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Gateway Church gathers
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Location: 6425 Jefferson Rd.
(Hwy. 129) in Athens, Georgia.

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Overcoming anger
(Fifth in the series,
Overcoming the Enemies of Joy)

Jerry Varnado, pastor
Gateway Church, Athens GA

May 7, 2006

  • Main Scripture text: Ephesians 4:21-27 (NLT)

  • The basic New Testament evidence of Christian conversion is a changed life.

  • We must give up our old way of life, corrupted by lust and deceitful desires, and submit to the Holy Spirit, who is working to make us like Jesus.

  • Anger isn't necesarily sinful in itself, but it can become sinful -- and highly destructive.

  • In this text, the Apostle Paul gives us three important points concerning dealing with anger:


Sermons in this series

1-The Promise of Joy

2-Overcoming Unbelief

3-Overcoming Self-Centeredness

4-Overcoming Our Fear

5-Overcoming Anger

6-Overcoming Negative Thinking

7-Rejoice Always! Rejoice!

In your anger, do not sin.

Anger can motivate us to correct injustice and to protect the innocent and helpless. But it can also cause us to fly into an uncontrolled rage.

Some people try to deal with their anger by denying that it exists. This, too, is dangerous, because it can create a cauldron of acid in us that keeps boiling like a volcano until it eventually erupts.

Some doctors believe that many illnesses have their root in unresolved anger.


We need to find appropriate ways to vent our anger, but Paul says don't stay angry.

Instead, we must deal with our anger -- before the sun goes down. In other words, don't let it build up day-after-day, year-after-year.

We must recognize it and take action against it. Often, this will involve forgiving others. We are to forgive in the same way that God, through Christ, has forgiven us.

Part of the undoing of anger is to, if at all possible, make contact with the person with whom you are angry. Express your forgiveness. Doing so will bring release into your life.

Also commit to pray good things for that person. It is remarkable how praying for someone can destroy the root of bitterness you may have toward that person.


Finally, Paul warns us to not let our anger "give the devil a foothold."

Unresolved anger is not an end sought by the devil. It is a means he uses to gain entrance into our lives.

The enemy will use it as a platform to gain more influence over us, until he destroys our lives and deeply hurts those around us in the process.

  • Paul's instructions in Ephesians 4:31-32 are abundantly clear:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

  • Do these things, by the power of the Holy Spirit living in you, and you will overcome this enemy of joy -- this enemy of our souls -- that we call anger.

Supporting texts: John 2:13-17 | Ephesians 4:31-32 | Psalm 103:6-12 | Isaiah 43:25 | Mark 11:25 | Matthew 5:23-24 | Matthew 5:43-45 | Ephesians 4:26-27 (NCV)

A mp3 audio file of this sermon is here (32 min.).
(Download to a PC by right clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As." Mac users: click, hold, and choose "Download Link to Disk." Depending on your connection speed, the file may take several minutes to download.)

An audio tape of the sermon summarized above is available free of charge (U.S. requests only).

Request a tape by
calling or writing the Gateway Church office.
Please specify tape number 060507a: Overcoming Anger.

© 2006 Gerald R. Varnado

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