Spirit Filled Tongue Lashings

In Acts 13 there is a man by the name of Elymas that is trying to stand in the way of Sergius Paulus coming to Christ. The apostle Paul has some choice words for this man.

Acts 13:9-10 Then Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?”

What I find fascinating about Paul’s little rant is that it’s a Spirit filled rant. I’ve been raised in a culture where men in church have been trained to be nice. Despite popular belief, nice is not the same as Godly. There are times to use harsh words and there are times to call out enemies of the Gospel.

Now of course teachings like this always need balance. Some folks think they have a gift of rebuking, but they’re really just jerks. However, it seems like if our desire is to be like God then we should get angry once in a while.

In the Old Testament alone there are 375 mentions of the wrath of God. We are all familiar with Jesus cleansing the temple in the NT. In John’s account he talks about how Jesus took the time to make a whip of cords. So His outburst was a pre-meditated holy hissy fit.

I think there are a lot of things in this world that anger God. I think those things should anger us as well. The Spirit filled believer will call out the frauds and crooks. The Spirit filled believer will call out those who stand in the way of others coming to salvation. The Spirit filled believer will call out false teaching. The Spirit filled believer will defend and contend for the faith.

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