|The Nobility of wrath 31 Jan.08 NPN|
|Mark 3:1-6 gives us a glimpse of the nobility of wrath. Jesus entered the Synagogue on Sabbath day and healed a man which had a withered hand. And of course, Jesus’ enemies – the “religious”!- were there to see if He would heal the poor crippled on Sabbath day. The account tells us that Jesus “Looked around about on them (The Pharisees) with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts” (V.5)
Yes, my dear religious Church folks, the “Loving Savior”, the “Meek and the lowly heart”, the one who, “As a lamb before His sheerer is dumb, opened not His mouth” in stern rebuke against His enemies (See Isaiah 53:7), is the same one whose anger indicated His hatred for and vehement disapproval of all unrighteousness and injustice (See Hebrews 1:9). The Lord of Love” was angry! This account cannot be explained away.
The word translated “Anger” is the regular New Testament word for “anger” or “wrath”- orge (or-gay) meaning (Justiable violent passion, abhorrence, indignation, vengeance”) we might call Jesus’ anger as it is said, “Right Wrath,” which is also said no less noble than “Right Love” Wrath is just as noble as love. In fact, each one necessitates or requires the other.
Christ’s loving offer of healing was followed by His anger against human heartedness and unfaithfulness. We can see Jesus’ ire when He directed a question at the “Religious” in their Pharisaic hypocrisy” Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or do evil? To save life or to kill?” (V.4) Jesus eventually gave a tender appeal to the city Jerusalem, which would not recognize her king; but it was obvious that His anger against the “religious” could not be quenched, and God’s judgment eventually destroyed Jerusalem.
May we well remember the striking Biblical account of Jesus cleansing of the Temple (Mark 11:15-19) His eyes were blazing, and with a whip of cards in His hands, He drove the money exchangers out and also drove out the crooks that sold doves and he even drove out those who bought in the Temple. Yes, Jesus did that!
Our Lord’s very holy love of purity, His unending love of righteousness, necessitated a Divine hatred of Sin. Active affection for the good involved a positive, active detestation of the evil. And in so much as His holy heart was forever tender towards the things that are worthy, righteous and pure. His heart was unavoidably hard and vehemently calloused toward all sin, unlovingness, and wrong.
Now we must consider, indeed there is a “Righteous anger” but we must resist unrighteous anger (See Galatians 5:20, Colossians 3:8) I think we all have failed in doing this! But it is thoroughly Christ like to be angry at sin and evil (See Exodus 32:19, I Samuel 11:6, II Samuel 12:5, Nehemiah 5:6)
You see, having indignation at the sins of one’s generation is good evidence of the believer placing himself or herself on the right side of Almighty God against unrighteousness and evil (See Exodus 3:19, I Samuel 11:6, Psalm 94:16, Jeremiah 6:11, Acts 17:16) Righteous Wraths is noble because it is necessary according to the standard of God’s holiness. Indeed the sin of our present generation is “Trying to maintain ourselves in a world of gross sin by a mere neglect of its evil while we seek its good”. In other words, just ignore evil and pursue good things people say. No! it is not enough to simply “ignore evil “Our struggle toward what we seek in God involves a definite struggle from and against what we shun. If you don’t struggle against sin you won’t rise up in God. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:21, “Be not overcome of Evil but over come evil with good”. “How” you might ask, “Can we do this?” Draw near to God! Resist the devil! It is stupid to submit to evil or sin when we don’t have to, so we see that we must definitely fight sin, and to fight sin we must hate sin.
An attempt to escape from evil or sin by just denying its existence, simply ignoring it, or cultivating a mere passive stance against it, is plain of cowardliness. Plain and simple! It is rebellion! The Christian way is to hate sin! So it is not wrong to hate evil or sin, more than that, we must hate Sin. Are we better than God the Father? The Son? The Holy Spirit? In the heart of God, Father, son, Holy Spirit- we find their intense hatred right beside their infinite love.
Did you know that the same disciple who spoke of the love that freely gave Jesus Christ to die spoke also of “The fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God?” The God of love is the same God whom the Prophet said was of “Purer eyes than to be hold iniquity” and who “cannot look on sin with any degree of allowance” Read God’s word! There are times in the life of a man and woman when this truth about God’s anger need to be revived and refreshed in the mind and heart, for it is important to recognize God as He really and fully is.
THIS IS THE GENERATION TO HATE SIN. My dear readers, right now, TODAY. Sin and evil are literally killing this whole generation- right before our very eyes. What are you, professed believers in Christ, going to do? What will you do? What are you going to do? All around the world, countless souls are slipping and sliding right into the very habitations of hell!! Do you care at all?
This is the time and generation in which we all need to learn about and practice afresh and anew the nobility of wrath. But it is alarming how many professed Christians detest sound instructions! Yet, shall we not be like the Psalmist who cried, “Hot indignation hath taken hold upon me, because of the wicked that forsake thy law” (Psalm 119:53)? Aren’t you concerned Christian friends, to see so many backslidings among the professed Christians? Doesn’t it bother you to see the ranks of evil men and women expand their evil, sinful influences of all around this already dark world? Does not your spirit rise against the sophistries (false, deceitful arguments) of every kind?
Does not the Bible tell us, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27)? And does not the Bible tell us, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” (V 30)? We grieve the Holy Spirit by resisting the Holy Spirit; this in turn, leads to quenching the Holy Spirit, which is a greater grief; and finally it leads to despising the Holy Spirit, which is a terrible sin. Will you resist the Holy Spirit if He comes upon you to fill you with righteous anger? Oh, foolish generation of spirit haters, how shall you escape the wrath of God?
Why did Jesus die? Because He hates sin and loves the sinners. He bore the sins of the fallen world because He “so loved the world.” He slew death by embracing death. And so His Hatred and love worked together.
But our hatred for sin must always be there, acting as the background and buttress (support) of our love of the good. A true Christian must, I repeat must have a holy hatred for sin and a constantly working resistance of evil and sin, and must also maintain a reverence for purity and exercise an undying effort towards it. HATE the evil, and love the good.
Seek – strike – destroy!! Go forth in a campaign against the adversaries of truth, beauty, purity, seek out, strike at, and utterly destroy all evil and sinful strongholds in your life. Have an uncompromisingly cold heart towards wrong and a hated heart towards right.
Friend, do you look upon sin without abhorrence? Or do you love the noble and hate iniquity? Godly hate will drive a wonderful wedge between you and sin. Do you welcome the virtue of Christ’s passionate anger to come and separate you from the enemy of your soul? This is a very personal, very important one. Where do you stand today with God?
Outreach Challenge Ministries, Psalm One Cottage, Signal Basti, Dimapur, Nagaland, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org