A Five Part series on Ephesians 4:30-32
Part One: "The Horseman of Bitterness"
We have covered these verses in 2022 a few times but I want to reach more deeply into the five, even six items in this powerful list that Paul is writing about to the Church at Ephesus. They are often lumped together in other lessons or sermons as a part of an overall goal for Christians to strive for in their daily lives and well they should be. They are indeed part of a greater whole discussed in scripture but the next few weeks will allow us time to address each of the items listed, draw some conclusions and then make choices based on what the scripture reveals.
This horseman, “Bitterness” rides upon velvet hooves of self-entitlement into the life of a Christian from the realms of the old life and its blindness to the light of truth.
Definition: Bitterness is a settled or embedded hostility that crowds out compassion and love within the spirit of its host.
NOTE: Bitterness toward anyone, man or God Himself, reveals our hatred and absence of peace. Bitterness is the fruit of the fallen man, not the fruit of the Spirit of God. If the fruit of the Spirit being peace is absent it is because the Spirit is not at work. The old corrupt man is calling the plays, not the Holy Spirit!
QUOTE: “The fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the old man cannot occupy the same space on the same tree.”
The bitterness we hide or covet on the inside will come out. I promise you it will. The only way that the bitterness on the inside can be neutralized from harming the host or anyone else is to reject it as the robber it is and grasp it and remove it. We can pray and pray the God would remove our bitterness either by changing our emotions to changing the object of our bitterness. The instruction in our text (Ephesians 4:30-32) is clear…...”but put away from you.” You have to take it and pull it out by the roots. The Holy Spirit will give us the courage and strength to “put it away from us"” but He will not do it for us.
Bitterness is a harsh destroyer of everything good and precious. The root of bitterness will spring up and poison everything it touches. It is destructive from the inside out.
“Bitterness is not an entitlement of the Born-again Christian. It is the spirit killing poison of the unregenerate man.”
“Bitterness is a direct attack on the Holy Spirit.”
“Bitterness is the poison we wish for others that causes our illness.”
We can only remove it by repenting of it and thereby releasing us from our bondage to it..