Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 106 (Anger and Wrath)”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are looking at what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are looking at today is the sin of anger and wrath. This is the fifth sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
Today, we are looking at Matthew 5:21-26. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website Gospellighthouseofprayer.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
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Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck said “The Pharisees taught that murder consists of taking someone’s life. But the Lord said the commandment extended not only to the act itself but also to the internal attitude behind the act. Of course, murder is wrong, but the anger prompting the act is also as wrong as plunging in a knife.”
The command that Jesus cites in this passage — “Thou shalt not kill” — is fairly simple. It is one that, I think, most people agree on. But, if we are to be true followers of Christ, we must abide by a higher standard than “don’t kill.” Jesus continues his teaching, saying, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Murder often comes as a result of hatred and anger. But Warren Wiersbe writes, “Jesus did not say that anger leads to murder; He said that anger without a cause is murder.”
Jesus has made a new rule about the sin of murder. Not only should we not murder, but we should not be angry with another person without cause because that puts us in danger of “the judgment.” Wiersbe notes, “There is a holy anger against sin that evil people commit which is justified, but Jesus is talking about an unholy anger against people. The word He uses means ‘a settled anger, a [seething] malice that is nursed inwardly.’ He describes a sinful experience that involves several stages.”
This sin begins with anger without cause. You have heard of people today getting angry over the most innocuous of things — parking spaces, wrong orders at restaurants, too much noise next door. But an angry person usually does not immediately jump to murder. Normally, harsh words come first. Thus, Jesus says, “Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council…” William Barclay notes, “Raca is an almost untranslatable word, because it describes a tone of voice more than anything else. Its whole accent is the accent of contempt. It is the word of one who despises another with an arrogant contempt.” Some commentators have translated it as “nitwit, blockhead, numbskull, bonehead, or brainless idiot.”
All of us are likely guilty of expressing contempt toward someone in our speech or speaking degradingly of another person out of anger. Some of us don’t have to slay with our hands because we slay just fine with our tongues. James’ words ring true: “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James continues, “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Yes, no man can tame the tongue — but Jesus Christ can. That is why we need Him in our lives — to help us meet God’s standard of a life that is not only free from murder, but a heart that is free from murderous thoughts. Through Christ, we can meet God’s standard and be delivered from hatred and anger.
If you struggle with anger and or wrath, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.