Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. There's the anger of God and the anger of man. And most all the anger that you and I have is the anger of man.
Almost all of them. You see now when we're having it we often express that no, no, everything I do is like the anger of God. Well, we'll see in a moment if that's true. He says, be angry and then a warning, yet do not sin.
That's kind of an interesting warning. If you say your anger is just like God's and I'm giving my anger just like God, he says, yeah, but you better not sin. Why does he tell us that? Because we have a high propensity to sin when we're angry. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now as once again he shows us how God's Word meets our world. I'm guessing chances are everybody in this room has been angry in the last week. Now, if you say I'm a Christian, I really don't get angry, then you have another problem. You see, it's just anger. It could be a minor frustration over somebody's driving habits. It could be irritation that your kids are once again not putting their toys away. It could be that you have a situation at work.
Seems grossly unfair. You see, there's something going on here. Marital conflict, husbands, wives hurting each other. There's a lot of anger in our world.
Christian counselor manual written by Jay Adams years ago said this. Anger is a problem for every Christian. Sinful anger is probably involved in 95% of all counseling cases. It's amazing how pervasive anger is. Just imagine what your life would be like if you didn't deal with anger.
Just imagine how much better it would be. See, anger not only hurts other people, but I believe anger hurts you more than it hurts other people. Mark Twain said this. He said anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Anger is destructive to us personally. In the New Testament, there are three words that are used for anger.
One is thumus 20 times. You got the idea of thumus, you know, it's heat. It means to boil over. That's the literal meaning of it. It means rage. It's that kind of anger.
I hope you don't have that, but some people certainly do. Secondly, there's the word orge. It's used 45 times. It's a common word for anger. It's an inside attitude. It deals with frustration, resentment that we end up having on the inside. The last one is agen actisis, and that is the word five times, and it means somebody who has just a lot of resentment about things.
So I want to look at that today. The first verse I want to look at is a verse that I believe Christians use to justify unrighteous anger, and they love using this verse. So open your Bibles to Ephesians 4, and we're going to start at the beginning in verse 1, but then we'll get to the verse I really want to look at. Ephesians 4. Now, he starts out in Ephesians 4, and he says, Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, it's a prison epistle, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called. Paul does this, every letter he writes is the same in this structure. In the first, maybe up the half of the letter, Paul will tell you what Christ has done for you, what your position is in Christ, all of the benefits that Christ has given you, and then in the last part of the letter, or the last half of the letter, Paul will change, and he'll say, Now, how are you going to live?
On the basis of everything you received, how are you going to live your life now? And so this time he uses the metaphor of walking. He said, I implore you to walk in a manner worthy of your calling with which you've been called. You've been called by God to be a child of God's, okay?
He's seen to it that you are. Now, how are you going to live your life? How are you going to make choices on how you live? Now, here's what he says right then, as walking as a child of God. He said, With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love. There's a lot of words there. He said, This is what I want you to do.
First thing I want you to do. Live your life, he said, with humility. Greek word there is interesting. The Greek word actually means to think with lowliness.
It's a compound word. To think with lowliness. Humility is bedrock to the Christian perspective of the world. Now, the Greeks and the Romans at this time hated it.
A lot like people today. They detested humility. They thought anybody who we do describe as humble is not an achieving, worthwhile human being.
They championed more like pride. And he says, with humility. Now, when I'm saying it's bedrock, remember when Jesus said, Come unto me, all you that are heavy laden. I'll give you rest. He said, Oh, by the way, I'm humble. It's an amazing statement. I'm humble.
It's going to be easy. Now, Jesus, the son of God, if the son of God is humble, what do you think man should be? If there's anyone that would be proud for would be the son of God.
He's not. He said, I'm humble. Remember, Moses wrote that Moses was the most humble man on earth, which I wonder about because you wrote it. You know, it almost seems powerful, doesn't it?
But the point is, it's bedrock to us, not to the Greeks at all. He said, with humility and with gentleness, which is translated meekness. That means power under control. The imagery the Greeks used for it was if you take a horse as a powerful. Yes. Is it stronger than we are? Yes. But if you put a bit and a bridle on it, can you control it?
Yes. That's called gentleness or weakness. Power under control. Then he said, with patience.
That's macrothymia. It means very, very, very long tempered. He said, you need to be very, very, very long tempered. Does that describe you?
And please don't do what so many Christians do. Hey, look, I got red hair. I can't help it.
What? I come from a whole line of very explosive people. So God says you should be long tempered. You should very much be a patient person. He said, and then he says tolerant. Now, you know what that means? It's not just the word tolerant. You have to be tolerant of somebody. You have to be tolerant of everybody. Does that describe you?
I'm tolerant of everybody. See what he said. Then he goes on after that and he said for one another in love. That's agape. That's how God loves us. That's the unconditional choice to love somebody. And that's exactly what he said you should be. So when you put it all together, what he ends up saying is you'd be humble, gentle, patient, tolerant and choosing to love one another unconditionally.
