ALL and ALL: The Language of Grace
Believers in the salvation of all, like myself, love to say, “all means all.” Are we willing to apply that in our practical living? Or are we mere salvation of all theorists? Teaching always leads to practice – we become what we think. Let’s examine a few aspects of the life of one who believes in grace:
“Let ALL bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and outcry, and evil speaking, be put away from you with ALL malice. And become ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, dealing graciously with each other even as God, in Christ, deals graciously with you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
Let ALL these be put away from you, says Paul, not some of these in certain situations. The more our minds are absorbed with the language of Grace, the more we will reflect the character of grace. Note too how Paul says, “LET…” There is no “thou shalt” or else! The exhortations under grace are suited to the administration of grace.
What are the “all” we are to put away?
1. Put away all bitterness. The word in Greek has the idea of poison, or venom. This a disposition we are to put away.
2. Put away ALL wrath. The word means “out of control,” anger so sever it is as if you’re breathing hard. The Discovery Bible Glossary says wrath is “an anger of passion when somene ‘sees red’.” Trench says it’s a “boiling agitation of the feelings.” Put away ALL wrath.
3. Put away all anger. “…together with the desire of revenge.” It comes, according to Bullinger, from the Hebrew “to kill, and all the tumults and passion WHICH TERMINATE IN KILLING.” Bullinger goes on to state that “This is traced in German kreig, war…” A few verses earlier Paul asks, “Can you be angry and not miss the mark?” The answer is obviously no since we are here told to put away all anger. Put away ALL anger.
4. Put away ALL outcry. This is heated screaming and shouting. This is the outcry of anger, war, and the calling for the destruction of others. Put away ALL outcry.
5. Put away ALL evil speaking. This is vilification with implied hostility. Put away ALL evil speaking.
6. Put away ALL malice. This is the state of mind bent on the destruction or tearing down of others. “The stooping to unscrupulous means to making or injure someone…that which takes pleasure in the misery or pain of another person…” A person with a malicious disposition will soon find a way to act on it. Put away ALL malice.
We are told to put away these six ugly things. We are, however, given beautiful things to replace the ugly things with.
1. Become kind one to another. Kind means, “Good, gentle, benevolent, benign; ACTIVELY beneficent IN SPITE OF INGRATITUDE.” Become kind one to another.
2. Become tenderhearted to one another. Rotherham translates it, “tenderly affectionate.” Bullinger says, “yearningly affectionate.” Become tenderhearted to one another.
3. Deal graciously with each other. This is much more than forgiveness. This is doing favors, this is showing kindness. “To give or bestow a thing willingly or graciously.” This is how God, in Christ, deals with us. Let us become imitators of God. Deal graciously with each other.
Let’s replace the rotten fruit that characterizes the nations and replace it with the delicious fruit that comes from understanding grace.