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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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Our Inner Anger Needs to Be Controlled
Matthew 5:21-26

Intro
How about a little quiz – answer true or false to each of these questions:

For question 1-15 each true answer is worth 1 point; for question 16 a false is worth 1 point.  The higher the number the higher your anger level is.  

Anger can be one of the most destructive things in our life.
·     In verse 20 Jesus tells us that unless our righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Then in the verses that follow we discover 6 examples of how our righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. 

Matthew 5:21-26 (NIV)
21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
25 "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Think about this the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or in a grocery store line: Anger can bring on a heart attack or stroke. That's the conclusion of several studies at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere. One study of 1,305 men with an average age of 62 revealed that the angriest men were three times more likely to develop heart disease than the most placid ones.
Angry older men, as stereotypes go, are most vulnerable. But excessive ire can take a toll at any age. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine tracked 1,055 medical students for 36 years. Compared with cooler heads, the hotheads were six times more likely to suffer heart attacks by age 55 and three times more likely to develop any form of heart or blood vessel disease

In verse 21 Jesus points to the sixth commandment that in found in Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder.  He says that the Israelites were told before interpretation to not murder. It is important for us to understand Jesus was not doing away with this Law – he is just adding to it. 

3.   Or you could be executed if found guilty.

B.    In verse 22 we see the progression of anger that Jesus condemns.  The Amplified Bible translates verse 22 this way – listen and look at the progression that Jesus gives:    22But I say to you that everyone who continues to be [b]angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be [c]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be [d]liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You [e]cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be [f]liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.

 

II.   THE EFFECT OF ANGER ON OUR WORSHIP 23-24 -   As we look at verse 23, you will see a shift in thought. The shift goes from you to others. Jesus tells us if we know of a brother (in Christ context wise) that WE are to go to THEM and try to settle the issue. The focus is on the OTHER person, not YOU.

CONCLUSION


· DO not let anger tear you apart, let it go, give it to Jesus.

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.