The Sober Reality and Implications of the Wrath of God

Dr. Rob Green January 19, 2020 Romans 1:18-32
Outline

“He [Paul] knows that we cannot appreciate the good news until we thoroughly understand the bad news.” Douglas Moo, Encountering the Book of Romans Baker: Grand Rapids:2002, p. 56

Romans 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

“The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before ‘the righteousness of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.” Cf. Barend Klaas Kuiper, Martin Luther: The Formative Years, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1933, pp. 198–208

3 truths concerning the wrath of God and the desperate need we all have for the gospel

I. God Pours Out His Wrath on Those Who Suppress Rather Than Celebrate His Truth (1:18-21)

A. His wrath is ongoing and ever-present

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…

Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

“Orgē (wrath) refers to a settled, determined indignation, not to the momentary, emotional, and often uncontrolled anger (thumos) to which human beings are prone. God’s attributes are balanced in divine perfection. If He had no righteous anger and wrath, He would not be God, just as surely as He would not be God without His gracious love. He perfectly hates just as He perfectly loves, perfectly loving righteousness and perfectly hating evil (Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9). One of the great tragedies of modern Christianity, including much of evangelicalism, is the failure to preach and teach the wrath of God and the condemnation it brings upon all with unforgiven sin. The truncated, sentimental gospel that is frequently presented today falls far short of the gospel that Jesus and the apostle Paul proclaimed.” John MacArthur Jr. 1991, Romans, Vol. 1, p. 60, Chicago: Moody Press

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

suppress – katexw – hold back, restrain, suppress…

B. The knowledge of God’s attributes in creation leave man with no excuse

Romans 1:19-20 - …because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

“General Revelation – God’s communication of himself to all persons at all times and in all places.” Erickson, Christian Theology, p. 178

Psalm 19:1-4 - The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world…

1. Divine power

2. Divine nature

C. Humans must decide how to respond to general revelation

“Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

1. The appropriate response

a. Honor the Lord as God

b. Give thanks

Psalm 139:14 - I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

2. The inevitable result

a. Became futile in their speculations

b. Their foolish heart was darkened

1) Aren’t We Better Off Without Religion?

2) Doesn’t Christianity Crush Diversity?

3) How Can You Say There’s Only One True Faith?

4) Doesn’t Religion Hinder Morality?

5) Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?

6) How Can You Take the Bible Literally?

7) Hasn’t Science Disproved Christianity?

8) Doesn’t Christianity Denigrate Women?

9) Isn’t Christianity Homophobic?

10) Doesn’t the Bible Condone Slavery?

11) How Could a Loving God Allow So Much Suffering?

12) How Could a Loving God Send People to Hell?

II. God’s Wrath Allows Unbelief to Run Its Course

A. It is possible to exchange the praise and glory of God for idolatry

1. Bad deal #1 – exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for the images of creation (vv. 23-24)

2. Bad deal #2 – exchanging the truth of God for a lie (vv. 25-26)

3. Bad Deal #3 – exchanging the acknowledgement of God for the rejection of God (vv. 26-28)

B. When one rejects God and His truth, God gives them over to pursuing their passions and approving the passions of others

1. In man’s heart

Romans 1:24 - Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 - For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

2. In man’s behavior

Romans 1:24 - Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

III. God’s Current Wrath Poured Out on Those Who Suppress the Truth Serves as an Indictment Whereby the Full Sentence Is the Eternal Wrath of God

Romans 1:32 - ...and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

A. Worthy of death

B. The outrage associated with applauding those who continue to mock the upcoming sentence

John 3:36 - He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Say it in a sentence: The presence of God’s wrath upon the rebellious today and the limitation associated with creation knowledge should create an appreciation for the righteousness of God through Christ which many of us enjoy and an urgency for gospel proclamation.

For those who are relatively new to the ministry my name is Rob Green and I serve as the pastor responsible for the counseling ministry. I am normally serving as an ABF teacher during the 8 and 9:30 service hours and as a service pastor for the folks at 11.

  • It is my joy to bring the message this morning.

Pastor Viars explained the last two weeks that this year we are Celebrating God’s Truth. Practically speaking it means that we are going to study our way through the book of Romans one section at a time.

