Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, the worries of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace. This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. Today we're talking about putting away anger. This is the second part of that message. I hope that you will respond and let us know that you have listened.
You can do that from our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. Having seen something of what the scripture says on this subject about sinful anger, the admonitions concerning it, the examples of it, and the consequences of it, we now want to talk about putting it away. Somebody may say, well, I've been convicted in this message already. As a matter of fact, it's helped me to see that I've had anger I hadn't previously recognized. You know, the Word of God has a way of doing that. That's one of the benefits of scripture.
It's there to convict us. And when it's applied with the Holy Spirit, we begin to see a lot of things about ourselves that we just would have as soon not known. But it's for our benefit that we know it, that we recognize it, and that we do something about it, that we confess our sins to the Lord. So the first thing that has to be done in the putting away of anger is to acknowledge it.
It must be acknowledged. And that's exactly what is stated as we look back at our text in Ephesians chapter 4. Verse 25 says this, Wherefore, putting away, lying, speak every man the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Now some people have been lying about their anger for years. If you ask them, are you angry?
No, not me. I'm not angry. This is just part of my charming personality that I spew out all this venom all the time. I'm not angry. Well, see, such a person's a liar. Not only are they angry, they're a liar. And for years they've been lying to other people and no doubt all the while they've been lying to themselves. Because they tell themselves, not a thing wrong with my conduct. I'm entitled to be angry.
I have to put up with a bunch of difficult, impossible people that won't let me have my way. And I have every right to tell them what I think of them. So, they're not truthful with themselves and they're not truthful with others. So the first thing you've got to do in order to put away anger is to admit you've got some. Putting away lying, speak every man the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
Now all forms of it must be admitted. Don't deny it. Admit the anger that's there.
Generally if a person really blows up, it's pretty hard to lie about that. You know, that's pretty evident and the shrapnel is flying and everybody's ducking and they all know here's a temper fit. But the scriptures are plain. That kind of anger must be acknowledged, must be admitted and must be forsaken. James chapter 3 verse 6 says, And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So is the tongue among our members that it defileth the whole body and seteth on fire the course of nature and is set on fire of hell. Now does that sound like this is an insignificant matter? Somebody may say, preacher I think you could have chosen a better subject for a Sunday morning service.
I came out here wanting to be uplifted and encouraged and you're making me very uncomfortable. Have I said anything yet that I haven't supported from the Word of God? If he tells us that the tongue is a fire and it's a world of iniquity and it defiles the whole body and it sets on fire the course of nature and is set on fire of hell, I say that's a rather important subject. Furthermore, verse 8, But the tongue can no man tame. It is an unruly evil full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
It ought not to be. You say, I feel like I'm justified in blowing up. The Word of God says you're not. You're setting on fire that which is related to hell. You're giving away to the corruption of the flesh. You're defiling yourself. You're defiling your whole body. You're defiling your mind.
You're grieving the Holy Spirit. You're defiling others. So the first thing you need to do is recognize it. Not only must you recognize the blow ups, you need to recognize the clam ups.
Now, you know, up to this point some people have said, well, I'm glad he's landed on them. Yes, sir, I've got this friend of mine, this member of my family, they're always blowing up and I'm glad he's telling them what's what. Well, I'm a step above them because I don't do that.
Well, clamming up is just as much a sign of anger as blowing up. It's just another way of displaying it. Somebody gets mad, so they just stop it right here.
That's it. I'm signing off. My station's off the air.
I'm not receiving or sending. No need to talk to me. I'm going to go in my room, read my book, pass by a family member in the hall, don't even look at them, sit in the same room with them, glare at them, don't have a thing to say. Oh, I'm doing a marvelous job. I'm controlling my anger. I'm not throwing things. I'm not using any improper words. Isn't this the way to handle it? Isn't this what the preacher said? Don't yell, don't scream, get rid of clamors. I'm doing a fine job.
