THE WRATH OF GOD

Scripture Reading:  Romans 1:18-23

“For the righteousness of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppresses the truth.”  (Romans 1:18)

Before we can grasp the meaning of the wrath of God, we must first understand the nature of God.  We will concentrate on only two of His attributes — God’s holiness and His justice.  We must also realize the grievousness of our sin in light of God’s nature and character.

God’s holiness refers to HIs infinite purity.  The fundamental idea of God’s holiness is His total separation from sin and evil.  Stephen Charnock in his book on the attributes of God writes these words about the holiness of God — “If any, this attribute has an excellency above His other perfections.  None is sounded out as loftily, with such solemnity, and so frequently by angels that stand before His throne, as this” (Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God).  Charnock is referring to passages like — “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Isaiah 6:3) and “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8).  Charnock writes, “Do you hear in any angelic song any other perfection of the divine nature trice repeated?”  Ultimately every sin is directed against God’s holiness.

As the righteous Judge of all mankind, God renders unto every person the justice due.  He never condemns the innocent, nor clears the guilty.  God is obligated by His nature to be an impartial judge and to inflict the appropriate punishment upon sin — “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  Sin is an offense against God’s holiness and God’s justice demands that punishment be inflicted because of it.

Paul speaks of “the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”  Herein is the problem — the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men demand action by a holy and just God.  The result is the wrath of God, which is God’s rightful response to man’s sin.

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus bore the wrath of God on behalf of those He redeemed with His blood.  Because of this, we will never have to experience God’s wrath.  Our response to Christ’s work must be one of thankfulness and obedience.  Because of what Jesus did for us, we should love, serve, and obey Him.

Lord Jesus,  You bore the wrath of God in my place.  You took the very judgment of a righteous and holy God upon Yourself so that I would not have to experience the wrath of God.  Thank You for Your great love for me!

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