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Scripture Reading: Psalm 17:1-9


Overcoming Wrath



1.  We are commanded to “put off all these: anger, wrath, malice...”, Col. 3:8; Eph. 4:31.

2.  Outbursts of wrath are a work of the flesh, Gal. 5:20.

3.  How do we overcome the sin of wrath?


I.  LOSING CONTROL OF OUR TEMPER IS SIN, Eph. 4:31; Jas. 1:19-20.

  A.  Outbursts of Wrath, Gal. 5:20 [thumos].

    1.  Foolishness on display, Prov. 14:29.

    2.  NT uses two different words for anger and wrath (Eph. 4:31):

      a.  Orge: indignation that rises gradually and becomes a settled trait.

        b.  Thumos: “rage” (A&G); “passion, angry heat…anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again” (Thayer, 293). 

      c.  θυμός = boiling agitation of the feelings, i.e., “exasperation.” (Lenski)

    3.  Thumos is explosive, violent temper; displays of temper.

      a.  Uncontrolled anger not merely a quirk/peculiarity; it is sin.

      b.  We must put away wrathEph. 4:31; Col. 3:8.



  A.  Meditate on God and His Word, Psa. 4:4-5; 1:2-3 (119:97, 11).

  B.  Develop Longsuffering and Patience.

    1.  Longsuffering, Gal. 5:22.

      a.  Long-tempered (makrothumia: makro, “long”; thumos, “wrath, temper”).

      b.  “Longsuffering is that quality of self restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and is associated with mercy” (Vine, 377).

      c.  God is longsuffering toward us; we must be toward others.

      d.  Love “suffers long, and is kind”, 1 Cor. 13:4.

    2.  Patience.

      a.  “Patience is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial; it is the opposite of despondency and is associated with hope, 1Th 1:3; it is not used of God.” (Notes on Thess., Hogg and Vine, 183, 184)

      b.  The ability to endure and not yield to wrath, cf. Psa. 37:7-8.

      c.  Patience perseveres when tried, Rom. 5:3-4.

  C.  Rule Over Your Spirit, Prov. 16:32; 25:28.

    1.  Master your heart; cleanse the inside first, Mk. 7:15; 23.

    2.  Develop self-control, Gal. 5:23-24.

      a.  “restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires” (Merriam-Webster).

      b.  Ability to control ourselves to do right and reject sin.

*  3.  Rule over your spirit... (Prov. 16:32)

      a.  With meekness, Num. 12:1-3.

      b.  With tongue control when provoked, Num. 20:8-10, 12; Psa. 106:32-33.

      c.  With humility, Phil. 2:5-8. Empty yourself...

      d.  By focusing on the real issue, Jas. 1:19-20. cf. Prov. 29:22

      e.  By eliminating selfish ambition (“I have to win!”), 2 Cor. 12:20.

      f.   By not making excuses for your outbursts or blaming others (“I can’t help myself”; “that’s just the way I am”). We must stop making excuses for our sin! cf. Saul, Acts 26:9-10

      g.  With a soft answer, Prov. 15:1, 18

          -Not with clamor (loud quarreling), Eph. 4:31.

      h.  By removing anxieties, Phil. 4:6-7. Be content, not frustrated (11).



1.  Wrath exalts folly and brings punishment:

    He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. (Prov. 14:29)

    A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. (Prov. 19:19)

 2.  Be at peace with God, with yourself and with others, Jno. 14:27; 16:33.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: May 29, 2014