SERMON TEXT: Matthew 5:21-26

SCRIPTURES REFERENCED: James 4:1-2, Ephesians 4:26-27, Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 15:19, Matthew 18:21-22, Matthew 5:3, Matthew 18:32-33, Ephesians 4:31-32, 

NEW CITY CATECHISM: Question # 10 | What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments? First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.


  1. Two Kinds of Anger
  2. Our Murderous Anger
  3. Jesus’ Worshipping, Reconciling Kingdom


Kellerman: Okay. So upset is a code word for anger and people — you see, if you’re upset, it’s socially desirable. If you’re angry it’s socially undesirable.

REHM: And what about depression? Is that the flip side of anger?

KELLERMAN: I wouldn’t even say it’s a flip side, but, you’re right. It’s a synonym. And it’s a displaced symbolic, you know, way of expressing anger. You know anger has the largest glossary of any primary emotion. For example, dissatisfied, depressed, moody, bored even, frustrated, upset and the cardinal synonym for anger that people use, this code word, stressed. Stress is nothing but feeling angry underneath. People don’t want to know that they’re angry, but they don’t mind knowing that they’re stressed. They don’t mind knowing they’re upset. Any word that is socially desirable is okay, but anger’s not okay because it’s socially undesirable. Even anger related traits are socially undesirable. Sullenness is not desirable. Argumentativeness is not desirable. These are anger related traits. Fear related traits are much more desirable. Caution, for example is considered desirable…
— The Diane Rehm Show, NPR
Anger is a gift
— Zach De La Rocha, Rage Against the Machine
When I am angry I can write, pray and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations are gone.
— Martin Luther
Anger is an intrinsically moral matter…anger evaluates; that is, it weighs something or someone, finds it lacking, wrong, or displeasing, and then moves into action. Anger arouses us to attack or discredit what we find displeasing. Anger has on occasion been well-described as the “moral emotion.” It is a self-contained judicial system, reacting to perceived wrong with energy.
— David Powlison, The Journal of Biblical Counseling
“An angry man stirs up strife” (Proverbs 29:22). Angry people are divisive; divisive people are angry. You will often witness immediate consequences in the lives of those you counsel: frightened children, an embittered spouse, spoiled friendships, health problems, difficulties in the workplace, estrangements at church. Troubles dog the steps of an angry person: “A man of great anger shall bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again” (Proverbs 19:19).
— David Powlison, The Journal of Biblical Counseling
He annoys people when he talks like this. Because the implication of his perfectionism is that everybody is guilty; and if everybody is guilty, nobody gets to congratulate themselves, and murderers and adulterers cannot be shunned….They are not outcasts, they do not belong in a category of unclean persons that the clean rest of us can hold at arm’s length. Yeshua insists that being unclean is not a temporary violation of the proper state of things. It is the normal human condition…

If you won’t hear the bad news about yourself, you can’t know yourself. You condemn yourself to the maintenance of an exhausting illusion, a false front to your self which keeps out doubt and with it hope, change, nourishment, breath, life. If you won’t hear the bad news, you can’t begin to hear the good news about yourself either. And you’ll do harm. You’ll be pumped up with the false confidence of virtue, and you’ll think it gives you a license, and a large share of all the cruelties in the world will follow, for evil done knowingly is rather rare compared to the evil done by people who’re sure that they themselves are good, and that evil is hatefully concentrated in some other person; some other person who makes your flesh creep because they have become exactly as unbearable, as creepy, as disgusting, as you fear the mess would be beneath your own mask of virtue, if you ever dared to look at it. 
— Francis Spufford, Unapologetic
Even though it was midday, a dreadful darkness covered the face of the world. The sun could not shine. The earth trembled and quaked. The great mountains shook. Rocks split in two. Until it seemed that the whole world would break. That creation itself would tear apart.

The full force of the storm of God’s fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.

Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, “It is finished!”

And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.

“Father!” Jesus cried. “I give you my life.” And with a great sign he let himself die.

Strange clouds and shadows filled the sky. Purple, orange, black. Like a bruise.
— The Jesus Storybook Bible
Because Jesus bore God’s anger at sin you, Christian, never will have to. You will only, ever, always know him as a loving Father.
— Nick Bogardus

Seven Questions for Anger

1. Do you get angry about the right things? 

2. Do you express anger in the right way? 

3 How long does your anger last?

4. How controlled is your anger?

5. What motivates your anger?

6. Is your anger ‘primed and ready’ to respond to a person’s habitual sins?

7. What is the effect of your anger?

- David Powlison, The Journal of Biblical Counseling


My Lord I Did Not Choose You

Jesus Paid It All

How Deep The Fathers Love

Lord, I Need You

All The Poor and Powerless