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sermonette: Be Angry and Do Not Sin

Clyde Finklea
Given 12-Jun-21; Sermon #1602s; 16 minutes

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Anger, like fear, has both a constructive and destructive dimension, a paradox which explains the apparent contradiction in Ephesians 4:26, "Be angry and sin not," where God in essence commands His people to hate sin but not the sinner. Christ expressed anger at selfish unrighteousness (which elevated manmade rules over His laws) and at people's failure to put mercy ahead of judgment (James 2:13). Righteous anger is controlled, short lived and unselfish, while unrighteous anger is uncontrolled, selfish, hard-hearted, vengeful and likely to foster bitterness. When God's people recognize that bitterness has entrapped them, they need to take the matter to God, asking Him to replace it with kindness, tenderheartedness, compassion and love (Ephesians 4:32). Though anger is not always wrong, when a person shifts the focus from the sin to the sinner, he is only making it harder to forgive others, a principal mandate of God's way of life. The unrighteous anger of man never fosters the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).