PEWSLAG – The Seven Deadly Sins
Sunday Morning Sermon
September 24, 2017
Ephesians 4:20 – 32
- Batsell Barett Baxter once wrote, “Of the four major destructive emotions, fear, guilt, hostility, and failure, hostility is the worst.”
- What causes so much anger in our world?
- Depersonalization–Do you ever feel like you are just a number in someone’s account list? Are you just another computer card? We have social security numbers, phone numbers, claim numbers, zip codes, addresses, accounts and the list goes on. Sometimes it makes you want to scream!
- Selfishness–“I have my rights!” is the war-cry of our age. We have become very independent and very mobile. Can you name all of your neighbors? In the next ten years the average American household will move three times. Do you ever get the feeling that you are all alone? That if no one else cares about me, then I’d better watch out for myself?
5 Stages of Anger
- Mild Irritation. Things don’t go just the way we intended them to; we are stuck in traffic or the mower won’t start or the three-year-old has just sung, “I’ve been working on the railroad” for the fifteenth time and we become irritated.
- Indignation. We make a judgement about someone or something and we become indignant. However, we are still able to keep our tongue under control.
- We you can no longer be silent, the anger becomes “wrath.” Wrath always expresses itself.
- When anger becomes violent, then it becomes fury.
- When one completely loses control, anger reaches the last and most destructive stage, “blind rage.”
What does the Bible teach about anger?
- Anger is a God-given emotion that everyone feels and it is an important part of being a human being.
- As such, anger is not necessarily sinful.
- In fact, God becomes angry (The phrase, “the anger of the Lord” appears 18 times in the Old Testament).
- Jesus himself became angry while he lived in Judea (Mark 3:5).
- However, there are times when anger is wrong.
- It can disqualify a man from serving as an elder (Titus 1:7). Aristotle said, “quick-tempered persons lose no time being angry, and do so with those they ought not, over things they ought not, and far more than they ought” (BAG).
- Jesus taught that anger prepared a person for the fires of hell, Matthew 5:21-24!
- Fathers are to be very careful not to cause their children to become bitter, the fruit of an angry childhood, Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21.
- There are times when anger is the proper response, 2 Corinthians 7:10,11.
- In other words, a Christian must learn the answers to three questions:
- What should I become angry about?
- What safeguards should my anger have?
- How can I express my anger?
What should I get angry about?
- The New Testament teaches that God is angered by:
- Sin, Eph. 5:5,6.; Col. 3:5,6.
- People who hid the knowledge of God, Rom. 1:18.
- People who reject his Son, John 3:36.
- Stubbornness and rebellion, Romans 2:5-8.
- The Bible teaches us to ignore petty disagreements, Proverbs 19:11, and to refrain from close association with angry people, Proverbs 22:24,25.
- It also warns us that our tongues can fan a spark into a flame of anger, James 1:19.
- The Scriptures teach us to cultivate honesty in our communications and thus avoid arguments that lead to anger, Ephesians 4:25.
What safeguards should my anger have?
- “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” Eph. 4:26. Brooding over wrongs only leads to bitterness and if couples go to sleep “back to back” watch out when morning comes!
- “Don’t give the devil an opportunity,” Eph. 4:27. While there are some good reasons to become “righteously indignant,” remember Satan can quickly turn your godly anger into unrighteous rage!
- The Biblical answer is confession.
- First to yourself, “I am angry and here are the reasons why.”
- Then to God, “Lord, should I be angry and if so how can I express it constructively?”
- Finally, to the offender in the spirit of loving concern–never vengeance (Romans 12:19).