Ephesians 4:26,27 (NKJV), “Be angry, and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”
Ephesians 4:26,27 (NLT), “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
Ephesians 4:26,27 (MSG), “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
Ephesians 4:26,27 (AMP), “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].” .
The book of Ephesians is about the walk, welfare and warfare of the believer in Christ.
The Apostle Paul addresses this marvelous Epistle to “The Saints which are at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). That’s Paul's way of describing true believers. There were plenty of nominal Christians in Ephesus and in the other churches to whom this letter was delivered. We know there were heretics among them, and many others to whom the designation of “faithful” seemed inapplicable. But Paul classes them all under one category, and describes the whole body of believing people by the word “Saints.” –Adapted from Alexander MacClaren.
A “saint” is anyone who is "in Christ" and in whom Christ dwells. The Greek word for saint is hagiazo, which means “to set apart,” “to sanctify,” or “to make holy.” So this letter is written to every true believer! To everyone who is “in Christ.” It is written to us!
The first three chapters deal with the Position and Possessions of the believer in Christ. Chapters 4-6 deal with the believer’s responsibility in Christ.
“There’s a major destroyer of love on the loose; I’ve found it to be the leading cause of divorce and the single greatest thief of one’s love for life…This destroyer is…unresolved anger–not just the kind that gnaws at one’s stomach night after night, but also the type that silently disappears…when we try to bury anger inside us…It is always buried alive! Then when we are not even aware of its presence, it does its damage” –Gary Smalley.
A 27-year-old man pleaded guilty to assault after he was arrested for accosting a 59-year-old woman in St. Paul, Minnesota. They were waiting for a bus when he began yelling at her, “Why don’t you show me some respect?” When she took out a cell phone to call police, he hit her in the face. When a 63-year-old man intervened, the angry young man hit him with a folder, which fell on the ground as he fled. Police tracked the man down after finding his name in the folder, along with his homework from an anger management class, where he was headed when he lost his temper and hit the woman (Flag Live March 6-12, 2008)! Well, I guess we can be glad that he’s working on the problem!
Man’s fallen nature has a number of strong impulses. The one impulse of the flesh, if left unbridled, can lead to more trouble than all the rest combined is anger. Anger demonstrates itself in many ways, temper, aggression, resentment, hate, and even gossip and backbiting. Anger has broken up more families, homes, and marriages than all other domestic problems put together.
The Greek words for Anger, are:
•“Thumos, Boiling fury, blowing up, wrath, or to burn up with anger, to rage.”
•Orge’ This kind of anger is the most common and can be the most harmful. This is when harsh words are spoken and violence done. This is where wives, husbands and children get bruises on their bodies and spirits. We have certain priorities, convictions and preferences, when someone violates one of these, anger is our natural response.
•“Peragismos, a strengthened form of orge, and used in Ephesians 4:26. It means “provocation,” and points especially to that which provokes wrath, An internal fuming, seething resentment.” This anger is deadly.
•Then there is “righteous indignation.” If someone hurts your child, attacks your church or offends God, we become “righteously indignant.” And that’s okay if it is under control, but it can become dangerous if carried to the extreme. Remember, Jesus never retaliated when He was attacked personally, only when God was dishonored.
The Greek word used in our passage is Orge.
Three things about anger:
Verse 26a, “Be angry, and do not sin.” Anger is acceptable when your anger is free of injured pride, spite, animosity, and a spirit of revenge. Only the indwelling Holy Spirit can produce in us anger without sin. To be angry and not sin means that our anger must be done while “walking by the Spirit...not gratifying the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
Sinful anger is anger that is always centered on self. Sinful anger is part of the old life, it is to be put off. If you are angry because your feelings have been hurt, or your pride has been injured, or you have been mistreated in some way, perhaps you have not been given the position of the place or the favor that you think you ought to have, this is sinful anger and is to be put off. It arises out of the old life, it is part of the life of Adam. Proverbs 29:11 NLT, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.”
Verse 26b, “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” One person said “This means stay up and fight all night.” Wrong! Someone has said, “Let the day of your anger be the day of your reconciliation.” As believers we are to keep short accounts! This not only teaches us not to go to bed angry, which is a good idea, but do not nurse your anger! Do not allow smoldering embers to burst into flame. Settle it quickly! True believers do not hold grudges! James 1:19,20 (NLT), “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
“But,” you say, “I’m only human.” True, we are human, but God’s Holy Spirit lives in us! Do not feed your carnal nature which gives the devil an opening into your life.
Galatians 5:16-21 (NLT), “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
Verse 27 MSG, “Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life” “Unrighteous anger opens the door of your life so that the enemy can come in and wreak havoc!” –John Calvin, Banner of Truth. Satan is a hideous enemy who seeks to destroy and devour you like a roaring lion. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” If there were a lion loose in your neighborhood, I’m sure you’d lock all your doors at night!. Sinful anger leaves your door ajar against the lion prowling for souls! If you don’t want a lion loose inside your house, you’ve got to deal with your anger biblically! –Adapted from Pastor Steven J. Cole, Flagstaff Christian Fellowship.
Listen to what God says about anger:
•Psalm 37:8 (NLT), ”Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm.”
•Proverbs 12:12 (NLT), ” A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.”
•Proverbs 14:17 (NLT), “Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.”
•Proverbs 14:29 (NLT), “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
•Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
•Proverbs 22:24.25 (MSG), “Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected.”
How to be good and mad:
To be angry and not sin is to be:
•Angry at the right occasion,
•Angry with the right people,
•Angry at the right moment,
•And angry for the right length of time.
Paul begins this chapter by telling us to “walk worthy.” “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love…Then in Verses 20-24, “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Here’s a formula to help you keep renewing your mind day by day!
1. Surrender your mind to the Lord at the beginning of each day. Give your body, mind and will by faith as you start each day. Prayer: “Lord, I want to give you me!”
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew your mind through God’s Word. Daily, systematic reading of the Word of God is an absolute must if you are going to grow and have victory and joy in your life.
3. Ask God to give you a single mind. Philippians 3:13,14, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
4. During the day, mind your mind. As you plan your daily schedule, be sure nothing you plan robs you of the joy God wants you to have. Train yourself to ignore the “what ifs” in your life, the unforeseen things we worry about that may never happen. Ephesians 4:6,7 (NLT), ”Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
5. Guard the gates of your mind. When angry thoughts, feelings of revenge, unkind or impure thoughts enter your mind deal with it instantly. If you cultivate these thoughts it could take root and grow, robbing you of your joy. One of the best ways to control your mind is to fill it with God’s Word. Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
“Bruce Goodrich was being initiated into the cadet corps at Texas A&M University. One night, Bruce was forced to run until he dropped–but he never got up. Bruce Goodrich died before he even entered college. A short time after the tragedy, Bruce's father wrote this letter to the administration, faculty, student body, and the corps of cadets: “I would like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my family for the great outpouring of concern and sympathy from Texas A&M University and the college community over the loss of our son Bruce. We were deeply touched by the tribute paid to him in the battalion. We were particularly pleased to note that his Christian witness did not go unnoticed during his brief time on campus.” Mr. Goodrich went on: “I hope it will be some comfort to know that we harbor no ill will in the matter. We know our God makes no mistakes. Bruce had an appointment with his Lord and is now secure in his celestial home.” When the question is asked, “Why did this happen?” perhaps one answer will be, ‘So that many will consider where they will spend eternity.’” Our Daily Bread, March 22, 1994.
Bible Versions used: Unless otherwise noted the New King James Version (NKJV) was used. Also: The New Living Translation (NLT). The Message (MSG). The Amplified Bible (AMP).
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