That's the context. Now, let's get to the verse 26. This is the verse lots of Christians use as an excuse. Be angry. There it is. By the way, it is a commandment. You're commanded by God to be angry. Wow.
Seem odd to you? Well, it's going to get harder in just a moment here. Look at verse 31. Let all bitterness, wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. Is that hard for you to understand?
We're commanded in 26 to be angry and we're commanded in 31 to put it aside. And which is it? It's both. You see, he's talking about something else here. There's two different subjects here because there's two different kinds of anger.
I've been doing a series on open heart surgery and I talked about the human heart. And I said that it is deceitful to the person who has it more than anything. That's what Jeremiah wrote, deceitful above all things.
It is, he said, it is wicked, my heart. Now, once we've come to Christ, we're a new creature in Christ, but we still operate in the flesh under the authority of our old, old heart. So God wants to do open heart surgery on us with his word to tell us some things we should do and shouldn't do. In other words, when it comes to anger, there's two kinds of anger. There's the anger of God and the anger of man. And most all the anger that you and I have is the anger of man.
Almost all of it. You see, now, when we're having it, we often express that, no, no, everything I do is like the anger of God. Well, we'll see in a moment if that's true. He says, be angry and then a warning, yet do not sin.
That's kind of interesting warning. If you say your anger is just like God's and I'm giving my anger just like God, he says, yeah, but you better not sin. Why does he tell us that? Because we have a high propensity to sin when we're angry. Anybody here ever said something you shouldn't have said when you were angry?
Anybody? You see what happens when we're angry? He says, watch out.
You've got to really watch out for what it is you're doing. He said, this is terrible. James Chapter one in verse 20 says the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Unless it's God's anger, but it doesn't. He says then right after that, he who steals must steal no longer, but rather must labor, performing with his own hands what is good so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. That might be a particular issue going on that made people angry.
But now he goes right back on subject in verse 29. If you're going to be angry, don't sin. If you're going to be angry, let's test it. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.
Wow. That word unwholesome, you could translate unkind. Now, I want to ask you, when you're really angry, is that the kind of word you get? You've never said an unwholesome or unkind word.
Think about that. When are you most likely to say things that are unwholesome and unkind? When you're angry.
That's the whole point. When we're really angry and frustrated, that's when we talk this way. He says, no. Let me explain this. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.
Only such a word that is as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Does that sound like you when you're angry? I mean, I'm really angry. Now, I've got to think about this. I'm only going to give a word that will edify the other person.
Only that. I'm just going to give them a word that's filled with grace for them. Does that sound like you when you're angry? Because if it doesn't, the anger you have is not from God. The anger you have comes from your human heart, your flesh.
Wow. He said, I'll tell you how bad this is. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you've been sealed to the day of redemption. When you and I display anger and we use words from our own flesh and heart, we grieve the Spirit of God who lives in us.
That's not at all what God wants from us. You see, and so many Christians want to justify, no, he told me to be angry. I'm angry.
It's like, no, this is not right at all. He then goes on and said, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. And you think, well, that's why I'm angry. Isn't anger for the idea of conveying my bitterness, my slander, my clamor, and isn't that what anger is?
No. Godly anger is not like that at all. That's not godly anger. That's fleshly anger. He said, here's what God wants. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you. Well, when people really get you riled up, really disappoint you, and you get really angry at them, do you ever stop and think, and you can make this case, you should be angry at sin.
We'll talk about that a little bit more in a moment. You should be. But the point of it is, let me ask you, do you sin? Now, don't sit and lie. Do you sin? Yes.
Okay, so what does Christ do? You are so disappointing. I got to just hit you with a hammer. I got to make sure you lose every penny you have.
I'm going to get you. Does Christ act like that in your life? No. Steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercy has never come to an end.
It's new every morning. Every morning, God forgives me. Wow. He reinstates me.
Wow. He's kind to me. You see, that's how Christ forgave us. He continues to forgive us as His children. Now, watch.
He said here, kind to one another, tenderhearted, and you forgive each other just as God in Christ has forgiven you. So, if you want to have the anger of God, you also have to have the forgiveness of God. That's the whole point.
Now, you have a choice here. See, one of the problems with being angry is you have so much material to be angry at. I mean, think of it.
The planet's cursed. Has anyone in here ever been angry at the government of man? Yeah.
Wow. Of course. You've been angry in almost every situation. You ever stood in a line and got angry because how long you're standing in the line?
Of course. Anger, like I said, the way a guy cuts you off and drives, you get angry. Well, if you want to be angry, you're in the right place because you can be angry 24-7, your whole life. Your whole life can be a life of anger. And what happens, once you take anger and you hold it in your heart for any period of time, you become something even worse, bitter. You become bitter.
And there's nothing more tragic to see than a person who's in their 70s or 80s and if you were to describe them, all you'd say is, wow, are they bitter. Do you know what they did to me when I was 18? Do you know what my father said to me?