  • In Adult Bible Fellowships (one of our primary tools for friendship and discipleship at the East campus … explain) we are taking a significant portion of our year to understand the church doctrinal statement.
  • When you put those two things together, we are using 2020 to dig into God’s Word and celebrate the fire out of what he said.
  • However, there also appears a concern that there remains a need for the proclamation of the gospel among the church … for the lost who attend but still need Christ and possibly for sanctification purposes of those who are saved (v. 15).
  • But that does not mean, as Christians, that having our minds refreshed about our prior condition is not important and nor does it mean that the wrath of God is meaningless for us today.
    • In fact, I believe it could result in our heart rejoicing over the fact that we are no longer under the wrath.
    • I believe it could lead to greater evangelistic efforts on our part (goal: lead one person to Christ in 2020).
  • It is not the words of some fire and brimstone preacher … God makes his own wrath known.
  • Our world is beautiful, but it is also broken and twisted. People have said that God can either be all powerful or altogether good, but he cannot be both.
  • They argue that evil proves their point. Unfortunately, that line of thinking is not big enough to understand God or our world.
  • In other words, they choose to keep the truth hidden behind a façade of unrighteousness.
  • It is the game of hide and seek. I have the privilege of working with the Young Couples in our church and for many of them they are taking the command to be fruitful and multiply very seriously.
  • When we get together there are little ones everywhere. On occasion, I will play the hide and seek game. It is absolutely hilarious to watch a little one respond to you “disappearing” by putting your hands over your face.
    • I am laughing because the little one is giggling or giving you this look of amazement like how did you do that … you are the most awesome thing in my world right now.
  • One time a group of us climbed a place called Mt. Oberlin in Glacier National Park. When we got to the top we sang “How Great Thou Art.” The beauty we were seeing with our eyes took our hearts to worship the creator.
  • Others think, “this is what 2 billion years of evolution will do.”
  • Unfortunately, the people who are under the wrath of God today have not responded in that fashion.
  • We ascribed the work of God to other things or we did not care about the work of God at all.
  • Some of you have heard the message of the gospel, you have seen God’s revelation and you have refused to see your need for a savior.
    • You have refused the righteousness of God because you believe you have a righteousness of your own.
    • You need to hear that God’s wrath is currently on you and the news will get worse before this sermon is over.
  • Some of you have neighbors, family members, and/or co-workers who desperately need Christ. You enjoy the righteous of God and the wrath of God is on your neighbor.
  • Please see the seriousness of the passage … As they suppress the truth their mind and heart continue to grow more hardened. Life did not just move on.
  • They become more convinced that there are other explanations to our world other than God. They become more hardened to the truth.
  • This is where our urgency for the gospel comes.
  • I had the joy of telling him that the Lord has raised up many servants in our church who gave of their time. I told him about Dr. Smith who worked in the ER except on Monday afternoon and evening. I told him about Doc’s wife Leona who served as the temporary secretary for the counseling ministry for 20 years. I talked about the number of lay persons who volunteer their time in order to share Christ because every day that unbelievers spend living in their suppression of the truth is another day where their mind and heart become worse than the day before.
  • I am thankful for the long-standing tradition of many people in this church to use their time and talents to reach people for Christ.
  • I remember back in 2003. I have virtually no retirement money, but an advisor told me to invest it in Amazon. I said I was not willing to risk what little I had in one company. At $100 a share that was overwhelmingly expensive. I wish I had taken that deal! As foolish of a choice I made, let’s consider the choices in the text.
  • It is that the world is a better place because God’s divine power and divine nature are seen in it.
  • She explained that she would not be there holding her award – dare I say idol – had she not have had the freedom to have an abortion earlier in her career.
  • She said -- I've tried my best to live a life of my own making, and not just a series of events that happened to me," she said. "... And I wouldn't have been able to do this without employing a woman's right to choose.
  • CBS News reported that Tiffany Haddish, who helped present Williams with the award could be heard screaming "Preach!" as Williams gave her speech.
  • You can either hold a baby in your arms…or a golden globe award…
  • People would rather invent a worldview that cannot pass the test of properly explaining the world rather than consider the worldview presented in the Scripture.
  • You see God’s wrath can take many different forms. As followers of Christ is helpful for us to remember that the wrath of God can be the fire and brimstone of Revelation. But that wrath only comes at the return of Jesus.
  • Scripture is equally clear that any sexual expression outside of monogamous marriage is sinful and displeasing to God
  • We’re not going to put homosexuality in a special category…because we all face sexual temptation in many ways…and the inevitable objection I hear is – but I have to do what comes natural…
  • Here’s the Bible’s response – please don’t…in the power of the gospel, we can test our desires by the truth of the Word of God…and in His strength, we can crucify desires that displease God, and act on ones that bring Him glory…
  • Who friends is not included in this list?
  • But lets us also be sober minded about the present wrath of God that allows sin and unrighteousness to run its course. That is why every day spent under the wrath of God is a day where the mind and heart are continually corrupted.
  • Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body…
  • Spiritual death is the separation of a person from God…
  • The second death is the separation of a person from God…forever…
  • You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?...That question goes unanswered in Scripture…but at least someone did…
  • There would be at least one category of person worse than these people…and that is…individuals who had never been warned…
  • Let’s be sure no one in our sphere of influence would ever be in that condition…

