Rev Nico Weeber has been invited to preach at St Andrew’s Scots Kirk as sole nominee for the position of Minister at our Church. The plan is that he will preach on Sunday 5th December and those members present at Church on that day will be able to vote as whether to accept him as their future Minister.

No Grudges after Sunset (Ephesians 4: 26 & 27)


Have you ever heard of one snake eating another snake? According to zookeepers, two of these reptiles will sometimes grab different ends of the same piece of food. And sooner or later, their struggle for that last bite brings them nose to nose. And then, the snake with the largest bite will keep going and actually swallow the other!

Now in the church, Christians have been known to “consume one another” too. We may say something unkind to a fellow Christian, who then becomes defensive, and an argument develops. At times we know we would be better off if we held our tongue and trusted the Lord for the outcome, but we just kept going. Someone said:

“It’s better to bite your tongue than to make a biting remark!”

Now when words and emotions get out of hand among us Christians, feelings get hurt, friendships are destroyed, the church becomes divided, and the body of Christ suffers. Now attacking with a sharp tongue and having a bitter spirit, is also at times witnessed in our homes.  And as a result, feelings get hurt, and relationships are fractured, at home.


Therefore (vs. 25)

This section begins with the word ‘therefore’. Now the word ‘therefore’ connects with all that Paul had said in the previous verses. If so, Paul is instructing faithful believers, in Ephesus and Scots Kirk, saying, because of what Jesus has done for us, these are the things we ought to do for Christ.

Now in this passage of Scripture, Paul uses a metaphor of putting off and putting on clothes. He says, we ought to put off the old man and put on the new man. Dr. Warren Wiersbe says in his commentary that

“we must take off the “grave clothes” and put on ‘grace clothes’”.

Now how do we put off old rags’ and put on new clothes’?

  • We must put off telling lies and put on telling the truth! (4: 25)
  • We must put off sinful anger and put on God-like anger (4: 26 & 27)
  • We must put off stealing and put on useful labour, such as good hard work to give generously to those in need! (4: 28)
  • We must put off unhelpful use of speech such as foul or abusive language, and put on helpful use of speech, and words of encouragement (4: 29 & 30)


26 Be angry (is a command in the original).

(It can also be translated, ‘be provoked; or, be aroused to anger), …

Perhaps Paul is quoting from David who wrote in Psalm 4: 4

Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.

Now many Christians say that they are feeling guilty for feeling angry. But in our text, the God’s Word is commanding us, ‘be angry’. So, we can be mad and yet holy!  

We can be so as in the Bible we read about God’s anger, fury and wrath which is stated more often than God’s love! Now, if God is good and holy then God’s anger must also be good! The Amplified Bible states situations when we faithful believers at St. Andrew’s should get angry.

  • Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior],
  • When we hear of lying or murdering (immorality);
  • When we read about police brutality (injustice); and
  • Or of bribery or child abuse (ungodly behaviour)

We must become angry. John Stott says;

“There is a need in the contemporary world for more Christian anger. … We should be indignant, not tolerant, angry, not apathetic. If God hates sin, His people should hate it too. If evil arouses His anger, it should arouse ours too”.

John Stott


and yet not sin (is the second command in this text).

(It can also be translated, ‘and yet do not do wrong’).

The original can also read,

‘Be angry if you must, but do not sin’

Now if human anger is normal and not necessarily sinful, and even as anger was seen in Jesus, while He was human on earth, then when does anger become sinful?

  • MSGGo ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge.

Now when we faithful believers at Scots Kirk get angry and want to get even with a family member, church member or a collogue at work by using revenge, such anger is sinful. When Jesus was persecuted, He had the right to become angry but our Lord did not retaliate when He was insulted.

  • JBPIf you are angry, be sure that it is not out of wounded pride or bad temper

The most natural reaction to anger is to lash out, verbally or physically, against the person or situation that has made us angry. Now when we explode,we sin by hurting others.   

However, when we hold our anger in, or deny it, it will build within us and become sin, as unexpressed anger to the one we are angry with, leads to resentment, hate and revenge.


do not let the sun set (or sun go down) upon your anger,

(Is the third command in this text).

(It can also be translated, ‘and do not let the sun setin your agitation, or in your provocation to anger).

God’s Word is saying, ‘put anger away before sunset’. God’s Word is stating when faithful believers at St. Andrew’s get angry, we must put a time limit on our anger. And that anger must last longer than a day.

  • MSG– And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry.

Many married couples say that ‘Don’t go to bed angry’ is the best marriage advice.  Failure to extinguishthe little fires in marriage can prevent a big fire which may then need trained firemen such as marriage counselors to put off the fire!

“Only you can prevent forest fires.” Since 1944, Smokey Bear a US Forest Service has reminded Americans to extinguish campfires before breaking camp and heading for home. It’s important advice since a spark or an unattended fire can start a blaze that destroys forests and homes. Forest fires cause so much damage that the land may take years — sometimes centuries — to recover, and so do our homes!


27 and do not (or, neither)give opportunity (or, an opening; or a loophole) to the devil (or the slanderer or character assassinator; or the accuser)

(Now ‘do not give’ is the fourth command in this text).

The Apostle Peter wrote similar words in 1 Peter 5: 8:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone (or, some family) to devour(NLT).

AMP – And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness].

When we refuse to forgive and forget and to let go of our anger, Satan can turn our anger into a grudge.  Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ therapist says;

“Holding grudges means that there is unfinished business in your relationship. … Unfinished business is (similar) to rust — it slowly eats away at the core of your love.”

So, Dr. Brown’s advice is to try and truly forgive your (spouse) whenever possible. This same advice is given by God in verse 32, when Paul writes:

… forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.

Are we willing to forgive as Christ forgave even those who crucified Him?

Now the devil’s attempts to destroy marriages and to disrupt family life, did not stop in the Garden of Eden, but continues to this very day. In their book, “God, Marriage and Family” co- authors, Andreas Kostenberger & David Jones state that three weapons that Satan regularly uses to attack marriages is sexual temptation, marital conflicts through the husband’s insensitivity to his wife, and unresolved anger, as warned in our sermon text, in Ephesians 4: 26 & 27

Be angry, and yet not sin. Do not let the sun set upon your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.

Now while those two verses are not being addressed to marriage relationships, but rather church relationships, it definitely includes marriage, as believers are warned, not to let broken relationships make them vulnerable to the devil.

  • At times, daily annoyances such as a wet towel on the bed can result in an outburst of anger.
  • Mild irritations, such as a baby waking up a number of times at night and the wife feeling that the husband just sleeps though can become intense conflicts.

Now Christian couples must recognize that these attacks are all parts of a spiritual warfare and not allow the devil inside our homes, as Adam and Eve allowed, in the Garden of Eden.


Ephesians 4:26-27

26 Be angry and yet not sin.Do not let the sun set upon your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.

  • Ephesians 4: 25 – 32
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • Happy the home where God is there

It is well with my soul

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