Can We Be Angry And Not Sin?

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” —Mark Twain

True. Anger is never good for us. Yet some may object and say, “Righteous anger is good. Jesus was angry in Mark 3:5. So if Jesus gets angry, so can we. Paul said to be angry and not sin.”

Did Paul really say that? Jesus was said to be angry, I don’t deny this. He was angry about something very specific – Mark 3:5 see context. God expresses anger at times too at very specific things. But I am not God or Jesus. They can be angry and not sin, but I don’t think we can because Paul tells us to put away ALL anger.

Later on in that same passage Paul says, “Put away ALL anger.” So how could he say “Be angry and not sin,” and then tell us to put all anger away?

It has been suggested by C.H. Welch, A.E. Knoch, and a few others, that Ephesians 4:26 can be translated thus:

“Can you be angry and not sin?”

I agree with that. I’ve never gotten angry and then thanked God for my anger. Anger kills. Anger divides. Cain killed Abel because he was angry. Anger has destroyed millions since. It is no coincidence that Paul in the next verse says, “Neither give place to the devil.” With regards to us, the adversary knows all he has to do is get us angry in order to divide and conquer us.

So “can you be angry and not sin?” I don’t think so. Especially when just a few verses later Paul says, “Let all…anger…be put away from you.”

“Can you be angry and not sin?…Let all.. anger…be put away from you… put off all…anger…” Ephesians 4:26, 31, Colossians 3:8

What’s the alternative to anger? “But become ye kind to one another, tender-hearted, dealing graciously with one another, even as God in Christ deals graciously with you.”

Here are a few things others have said on this same topic:

—Otis Sellers on Anger

Even the world recognizes the futility of anger and it is a saying that you can judge the size of a man by the size of what will make him angry. Anger is…poisonous and harmful to the body…So it is foolish to indulge in fits of anger. Also anger is the outcome of thinking too much of self. The man who has a high opinion of self, who has a lot of pride, is likely to get angry easily.

Reason and anger seldom live together. Cain was angry with his brother. Murder was the result. He can never be excused upon the grounds that it was righteous anger.

Can anybody else but’ God be righteous and angry at the same time? Can we be angry with none of self in the situation? Righteous anger is but an excuse for the flesh. Nearly always anger brings a feeling of frustration, for seldom can anger be freely vented. And if it is, there is remorse which is just as bad for one as frustration. So we do well to ask if one can be angry and not sin. Any way you look at it, it is pretty hard to justify anger under any situation.

You may think you have to stand up for your rights. But as a Christian under grace, what rights do you have that must be defended in the flesh? The warfare we have is not with flesh and blood in this world, but with spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies. Carnal attitudes and carnal weapons have no place in our warfare.

Let us take time to stop and think it thru. What have we to gain by being angry? Will it help our testimony? Will it honor the Father and the Son?

—Stuart Allen on Anger

The Apostle now passes from deceit to anger, and we ask the question; can a believer indulge in righteous anger? That there is such a thing, the Scriptures testify, for the wrath of God is a solemn fact that the book of Revelation stresses (6:16,17; 11:18; 14:8,10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 18:3; 19:15). God is righteous and there is no question but that His anger is just. But can we who are sinners indulge in it without sinning ourselves? In view of verse thirty-one, “let ALL bitterness, and wrath, and anger … be put away from you”, it is surely better to avoid anger under any condition, and read verse twenty-six as a question “Are ye angry and do ye not sin?” In any case, anger should never be prolonged, for this is dangerous; “let not the sun go down upon your wrath”. Paul insists on this, and many quarrels and differences between believers could have been avoided had this wise injunction been carried into effect.

Those who nurse their grievances do not realize that they are “giving place to the devil” (verse 27).They are giving him room to operate in their lives, which he will not be slow to use with deadly effect.

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Colossians 2:14-3:4

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Love Wherever Your Feet Are…

Love Wherever Your Feet Are…
 
Where are your feet right now? Love on that very spot. When you move from that spot, love there. Repeat every step. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to “Walk in love…”
 
The Greek word for “Walk” is “peripateO.” It’s a verb which means, “to tread all around, to walk about.” It refers to every sphere of life you occupy at any given moment. So wherever your feet are, love. Every square inch of human life was designed for love.
 
What is love? The Greek word is “agapE.” It’s a noun which means, “a complex emotion arousing appreciation or delight in and desire for the presence of its object, as well as to please and promote its welfare. To be distinguished from affection…which is aroused by the qualities of its object, while love may go out to the utterly unworthy…to also be distinguished from passion between the sexes” (Greek Lexicon and Condordance).”
 
Paul finishes his statement by saying, “Walk in love AS Christ LOVES you and GIVES HIMSELF for us…” Love is defined by giving of yourself for others!
 
Love isn’t a “religious exercise,” it is a way of life.
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Genesis 46:28-47:31

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Colossians 2:1-13

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The Great Issue Of Colossians

In the “Context and Flow” series, we are in the book of Colossians. The following chart/outline is essential to our studies. Paul warns us in Colossians about “empty deceitful philosophies” and those who would “judge us” and “arbitrate against us.” Many speculate that the problem in Colossians is “Gnosticism.” There is no evidence of that, although that may be one of the many systems of philosophy and religion which would, in that syncretistic era, draw us away from Christ. We don’t need to know everything about the systems of men to stay true to God, but we do need to know about Christ as revealed in the Scriptures rightly divided. The more we know Christ, the easier we will be able to detect those things which are “not according to Christ.” Enjoy this chart and our studies.

The Flow of Truth and Practice in Colossians

Colossians 1:14-18 The Son of God’s Love…Who Is…He is…And He Is… (Image…Firstborn of every creation…Outflowing Source …Sovereign…Firstborn from among the dead…)

Colossians 2:4-11 In Christ (Gr. En)

Colossians 2:12-3:4 With Christ (Gr. Sun)

Colossians 3:5-4:6 Put to death therefore…put off…put on…bearing with…And let…And whatsoever you do…Submit…love….obey…provoke not…give…Continue in prayer…Walk…Let your speech…

First: we learn WHO the Son of God’s love is.

Second: we learn about the riches that are IN Christ.

Third: we learn about our identification WITH Christ.

Fourth: we are encouraged to LIVE our lives accordingly.

This is the proper order. WHO – IN – WITH – LIVE.

Truth is based on the solid foundation of the knowledge of God. Unlike the idols of the nations, our God and Savior reveals to us Who He Is, shares with us the riches inherent IN Him, joins us in an intimate union WITH Him, and then He encourages us to CONDUCT our lives in response to His love.

Truth is relational. Truth always leads to action. The Scriptures aren’t dead letters.

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