TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

In the post TRUTH: How to Put on Your New Self II, we listed the attributes that were reflective of the new self. They were the things that we were to do or not do. To remind us, let me give you what Paul outlines as some of those new attitudes to apply to our lives.

  • v 25 – put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor
  • v 26 – do not let the sun go down while you are still angry
  • v 27 – do not give the devil a foothold
  • v 28 – do not steal any longer, work to give/share with those in need rather than taking
  • v 29 – do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but speak only what is helpful for building up others in conjunction with their needs. Also speak what is beneficial to the listener
  • v 30 – do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption
  • v 31 – get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice
  • v 32 – be kind and compassionate (tender-hearted) to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you

We already looked at putting off falsehood in the aforementioned post. Now, let’s look at anger. In regards to anger or being angry, Ephesians 4 says,

“26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Through Paul, God is telling us how to deal with anger in relation to our new life in Christ when we submitted to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In exchange, Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, His burial, resurrection and ascension serves as the forgiveness of our sins and the ability to live a new life of righteousness powered by the Holy Spirit whom Paul stated lives in us as a seal and deposit of what is to come. TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

Anger or being angry is an emotion that we are told not allow it to control us – “Be angry and do not sin” There, God acknowledges the emotion; yet, we are told not to sin. I can tell you that have struggled mightily with this command and ability. Anger is a sin that has dogged me since my earliest remembrances. In fact, it dominated me until salvation. James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? “For me, anger arouses from pride i.e. circumstances are not of my liking. That is whether I get what I want or whether someone does me wrong without cause. In my so called faultlessness, it is my attitude that since I did not do anything wrong to you that person should not do anything wrong to me; therefore, I am justified in feeling angry.  TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

I am not sure if I am ever faultless but anyway. In spite of that claim, God says that I am to not sin as a result of my anger. Since God commands me not to sin in anger, He gives me the power through the Holy Spirit to make that choice. Again, James 4:7-8 tells us “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ” We know from Romans 8 and other places in the Word that though Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. As a result, anyone who trusts in Christ for salvation has been set free from sin(A) and have become slaves to righteousness. TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

We are told by various spiritual pundits that the new self may get angry, but he/she does not sin. The new self knows how to let go of his/her anger or wrath. When we do, the latter part of verse 7 tells us that we give no opportunity to the devil to gain a foothold or regain control over us since we have been freed from the control of sin (anger) through Christ.  In that verse, F.F. Bruce states “Here it is suggested that anger can be prevented from degenerating into sin if a strict time limit is placed on it: do not let the sun set on your anger.” We know that the devils goal is to accuse and divide. We see that first with Adam and Eve once they gave way to sin. When we let sin (anger) fester or when we harbor anger in your hearts and mind, we give the devil a foothold because we have only focused on us, the old self, and not God/Christ, the new self. TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

What is the remedy that Paul shares with us? “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” God sets the standard high; however, He knows we are but dust. He tells us to not let the sun go down with us being in a position for the devil to divide us causing a lack of oneness or unity. That oneness and unity with another is reflective of the oneness and unity Christ has with the Father and we have with God. We cannot afford to have any time where we are separated from God. This is the ultimate agony that Christ felt as the atoning sacrifice. He was separated from God when our sins were upon Him. This is why we are being told to put on our new self and dispose of anger. TRUTH: Putting on Our New Self – Anger

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