Summary: The Bible does not say, "Don’t be angry." God, instead says, "Be angry and sin not." This message aims to help disciples become like Jesus in what made him angry and how he expressed his anger
Welcome back to our new series “BE PERFECT”. Last week we look at three God-like characteristics that we are to become: truth-telling, sacrificial service, and love for enemies. They’re humanly unattainable. This is why Jesus gave this not as a rule to the world – but to people ruled by his kingdom; people who have received His life; people indwelt by the Holy Spirit; people who have been born by God; people who are part of His body; people who have God’s DNA in them.
Today we are going to look at God-like anger. Our goal is not to learn how to get rid of anger, to make us angry-free people, or to make less-angry people, but how to get angry in a God-like manner. I want to present what the Word of God says about anger. I want to show you the example of Jesus as our model of how to have God-honoring anger.
Thoughts about anger:
1. Anger is sinful.
2. Extreme anger – the wrath – is sinful.
3. God never gets angry. His is a righteous indignation. Divine wrath is not the explosive type – it is His response to the wrongs and evil in the world.
4. I should never get angry again.
5. Forgive me for being angry. I am sorry I lost my temper.
6. I thought he or she is a Christian. Why is she angry?
7. I thought she is a Christian. Why is always angry? Why is her tone always angry?
What are those things that really makes you angry? What makes you mad? What makes your nostrils turn red, or open up wide? When is anger the right response? With most of us, if we have the right buttons pushed enough, we can have anger erupt within us like a volcano.
Some people would say that we should never get angry, that God doesn’t get angry and that Jesus didn’t get angry, but in this sermon, a different view is presented. One that says that Jesus did get angry and that it was a sinless anger – a God-honoring one, god-like. In this sermon we will unpack some of the descriptions of this God-honoring anger in our life.
1. God-honoring anger is unselfish. I learned a new term this week, altruism, those things you do for other people, those things you do without any self-interest involved. God-dishonoring anger, sinful anger, is routed in self-interest. We’re often times angry because we have been wronged or because we’re mad about something. Jesus’ anger, however, remains sinless because He’s not angry at something that has been done to Him personally. His response to those who hurt him was “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” He’s angry at the temple squatters who have mistreated His Father. (Mark 11). Anger at the exploitation of the pilgrims; these religious merchants were desecrating His Father’s temple; discrimination: the temple were so constructed that the Gentiles were kept from the others.
"Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”" (John 2:16-17, NLT, see Psalm 69:9)
2. God-honoring anger does not nurse grudges. Any anger that is held over to the second day without being dealt puts us in a dangerous path – this could led into sinning in areas such as egotistical pride, malice, vengeance, rage, vilolence, and even murder (Matthew 5:21-22). It also allows for some demonic foothold. What is this foothold? The context favors a meaning that includes the disruption of the peace and unity of the Spirit in the body of Christ. A divided church is not honoring to God. It rams against the one body, one Spirit, one Father, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Lord- reality where distinctions are no longer allowed to divide people. God has only body, and we are all part of the same body.
It being sinful – accumulated second-day anger. Rehearsed hate is a great demon that will come in and occupy our heart if we make room for it. Over time a grudge becomes poison bitterness and eventually rots our soul. It breaks down relationships. Old anger is not like fine wine, it does not improve with age. It’s like spoiled food, it only stinks the longer you carry it around.
Second day anger is expensive. Sabotage their works. 2.2 billion cost in US. A grudge becomes poison. It ruts our souls. Bitterness is a root Heb 12:15
"Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." (Hebrews 12:15, NLT)