Church Ruled by Christ: Colossians 3:13

[ESV] Colossians 3:13. bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Paul followed the exhortation by an external application of the five internal qualities to one’s life in relation to others: “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” In putting on the five qualities of verse twelve, the Christian is to “endure patiently”, and even “suffer”, other Christians. When one individual has grounds for complaint against another, then he must forgive the other in the same way that God has forgiven, echarisato, each Christian. The one who has cause for complaint is expected to take the initiative in private endurance and forgiveness, as these traits are natural to the new self in Christ and are not dependent upon others’ apologies. Christians are imperfect and can occasionally be difficult with which to live and fellowship, and the example of Christ is to love others even when they make it difficult. ‘Complaint’ deserves a closer look: the Greek has a rounder meaning than the English word, for momphēn carries with it the idea of a ‘debt’ that requires remission. The verb ‘to forgive’ is commonly understood in English, yet the depths of the meaning are frequently lost or ignored. Paul states in verse thirteen that the form of forgiveness between Christians is to match the form given by God; the debt of sin is utterly forgiven by God, and complaints are not to remain within the body of believers.

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