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Not Easily Provoked (Part 1) - It's Dangerous And It's Always Wrong

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A copy of the outline can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

To listen to the next sermon in the series, click here: Part 2

To Listen on YouTube, click here: Not Easily Provoked (Part 1)

Not Easily Provoked

I. Charity is the cardinal Christian virtue (1Co 13:13; Col 3:14; 1Ti 1:5; 1Pe 4:8).
1. Charity - 1. Christian love b. Man's love of God and his neighbour, commanded as the fulfilling of the Law, Matt. xxii. 37, 39. c. esp. The Christian love of our fellow-men; Christian benignity of disposition expressing itself in Christ-like conduct: one of the ‘three Christian graces’, fully described by St. Paul, 1 Cor. xiii.
2. One outstanding characteristic of charity is that it is "not easily provoked" (1Co 13:4-5).
3. If we are easily provoked, we are not displaying charity in our lives.
4. Charity is Christian love.
A. If we are easily provoked, we have not charity, and we are therefore not loving our brother.
B. He that loves not his brother abides in darkness (1Jo 2:10-11).
C. He that loves not his brother is not of God (1Jo 3:10).
D. He that loves not his brother abides in death (1Jo 3:14).
E. He that loves not his brother knows not God (1Jo 4:7-8).
5. Being "not easily provoked" is therefore a dreadfully serious topic.
6. Do I have your attention now?

II. What does it mean to be provoked?
1. Provoke v. - II. 4. To incite or urge (a person or animal) to some act or to do something; to stimulate to action; to excite, rouse, stir up, spur on. b. trans. To stir up, agitate. 5. To incite to anger (a person or animal); to enrage, vex, irritate, exasperate. Hence provoked, ppl. a., having received provocation; irritated, angry, annoyed.
A. Irritated ppl. - Stirred up, excited (obs.); exasperated, provoked, annoyed; stimulated to vital action, etc.: see the verb.
B. Irritate v. - 1. trans. To stir up, excite, provoke, incite, rouse (a person, etc.) to some action. Const. to, into, or inf. Obs. (or merged in 2.) 2. To excite to impatient or angry feeling; to exasperate, provoke; to vex, fret, annoy, ruffle the feelings of.
C. Annoyed ppl. - 1. Disturbed by what one dislikes; troubled, vexed, offended.
D. Annoy v. - 1. intr. To be hateful, odious, offensive, or a cause of trouble (to, or with dat.) Obs. (Last used in 1386) 3. trans. To affect (a person) in a way that disturbs his equanimity, hurts his susceptibilities, or causes slight irritation. (Refers to the feeling produced, rather than to the action producing it; hence commonest in the passive to be annoyed: to be ruffled in mind, troubled, vexed.)
2. To be provoked means to become irritated, angry, annoyed, or impatient by the actions of others or the circumstances we find ourselves in.

III. It is not always wrong to be provoked.
1. We can be angry without sinning (Eph 4:26).
2. God's people provoke Him to anger and wrath (Deu 9:7; Deu 32:16), yet God is holy (1Pe 1:15-16).
3. Jesus was angry (provoked) (Mar 3:5; Mat 21:12; Joh 2:15).
4. We must have a just cause to be angry though (Mat 5:22).
5. As pastor is not to be soon angry, which implies that he can be angry in certain situations, just not soon angry (Tit 1:7).
6. If we become angry for righteous reasons, we should not remain angry (Eph 4:26).

IV. It is always wrong to be easily provoked though.
1. As Christians, we must be slow to wrath (Jam 1:19-20; Ecc 7:9).
A. God Himself is slow to anger (Psa 103:8).
B. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding (Pro 14:29).
C. A fool gets angry quickly and everyone knows about it (Pro 12:16; Pro 29:11,20).
D. He that is soon angry deals foolishly (Pro 14:17).
2. We must have rule over our spirits.
A. He that is slow to anger (not easily provoked) is a strong man (Pro 16:32).
B. He that doesn't have rule over his spirit is weak and vulnerable to attack (Pro 25:28).
C. Losing our temper when provoked can cost us big time, as it did for Moses (Psa 106:32-33 c/w Num 20:10-12).
D. If we don't bridle our tongues, our religion is vain (Jam 1:26).
3. The devil will provoke us to sin (1Ch 21:1) and will send people into our lives to do so.
A. Jesus' enemies tried to provoke Him and cause him to lose His temper and say something He should not have (Luk 11:53-54).
B. We must follow His example and not render evil for evil (1Pe 2:23; Isa 53:7; 1Th 5:15; 1Pe 3:9).
4. Not being easily provoked is suffering long with people (1Co 13:4).
A. We must be longsuffering with people (Gal 5:22; Eph 4:1-2; Col 3:12-13).
B. A pastor must especially be longsuffering as an example to the church (2Co 6:3-6; 2Ti 3:10; 2Ti 4:2; 1Ti 4:12).

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