No, you're not. You're just as guilty as the one that's blowing up because clamming up is a sin as well. Well now, I don't know about that.
How can you prove that? Well, I don't want to say anything I can't support with the Word of God, so let's look at Proverbs chapter 15 verse 1. There's a lot of other scripture we could give you on this, but I've dealt with this in other messages, so I'm just going to touch it as we pass here. Proverbs chapter 15 verse 1 says what? A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger. Improper words, grievous words stir up anger, but what is it that turns away wrath? A soft answer. Not clamming up. Not just saying, no, I don't want to talk about it. No, no, that's the end of that. No, I'm not going to discuss it.
And then you go into your little shell for the next four days and down deep inside you're kind of getting some pleasure out of it. I really am punishing everybody. I'm making them wish they hadn't.
Yes sir, I'm setting the record straight. You push me too far, you cross me, I sign off. Not taking any messages, not giving any out.
I mean some people that practice this, they can do it extremely well. They can go for days. They can sit at the breakfast table, glare at people across the table and never say a word. They're clammed up.
They're not going to talk. And what's that doing? That's stirring anger in other people. Other people are being upset by it.
Other people are doing all they can to keep from blowing up. You're not honoring God. You're not resolving the matter.
What does this say? A soft answer. You don't clam up. You deal with it.
You talk about it. You confess if you've been wrong. You lovingly admonish if another person has been, but you resolve it.
So it must be acknowledged. Second thing that must be done, confession has to be made. Confession. And where do we go for confession? To the Lord.
That's the first place we go. There's a place and a time to confess to other people, but the only one that can really forgive us our sin is to the Lord. He promises that if we confess our sin, He's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalm 32 verse 5. Psalmist says, I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgaveth the iniquity of my sin, Selah. Where am I going to confess it? I'm going to go to the Lord.
This may be very painful in itself. I have to say, Lord, I've seen some things in me that I didn't even know were there. I've seen that at the very time that I thought I was doing such a good job of controlling my anger by clamming up, I really was giving way to it and sinning. And I ask Thee to forgive me. Lord, I want to ask Thee to forgive me when I've been angry with my husband, my wife, my children, people at work, drivers on the highway, old people that slowed me down when I was trying to make my way through the store and I was in a hurry. All those unkind things that I have said, that I have done, that I've thought, been a lot of anger in me.
Lord, forgive me. There needs to be confession. Confession to the Lord first, and then if you've been angry at somebody else. James chapter 5 verse 16 says, Confess your faults one to another.
You need to go to that person. If you've harmed them, if you've spoken against them, if your tongue has been that fire that has sought to devour them, you have tried to take vengeance into your own hand, you confess to them. Will you forgive me? I've been wrong. I've had the wrong spirit, the wrong attitude about things. I've dealt with things in the wrong manner. Will you forgive me? And Christians ought to be ready and willing to forgive each other.
Oh, what a difference. I believe there are marriages that could have a fresh start today if there was a little confessing going on, confessing anger, confessing that anger has been out of control, anger has devastated the closeness, the warmth, the compatibility that there should have been within it. Sometimes people say, well, you've got a real problem in this marriage with communication. Well, no wonder there's a problem with communication because there's deep-seated anger within.
Issues have not been faced. Matters have not been adequately discussed. There's been a turning inward, this self-pity, self-justification. I'm entitled to be angry. Confess it to the Lord and to one another. And of course, if it's being confessed, then we're refusing to let it fester. According to Ephesians 4 26, our text, be ye angry and sin not.
And how are you going to avoid that? Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. That says you settle it today. You say, I'm too angry today. I'm going to have to sleep on it and I will take care of this tomorrow. No, the Lord says don't sleep on it.
You settle it today. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath. When it festers, when it is at work within you, oh, the devastation. I'm not saying that all physical ailments are a result of it, but I'm saying I am confident that there are many today who suffer from physical problems that are a direct result of the anger that they have held over such a long period of time. As a matter of fact, the Lord in giving us the lesson concerning the man who was forgiven such a tremendous sum and then refused to forgive one of his fellow men a small amount, the result was this man was going to be delivered to the tormentors.
