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   True Christian Love Is
   Not Easily Provoked --- Not Irritable
   

Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:"   (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength."   (Neh. 8:10)

1 Cor. 13:5, "... is not easily provoked,"

Introduction:

A. Love is the Opposite of the two great cardinal vices of Pride and Selfishness.

1. Love is also the Opposite of the Fruits of this Pride and Selfishness.

a. An Angry Spirit,

b. A Censorious Spirit.

2. Love is the Opposite of anything that is Not Christ Like.

B. True Christian Love is the Opposite of an Angry or Judgmental Spirit or Disposition.

I. What Is This Angry or Judgmental Spirit That Is Contrary To Love or A Christian Spirit?

A. Not All Anger Is Sinful And Wrong.

Eph. 4:26, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:"

It Is Possible To Be Angry And Not Sin or Offend God --- It Depends Upon Several Things Which We Will Discuss Later.

B. Anger may be Sinful and Wrong as to Its Nature.

1. Anger is the Earnest and sometimes Violent Opposition of spirit or mind to any Real or Supposed Offence, Wrong, or Evil done to ourselves or to another..

2. Not all opposition to real or supposed evil can properly be called Sinful Anger.

a. There is also the Opposition of The Spirit against Natural Evil that we suffer such as Grief and Sorrow --- this is very different from sinful anger.

b. A Father may be Angry With His Child --- there may be an earnestness and opposition of spirit to the bad conduct of the child.

c. His spirit may be enraged and stirred in opposition to that conduct --- yet at the same time have No Ill-Will Toward The Child.

(1) Far from desiring the child's injury, he may have the Very Highest Desire For Its True Welfare.

(2) His anger is but his opposition to the Dishonor Done Unto God and the Injury or Harm which, he believes, will come Upon The Child.

(3) His Anger consists in the Opposition of His Spirit To Evil rather than in a Desire For Revenge.

3. Also, there may be a dislike, an opposition of the will and judgment, which is Not Always of The Emotions.

a. There is a Cool Headed Judgment that is not based upon emotions but upon the Word of God.

b. In all sinful anger there must be earnestness and opposition of feelings or emotions.

c. The spirit must be moved and stirred within us.

4. All Anger that contains Ill-Will, or a desire for Revenge is Sinful Anger.

a. We Are Not Allowed To Entertain Ill-Will Toward Others.

b. We are Required By Christ to wish well to and pray for the prosperity of all --- even our enemies --- In no case are we to wish evil --- All Revenge Is Forbidden.

Matt. 5:44, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

Rom. 12:14, "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

Lev. 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

Rom. 12:19, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Eph. 4:31, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:"

Col. 3:8, "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."

C. Anger may be Sinful and Wrong as to Its Occasion --- when it is Without Any Just Cause.

Matt. 5:22, "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

1. Anger is sin when the Anger is Directed at a Person who is Not In Any Way At Fault for the problem.

a. Many people are of such a Proud and Irritable, Crabby Disposition that they will be Angry At Anything that is in any way against them --- or troublesome to them --- or contrary to their wishes --- whether anybody is to blame for it or not.

(1) Sometimes they are Angry with others for things which are Not Their Fault --- things which happen because of their Involuntary Ignorance or their Lack of Ability.

(2) They become angry because others did not do better --- when the only cause was that the circumstances were such that they could not do more than they did.

b. Oftentimes they are angry with others, not only for that which is No Fault of Theirs, but for that Which Is Really Good --- and for which They Should Be Praised.

(1) For doing those things that are Acts of Friendship to them.

Prov. 27:5-6, "Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."

(2) We become angry with others, not only for Doing Good but, for doing that which is Their Duty to do.

a. Civil Authority --- Police, when they stop us while speeding .....

b. Ecclesiastical Authority --- Pastors, when they proclaim Godís Word against our errors or sins --- administering Christian Reproof --- we should praise them for doing so.

Psalm 141:5, "Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."

c. Why all the Anger, Hostility and Malice toward people for Doing-Good?

d. The Annoyances and Cruelties that are practiced against those who would do good --- is Astonishing.

e. Many are Angry At God and fret at His providences.

(1) To be fretful and impatient and to murmur against Godís dealings is a most horrible and wicked kind of anger.

(2) Is this not what the Wicked Israelites were so often guilty of --- and for which they died in the wilderness.

