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God’s Wrath

By Terry Cheek

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Moving forward through Romans, we leave the Bible’s doctrine of Justification and move to God’s wrath. A considerable leap indeed. Paul challenges the Church to not only understand God’s wrath but to use it as encouragement in their walk with God and sharing the gospel with the unsaved. Let’s look at our scripture this month, from the book of Romans chapter one, verses eighteen through twenty-five.

18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” [Rom 1:18-25 KJV]

God doesn’t hide the fact of His wrath. After studying the doctrine of God’s righteousness, we find ourselves face-to-face with the study of unrighteousness. Think of this. No one can fully appreciate the righteousness of God until we realize and understand our unrighteousness before Him. The gospel is an announcement to all people as universally under the indictment of God and exposed to His wrath. Sadly, people today are not concerned about the gospel. I believe that is because we do not understand the law of God. R.C. Sproul has this to say,

“If people were sensitive to the manifestation of God’s anger toward them, they would be so moved by enlightened self-interest that they would flee as fast as they could to hear the gospel, but their necks have become so hardened, their hearts so calcified, that they have no fear of God.”

Many preachers and teachers today tell people that God loves them unconditionally, leading people to falsely believe that God has no wrath against sin and the unrepentant sinner. On the contrary, our scripture tells us that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. If God wrote this through Paul and gave it to us through His Word, why would we feel it didn’t apply today?

The Greek word Paul uses for “wrath” is orgai. The English word that derives from orgai is an orgy. When we think of an orgy, we think of participation in unbridled sexual behavior and eroticism with reckless abandon. Our scripture is not exclusively talking about sexual sin. It vividly describes unrighteousness and what it does when left in an unrepentant condition. Too often, this scripture is used to pick apart sins, and I am sure there is a time and place for that.

The context of the passage is the condition of the soul. Understanding the wrath of God is a shock and awe to the soul, a wake-up call if nothing else. Has the gospel been planted in your heart? Is the Holy Spirit moving gracefully in your heart? Examine yourself under the word of God and accept his grace today. Accept the gospel. Accept Christ as your LORD and savior. Christian, and I am speaking to the truly repentant born-again Christians. We too must examine ourselves daily to avoid unrighteousness in our lives. We are saved sinners, nothing more. Let’s not allow unrighteousness to slip into our lives and stain the testimony of Christ’s gospel. We, too, must understand how the wrath of God applies to us. My time has come and gone. Until we meet again, in print or in person, may God bless you is my prayer.

Sproul, R.C.. Romans: An Expositional Commentary (p. 22). Ligonier Ministries. Kindle Edition.


Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry

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