February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 2: The Devil
Another way that Satan works is through bitterness. Ephesians 4. Let's camp on this. I use this often. I think it's a very importand doctrine that is, lately, undertaught. I'll spend a lot of time on this, maybe ten or fifteen minutes.
Ephesians 4:17-32. Most people don't really think that bitterness is demonic. It's ORDINARY demonic, okay, well I'll talk about extraordinary demonic where it's obvious. Ordinary demonic is more effective because it's more subtle. Again 2 Corinthians 2:11, I'll keep
bringing it back to that text. Satan won't outwit us if we know his schemes, if we understand his tactics. One of his tactics is bitterness.
Ephesiand 4:17, "Now this I say, and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to their hardness of heart. (they have an old heart). They have become callous and given themselves up (alright, here's the flesh): sensuality, greed, to practice every kind of impurity but that is not the way you learned Christ, assuming you have heard about him and were taught him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (just all flesh and worldliness) and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (regenerated heart, new mind through the power of the Holy Spirit) and to put on the new self (you're a new person now, you belong to Jesus) created after the likeness of God (`kay, to be holy, like Jesus and to
out of the Imago Dei God made you in) in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore having put away all falsehood (because falsehood is evil, it's not truthfulness), let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members of one body."
Here's the key: "Be angry and do not sin."
It's okay to be angry but you shouldn't let your anger lead you to sin. God gets angry. Angry is a perfectly good, health emotion. Too many Christians have a wrong impression that anger is a bad thing. Anger is the right response to sin. If someone molests a child you should be angry. If a man rapes a woman you should be angry. If a woman commits adultery on her husband you should be angry. If someone teaches false doctrine and leads people astray you should be angry.
It's not okay to be indifferent. God is a jealous God. God is an angry God. God is an avenging God. The wrath of God is spoken of, in the Old and New Testaments combined, more than 600 times. In sheer tonnage, the wrath of God appears more frequently than the love of God in the Bible. If you're counseling people and you never get angry there's something wrong with you. [pause] There's something wrong with you.
Now don't let your anger lead you into sin but anger can be a great motivation to DO something that is just and beautiful and good.
I can tell you a story, I'll tell you counseling stories. [I'm] meeting with a guy who's cheating on his wife. He was afraid he had a venereal disease because he's a total pervert and committed adultery on her countless times with women he didn't even know. And he looks at me and, somehow, he thought our meeting was like I'm a Catholic priest and he comes in and gives me his confession and then I tell him he's fine and he can go home. I don't know how he got this impression. He said, "Well, I feel good. I got that off my chest." I said: "No, no, no, no, no. We gotta tell your wife. We gotta tell your wife. You gotta get a disease test. You gotta tell your wife. She shouldn't touch you. You need help. You probably need treatment, I mean, you're outta control. You're, you're" He's like, "No, no ... I thought we, I thought we had confidentiality." [I said,] "I don't, no, I don't believe in confidentiality. [audience laughs] I believe in Jesus and walking in the light."
And he said, "Oh, well you can't tell her." I said, "Okay, then you can. Those are your two options. You tell her or I tell her. One way or another she's gonna know." He said, "Well, I don't think that's right. I'm gonna sue you." [I said,] "Sure, cool, that's great. Fine. I have a huge insurance policy. I love free advertising, it'll be in the paper. This'll be great. I don't care." This guy looks me and he says, "You're going to ruin everything."
"I'm going to ruin everything? You've ruined everything."
"Well, she doesn't know. Everything's fine."
"No, everything's not fine. You're an adulterer whoring around on your wife. You may have a veneral disease and you're going to take it home and give it to her? Everything's not fine."
The more I talked to this guy, literally, I wanna ... I wanna ... you know ... assault him is what I wanna do. Because, the whole time, he then goes into, "Okay, okay, okay. I'll make a big donation to the church." [chuckles] No ... you think I can be bought. I mean, like, I started angry and now it's at whole `nother level. I'm thinking of, "Okay, where can I put the body? I've seen CSI. I know I gotta put it in a safe place they'll never find it. Let me--" this is where I'm going in my mind.
And I look at this guy and I cannot believe, "You want to commit adultery on your wife; maybe give her a venereal disease; and pay me hush money through a tax-deductible charitable donation?" [pause] If you don't feel angry there's something totally wrong with you. There are people you will deal with that they will have worldly sorrow, like Paul says to the Corinthians, or mere confession. They'll tell you what they've done but they don't feel bad about it and they're not wanting to repent of it and they don't want to go and sin no more. They just want to get it off their chest and if you don't feel angry about it there, there's something wrong with you. Something's totally wrong with you.
I remember one guy I'm meeting with--it's always (sometime's it's women, too). I was meeting with a guy, though, he says, "You know, I've committed adultery but I think it's the best thing that's ever happened to our marriage cuz I was totally dissatisfied with my wife, but now that I get my sexual needs met elsewhere I'm really able to come home and not be angry with her." I said, "Really? That's an interesting book title, Adultery saved my Marriage. That's very interesting." And this guy claims to be a Christian, knows all the verses. I said, "Dude, one of the ten commandments is `thou shall not commit adultery'." He said, "Yeah, and most of the time I totally believe that." If you don't get angry there's something wrong with you. There's something totally wrong with you.
Early on, I remember meeting with a guy. He comes in and there just seems something funky with the guy, something fishy. Because he wanted to be involved in ministry and wanted to be a leader and da-di-da-di-da. I asked him, "Dude, seriously, is there anything about you that, if I knew, I would just totally freak out?" I just start asking people, "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" That's one of my favorite questions. What's the worst thing you've ever done. Don't lie to me. This guy says, "No ... I'm good." I said, "You're older, you're single." Not that everybody who's older and single is weird but this guy was REALLY weird. Just, he was peculiar. There was something funky about him. Older single guy, always hanging around kids, always hanging around the nursery ... and just the way he carried himself. As a dad, gift of discernment guy, there's something really amiss here.
THIS guy was dating a woman who was a single mother and bathing with her son. Grown man in a bathtub with a boy who's not his son. He tells me this. If you don't feel angry, what do YOU do when a peculiar grown man in a bathtub with a little boy of a girl you're dating? If you don't feel angry there's something wrong. Let me give you permission to be angry. Let me give you to even tell people when you're meeting with them, "You know what? That makes God very angry. That makes ME very angry." Some say, oh, you shouldn't be angry. No, you MUST be angry but don't let your anger lead you into sin. Don't cuss `em out. Don't hit `em. You know, don't lose it, but that anger can be a good motivational force to say, "I need to do something." For me with that one guy it was: "I need to call his wife and tell her the truth. Do not touch that guy. Go get a disease test. He needs professional help. He's out of control." With this other guy it's calling the woman and saying "You know when you go to the store and your boyfriend babysits your son they're in the bathtub together. Do you know that?" It's anger that compels you to justice, not toward additional sin. But you've got to be careful because, again, the flesh can rise up with the anger.