Gospel of John [Joh 16:12-15]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 46. Eph 4:30; Mar 3:1-6.

Class Outline:

Title: Gospel of John [JOH 16:12-15]. The Doctrine of the HS, part 46. EPH 4:30; MAR 3:1-6.



EPH 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,


There are three words for anger in the Greek NT. Thumos speaks of a turbulent commotion, the boiling agitation of the feelings, passion, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding, like blowing your top, which is forbidden in EPH 4:31.


EPH 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath [thumos] and anger [orge - the noun of our verb, but used of Christ in MAR 3:5] and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.


In verse 26 there is an orge that is not sin and in verse 31 there is an orge that is sin and should be put away from us. In MAR 3:5, our Lord is obviously being angry in the way that is not sin.


Parorgismos, translated "anger" is verse 26 is also forbidden. It refers to anger that is accompanied by irritation, exasperation, embitterment [all signs of a loss of peace]. If the righteous anger, which is a passion against sin and evil without an element of sin in it, turns to irritation, exasperation, or embitterment the sun is not to go down on that, or in other words, it is to cease immediately and not entertained.


Orgizo [present imperative] = an anger which is an abiding and settled habit of the mind that is aroused under certain conditions. This is hatred of sin and evil, but never the sinner, including self.


This is quite different from the Stoic teachings that condemned all forms of anger.


This could not be in any way a condescending by Paul to allow sinful anger as long as it is put away before nightfall. Yet it does have in it the fire that lay within the believer who agrees fully with God's hatred of sin and evil. Some Christians have turned that hatred on the sinner, but we never see that in God and so it should not be within any believer. The wrath of God will come upon the unbeliever at the time of judgment and no believer is involved in that wrath.


MAR 3:1 And He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there with a withered hand.


MAR 3:2 And they were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, in order that they might accuse Him.


Funny enough, they don't deny that He can heal.


MAR 3:3 And He said to the man with the withered hand, "Rise and come forward!" 


MAR 3:4 And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent.


MAR 3:5 And after looking around at them with anger [orge], grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.


His anger is mixed with sorrow as the word grieved means to feel sorrowful with someone.


MAR 3:6 And the Pharisees went out and immediately began taking counsel with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.


Therefore, Paul is speaking of the believer's hatred of sin and evil and from that a righteous indignation against it. It certainly has an emotion attached to it, but if that becomes the anger of the later part of the verse, irritation, exasperation, or embitterment, then the believer is to cease immediately.


EPH 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,


An anger without sin is one that has a proper check and a restraint, but the second unapproved anger shows how easily it may pass into sin.


EPH 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.


This construction forbids the continuance of an action already going on - verse 17 and following.


"Stop giving the devil and opportunity." How would they give a place or opportunity to the devil? By not adhering to vs. 17 and following.


EPH 4:17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,


EPH 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;


EPH 4:19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.


EPH 4:20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,


EPH 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,


EPH 4:22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,


EPH 4:23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,


EPH 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.


EPH 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.


EPH 4:26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,


EPH 4:27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.


Before we complete this section I want to answer what I think is or will be a question in the believer's mind, and that is, "Is it the filling of the Spirit that enables me to fulfill God's commands or is it my fulfillment of God's commands that enables the Spirit to control me?" I will state succinctly that it is a mutual response between the free will of man and the sovereign grace of God. I further illustrate from K. Wuest.


But this desire for the control of the Holy Spirit, and this trust in the Lord Jesus for that control, is but part of the believer's obligation in the premises. One cannot say, "Just to realize with joy the Spirit's passionate longing to control my thoughts, words, and deeds for the glory of the Lord Jesus, and to rest quietly in His energizing and supervising ministry, is all that is necessary." The Christian life is not a mere "let go and let God" affair. It is a "take hold with God" business. It is not a mere rest in God, an existence somewhat like that of a jelly-fish floating in the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. God is not developing jelly-fish Christians. God wants to develop heroes, Christian men and women of moral stamina and spiritual power. In the physical realm, no one becomes strong by merely eating wholesome food and resting. Exercise is what is needed to change the food-energy into bone and muscle. In like manner, the Christian must exercise himself spiritually if he is to grow strong in his Christian life. That demands the exercise of his free will, the making of choices, the deciding between right and wrong, the saying of a point blank NO to temptation, the constant striving to improve one's spiritual life, grow in the Christian graces and in Christlikeness. It involves not only the desire to be loving, but the definite endeavor to be loving. It is not merely a trustful rest in the Holy Spirit to make us loving, but a positive exertion of our own will to be loving. It is like bending one's arm. The strength to bend one's arm is in that member of the body, but the strength is only potential and not active unless the will power is exerted which will cause that strength to function. Just so, the power of the Holy Spirit is potentially resident in the saint by virtue of His indwelling presence, but it is only operative in that believer when he is yielded to and dependent upon the ministry of the Spirit, and then steps out in faith in the performance of the action contemplated. For instance, when the believer is confronted with a temptation, it is not enough to rest in the Holy Spirit's ministry to overcome that temptation for us. We must by an act of our own free will say a bold, positive, and fearless NO to it. The instant we move in that direction, the Spirit is there with His wonderful energizing power. Indeed, you will say, that the very start of the step taken in the direction of the act of saying NO to that temptation was motivated by the Spirit. And that is true. Yet it is also true that it is the free action of the believer's will, and is his responsibility. Right here lies that mysterious, incomprehensible, and not-to-be-understood interaction and mutual response between the freewill of man and the sovereign grace of God. [K. Wuest - Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament]


EPH 4:28 Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.


Stealing was not always condemned by ancient heathen opinion. Some led a Robin Hood kind of existence in the wilderness, robbing travelers and caravans, but not necessarily giving the loot to the poor. It would seem odd that Christians were involved in stealing, but we see in several places in the epistles that they were capable of much worse.


As it is everywhere and as it ever was and is, believers carry handicaps into the Christian way of life from their past and they can continually be influenced by the people of the world.


The corrective to stealing is to work with our own hands and so earn through decent work, not criminality, the things necessary for life. God who gives seed to the sower will give us enough so that we can be gracious to those who are in need. But it is obvious here that God does not promote a welfare state where believers do nothing and wait for manna from heaven. There are extreme cases in which some cannot work or in some cases they can work and do so vigorously and their earnings are still lacking for the needs of life. It is not that God has abandoned logistical grace to these rare cases, but He has put them in the lives of others as an opportunity for them to exercise graciousness.


EPH 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.


Unwholesome means corrupt, rotten, worn out, unfit for use, or worthless. The command is for those words not to proceed from your mouth. But a vow of silence is not given.


The words that come from our mouths are to be for edification of others. This means that the believer has to think in terms of love and service before he speaks to those who are near.


It is when we neglect thinking in terms of virtue that we find corrupt and worthless words proceeding from our mouths. Edification is a word that means to build. We use the phrase "build up someone" but that sometimes is associated with flattery and lies. We are not to flatter but to edify which can be viewed as not tearing down but building a closer connection of truth one to another. The body is to be knit together and grow together in love and it is the bands that we can build. The building of the individual soul comes from that individual's relationship with God and those who have a spiritual relationship band together under virtue as the members of the body of Christ.