Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This sermon says that Christians should know how to manage their anger.



ILLUSTRATION Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way—that is not easy.—Aristotle

In line with these statements, let us find out the Lord’s instruction when it comes to anger. Read Ephesians 4:26–27 26“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

This passage says that part of the old self that we must put off is the way we deal with anger.

Read Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

ILLUSTRATION A man from Omaha, Nebraska recently discovered a creative, but not redemptive, way to express his anger. According to news reports, he had been ticketed by the city for not mowing his grass, so he mowed it. The problem is that he mowed an obscene expression in the grass.

The obscene phrase covered an area of about 30 feet across the lawn. Local officials had a debate concerning what to do. The big argument was whether or not he had broken a law and whether or not his expression was protected by the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (Copied)

What was the instruction on anger? "In your anger do not sin"

This phrase implies that anger is an emotion common to everyone. It also says that we can be angry and avoid sin.

DEFINITION Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism. This emotion is normally considered sinful in the Bible.

Read Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Read Matthew 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Anger of a good sort is also spoken of in the Bible. It is called "righteous indignation" which refers to the extreme displeasure of a holy heart unable to tolerate sin of any kind. The anger of God contains this element: man should be good, yet he sins -- and God is angry because they forsook the covenant of the Lord by disobedience and idolatry.

Read Exodus 4:14 Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.

Read Judges 2:14 In his anger against Israel the LORD gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

God’s anger is not an unreasonable, unwarranted, or arbitrary passion but a result of the conflict between his holiness and sin. It was in that sense also that Moses’ anger burned on Mount Sinai and caused him to smash the tablets of the Law on the ground when he saw the golden calf and Israel’s idolatry (Exodus 32:19).

In the New Testament, Mark says that Jesus looked with anger at the Pharisees, who were hoping to catch him breaking their law (Mark 3:5). Jesus’ anger was also shown in his cleansing of the temple (John 2:13–22); it should have been a place of prayer but was being used as a place of business.

His holy indignation was neither a weakness nor a sin. Such anger is an appropriate response to iniquity and injustice, especially when they are apparently unpunished. The believer should understand that there is appropriate and inappropriate anger and attempt to insure that his anger, like God’s, is proper to the situation. Evidently Paul felt that righteous indignation could easily turn into unholy anger and sinful wrath, so he added some explanatory prohibitions:

How can we be angry and not sin? “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”

The longer a person allows permissible or righteous anger to continue, the greater the danger that it will develop sinful qualities.

ILLUSTRATION According to Ripley's Believe it or Not, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, cut off a great part of her hair after a quarrel with her husband. She then asked an artist to paint her with her new hairstyle with her holding the clump of cut hair.

She thus immortalized the quarrel. Sometimes we have to let things go. How many of us are clutching the remnant of some argument that needs to be forgotten?

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