Christian Universe ™
Be Angry And Sin Not
July 19, 2015
Anger and wrath are best kept in check. They should be put out of our lives entirely, if we can achieve that. Man's anger and wrath result in bad outcomes. However, there is a righteous anger, as the scriptures teach us. God has anger and wrath and I believe that Jesus showed it. Furthermore, rebuke, which is sometimes construed as anger because it is harsh, is one of the methods of correcting sin in the lives of others. Even so, Jesus reserved His harshest words for religious leaders who were leading the people astray, teaching them to violate God's laws by keeping the traditions of men. - Bernie Parsons
Be Angry And Sin Not
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 07-19-2015
Presented to Load church of Christ on 09-06-2015
Man’s anger is not a good thing and usually does not end well. There is a godly, or righteous, anger that slowly arises when those who claim to follow God actually depart from His word.
James 1:19 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."
Ephesians 4:26 "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil."
Colossians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
Yet, there is a godly, or righteous, anger that slowly arises in the righteous as they observe those who claim to follow God but actually depart from His word.
John 2:13 "And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."
Here, Jesus drove those out of the temple who had defiled it for personal gain. Later, the apostle Paul dealt with this same type of attitude with some rather harsh words.
1 Corinthians 4:17 ‘For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?"
Apostle Paul also taught Timothy to take drastic measures with those professing Christ, but who did not walk in the way of righteousness.
2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
Reprove: expose, point out, reveal. Rebuke: to criticize sharply; reprimand; to turn back or keep down; check (stop). Exhort: beseech, call for, urge. When men who profess to follow Christ turn from the way of righteousness, teachers of God’s word have an obligation to set them straight.
As the apostle Paul pointed out to Timothy, he was to point out error, reprimand and stop bad behavior of others, and plead with them to do what is right, depending upon the situation.
The selection of leading elders was not to include those who were “soon to anger”, that is, “inclined to anger, quick-tempered”. This does not rule out righteous anger that is slow to build, but rather condemns those who “fly off the handle”, as in an ax head that abruptly and without warning comes loose during wood-chopping.
1 Timothy 5:20 "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality."
In the above passage, we see once more that Timothy, sent among the congregation to teach the ways of God’s righteousness, was to rebuke when the occasion warranted. At the same time, Paul warned him not to play favorites, but to be consistent.
Next, I wish to examine the attitude of our Lord toward corrupt “church leaders”, as it were.
Matthew 23:13 "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"
Woe: a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief; ruinous trouble; calamity, affliction.
Jesus did not scold and berate the ordinary people struggling to serve God. He reserved His scorn and harsh rebuke for the religious leaders who led their audiences astray.
Jesus announced that calamity or ruinous trouble would befall the Jewish leaders who were teaching the masses to follow traditions of men rather than the word of God Almighty.
We see that while we must not be quick to anger, nor to let that anger fester, nor to lash out at others in sudden anger, there is a point at which we have an obligation to speak out against ungodly behavior, particularly that of our church leadership. This sometimes includes rebuke.
I cannot stand idly by when I see my brethren teach the congregations things that are not contained in the word of God. I feel obligated to point out the error, urge them to repent, and call unto all to obey God and His word, rather than the teachings of men.