1. How long has it been since you have moved from one home to another? Moving is not fun but there is one benefit to it. It makes us take inventory of all the things we have accumultaed over the years. For some of us that is no problem, but for some it isnot. For some of us are pack rats. We find it hard to throw anything away. Maybe it has sentimental value or maybe we think we might be able to us it in the future.
2. As we journey through James we realize that as Christians are slowly moving to a new home. One day in heaven and we will be holy and sinless. And yet we are to be packing and getting ready for this move throughout our lives. Taking inventory of what we should keep and what we should throw away. We should continually be growing into maturity, into becoming more like we will be when we are in heaven. We should be moving toward the righteous life that God desires, as we read in James 1:20.
3. What are the things that you have accumulated over the years that you need to look at? The things that prevent you from living a Christian life. The things that hang around in the attic, basement or closet?
4. Last week James told us to be slow to become angry. He warned us that anger is one of these things that prevent us from living the righteous life. As we will start seeing next Sunday morning, anger is one of seven so-called deadly sins that lie deep within us and become rooted, often as bitter roots. These sins are deadly because if what they lead us to do.
5. In one verse James tells us why we should get rid of anger and how we can do so.
1. The reason why we must get rid of anger is what it leads to. Because anger does not bring about the righteous life, as we heard last week in vs. 21, James tells us in vs. - 2 that we must get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent. In other words anger has lead us to moral filth and evil.
2. We must get rid of anger so it will no longer show its effects. And in fact to get rid of the symptoms properly, we must get rid of the disease, which is anger, itself.
3. And in case you think that this message is not for you, listen carefully. I I believe it is. As we read, moral fith and evil is prevelant. It is not an oddity but it is a natural part of who we are and were without Christ. I would be really surprised in no one here would find they are free of these problems.
4. In fact the theme to get rid of moral filth and evil is one that Christians are often reminded of in Scripture
a. Eph 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being - corrupted by its deceitful desires;
b. Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
5. How does anger lead to these sins? Pauls helps us with this in his words from Ephesians. He talks about anger and about various sins. There is a definite connection between anger and these sins.
6. In 4:25 Paul says each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour. In same sentence he says "in your anger do not sin". Anger leads to falsehood. It becomes so easy to say things that are not true about those with whom we are anger.
a. And sometimes it is not an outright lies. We may be angry with someone - they hurt us deeply. We find out they have a problem with something. Lets say they have financial problems. They miss a car payment. Easy to tell others about it and easy to embellish it. "yes, they have always had trouble paying bills, I even heard they once nearly had their house taken away by the bank". What we are doing is generalizing, making something worse than it is and passing on some information which we heard as gossip. And as I have often seen the lies become bigger and bigger. We all hear something different. I was in bank robbery and was asked to give report to police. My description quite different from those of others. We hear different and we interpret different. And when we are angry at someone we hear what we want to here