Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice—Eph. 4: 31.
From his high standpoint of appreciation of the Divine law, the advanced Christian sees that in the Lord's sight hatred is murder, slander is assassination, and the destruction of a neighbor's good name is robbery and rapine. And any of these things done in the Church, among the professed people of God, is doubly evil—the assassination and robbery of a brother. The only exception to this rule, "Speak evil of no man," would come in where we might know of an absolute necessity for making known an evil—where the relating of the evil would be contrary to our heart's wishes, and only mentioned because of necessity—because of love for others who, if not informed, might be injured.
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Bitterness, wrath, anger, evil-speaking and malice are works of the flesh. Therefore, it behooves saints to put them aside. We should exercise faith, hope, love and persistent determination as well as the cleansing power of the Word against them. Let us by these good qualities seek to detach our sentiments and divert our attention from, and restrain, displace and become impervious to, them.
Parallel passages: Rom. 12: 14, 18-21; Col. 3: 8, 13, 19; Titus 3: 2; Jas. 3: 5-18; 4: 11; 1Pet. 2: 1, 23; 3: 9; 1Cor. 13; Eph. 4: 26, 32; 5: 1, 2; 2Cor. 3: 12-18.
Questions: What experiences of this week were connected with this text? How were they met? What were the results?
"SO AS BY FIRE"
I SOMETIMES feel so passionate a yearning
For spiritual perfection here below,
This vigorous frame with healthful fervor burning,
Seems my determined foe.
So actively it makes a stern resistance,
So cruelly it sometimes wages war
Against the higher spiritual existence,
Which I am striving for.
It interrupts my soul's intense devotions;
Some hope it strangles at its very birth
With a swift rush of violent emotions
Which link me to the earth.
It is as if two mortal foes contended
Within my bosom in a deadly strife;
One for the loftier aims Jesus intended,
One for the "Mammon" life.
And yet I know this very war within me,
Which brings out all my will-power and control;
This very conflict yet through
Christ shall win me
The loved and longed-for goal.
And when in the immortal ranks enlisted,
Sometimes I wonder if we shall not find
That not for deeds alone, but also what's resisted,
Our places were assigned.
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