Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In today's message titled, Walk in Newness Part 2, we will hear four ways that the transforming power of the Gospel changes our attitudes and interactions with others. When we live surrendered fully to Christ, we begin to see and treat others the way Christ did.
Let's dig in to Ephesians 4, 25 through 32 together. This is the second part of a sermon first preached on October 29th, 2017. What can you do for me?
That's how a natural man approaches everyone else. What can I get you to think of me? How highly can I get you to think of me? Let me tell you how much I know. Let me tell you what I can do. Here's how you ought to be so impressed with me.
No. How can I bless you? How can I invest myself in you? You see, folks, that's the Gospel.
That's how God approached us. How He can invest Himself in us. Here's the second thing. From pretense, number one, from pretense to personal investment. Secondly, from riot for my cause to rage against the captor.
I'm trying to use descriptive words here. Verse 26. Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil.
From riot for my cause to rage against the captor. Let me first of all point out that anger in and of itself, anger is not sin. That might be a revelation to some of us, right? Why do we know anger is not a sin? Those of you with temper trouble right now are having a good time with us, right? I'm one of them.
I'm one of them, right? Anger is not a sin because God gets angry. But look at this. Look down at verse, it says, be angry and sin not. Okay, look at verse 31. Let all bitterness, wrath and anger, all of those, be put away from you. So is the Bible disagreeing with itself?
Is there a contradiction in the scriptures? He says, be angry and do not sin. The difference is context and motive. The context of your anger and the motive of your anger. And we could unpack that for quite some time on this whole issue here, these couple of verses.
But that's not the purpose this morning. So what is sinful anger? Sinful anger is simply lashing out to where you devalue another person. And this is how we should not think of God's wrath. God is not lashing out emotionally. That's not what the wrath of God is. God's wrath is holy and necessary, as ought my anger to be, holy and necessary. But sinful anger means that I am fighting for my passions and my rights.
That I will fight for what I think I deserve or what I demand and I will have what I want. You see, that's what the natural man thinks. That belongs in the dark prison cell of self-preeminence. Because if that is true, then that becomes anarchy and it's the anarchy of self-preeminence.
That's what we need rescue from. But what does it mean when the scriptures say be angry and not sin? Three points I want to make on this and hopefully you will find this instructive and helpful. What does it mean to be angry and not sin? Number one, it means to be angry at the right thing. To be angry at the right thing.
What is that? The violation of God's character and purpose. And that's what it means to rage against the captor. In the unbelief of the Pharisees, Jesus was told that Lazarus had died. And Jesus goes to Bethany and he groans in the spirit.
And that is the sense of the snorting of a horse. Jesus, I believe, was raging against the captor who is the author of death and destruction and corruption. And Jesus said, I'm going to do something about this.
And he goes and he calls Lazarus out of the tomb. Wow. Now see what he did? He was angry at the right thing.
Number two, take constructive action. The scriptures here say don't let the sun go down on your wrath. What is that? That is simmering rage. Simmering rage.
Don't go there. That's like a cancer that'll eat you alive. That's simmering rage. Take constructive action. If you're angry at the right thing, not the violation of your rights or your preferences, but if you are righteously angry at the violation of God's character and God's purpose, then take constructive action. Meaning this, channel the passion to respond constructively to a true wrong. If you are angry at the right thing, it is a justifiable anger and anger is a passion. It is an emotion. But channel that passion to respond constructively to a true wrong.
And you may say, Rich, yeah, but when that happens, I've got to do something. Then do something and invest yourself in that other person. You see, folks, this is not natural ability. This requires the Spirit of God.
And we can because the Spirit indwells us. Are you letting that light shine continually and increasingly to diminish the darkness? Thirdly, angry and sin not. Number three, close the door on bitterness. He says, give no opportunity to the devil.
No opportunity for the adversary. Do you understand that he is the adversary of your soul? And listen, he is bent on sabotaging your faith. He is bent on sabotaging your walk of faith. Because if nothing else, he doesn't want anybody else to think that a walk of faith is good and productive.
He wants everybody to think it's useless. Does he have any justification for that in what he sees in us? He is bent on sabotaging your faith through slander because he's an accuser of being bitter, of having a critical spirit, of showing disdain.
If you claim Christ, those things are incongruent with the child of God. And so in the things that might make you angry, let the challenges make you better, not bitter. Follow Christ when he said, not my will, but yours be done.
I'm not going to be angry about my agenda, my preferences, my rights. I am going to take constructive action on promoting and championing God's character and purpose and channeling my passion in that direction. That's what it means to be angry and not sin. Thirdly, verse 28, the third manifestation of a transformed mind. Verse 28, look at that with me. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
You know what's interesting about this? The third manifestation is from greed to generosity. Your disposition moves from greed to generosity. The greed of that dark prison cell of self-preeminence to the generosity of grace. The Lord changes us that way at the core.
You know what's encouraging about this? As Paul is writing this to the church, let the thief no longer steal. What the implication there is, is that in the church there were people who were thieves. Their lifestyle was theft. They didn't work a job.
They lived by confiscating other people's things. And now they're in Christ. And he says, if that's who you were, that's incongruent with being in Christ. That's darkness. That's self-preeminence.
Walk away from that. Let the light of Christ shine in and let him produce in you a good work ethic and generosity. Because greed is by definition, I mean, theft is by definition greed and sloth. Thieves are by definition lazy because they're not willing to work for what they need. They would rather confiscate it from somebody else. They're scavengers in a sense, aren't they? But it's greed that leads them to do that. And those belong in the dark prison cell of self-preeminence. It is essentially disrespect for other people and their property. And the Lord says through the Apostle Paul, instead abandon that, but develop a good work ethic, doing honest work, doing honest work with your own hands.
Folks, think about that. What does it mean to do honest work? The Christian should be a really good employee.
Did you know that? Do honest work. A Christian should also be a really good boss. Do honest work.
Honest in terms of the time that you give to your employer, the work, the hours that he pays you to be working. Are you actually working or are you playing Candy Crush or browsing Facebook? Folks, listen to me.
Those things are incongruous with this command in the scriptures. Do honest work. Why? What is your motive for working? Well, to build up my coffers and become rich.
Well, that's a natural way of thinking, but that's not God's way of thinking. Christ became poor so that through his poverty we might become rich. So what is our purpose, our reason for working?
What does the text say? To share. Not to hoard, but to share.
Share with your family, obviously, because you're responsible to provide for your family. But then also to share with those in need. This is the gospel. This is reflecting God's graciousness. And instead of using people for their things, you bless them with your increase. There it is, the gospel. Jesus said, I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life a ransom for many. You see the gospel in all of this?
Again, why we need to know the indicative of the word of God so that these commands actually have a foundation and logically follow that foundation from which they arise. So here's the fourth manifestation of a transformed life. As you let that light shine in continually and increasingly, your disposition of life will move from number four, corrosive banter to compassionate blessing. Verses 29 to 32, let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear. No corrupting talk.
The sense of that phrase, no corrupting talk, is the idea of dis-ease. So what comes out of your mouth, you can just picture this, can't you, right? I mean, I have a little bit of bronchitis here and coughing this and that like that. You don't want to cough in somebody's face, right? Because you can be spreading something, you know?
And you cough and you're not covering your mouth up and people go like this. You know, we can do the same thing with just words. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, 7 Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. 7 Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-21 17:15:55 / 2023-01-21 17:20:54 / 5