We are asking that God would grow us, strengthen us in sound theology that our love for him, our confidence in him, and our willingness to passionately live for him would all increase in 2020.

With that in mind please turn in your Bible to Romans 1. That is one page 119 of the back section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

As you are getting there, remember that Paul is primarily writing to a group of believers (your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world v. 8, I may be encouraged together with you each of us by the other’s faith v. 12).

Let’s pick up in v. 16 and go to the end of the chapter. This is the Word of the Lord.

You might ask … uhhh… I thought we were celebrating God’s truth. That party didn’t last very long. Or … did it end? I mentioned that the primary audience were believers … probably like our service today … there are more people who would claim Christ as their savior than those who would not.

Doug Moo in his book called Encountering Romans said, “He [Paul] knows that we cannot appreciate the good news until we thoroughly understand the bad news.” Douglas Moo, Encountering the Book of Romans (Baker: Grand Rapids:2002), 56.

The wonderful reality of Romans 1:16 … read … is that the righteousness of God can be imputed to our account so that we are no longer under the wrath of God.

After all, Romans 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Martin Luther, the man God used to play a significant role in calling the church to celebrate rather than suppress God’s truth argued, “The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before “the righteousness of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.” (Cf. Barend Klaas Kuiper, Martin Luther: The Formative Years [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1933], pp. 198–208.)

To help us understand the text this morning the title of our message is The Sober Reality and Implications of the Wrath of God.

3 truths concerning the wrath of God and the desperate need we all have for the gospel

I. God pours out his wrath upon those who suppress rather than celebrate his truth (1:18-21)

Let me say right from the beginning and I will say it a few times before I am finished that I do not believe that genuine followers of Christ are currently under the wrath of God. I believe that we have been set free from the power of sin and (most importantly for today) the penalty of sin!

A. His wrath is ongoing and ever present (1:18)

Romans 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…

In fact, in v. 18 we see that God’s wrath is revealed. That raises a very important question and that is who is doing the revealing? The text answers that question by telling us that it is from heaven --- God is the one doing the revealing.

We are told that the wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. When I watch the news, because the news gives most of its time (not all admittedly) telling me about evil, the tragedies, and the destruction in this world I am watching a picture of God’s wrath revealed in our everyday lives.

When I hear, whether at work or from a neighbor or from a church member about ungodliness and wickedness I am listening to the wrath of God revealed in our day.

What a sobering truth. That is one reason why a study like this is so important. Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I have found Romans 1:18 so helpful to me as I contemplated the world in which I live.

Part of the evil that I see is a reminder that God’s wrath is ongoing and ever present. There is not one day that goes by that does not include the wrath of God because not one day goes by without seeing or hearing about ungodliness and unrighteousness.

Well, why is God’s wrath revealed? Because human beings choose (not just chose) to suppress the truth. Suppress – katexw – hold back, restrain, suppress.

There is the truth revealed to everyone and human beings put unrighteousness in front of it so that the truth, at least from their perspective, is no longer visible.

