It’s the quintessential ending to the story. The hero rides off alone into the sunset having conquered his foes and saving the town. His work finished. It gives closure and finality. You feel good. However, in Ephesians 4:26-27 it is clear that this warm, cozy feeling is not our Christian life. Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” These verses are loaded with imperatives!
“Be ye angry” Here we have the anger that is “an abiding and settled habit of the mind that is aroused under certain conditions.”* The Christian life isn’t passionless or apathetic. There is cause for concern and action. There is cause for a righteous indignation. So, what needs to arouse this anger in my life? It’s in the next phrase, “and sin not.” Putting these phrases together we have “Be angry and stop sinning.” Paul describes the traits of the “new man” from verse twenty-four, and one vital trait for the new man is anger against sin. Are you allergic to sin? Do you hate disappointing God? Do you fight in your life to cause the devil to lose his footing? This is the point of this passage.
The last command is “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Wrath here is exasperation. There won’t be an age or maturation where we have arrived. In this life, we won’t be able to blow the smoke from our gun and saddle up to ride out of the town with our foes behind bars. Too often Christians, either by exhaustion or disillusion, ride off into the sunset about their personal fight against sin. Christian, hate sin! Be angry at the work of the devil. Pray for the sun to stand still representing your Spirit empowered determination. Stand your ground till your last day. One day in heaven, we have the hope of never fighting this battle again.
*Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), Eph 4:26.