Summary: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. This one is about how the devil exploits our sinful anger.
Dakota Community Church
Ephesians 53, Grace at Work 23
May 19, 2013
Be Angry & Do Not Sin 2
We are given six behaviors we are to discontinue - because they destroy unity.
We are given six replacement behaviors which will foster and protect unity.
1. Instead of lying; speak truth
...having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)
2. Instead of outbursts of wrath; righteous anger
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
A. There are two kinds of anger. Sinful Anger & Righteous Anger
B. Christians must be careful not to stew in their anger.
...do not let the sun go down on your anger...
This is often a passage used in marriage counseling prompting many couples to move to the Yukon so they can keep a good fight going!
There is a certain biblical sense regarding living life one day at a time that seems to apply:
10 “When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not go into his house to collect his pledge. 11 You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you. 12 And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge. 13 You shall restore to him the pledge as the sun sets, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you. And it shall be righteousness for you before the Lord your God.
14 “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. 15 You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
A huge part of the Christian life is the challenge to remain Christ centred.
Meditation on the Word of God, reflection upon our need of him, embracing a posture of humility... all of these are the opposite of dwelling upon offenses against us.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled
C. Satan exploits sinful anger.
and give no opportunity to the devil.
The enemy of our souls is an opportunist, the Bible says he is a schemer and our text reveals that sinful anger is one of the ways he is able to gain the upper hand in his war against us.
But how does he do it?
1. Satan uses our sinful anger to tempt us to usurp God’s role as judge.
The devil wants to make us act as if we are judge - not God.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
When we stew in our anger, we act as though God is not a just judge.
We act as though we are the moral guardians of the world and if we don't handle it a great injustice will go unchecked.
This is blatant unbelief.
Vengeance belongs to God. He will repay. It is his business not ours.
2. Satan uses our sinful anger to discredit the cross.
Satan aims to make the cross of Christ look weak and foolish.
The cross of Christ is what frees us from having to defend our own interests.
Paul says; “Forgive as God in Christ forgave you.”
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
When we indulge in sinful anger we are behaving as though God did a foolish thing on the cross, since he forgave us, but we are going to hold on to our anger and avenge ourselves.
In this way the cross of Christ is brought into contempt.
3. Satan uses our sinful anger to discourage and divide the Body.
The devil hates us and longs to crush broken Christians until they are depressed and useless.