their favorite verses and I can’t wait to share them with you in the coming weeks but today I thought I’d share my favorite verse—Ephesians 4:32.
The book of Ephesians was written to believers living in—you guessed it—Ephesus. The letter dates around AD 60. Paul, the author, wrote to teach about the doctrine and behavior of the church.
Chapters 1–3 are about that doctrine I mentioned, but then in Chapters 4–6, Paul outlines how a believer should act and interact with others. He urges his listeners to live a life worthy of their calling. They do this by leaving behind the behaviors of the old self—leave behind greed, selfishness and giving in to temptation. And to instead put on the new self that looks like righteous living, holiness, and truth.
THREE—The Bite-sized Truth
Let’s start with Ephesians 4:29 and go to 32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Paul is telling them to replace their cruel behavior with love and forgiveness. That love and forgiveness is not manufactured by sheer willpower or bootstrapping but it’s a holy response. But a response to what? To Christ’s forgiveness given to us. Christ forgave us through a painful death on the cross.
Practical Application:How do you think the way we practice forgiveness might change if we had Christ’s forgiveness on our mind….when someone breaks a confidence, is a no show, or completely lets us down? Forgiveness in our own strength is hard! But when we can take our eyes off our circumstances and place them on Christ who forgave us on that tree, it changes us.
Here are some more resources to dig deeper.
Local Church— Being plugged into a church that prioritizes the reading and understanding of scripture is pretty important. For some that may be a pretty big ask due to previous hurt within this space. If that’s you, take your time and pray for God to lead you to the right space. But know that being in community with other faithful and mature believers is what God intended for his people. I’ll be praying with you for that community as well!
Traveling with the Father my friend Christine has a podcast with 3–5 minute devotionals that connects every day life to the truth of Scripture. You’ll love her soothing voice and beautiful honesty.
The Focused 15 Challenge My friend Jennifer has a 5 day challenge for creating a space for growing your faith.
YouVersion Bible App I love this resource because you can read the Bible in multiple versions as well as start reading plans that are as short as a few days or as long as an entire year.
Bible In Three I also have a few more resources for the entire family on my website!