How Not to Walk, Part 10 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #256)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 4:26-27:
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
John R. Mott said, “If added power attends the united prayer of two or three, what mighty triumphs there will be when hundreds of thousands of consistent members of the Church are with one accord day by day making intercession for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “[In the Christian life,] there are progressive revelations. If you walk with God, you will find there are things which will be unveiled this coming year that you never thought about in previous years.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “At the end of the Revolutionary War, only 40,000 settlers were located in the hills of western North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the area called the Appalachian Region. But within fifty years more than a million people moved West, seeking free lands, a new life, and freedom. These people needed structure and civilization, but most of all they needed God. The Methodist circuit preachers organized themselves into societies and brought the frontier to God. Eventually, the camp meeting became popular there. It offered a break from hard, backbreaking work, monotonous days, and lonely separation from civilization.”
Today, we are going to continue looking at the command for those who are new men and new women in Christ not to sin in their anger.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains in the Bible Exposition Commentary: “Anger is an emotional arousal caused by something that displeases us. In itself, anger is not a sin, because even God can be angry. Several times in the Old Testament the phrase appears, ‘the anger of the Lord.’ The holy anger of God is a part of His judgment against sin, as illustrated in our Lord’s anger when He cleansed the temple.
“The Bible often speaks of anger ‘being kindled’, as though anger can be compared to fire. Sometimes a man’s anger smolders, and this we would call malice; but this same anger can suddenly burst forth and destroy, and this we would call wrath. It is difficult for us to practice a truly holy anger or righteous indignation because our emotions are tainted by sin, and we do not have the same knowledge that God has in all matters. God sees everything clearly and knows everything completely, and we do not. The New Testament principle seems to be that the believer should be angry at sin but loving toward people. ‘Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.’
“It is possible to be angry and not sin, but if we do sin, we must settle the matter quickly and not let the sun go down on our wrath. ‘Agree with thine adversary quickly,’ the Bible says. ‘Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.’ The fire of anger, if not quenched by loving forgiveness, will spread and defile and destroy the work of God. According to Jesus, anger is the first step toward murder, because anger gives the devil a foothold in our lives, and Satan is a murderer. Satan hates God and God’s people, and when he finds a believer with the sparks of anger in his heart, he fans those sparks, adds fuel to the fire, and does a great deal of damage to God’s people and God’s church. Both lying and anger ‘give place to the devil.’”
The reason why we ought to be quick to resolve situations that take place in the midst of anger is because if we let it fester, the devil will cause a root of bitterness to grow in us and in the one we have offended. The longer we go without resolving the situation, the more difficult it will become to resolve. The longer we linger, the more room the devil has to work.
Don’t give the devil room to work by not confessing and repenting of words spoken and sins committed in anger against family members, friends, fellow church members, or the unsaved.
Deborah Ann Belka wrote:
Be slow in your anger,
be slow to show your wrath
for you are called to peace
with self-control as your path.
Be not puffed up with pride,
be not filled with malice
for you are called to be gentle
not thick-skinned and callous.
Put off all bitterness and hate,
put off what’s boiling inside you
for you are called to temperance
in all that you say and do.
Take off that old sinful man,
take off the old wicked nature
for you are called in His love
In Christ, you’re a new creature.
Let not the sun set on your anger,
let it not go down on your wrath
for God is leading you away from
the self-righteous, arrogant path.