And the application was that if we fail to forgive others as our Heavenly Father has forgiven us, that we will be delivered to the tormentors. And I believe that one may suffer mental anguish, one may suffer depression, one may suffer physical problems as a result of their refusal to forgive. They are holding on to their anger.
And see that's encouraged in many circles today. I talked to a lady one time who said she had been in professional counseling for years and she wanted to let me know that she was not going to get over her anger because a counselor had told her that's all she had left. And so she was hanging on to it, going to remain angry. Now you can go to the professions of this world and pay a big fee to have somebody tell you hang on to your anger but I'm going to tell you and won't charge you a dime for it. God's word says turn loose of it.
Saddle it, get rid of it before the day is over, before the sun goes down. I've talked to people who are 50, 60, 70 years old that are still angry at their parents over something that happened whenever a child. Well they must be exhausted carrying that burden of anger all through those years.
Having to remember it, having to keep a tab of it, reliving that, playing it all out in their mind. Why did all this happen to me anyway? Why should I have had to experience these dark things that came into my life in childhood? See, you've got to deal with it, letting not the sun go down upon your wrath. 1 Corinthians chapter 13, that wonderful passage that deals with love, talking about charity which is love, that true spiritual love, that agape love.
Not an emotional experience, not a feeling, but an action. It says in the fourth verse, charity suffereth long and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. That word thinketh no evil means it does not make a list. You got any list of people you're mad at and the reasons for which you're angry? Lady went for counseling one time and started talking about all the things her husband had done, why she was upset. And says if you need to know anymore I've got a diary at home, I can bring it in and I can show you back for the last four years every mean thing he's done.
Now what does this text say? Love doesn't keep a record. If you've got such a record friends, it's a good day to tear it up. Some people would not be so bold as to write it down, but they've got it right up here in their mind. They're keeping a list. Every time there's a problem comes up in their marriage, they not only deal with that problem but they go back from the very day of the wedding and recall every major event that's been disturbing and upsetting. They're keeping a list. Love doesn't do that. Love doesn't think evil.
It doesn't keep a list. You resolve the problem today. Furthermore, to deal with this anger that is sinful, inappropriate, dishonoring to God and harming others, we must be the individual as described here that is not easily provoked. You know there are people that feel like you're walking on glass when you're around them.
Just wonder when the next flare up is going to occur. You've got to be very careful because this person is easily provoked. In fact, there are some people who are so unreasonable that really they expect you to read their mind.
When you finally find out, well why are you angry? Well, I thought that you knew that I would have wanted you to have done thus and so. Well, did you tell me? No, but you should have known it. Now, nowhere in the Word of God does the Lord require his people to be mind readers.
Husbands and wives occasionally have those problems. Yes, I'm mad at you. No wonder. I ought to be mad at you. You should have known.
You should have read my mind. See, that's being touchy. That's being easily provoked. Or, the person says, well, I've been slighted today. There were a group of people talking and they weren't talking to me. Why wasn't I included? Why didn't they invite me to come talk to them? What does the scripture say? He that has friends must show himself friendly.
You have to have an outreach, a love, a kindness, a willingness to make friends and to be friendly. This attitude that I'm going to go off mad because people didn't treat me right, people weren't friendly to me, nobody reached out to me. That's of the flesh. That's sinful. Not easily provoked. Do you live by that rule at home? Do you live by that rule in the workplace? Are you a person that if the supervisor comes and says you need to be doing this job this way or that way, you're mad? Or do you recognize that as a servant unto Jesus Christ, not I service as men pleasers but unto the Lord, you want to serve in the best possible capacity and you're not going to be touchy and you're not going to be angry because somebody gives you some instruction or even reprimands you? Are you easily provoked because of something that's preached from the pulpit?
It doesn't happen to be to your liking. You get upset. I'll show that preacher.