Do you know what they did? Do you know that crazy neighbor that lives beside me? And you end up bitter. Does that sound like the Christian life to you? Does that sound what it means to follow Jesus?
No. God knows anger, it's corrosive in our lives. It's like cancer.
It eats us up. He warns us, don't do this at all. So he tells us here, you can't use this as an excuse because I'm really, really, really, he said, being just like God is. Does God ever get angry? Yes. He got angry when Moses came down and saw the worshipping of the golden calf. Was God angry? Yes. So was Moses. When they mistreated their own widows and orphans, did God get angry?
Yes. Yeah, he gets angry. Think of Moses. Did he ever get angry? Well, not really and, well, yes, once. Think of what Moses did. You know the story.
He has two million people that are taken out of Egypt. Now, isn't it wonderful to have two million thankful, grateful people who just sing praise to you and God all the time? That's what they, no, that wasn't what they did, is it? All they did was whine, complain. You took us out here to kill us. I hate this food.
I don't like any of it. That's all they did. And you know what Moses did every time they did that? He fell on his knees and he interceded in prayer for them. Even when God was angry at them, Moses interceded and faced God and said, God, don't do this.
Don't display your anger on these people. And guess how long Moses did it? Forty years. So how would you like to be surrounded by two million ungrateful, unfaithful people for 40 years?
And all 40 years, all they did was whine and complain. And then at the end, they get up again to Moses. He got so frustrated and by now, when I read it the first time, I'm cheering for Moses. He took his staff and he just struck the rock twice.
Boom, boom, he hits the rock where the water comes from. Because he's so frustrated. And God said, Moses, you can't do that. You're not even going to enter the promised land now. God held him accountable for that.
After 40 years of displaying tremendous long suffering and patience, he finally loses his cool. And God says, you won't go to the promised land. See, there is a way, there is a godly anger. There's no doubt about it. But our anger must be an awful lot like God's is.
So I want you to go with me now. Let's go to the book of James. The book of James and chapter 4.
Now what's interesting about this in chapter 4 is this. James asked this question. What is the source of the quarrels and conflicts among you? Why are you angry? See, what causes your anger? That's a great question, good question for us. He said, is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
Wow. Your pleasures means your inner desires. You could paraphrase that, your heart. Isn't it because your heart wants what it wants and it wages war against your members, your flesh? Isn't that the case? Isn't that why you're angry and fighting with people?
Isn't that it? And you almost want to say, no, no, I don't think so. Because you know, these people, they don't act very good.
James says, no, that's not the case at all. Elliot Larson maybe has the best definition for anger I've read in a long time. Elliot Larson says, anger always comes from frustrated expectations. That's why we get angry.
By the way, that's what marital conflict is. You get frustrated expectations. I expected more from my wife. I expected more from my husband.
I expect you to act, and you don't get it, you get angry. And then all you have to be is a parent. Wow. Look, if you ever got up and raised all the way someone to a teenager and you think they met every expectation I could ever had, man, you ought to patent that. You know, that's amazing.
It's frustrating. It's all part of who we are. We have these unmet expectations. You see, I expect to be treated by my government in a certain way. I expect to go to the hospital and be treated in a certain way.
And when I'm not treated the way I expect, I get frustrated and I get angry. He said, that's what ends up happening, and that's what James says. So James goes on and he says, you lust and you do not have. Now watch, so you commit murder. What?
Wait, he's writing to a church. So they got angry at each other and they started killing each other? No. No.
This is hyperbole. But there's something interesting about this. Who is this James? Do you know? He's James the Lord's brother. He is an unbeliever until the resurrection. He does not convert to Christ until the resurrection. When he saw his brother raised from the dead, he became a believer.
He became the lead elder of the Jerusalem church. He's a pretty amazing guy, and he's writing this. And I think when he wrote that, he knows it's hyperbole, but I think he remembered something. You remember on Jesus Christ talking, especially in the Sermon on the Mount, he said, you say, for instance, thou shall not murder. But I say, if you've ever had anger in your heart, you are a murderer.
Wow. Do you think James might have heard that in all those 30 years he spent with Jesus? Yeah, I remember him saying, I didn't know what he meant. You see, and he says, so he uses it here. He uses the hyperbole. Jesus Christ says, our anger condemns us before God, just like murder would.
Murder is obviously worse because of the ramifications for humans. He said, you lust, you do not have, you commit murder, you are envious, cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. Unmet expectations. He said, that's why we fight, that's why we go through this. You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts, or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called OnePlace.com. That's OnePlace.com, and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online.
At that website, you will find not only today's broadcast, but also many of our previous audio programs as well. At Fellowship in the Word, we are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word, 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana, 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website, fbcnola.org.
That's fbcnola.org. At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for, or you can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for, you can listen online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all of this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is fbcnola.org. For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 23:29:50 / 2023-04-25 23:39:57 / 10