(3) Jonah was angry with God without a cause --- Angry for that for which he should have been praising God for His great mercy to the Ninevites.

2. Anger is sin when the Anger is Caused by Small and Trivial situations.

a. Some are stirred to anger by very small, trifling things which are Not Even Worth Our Attention.

b. James 1:19, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be ..... slow to wrath:"

c. Proverbs 14:17, "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated."

d. Eccl. 7:9, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

3. Anger is sin when the Anger is Stirred at the Faults of Others as they Affect Us, and not because they are Against God.

a. We should never be angry, Except At Sin --- and that Against God.

(1) It is Infinitely Worse to sin against God than it is to sin against us.

(2) We sin in our anger when we are Selfish In It.

(3) We should be more solicitious for Godís Honor than for our Own Temporal Interests.

b. If there is No Sin and No Fault, then we have No Cause to be angry.

(1) All anger is either a Virtue or a Vice.

(2) There is No Virtue or goodness in opposing sin, Unless it is opposed As Sin --- you don't oppose the individual, you oppose the sin.

D. Anger may be Sinful and Wrong as to Its End.

1. Anger is sin when we are angry with No Definitive Purpose To Be Gained by it.

a. In this situation our anger is Rash and Inconsiderate.

b. Reason Has No Place In The Matter --- passions arise Before Reason.

c. No Thought has been given as to the Advantage or Benefit it will bring to anyone.

d. Such anger is not the anger of men --- but the Blind Passion of Beasts.

2. Our anger should be Under The Control of Reason.

3. Anger should be for the Glory of God or the Benefit of Mankind.

4. Anger should Not be for:

a. The gratification of our own Pride,

b. The extension of our own Influence,

c. The gaining of Superiority to others.

E. Anger may be Sinful and Wrong as to Its Measure.

1. When anger is Uncontrolled In Degree --- it is far beyond what is required by the situation.

a. It is so great that it puts the person Beyond The Control of Himself.

b. Their Passions Become So Violent that, for the time, they do Not Know what they are doing or saying.

c. They seem Unable To Direct and Regulate either their Feelings or their Conduct.

d. Anger should never arise Beyond Control nor Exceed that which is justified by the end results.

2. When anger is Uncontrolled In Duration --- Becomes an unforgiving spirit..

a. If Anger Continues for a long period of time, it degenerates into Malice.

Eccl. 7:9, "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

Eph. 4:26, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:"

b. If a person allows himself to be angry and Continue To Hold A Grudge in their hears against someone for a long period of time, he will soon come to Hate That Person.

II. Love, Which Is The Total Summation of The Christian Spirit, Is Directly Contrary To The Anger Which Is Sinful And Offends God.

A. True Christian Love is directly contrary to all Sinful Anger and the Works of The Flesh.

1. Love is contrary to Pride.

a. Pride is one chief cause of undue anger --- they Exalt Themselves in their own hearts.

b. They are Revengeful --- they make Great Things Out of Little Things that may be against them.

c. They treat as Vices things that are in themselves Virtues --- when they think Their Honor is harmed --- or when Their Will is crossed.

d. Pride makes men Unreasonable and Rash in their anger.

2. Love is contrary to Selfishness.

a. It is because men are Selfish and Seek Their Own, that they are Malicious and Revengeful against all that oppose or interfere with their own interests.

b. If Men Did Not chiefly seek their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their Anger Would Not Be So Easily Stirred Up.

(1) They would not be So Hasty, Rash, or Inconsiderate with others.

(2) They would not Injury or Provoke others so easily.

B. We should strive to Forget Ourselves For Godís Sake and for the Honor of Christ.

1. Then we would not be so anxious to Make Ourselves Great --- and getting Our Own Way.

2. We would be More Interested in the Glory of God and the Good of Mankind.

III. True Christian Love Will Cause Us To Practice Self-Examination of Our Own Life --- Our Own Consciences.

A. If we faithfully Search Our Own Hearts and Conscience, we can know whether we are a person with an Angry Spirit, a Judgmental Disposition, and have Ill-Will toward those who differ with me.

1. Has not most, if not all, of the anger we have experienced been Entirely For Our Own Benefit.

2. Sometimes we may plead that it is because of our Zeal And Duty Toward God in upholding His Honor and Glory --- when in reality, it is Only Our Own Selfish Interest that is concerned and affected.

