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Mar 17, 2019

How do you do, anger?

How do you do, anger?

Passage: Matthew 5:21-26

Speaker: Ben Seneker

Series: The Highest Good

Anger is foundational to what it means to be human. The question, though, comes when we consider what we do with our anger. Jesus has some very sobering words for us when our anger proceeds unchecked - especially when, in anger, we view others with contempt. But can some anger actually be used for good? How does the cross change the way we view our anger?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Call To Worship: Psalm 27:3-8
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 133
Sermon Title: How do you do, anger?
Central Text: Matthew 5:21-26
Response: Communion!
Confession of Sin: Psalm 32:1-5
Assurance of Pardon: Ephesians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21
Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:11
Post-Service Text: Hebrews 12:14

03.17.19 Sermon Notes

Scriptures & Readings

Pre-Service Text: 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Call To Worship: Psalm 27:3-8
LEADER: Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.

PEOPLE: Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

LEADER: Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

PEOPLE: He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

LEADER: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

ALL: Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 133
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

Central Text: Matthew 5:21-26
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and 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 offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Confession of Sin: Psalm 32:1-5
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Assurance of Pardon: Ephesians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. . . . For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:11
LEADER: Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace;
ALL: and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Post-Service Text: Hebrews 12:14
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Related Scriptures

  • Psalm 8
  • Romans 14:18-19
  • James 1:19-21

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Do you consider yourself to be a generally angry person? What things usually make you angry?
  2. Give an example of something (or someone) who recently made you angry. How did you handle your anger? Upon reflection, was your anger justified?
  3. Give specific examples of “good” anger, and “bad” anger. Can you provide examples of each from Scripture?
  4. What does contempt for others reveal about our hearts? What are our sinful hearts seeking to ‘gain’ by calling a brother or sister a fool?
  5. In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus makes a connection between anger and worship. Review these verses, and then explain why you think Jesus emphasizes reconciliation that precedes worship? Said differently, how does unjustified anger obstruct worship?
  6. What are some specific ways that the Spirit is presently working to redeem your anger? What are some ways that you can be praying for more of this?
  7. At the cross, God’s righteous anger was poured out on Jesus. How must this change the way we view our anger toward others? How does this change the way we believe God sees us?


  • For there is nothing for which God takes so much pains as this: that we should be united and knit together one with another. - John Chrysostom
  • Anger in the heart towards any human being, and especially to those who belong to the household of faith, is, according to our Lord, something that is as reprehensible in the sight of God as murder.- Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Your anger and mine can be remade into God’s image. … Jesus gathers up our angers, not to neuter our sensitivity to evil, but to redeem how we respond.- David Powlison



  • Good & Angry, by David Powlison

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