Ephesians 4:31, 32 Attitudes

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Ephesians, New Testament

I. Sinful Attitudes & Behavior V. 31

A. Bitterness- a bitter root, & so producing a bitter fruit.

1. Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
2. Hebrews 12:14, 15 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…(dye w/a stain, pollute, contaminate)
3. How can we know if we are bitter? We can know by examining our fruit.

a. How do you respond when you think about that person that wronged you?
b. Do you respond by the acts of the flesh: anger, fighting, gossip, drunkenness, etc.
c. Do you want God’s best for them, or that they might suffer?
d. Do you take your anger & pain to God, praying for that person, & for yourself?
e. If you speak to others about your feelings, is it w/a desire to change, or slander?
f. Whatever you give in to will eventually come out of your mouth & life.
g. If you’re bitter, you will stain & pollute others thru your words, attitudes, actions
h. Aristotle- “bitterness is a resentful spirit that refuses reconciliation”.

4. The difficulty with wrongs done against us is this: we have a righteous reason to be angry, but we deal with that anger in an unrighteous way.

a. We can’t believe what that person did to us.
b. We keep replaying the sin, instead of “putting it away” through prayer.

B. Wrath- explosive anger. “Outbursts of wrath”.

1. 2 Cor. 12:20 20For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; 21lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.
2. Gal. 5:19, 20 Now the works of the flesh are evident…outbursts of wrath…

C. Anger- natural disposition, character. Can be righteous or unrighteous. (Mark 3:5)

1. God has righteous anger. It is His holy disposition to hate sin.

a. It is right and good that God in His divine nature has a hatred of sin.
b. His holy disposition is to hate sin.

2. We can have an unholy disposition, and be regularly angry in a sinful way.

a. We can excuse ourselves by saying, “That’s just the way I am”.
b. “I wouldn’t get so angry if they just wouldn’t do those things”.
c. “That’s just the way God made me”.
d. NO- That is the way you are because of Original Sin

D. Clamor- a crying, outcry. Manifestation of anger through brawling or shouting.

1. Acts 23:9 Then there arose a loud outcry.
2. Acts 23:9 NIV There was a great uproar.
3. It is the raising of the voice in an angry sinful way; an inappropriate verbal outburst.
4. There is a lot of damage that can be done with angry words.

E. Evil Speaking- blasphemy, slanderous & injurious speech towards man or God.

1. We may speak a “negative” thing about someone, but not w/the intent of damage
2. Evil speaking includes a disdain and intent to injure with words.
3. James 1:26
4. James 3:1-12

F. Malice- ill-will, desire to injure; evil, trouble.
G. These Things: “Put Away”- to cause to cease.

1. One might say: “I can’t help myself”, or, “I can’t control my mouth”.
2. In the strictest sense, those are true statements. WE cannot control ourselves.
3. REMEMBER- If you are a Christian, you have received a new nature.
4. That new nature is created according to God, with his holy attributes.

a. God doesn’t ask us to change ourselves.
b. He asks us to work hard to surrender to Him, and let Him do His work in us.
c. Philippians 2:12, 13 “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

II. Godly Behavior To “Put On” V. 32

A. “Be…”

1. “be”-literally-“become”. They were Christians who needed to change.
2. They needed to abandon one attitude in order to embrace another.
3. They needed to separate from one attitude in order to be changed by the other.
4. Alan Redpath– “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment; the making of a saint is the task of a lifetime”.

B. Kind- benevolent, gracious.
C. Tender Hearted- compassionate, having a soft heart.
D. Forgiving

1. apheimi- to put away. Speaks of the forgiveness that God has towards us.

a. He did away with our sins. NOT THE WORD USED HERE.
b. We can’t put away another’s sins.

2. charizomai- to do a favor to, to do something agreeable or pleasant to one, to forgive in the sense of treating the person that offended you in a gracious manner. You treat them not according to what they deserve, but in a gracious way.

a. We can only forgive with regards to the second definition.
b. God has forgiven us in both ways .
c. Put our sins away from us, and treats us better than we deserve.

3. This does not mean that two people can always reconcile, or that someone should be trusted again, or that “things are fine” if someone is gracious to another.
4. It does mean that that is the attitude we are to pray for and seek to embrace.
5. That is worlds away from bitterness, revenge, anger, etc.

E. Even As Christ Forgave You

1. God the Father can treat us this way because of what Christ did for us on the cross.
2. This must be the example AND the motivation for every Christian.

F. Thoughts On Forgiveness

1. God initiated reconciliation and forgiveness.
2 .God holds back anger so that He might forgive.
3. God reaches out to offenders.
4. God forgives our sin, knowing that we will probably do the exact same thing again.
5. God requires no probationary period when one asks for forgiveness.
6. God’s forgiveness offers restoration, honor, and love.