3. We like to appear that we have Zeal For God And Righteousness --- but only when Our Honor, or Will, or Interest has been hurt do we get angry.

4. However, there is a Great Difference In Our Conduct in other situations where Godís Honor is as much or more hurt --- but Our Own Self Interest Is Not Specially Concerned.

(1) In such cases, there is --- No Appearance of Zeal and Eagerness of spirit to Reprove or Complain --- but a readiness to Excuse and Leave Reproof To Others.

(2) It Is Not Our Concern --- No Matter The Glory And Honor of God!

B. What Good Has Been Obtained By Your Anger --- what has it been aimed at?

1. What has been the Nature of Your Anger?

2. Has it not been that of ill-will, and malice, and bitterness of heart --- an anger arising from proud and selfish principles, because Your Interest, or Your Opinion, or Your Party was touched?

C. If your anger is concealed from human eyes, is it not Like An Old Sore not completely healed --- of while the Least Touch of It Will Renew The Pain.

It is like a Smothered Fire in a pile of autumn Leaves --- which the Least Breeze Will Kindle into a flame?

D. What about your Anger In Your Own Family?

1. Families are the Most Closely United Societies of all --- the members are in the Nearest Relationships..

a. They are also under the Greatest Obligations to have Peace, Harmony, and Love.

b. Yet, What Is The Spirit Like Within Your Family.

2. Have you been Irritable, Angry, Impatient, Crabby, and Unkind to those whom God has made the most Dependent Upon You?

a. These are the people who are So Easily Made Happy or Depressed by what you Say or Do --- By your Kindness or Unkindness.

b. Has your Anger within your family been Unreasonable and Sinful.

3. Has your anger exploded when those with whom you were angry were Not Even At Fault --- or when the fault was Insignificant or Unintentional --- and perhaps You Yourself Were In Part To Blame for it.

4. Has your Anger Continued and led you to Pout and Sulk and was so Severe that Your Own Conscience Condemns You.

E. We need to examine ourselves and know What Manner of Spirit We Are of, and wherein we Come Short of The Spirit of Christ.

F. The Heart of Man is exceeding prone to sinful anger, being Naturally Full of Pride and Selfishness.

1. We live in a world that is full of Occasions that tend to Stir Up This Corruption within us.

2. We Cannot Expect to live as Christians should --- without Constant Watchfulness and Prayer.

3. We should constantly seek to Establish and Increase The Spirit of Divine Love and Humility in our hearts and souls.

G. Consider Frequently Our Own Failings, by which we have given both God and man occasion to be Displeased With Us.

1. All our lifetime we have Come Short of Godís Requirements,

2. Our failings have been Numerous Toward Our Fellow-Men.

3. Our failures are as great as theirs --- we should fret less with the Motes in their eyes but rather with the Beam in our own eye.

a. Most often, those that are Quick To Be Angry With Others, are equally or more Guilty of The Same Faults.

Rom. 2:1-3, "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?"

b. Those Most Apt To Be Angry With Others For Speaking Evil of Them, Are Often Most Frequent In Speaking Evil of Others.

H. Anger destroys Comfort and Peace of him who indulges in it.

1. Such Anger Is Inconsistent With A Manís Enjoying Himself or having any True Peace or Self-Respect in his own spirit.

2. Angry men are the Most Miserable sort of men, and live a most miserable life.

3. A Regard For Our Own Happiness should lead us to shun all undue and sinful anger.

I. An Angry Spirit Unfits A Man For The Service And Worship of God.

1. It separates us from that sweet and excellent spirit by which we most Enjoy Communion With God.

2. Hence, God commands us Not To Approach His Altars while at enmity with others.

Matt. 5:24, "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

1 Tim. 2:8, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

J. An Angry Spirit Unfits A Man For Human Society.

1. Such a man is described as a Pest of Society --- who disturbs and disquiets it, putting everything into confusion.

Prov. 22:24-25, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul." --- 29:22, "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression."

2 Everyone Is Uncomfortable Around him --- His Example Is Evil --- His Conduct Is Disapproved By God And Man.

3 Avoid An Angry Spirit And Temper,

Cultivate The Spirit of Gentleness and Kindness and Love,

Which Is The Spirit of Heaven!




If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Hebrews 9:27

                                                          

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