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Replacing Anger

May 22, 2010

My Bible dictionary defines the Greek word “orge” as a “movement or agitation of the soul, any violent emotion, especially anger.”   In Ephesians 4:31, Paul instructs the believers to let orge, anger, be put away from them.  Since we have already considered verse 26 in this series of articles, and given the context of other things to be put away, we can immediately assume that this anger is of a different variety than that righteous anger suggested previously in Ephesians 4.  I believe we can go even farther and recognize in this particular anger a violent response flowing out of a bitter, wrath filled heart.  This anger is the explosive expression of the heart that has refused to forgive and is seething with pent up irritation.

How is anger put away?  Forgiveness and faith are both vital parts of this equation.  Forgiveness of the one who has wronged you.  Faith that is absolutely convinced God has decreed every awful circumstance in your life for your benefit and His glory.   A third part of letting anger be put away is the fruit of the Spirit.  This fruit replaces sinful anger with righteous attitudes.   Wicked anger, and all the evils listed in this verse, are replaced with the production of the Holy Spirit as we give ourselves over to the control of the Spirit.  Galatians 5:17 is a pivotal verse in understanding this truth.  “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.”  Several of the deeds of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21 are a direct result of the kinds of things Paul says in Ephesians 4 are to be put away.  The way to change your attitude to something God honoring is to yield yourself to the control of the Spirit.  This is not to suggest that give your life over to a mystical existence, driven by the feelings in your stomach or whispers in your head.  This is to say that you commit your life to doing exactly what God has said.  I don’t think being yielded to, or walking in the Spirit is anything other than careful obedience to the written Word of God.  We walk in the Spirit when we make the habit of our lives to know and do what God has said.  Not just talking about it, or professing to want to obey, but genuinely digging into the Word for the purpose of learning from it how I must live and then diligently doing what it says.  That is the kind of life that is walking in the Spirit.  That walk in the Spirit will produce in your life fruit, fruit that is vastly different from anger.  Fruit that is pleasant, patient and pleasing to God.  For this wicked anger to be put away, you need to have produced in the fruit that the Spirit produces when you give yourself to complete obedience to Him.

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