[SW335] 7/14/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
Anger Is Murder
Text: Matthew 5:21-26
Jesus equates anger with murder in today’s passage from the Sermon on the Mount. Why? Because the root of both anger and murder is hate. So, do you get angry? Then heed His words, see the spiritual poverty of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it!
It is another of God’s standards that seems impossible to attain. But Jesus will gladly change your heart so that there is no hate in your heart anymore. Then you will attain it.
NOTE: When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, God’s divine love fills your heart. Then, you can’t stop speaking about what you have seen and heard! You will speak with sinners, giving them the Good News of Jesus Christ, warning them of the coming judgment (John 5:26, Acts 2:36-40 and 3:23, etc.), and urging them to turn from their sin, believe into Christ, be reconciled to God, and then seek to be filled with His Spirit, so their hearts are made pure. That is not hate — it is life-giving!
Jesus says, “You have heard,” but then He says, “But I say.” Why? God’s Word had been twisted by teachers for man’s purposes then, just as it is now.
Verse 21 —
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’”
Thou shalt not murder — it is the sixth of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17). You have heard it, Jesus says. And they have heard “Whoever commits murder shall be liable (guilty before) the court (the Sanhedrin).” That one will be judged. The sentence for murder was death (Leviticus 24:17). You will say, as I used to say, “Thank goodness! I have not murdered anyone!”
Verse 22 —
But before you get too comfortable, Jesus says, “But I say!” May you see your heart!
“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;”
Everyone who is angry (enraged) with his brother (his fellow man) shall be guilty before the court. That one will face God’s divine judgment.
Anger is murder, because hate in your heart is at the root of both! What a word for the behavior of many today!
I do not expect the world to obey Jesus, but His followers must — and yet many do not. I tell you the truth, you shall be guilty before the court of the Lord, just as they shall be.
1John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Again, hate is at the root of anger and murder. I pray you would see it.
And what about angry name-calling? Listen!
“ . . . and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court;”
Whoever says to his fellow man “you good-for-nothing” (rhaka, worthless, empty one) shall be guilty before the supreme court. That is, when you die and then stand before the Lord, He will say you are a murderer.
As I say, I expect the world to do exactly what it is doing now, and to an ever greater degree. Never has there been greater anger, one against another, in my lifetime! It is in the headlines, and on the news, continually.
They will be judged by the Lord, at the end of things. They are already under judgment because they refuse Jesus Christ! As the Apostle Paul says, those who are outside, God judges (1Corinthians 5:13). They remain under God’s wrath until they repent (turn from their sin) and believe into Jesus Christ (John 3:36). Only then they will be reconciled to God.
They will be judged. But so will you, O Christian, if you do likewise! Look at your heart! Are you calling anyone worthless and empty? Do you have contempt for others? I will tell you that I see contempt between Christian brothers and sisters. I see church wars and power plays and cruel politics in the church.
Jesus warns those who follow Him —
Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will fall away (sin) and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 “Because lawlessness (sin) is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
“. . . and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ (godless moral reprobate) shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
I hear many say such words, in the world, and even in the church! What shall happen to you? You shall go into the fiery hell! What? There is no hell. God would not do that! The word “hell” is used in the New Testament 11 times by Jesus Christ, and twice in Hebrews.
Some cry, “The power of death and life is in the tongue, so you have power when you speak!” But that is not the meaning of that Proverb. Listen to the second half of it —
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
What is the fruit of hate-driven words toward others? Judgment! So you will be judged by the angry words that your tongue speaks, or you will have life because there is no longer any hate in your heart.
Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (see Matthew 12:34)! What is in your heart?
I tell you the truth, anger is not a fruit of the Spirit, but of the flesh, the sinful nature (Galatians 5:20). You will say, The flesh wars against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17)! But I will say, those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh and its lusts and desires (see Galatians 5:24)!
Have you? Oh, heed Jesus’ words! See the spiritual poverty of your heart! Cry out to Him to change it! He will. Then, blessed will you be!
Verses 23-24 —
Therefore, if you are presenting your gift to God at the altar, and (while) there, remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go; first, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your gift.
What? My brother has something against me, and I have to go to him and be reconciled? If I don’t, the Lord won’t accept anything from me? Yes!
Even if you are not at fault, you must go. And if you are at fault, you must go! As long as you refuse to attempt reconciliation so that as much as it is possible, you are at peace with your brother (Romans 12:18), the Lord will not receive what you give Him. Why? You are not right with God —
Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Jesus does not say, Try to forgive. Forgive! You cannot do it, until you truly heed what He says, see the poverty of your heart, and cry out for Him to change it!
Thanks be to God, He will!
My brothers and sisters in Christ, your Father in heaven, will not forgive you, unless you forgive one who sins against you. Go to them, just as Jesus Christ directs you in Matthew 18:15-17.
And if you sin against them, make haste to settle with them. Listen!
Verse 25 —
Make friends (agree with your adversary) quickly (readily, without delay) with your opponents at law, while you are on the way (to the court). What if you do not ?
— Your opponent will hand you over to the judge (God)
— And the judge will hand you over to the officer (Satan)
— And you will be thrown into prison (hell).
You are on the way to that day when you will stand before Jesus Christ, beloved. Make peace now!
Verse 26 —
I tell you, says Jesus, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent! And there is no way to repay Him for your sin, after He has judged you. Hell has no exits, beloved!
You will say, I am saved! But I will say, you were saved in a moment of time, but you must continue in your salvation. It is possible to fall away —
Hebrews 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
As I have already spoken from Matthew 24:10 — many will fall away (will sin, will be tripped up) and will betray one another and hate one another. Anger is murder, and the root is the hate in a human heart that has not been transformed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit, beloved!
Jesus Christ presents an impossible standard to those who are saved, but have not asked Jesus to fill them with His Holy Spirit. Oh, if they cry out, He will purify their hearts and crucify the sin nature, so hate is no longer in your heart, and you have the fruit of the Spirit!
You remember that I have spoken from Matthew 18:23-35, the parable of the slave forgiven of a debt impossible for him to repay. You, too, have been forgiven of such a debt, by your Lord and God! But he went to one who owed him little, and chastised him for it, and imprisoned him. What happened to him?
Matthew 18:32 “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 “And his lord, moved with anger (God’s righteous anger), handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
But your heart must be changed, in order for you to forgive as you are required to forgive, in order for you to no longer be angry, no longer murder, because hate is no longer your heart. No longer! No longer!
Oh, heed, see, cry out! The Lord has come to speak to your heart today, and He will gladly change it, when you cry out!
I will confess to you that I have had times, since being filled with the Spirit, where I have become frustrated regarding a fellow believer, or with the church as a whole. But I do not hate — it is gone from my heart! I just want so badly for each believer’s heart to be changed as the Lord has so mercifully changed mine! Nevertheless, I take my frustration to the Lord, and He reminds me that I am to give the words He gives me, and then it is between Him and the hearer.
Lord Jesus, may your church hear Your words, and repent. Amen. So be it!