Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l (LIFOM)
Charles G. Finny
There is a kind of anger that comes from our regenerate, Spirit-directed nature, even if it is unavoidably tainted by our indwelling sin as it passes through the defective filters of our minds and mouths. And because the Holy Spirit through David and Paul instructs us to “be angry,” it means some things must make us righteously angry.
God is angry with the wicked every day” –Psalm 7:11.
The Bible divides all the human race into two classes only; the righteous and the wicked. Those are righteous who have true faith in Christ, whose spirit is consecrated to God, who live a heavenly life on earth, and who have been renewed by the Holy Ghost. Their original selfishness is subdued and slain, and they live a new life through the ever present grace of Christ Jesus.
Right over against them in character are the wicked, who have not been renewed in heart–who live in selfishness, under the dominion of appetite in some of its forms, and it matters not in which out of all possible forms, it may be; but self is the great and only ultimate end of their life; these are in the scriptural sense, the wicked.
God is angry with the wicked. Our text explicitly affirms this. The same truth is affirmed and implied in numerous other passages. Let the sinner remember that this is the testimony of God himself. Who should better know the feelings of God towards sinners than God Himself does? Who on this point can gainsay what God affirms?
But this truth is also taught by reason. Every man in the exercise of his reason knows it ought to be true. If God were not opposed to the wicked, He would be wicked Himself for not opposing them.
What would you think of a judge who did not hate and oppose law-breakers? Would you think him an honest man if he did not take sides against transgressors?
It is not a malicious anger. God is never malicious; never has a disposition to do any wrong in any way–to any being. He is infinitely far from such feelings, and from any such developments of anger.
His anger is not passion in the sense in which men are wont to exhibit passion in anger. You may often have seen men whose sensibility is lashed into fury under an excitement of anger; their very souls seem to be boiling with fermentation, so intense is their excitement. Reason for the time is displaced, and passion reigns. Now God is never angry in such a way. His anger against the wicked involves no such excitement of passion.
God’s anger can not be in any sense a selfish anger; for God is not selfish in the least degree, but infinitely the reverse of it. Of course his anger against the wicked must be entirely devoid of selfishness.
But postively his anger against the wicked implies,
An entire disapprobation of their conduct and character. He disapproves most intensely and utterly every thing in either their heart or their life. He loathes the wicked with infinite loathing.
He feels the strongest opposition of will to their character. It is so utterly opposed to his own character and to his own views of right that his will arrays itself in the strongest form of opposition against it.
So the Bible shows. God is angry with the wicked–not with the abstract sin. If the wicked turn not, God will whet his sword;–he hath bent his bow and made it ready;–not to shoot the sin however, but the sinner–the wicked man who has done the abominable thing. This is the only doctrine of either the Bible or of common sense on this subject.
The anger of God against the wicked implies all that properly belongs to anger when it exists with good reason. We know by our own experience that when we are angry with good reason, we have strong opposition of will and also strong feelings of displeasure and disapprobation against the wrong-doers. Hence we may infer that the same is true of God under the same circumstances.
The REASONS of God’s anger against the wicked next demand our attention. His anger is never excited without good reasons. Causeless anger is always sinful. “Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause is in danger of the judgment.” God never Himself violates his own laws–founded as they are in infinite right and justice. Hence God’s anger always has good reasons.
Wicked men are entirely unreasonable. Their conduct is at war with all reason and with all right. God has given them intelligence and conscience; but they act in opposition to both. God has given them a pure and good law, yet this they recklessly violate. Hence their conduct is in every point of view utterly unreasonable.
Now we all know that by a fixed law of our being nothing can be a greater temptation to anger than to see persons act unreasonably. This is one of the greatest trials that can occur, and one of the strongest incentives to anger. So when God looks at the unreasonable conduct of sinners he feels the strongest indignation and displeasure. If they were not rational beings endowed with reason, no anger would be awakened and called forth; but since God knows them to be endowed with reason and to be capable of true and noble-hearted obedience, he cannot fail of being displeased with their transgression.
The course of the wicked is utterly ruinous. No thanks to the sinner if his influence does not ruin the whole world. By the very laws of mind, the sin of any one man tends to influence other men to sin, and they spread far and wide the dreadful contagion of his example. It may truly be said that the sinner does the worst thing possible to him to ruin the universe. He sets the example of rebellion against the supreme government of all worlds. And what influence can be more potent than that of example? What worse thing therefore can the sinner do to destroy all good than he is doing by his sin? No thanks to him if every man who sees his sin does not imitate it to his own ruin, and throw the power of his own example broad-cast over all his associates.
Righteous anger is being angry at what makes God angry. And “righteous anger” is the right word order. Because God is not fundamentally angry. He is fundamentally righteous. God’s anger is a byproduct of his righteousness.
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