Oct 5, 2016
WOFCF Bible Explosion
Dealing with Anger – Lesson Three (James 1:19-20)
When a person becomes a Christian, his/her conduct and personality should undergo certain changes. One of these changes has to do with temper. A Christian should react in a Christian way and should not lose his/her temper. In this series, we will deal with the problem of anger (rage/wrath) and temper (irritability/annoyance). We will see God’s remedy for SELF, some great facts, and practical steps we can take to be delivered from the sin of temper.
Point #1 God’s Remedy for Self (I Cor 1:30)
Because SELF is so hateful to God and so destructive to us, God did something about it. What did God do about SELF? God dealt with SELF by putting us in Christ on the cross. When Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. Why did God crucify us with Christ? He crucified us with Christ so that we might no longer be ruled by SELF. The Bible says, "Knowing this, that our old man [our former self] was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer serve sin." (Romans 6:6 NKJ).
Point #2 Two Great Facts Which Are True of Every Christian
1) Christ died for us…
2) We died with Christ…
God wants us to see that in Christ we died to our old life. We are not the same person we were before. We are "a new creation" IN CHRIST (2 Cor 5:17). We do not have to give in to our old sins. We died to all our sins, including the sin of temper. The Bible says, "How shall we who died to sin [including sinful temper] live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:2 NKJ).
Point #3 Practical Steps We Must Take
We must see our need…
Many people, when angry, simply will not admit their anger. They say, "I am NOT angry!" Others admit that they have a temper but do not see it as a serious sin. Actually, temper is one of the worst sins. The Bible lists uncontrolled anger along with such sins as drunkenness, witchcraft, adultery, and murder. (See Gal 5:19-21.) Temper is simply not acceptable in the life of a Christian. The Bible says, "Let ALL bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor [loud quarreling], and evil speaking be put away from you, with ALL malice." (Eph 4:31). Unless we see the seriousness of our temper and determine to be delivered from it, we will not overcome it. If we are satisfied to go on as we have been going, we will know nothing of God's victory over the sin of temper.
We must accept responsibility for our temper…
It is very easy to excuse ourselves by blaming someone else for our temper. We say, "If so-and-so had not spoken to me like that, I would not have lost my temper." In other words, we think that our temper is an external problem—that it is caused by something from without. The fact is that temper is an internal problem. Temper comes from within us, not from without. Others may say or do things that irritate me, but no one can make me lose my temper except me.
We must count on our death with Christ…
God has told us plainly that He has delivered us from the power of sin and SELF by our death with Christ. God tells us to count on these great facts. The Bible says, "Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin [including the sin of temper], but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:11). We must put God's truth into practice. When we find ourselves getting angry, we can say, "Hold it! I am not acting like the person I really am. I am not the person I used to be. My old angry self was crucified with Christ. I don't have to give in to my temper any more. I am a new creature in Christ. Christ lives in me. He is my life."
We must deny SELF...
Whether or not we lose our temper is not determined by what happens on the outside. It is determined by the one in control on the inside. Christ alone has the right to rule in our life, but SELF will still try to rule. Every Christian must choose whether he will be ruled by Christ or by SELF. It is God's purpose that Christ reign on the throne of our heart. In order for Him to reign, SELF must be kept in the place of death on the cross. It is one thing to understand the teaching that we were crucified with Christ. It is another thing to put it into practice and actually deny SELF. But this is what we must do. Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself [deny SELF], and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23).
To overcome temper, we must deny SELF. What does it mean to "deny SELF"? To deny SELF means to choose God's will instead of our own will. Denying SELF is saying, "I don't have to have my own way. I accept God's way." The world says, "Look out for yourself," but Jesus says, "Deny yourself." We will never control our temper until we give up our way and choose God's way. We will find that the Lord will allow us to be in many situations where we are slighted, mistreated, or inconvenienced. This is God's way of dealing with our self-life and our temper. God's purpose in all these situations is that we learn to be patient and self-denying, gladly letting God have His own way in our life. When someone keeps you waiting a long time, you do not have to lose your temper. You can say, "Lord, You know that I need to learn patience. You are in control of my circumstances, and You have allowed this to teach me to be more patient." When someone says or does something that hurts your pride, you don't have to get angry. You can say,"Lord, You know how proud I am. I thank You for dealing with me about my sinful pride." When others do not do what you want them to do and you cannot have your own way, this is your chance to die to SELF. You can say,"Lord, I always want to have my own way, but You know what is best for me. I accept Your way."