Building People (Part 1) – Gospel in Life

Building People (Part 1)

Tim Keller |  February 10, 1991

Download Agreement

By downloading this file, I confirm I understand Gospel in Life's Copyright & Permissions policies and agree to only use this file for personal usage and will not upload it to any third-party platforms.


  • Christian Living and Obedience
  • Forgiveness
Ephesians 4:25-32
RS 215-05


How do we get rid of bitterness toward others? Is it even possible? This sermon explores the external and internal side to getting rid of bitterness. Externally, forgiveness must sometimes be granted before it is felt; internally, you have to put on your “new self” in Christ.

Ephesians 4:25–32

We learn from Ephesians 4:25-32 that being honest, managing our temper, and avoiding harmful actions are all important. It also highlights the value of being kind and forgiving. The idea of bitterness is discussed, showing us why forgiveness matters and why it’s not good to hold onto grudges. The message ends by distinguishing between acting like a judge and acting like an executioner, reminding us that God wants us to leave behind harmful behavior. It also touches on the difficult yet important task of forgiving those who have hurt us, and responding to evil with kindness.

1. Forgiveness is granted before it is felt

Forgiveness is a command that helps us direct our anger at the problem, not the person, just like how God gets angry in a righteous way. It’s a deliberate choice to let go of bitterness and resentment, to absorb the hurt caused and promise not to bring it up again. Forgiveness is tough but doable and necessary, as it asks us to stop acting as judges, accepting that we too are flawed.

2. On the inside you have to put on the new man

The main point is that it’s important to respond to bad behavior with good behavior. This includes being grateful, respectful, and truthful, even when things get tough. It encourages us to pray for and wish well for those who have hurt us, rather than seeking revenge. It also emphasizes the need to stay kind and polite, even when it’s hard. Using a Star Wars example, it shows the negative impact of giving into anger and hatred.



The Healing of Anger

By Tim Keller

Justified by Faith

By Tim Keller

I Am the Vine

By Tim Keller

May Book Offer

Share the reason for the hope within you!

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.