I'll stay home next week. This is the Lord's church. It's his word that we're preaching. If you become provoked by something that's preached, there's a problem. Now if the preacher preaches error, you have a responsibility to go to him and admonish him.
But if he's preached the truth, you have no justification to be provoked by it. 1 Peter 4 says love covers a multitude of sins. And the final thing is we must be ready to forgive.
Somebody may say I've been dreading this. I figured that if the sermon lasts long enough, you'd finally get back to my most unfavored subject, forgiveness. But I want to tell you that if we understand it right, it ought not to be an unfavored subject. It ought to be one that we love to hear about and that just can't get worn out because when we understand that if it was not for forgiveness, every one of us today would be under the wrath of God, we come to treasure that subject as being one of tremendous importance. And seeing that we have been forgiven, it should be a joy to us to forgive others. Let's go to Colossians chapter 3 and verse 8. But now ye also put off all these anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy. Look at the list of sins. Blasphemy is put right in with the same sins of wrath and malice and filthy communication out of your mouth lying not one to another seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. All of this sinful attitude and sinful behavior is connected with the old man, the old flesh with evil deeds. Put it off.
Put on the new man. Now look at verse 12. Put on therefore as the elect of God.
Who's he talking to? Somebody said, well I'd rather hear a message about the elect of God. Well that's a wonderful basic truth that we need to rejoice in but this is something the elect of God need to know about, about how to conduct themselves and how to live while they're here. Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies.
The bowels, the innermost part of the being. We would speak of it as being with all of our heart today. We ought to have mercy filling our heart. Are you a merciful person? Do you try to think the best of other people? Are you a nitpicker? Are you looking for their faults?
Do you criticize? Are you full of mercy, mercies, kindness? Are you kind? Are you gracious? You know we're living in a society today where politeness is being quickly forgotten.
Common courtesies which were generally followed in the past are being ignored and overlooked. It becomes more and more difficult to be kind. God's people are to be kind. Humbleness of mind. This is in contrast to being angry. When you're sinfully angry, your mind is not full of humility.
You're elevated in pride. You feel like somebody has said the wrong thing, somebody's harmed me, somebody didn't please me. I'm upset and I'm entitled to it. You're haughty. You're self-centered. You're selfish. I want my way and I'm going to spew on everybody in sight.
I don't care what it does to them. I'm thinking about me. That's a haughty spirit. He says to put on humbleness of mind, meekness.
Not somebody that's wearing their feelings on their sleeve, not somebody that's easily provoked, but meek. Long suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another. If any man have a quarrel against any. That's pretty general, isn't it? If any man has a quarrel against anybody, forgive.
And what's the basis of it? Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Now there's the sum and substance of it all. If you see that you had to be forgiven a tremendous debt, you could never have paid it. When the Lord convicted you of your sin and showed you what you were.
And that wasn't just a one-time experience. I think that goes on as we progress and grow in grace. We see more and more of our own faults and failings and sins. And the more we see of that, the more we're amazed that God would have forgiven us. Could any of us dare to say that we could appear before the Lord and make demands upon Him as though we deserved something and were entitled to something? We're not worthy of the least of His mercies.
And to think that He would forgive us of our sins? All of our sins. Our past sins. Our sins of the present. The sins that are deep within. The bitterness. The resentment. The evil thoughts. The words. The actions. The places you've been. The things you've done. Defenses against God.
The way you've treated other people. The Lord has forgiven you through Christ. Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
That doesn't leave us any option, does it? What else can a forgiven person do but forgive? I'm going to forgive you for Christ's sake. I'm not going to be angry at you. I'm going to put it away. I'm not going to bring it up to you anymore. It's resolved. It's done for. I love you for Jesus' sake. Even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. I hope the message today has been a help to you. If you would like to help with the support to keep the program on the air, you can go to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org and make a donation there. We greet you at the same time tomorrow. This is Lacerre Bradley, Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. All the day long.
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