Summary: 30th in a series on Ephesians dealing with the issue of anger.
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Live in Unity 4:1-16
B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24
C. Live in Love 4:17-24
1. Speak truth not falsehood 4:25
2. Be angry without sinning 4:26-27
Everybody deals with anger. We live in a world filled with anger; anger at everything. That anger leads to heart ache and even death. Paul told the Ephesian Christians to embrace anger as a God-sanctioned emotion. God feels anger and wrath. It is an emotion that affects the physical body but goes even deeper than the physical. God feels the emotion of anger apart from having a physical body. It is also true that since Jesus took on flesh, God now also knows the physical aspects of anger.
The basic instruction contained in our text is simple.
Direct godly anger as a God-sanctioned emotion without sinning.
Defuse sinful anger quickly.
Embrace godly anger.
Eliminate sinful anger.
Paul instructs us to experience anger and wisely includes some definite disclaimers.
Be careful not to allow it to turn putrid instead of being productive.
Be careful not to allow it to simmer for a long period of time.
Be careful not to give the devil a foothold in your life in the process.
On the flip side, we are to allow God to eradicate (put away) all wrong anger from our life.
Later he encourages us to replace sinful angry responses with positive relational attributes.
First, we need to understand it.
Second, we need to direct it or defuse it.
I think that bulk of the anger we experience in our life is mostly motivated from faulty thinking in the soul rather than from godly purposes and principles. There are many more passages that address sinful anger and its destructive expression than godly anger.
Even our current passage tells us to allow God to eradicate all wrath and anger and slander.
Anger became an issue in the very first family. “Cain became very angry.”
Listen to these proverbs on the subject.
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute. Proverbs 15:18
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. Proverbs 16:32
A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11
A man of great anger will bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again. Proverbs 19:19
Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself. 22:24-25
An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression. Proverbs 29:22
For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife. Proverbs 30:33
Solomon advises young people to deal with this issue before it takes a toll on their life.
Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
0 So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting. Ecc 11:10
Paul includes anger in the list of signs of fleshly living. James calls us to be slow to anger.
He also confirms that fleshly anger does not bring about God’s purposes. (James 1:19-20)
I. ANALYZE ANGER
A. Understand the character of anger
1. Biblical terms
2. The nature of anger
Anger basically is an internal power surge or internal rumbling that readiness us for action related to God’s righteous purposes.
When motivated by wrong thinking, it motivates harmful actions contrary to God’s purposes.
When motivated by godly thinking, it motivates actions intended to further God’s purposes.
Anger is like fire.
Fire can be employed for helpful or harmful purposes.
Its value is determined by its application.
B. Consider the purpose of anger
What does anger get us ready to do? Anger is a powerful heightened state of emotion that readies us to address evil in our world.
It alerts us to evil in our own soul or in the world around us.
It motivates us to act powerfully to renew our thinking, resolve conflict, restore community or do what we can to restrain evil. Nowhere in this list of Biblical purposes will we find that anger is to empower us to exact vengeance, control or manipulate people, vent, revile or return evil for evil done to us. So often our expression of anger only has a self-centered purpose. God intends our anger to motivate actions related to His purposes.