Be Angry and Do Not Sin
Be Angry and Do Not Sin
Living the New Life - Part VIII
September 22, 2007
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Eph 4:26-27
1. Paul starts this verse our by quoting Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin.” This sounds contradictory because we are used to having sinful anger only.
2. First of all let us see today that anger itself is not sin. Scores of Old Testament passages speak of the just anger of God against the wicked and even against his own people when they persist in disobedience.
3. Jesus expressed righteous anger at the hard–heartedness of the Pharisees who resented His healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath “And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart” (Mark 3:5).
4. Although the word itself is not used in the gospel accounts of the events, it was no doubt that kind of anger that caused Jesus to drive the moneychangers out of the Temple “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple” (John 2:15; Matt. 21:12).
5. “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.” (Psalm 69:9) Anger at evil, anger at that which is done against the Person of the Lord, and against His will and purpose. This is the righteous anger of the Lord’s people who hate evil. It is the anger that abhors injustice, immorality, and ungodliness of every sort.
6. But there is a huge difference between sinless and sinful wrath. Anger that is sin is anger that is self–defensive and self–serving, that is resentful of what is done against oneself. It is the anger that leads to murder and to God’s judgment (Matt. 5:21–22).
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Matthew 5:21-22
7. Anger that is selfish, undisciplined, and vindictive is sinful and has no place even temporarily in the Christian life. We know that this kind of anger is sin and that most of us struggle or have struggled with it. But what we might not realize today is that our real problem lies in the fact that we don’t get angry for the right reasons.
8. You see, it is as wrong not to be angry in a situation demanding anger, such as a gross injustice, as it is to be angry at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.
9. But we must admit that we are most often angry in precisely that way—at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons. And it is because our own personal feelings, pride, and self-image are wrapped up in our reactions.
10. We must deal with anger quickly, that is, before the sun sets on our wrath. To allow it to fester and swell and surge about for any extended period is quite dangerous because it gives the devil a foothold.
11. We need to guard us against allowing Satan to take possession of our minds, and allowing him to keep a foothold to do whatever he pleases. We see every day how difficult it is to cure long-continued hatred. What is the cause of this, but that, instead of resisting the devil, we yield up to him the possession of our heart? Before the poison of hatred has found its way into the heart, anger must be thoroughly dislodged.
12. We need to also recognize that even righteous anger can easily turn to bitterness, resentment, and self– righteousness. Even the best motivated anger can sour, and we are therefore to put it aside at the end of the day. Taken to bed, it is also likely to give the devil an opportunity to use for his purposes.
13. In closing let us recognize that even in the case of righteous anger—which we probably have too little of—we should be “slow to become angry” (James 1:19). If we heeded this, we should be angry far less often than we are.
The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled on by him; but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.
- Matthew Henry
The longer you read the Bible, the more you will like it; it will grow sweeter and sweeter; and the more you get into the spirit of it, the more you will get into the spirit of Christ.
- William Romaine
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050