Summary: Righteous living includes seeing anger from God’s perspective and deals with it.
April 15, 2012
“Your Anger Kills”
Ultimately, the commands of God reveal the character of God.
1. Selfish anger is unacceptable to God. vv.21-22
Our anger, almost exclusively, is not in defense of truth and righteousness, it is in defense of ourselves.
Proverbs 15:1; 19:11; 29:11
Colossians 3:8; Ephesians4:31
2. Reconciliation is required by God. vv.23-26
a. Seek God’s forgiveness.
Think about what anger reveals:
b. Be reconciled
Our relationship with God is seriously hindered when we refuse to reconcile.
Name Reason Response
“When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 HCSB.
Between the years of 1978 and 1981, Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys. One of the most notorious serial killers in our country’s history, Dahmer was finally arrested, convicted and eventually beaten to death by another inmate in a Wisconsin prison.
In 2008 a young mother was heard screaming at her children in the grocery store, calling her 4 year old an idiot.
Last year and employee at Alcon Labs got angry at his boss because the boss made a derogatory remark about him in front of his coworkers.
Last month a man who is a spiritual leader in our church got irritated at his wife because she forgot to pick up his cleaning.
Last week a married couple in our church went to bed angry with each other. He was mad because they didn’t have sex and she was angry that he ignored her all day until bedtime.
Which of these scenarios violates the 6th commandment: Thou shalt not kill?
Turn with me to MATTHEW 5:21-26 (REF ON SCREEN) If you don’t have your Bible, we’ll put the words on the screen for you but I encourage you to bring your Bibles every week, make notes in the margin, underline. Put on the hat of a learner, because that is what a disciple is, a learner.
This morning we continue our series entitled PERSPECTIVES (SERIES LOGO) . We came up with the title for the series name because as we looked at this section of the Sermon on the Mount, we saw that six times Jesus said, “YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID . . . BUT I SAY . . . “ That’s certainly what Jesus was doing all through the Sermon on the Mount: giving a brand new perspective on what it means to live life pleasing to God and one that brings true pleasure to the individual. The world has its perspective on what a great life is: pleasure & treasure. But Jesus says, that’s not a healthy perspective; it’s not true. And so He launches into six mind-rattling perspectives that enable us to understand and live an awesome life.
And this 1st one is as difficult for us to swallow as any of the six. Let’s read it together. MATTHEW 5:21-26 (TEXT ON SCREEN)
We talked about this last week, but Jesus said in v.17, “DON’T ASSUME THAT I CAME TO DESTROY THE LAW OF THE PROPHETS. I DID NOT COME TO DESTROY BUT TO FULFILL.” MATTHEW 5:17 HCSB In His teaching, Jesus did not negate the teachings of the Old Testament: He took them up higher; He raised the standard; He deepened their meaning.
Now, think with me about the 10 Commandments and other commands of Scripture. When God gave those commandments, He was saying, “I created you in My image, to reflect my glory, and I’m not an adulterer. I created you in My image, to reflect My glory, and I’m not a liar.” ULTIMATELY, THE COMMANDS OF GOD REVEAL THE CHARACTER OF GOD. And here, God indicates His nature and essence in what He says about anger.
This passage breaks nicely into two divisions that reveal two very important truths about God and what He thinks about human anger.
1. SELFISH ANGER IS UNACCEPTABLE TO GOD. VV.21-22 (ON SCREEN)
Jesus takes the bar up, doesn’t He? The Pharisees and teachers of the Law were pretty smug in their self-righteousness. They thought since they had never actually murdered anyone, they were keeping the Law of God. But Jesus said, “Wait a minute. You’re missing the point. Murder is the end point, and that is certainly wrong. But the beginning point of murder is anger. And if you’re angry, you have violated the standard.”
Here’s the progression: selfish anger shows up in attitude, attitude shows up in words, and eventually anger shows up in actions, including, but not limited to murder.
Now it must be said that not all anger is sin. God’s anger is certainly revealed in the Old Testament. It’s revealed against sin and those who revel in it. And Jesus displayed anger in the New Testament, didn’t He? He goes into the Temple, turns over the tables of the money changers, makes a whip and drives them out, doesn’t He? But none of this was selfish anger. It was justifiable anger in defense of truth and righteousness.