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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Cleaning Out The Attic

James 1:21-27 & Ephesians 4:22-32

1. How long has it been since you have moved from one home to another? Moving is not fun but there is one benefit to it. It makes us take inventory of all the things we have accumulated over the years. For some of us that is no problem, but for some it is not. For some are pack rats. Some find it hard to throw anything away. Maybe it has sentimental value or maybe we think we might be able to us it in the future.

2. As you study the Book of James you realize that as Christians we are slowly moving to a new home. One day in heaven and we will be holy and sinless. And yet we are to be packing and getting ready for this move throughout our lives. Taking inventory of what we should keep and what we should throw away. We should continually be growing into maturity, into becoming more like we will be when we are in heaven. We should be moving toward the righteous life that God desires, as we read in James 1:20.

3. What are the things that you have accumulated over the years that you need to look at? The things that prevent you from living a Godly Christian life. The things that hang around in the attic, basement or closet?

4. James tells us that we are to be slow to anger. He warned us that anger is one of these things that prevent us from living the righteous life. Anger is one of seven so-called deadly sins that lie deep within us and become rooted, often as bitter roots. These sins are deadly because of what they lead us to do.

5. In one verse James tells us why we should get rid of anger and how we can do so.
1. The reason why we must get rid of anger is what it leads to. Because anger does not bring about the righteous life, according to vs. 21, James tells us in vs. –
2. We must get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent. In other words anger has lead us to moral filth and evil.
3. We must get rid of anger so it will no longer show its effects. And in fact to get rid of the symptoms properly, we must get rid of the disease, which is anger, itself.
4. And in case you think that this message is not for you, listen carefully. I believe it is. As we read, moral fith and evil is prevelant. It is not an oddity but it is a natural part of who we are and were without Christ. I would be really surprised if anyone here would find they are free of these problems.
5. In fact the theme to get rid of moral filth and evil is one that Christians are often reminded of in Scripture
a. Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
b. Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

6. How does anger lead to these sins? Pauls helps us with this in his words from Ephesians. He talks about anger and about various sins. There is a definite connection between anger and these sins.

7. In Eph. 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Paul says each of you must put off lying and speak truthfully to your neighbour. In verse 26 he says "in your anger do not sin". Anger leads to falsehood. It becomes so easy to say things that are not true about those with whom we are anger.
a. And sometimes it is not outright lies. We may be angry with someone - they hurt us deeply. We find out they have a problem with something. Let’s say they have financial problems. They miss a car payment. Easy to tell others about it and easy to embellish it. "Yes, they have always had trouble paying bills, I even heard they once nearly had their house taken away by the bank". What we are doing is generalizing, making something worse than it is and passing on some information which we heard as gossip. And as I have often seen the lies become bigger and bigger. We all hear something different.
b. When dealing with people angry at each other, I try to let one party know how their perceptions may be wrong.
c. Especially as Christians, need to be careful. We can gossip in the so called holy way. "I don’t want you to tell anyone else, but Paul’s son got caught drinking and driving. It must be hard on the family - they are always having problems. If they would only trust God more. I just want you to know this so that you can pray for them."

8. Who are you angry at? What are some of the things you have told people about them? Has it always be fully true and not coloured with your feelings?

9. Another area of sin Paul talks about is stealing.
Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
a. Lets say you are angry at your employer or boss. You feel you have been wronged. You feel abused, but you dare not say anything because you might lose your job. But deep down you are angry and so you steal from your employer. You are really stealing from your employer because you are angry at them.

10. Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
When people are angry they need to express that anger and the words they use are unwholesome. People use words that profane God’s name. It is moments of anger that we may even have been ashamed to admit that we are Christians. We can be so nice in the way we act and talk, but when anger overcomes us, the old sinful man starts talking. Even if they are not swearing, they can tear apart someone with words. Or may say the right words but say them with a look or tone that destroys another person. As parents, have we hurt our children by saying things we wish we had not have in a moment of anger.

11. Another area of sin that can be caused by anger is sexual immorality.
Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Often this moral filth is a result of anger.
a. Often one spouse feels hurt by the other and becomes angry at the other. And so they do not feel as close or they want to hurt them back. They look for love or revenge in the wrong places.

12. We can see why it is important to get rid of anger. It stops us from being righteous and leads to even more sin.

13. But how can we do so? By humbly accepting the word planted in us. By realizing that we need God’s word and it is not just speaking to others but to us. Easy to say "I hope that so and so would hear what God says to them." To say "I hope that person hears the message tonight - they really need it." Rather we are to say - "God, what are you saying to me?"

14. As believers, we were told that God’s law is written in our minds. The word has been planted in us. We need to hear and learn and then God will plant it in us. Only God’s word can make us more righteous. Why? - Because it is able to save us.
How? Three ways:

a. Creates us anew - cause us to be born again. 1 Pet 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Friends, are you angry? Does your anger lead you to sin? Confess it. Read the word and let God transform you through it.


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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928