How are you doi…
What’s that? Oh… the title of this post.
Yea… I’m not surprised you’re opening this page with a question mark floating above your head. “Are we really going to talk about wrath?”
Yes, yes we are.
Talking about God’s wrath makes us uncomfortable. We like to think of God as a God of love (which He is!), and so to talk about His wrath makes Him sound cranky, vengeful, or even evil.
But let me point out an important truth about you that you might not realize at the moment. You don’t want a God who doesn’t show wrath.
Think about it: If God didn’t possess rage, then He wouldn’t be just. You wouldn’t like a God who was passive, allowing evil to permeate our world without consequence. If He did let evil go unpunished, He would either be impotent or uncaring. So you want Him to be a just God who shows wrath against the evil in our world.
Also, without wrath, God wouldn’t be able to fully reveal His love. If you are a parent and caught someone trying to kidnap your baby, you’d be extremely angry. Your love for your child would fill you with wrath. It’s the same (and even more so!) with God.
So whether or not you like the idea at first blush, God is a God of wrath.
The Recipient of God’s Wrath
But there is an important truth about God’s wrath you need to know. God’s wrath is first and foremost against sin, not people. The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans,
” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18)
Now, that verse could be translated “For the wrath of God is revealed in heaven against ungodly and unrighteous men…” making it seem that God’s wrath is against certain humans. But let me ask you: what is it that makes a man (or woman) ungodly and unrighteous? Their sin!
God’s wrath is therefore first against sin, not against humanity.
A parent might be disappointed when they witness their child wallop an innocent kid on the playground. But a healthy parent’s anger will be first against the action, then directed toward the child.
This is why 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that God made Jesus sin. I know, that sounds strange, but read it for yourself:
“For our sake, he made him (aka Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
As you think that truth through, you realize that by Jesus becoming sin, God’s wrath could come against sin instead of directly at mankind.
This means that if you have placed your faith in Jesus, any wrath God may have had toward your sin has been relinquished through the cross. The righteous wrath of God was satisfied to see sin punished and defeated by Jesus’ sacrificial act on the cross.
So if you are living day to day fearing God is angry with you because of past sins or repeated sinful behavior, know that His wrath toward your sin has been relinquished through the cross. God is like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, running down the road longing to embrace you, despite what you have done. He loves you and His wrath toward your sin has been relinquished through His selfless act.