Summary: Do tend toward bitterness? Are you preoccupied with how hard and unfair life can be, do you see the blessing of others and feel envious or sad or maybe even angry? If I am a bitter person; how do I stop being that way - can I stop?
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 58, Grace at Work 28
October 27, 2013
A Fragrant Offering 1
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
To date we have covered:
1. Instead of lying; speak truth
2. Instead of outbursts of wrath; righteous anger
3. Instead of stealing; working and contributing
4. Instead of gossip and slander; encouraging, grace filled words
5. Instead of bitter cruelty; loving kindness
Christ is the fragrant offering sacrificially given to God.
We are called here to imitate God the way children imitate their fathers, and to walk in love toward others by giving ourselves up.
★ Put These Away!
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31)
We cannot walk in love, giving ourselves up for others and be bitter at the same time.
1.) Defining bitterness. - Bitterness (pikria)
A sour spirit or sour speech - harshness, hence met: an embittered (resentful) spirit.
1. sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness.
"the lime juice imparts a slight bitterness"
2. anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
- "he expressed bitterness over his dismissal without notice"
- "his bitterness against his parents grew" - "the bitterness of war" - "the bitterness of the wind" - "there was irreconcilable bitterness between strikers and strike-breakers"
Besides our text (pikria) appears three other times in the New Testament:
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Here it is attributed to all of fallen and unregenerate humanity.
We are all familiar with bitterness - until we meet Christ it is just one more fallen trait we share, remember to break the law on one point is to be guilty of breaking it all.