Much more seriously, that is what human beings do to God’s truth. They cover it, they suppress it, they hide it with the equivalent of their hands. So what truth are they hiding?

B. The knowledge of God’s attributes in Creation leave man with no excuse (1:19-21)

Romans 1:19–20 - because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

God made two things perfectly evident to them. He tells us to go back to creation itself. This is part of what we call General Revelation – God’s communication of himself to all persons at all times and in all places (Erickson, Christian Theology, p. 178).

For example, Psalm 19:1–4 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world…

As you look at creation you can see two things clearly. God’s…

  • Divine power (v. 20)
  • Divine nature (v. 20)

You all know that I have shared many times that we love adventures. It is always amazing to see how people respond to the beauty of creation that they see.

Others climb that same mountain and they think, “Isn’t the evolutionary process amazing?” “Isn’t it incredible to see how our climate cycles have produced such amazing beauty?”

To take this in a different direction, people who study the body are amazed at how the body works. Those who know Christ discover things about the body and say, “How Great thou Art!” God, your design is amazing and incredible.

John MacArthur in his commentary on Romans gave several illustrations of the power and energy that it takes to produce one inch of rain over a 1000 square mile area. The numbers were outrageous.

God’s divine power and his divine nature, including his wrath, are clearly seen. We call this general revelation.

Even though human beings still need the special revelation found in the Bible to understand God’s plan of salvation, to understand the cross of Christ, to understand his return, general revelation gives them to actively pursue him and thus they are without excuse.

Romans 1 tells us that every human being to ever walk on the earth has access to general revelation. They can understand his divine power, his divine nature, and in this passage that God’s wrath is being poured out. That raises the next logical question…

C. Humans must decide how to respond to general revelation

Praise the Lord that many of us here rejoice in the righteousness of God (v. 16) imputed to our account (explained later in Romans). Praise God for the opportunity to repent and trust Christ to be delivered from his wrath. Praise God that the truths of general revelation led us to hear the special revelation of Christ and his cross. As a result, we can give …

  • The appropriate response: (v. 21a)
    • Honor the Lord as God
    • Give thanks
  • The inevitable result of a wrong response: (v. 21b)
    • Become futile in their speculating
    • Their foolish heart was darkened

Psalm 139:14 - I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

For those in this room that have trusted in the D/B/R/R of Jesus, this is exactly how we should respond to the truth of God revealed to us. I hope you are doing that each and every day. I hope that you would want to honor and want to give thanks.

These are the people who are described in our text as those who suppressed the truth. In fact, I believe that the logic and the soberness of this passage hinges on this one word.

God revealed himself in creation. He revealed himself to every human being who has ever been on our planet. We, before we knew Christ, and for many in our world did not honor him or give thanks. We used our unrighteousness as a smokescreen to hide the revelation of God.

Friends, there is not one person in this room today who isn’t in at least one of the following situations.

That is one reason that our focus this year is so much on celebrating God’s truth. It is why we are encouraging every person at FE to beg God for the privilege of leading one person to Christ this year.

We cannot be ashamed of believing God’s truth…or silenced from proclaiming it…we have to celebrate it because of the horrifying result for those who choose to suppress it …

Because when your dad, your sister, your brother, your child, your uncle, your next-door neighbor, you co-worker suppresses the truth of God …

Their later condition is worse than the former. Suppressing the truth is not a neutral idea. After Ohio State lost in the semifinal in football, I honestly did not care who won the national championship. I was neutral about the game.

Friends, one of the challenges of this passage for those who do not know Christ is that every day you put off trusting Christ, is a day your condition worsens.

Earlier this week I had a fascinating call. A gentleman who came to our BCTC several years ago remembered that we offered counseling in our church and to our community free of charge. The Lord has been working on his heart and their church’s leadership team because they were wanting to have more evangelistic efforts in their community.

In fact, I received a note on Monday from one of our counselors who said that they had the opportunity to lead two people to Christ that day.

I am encouraging all of us at FE to develop a heart for evangelism. I am encouraging you to rejoice that you are no longer under that wrath if you know Christ, and to have compassion for those who are. Because here is what comes next…

II. God’s wrath allows unbelief to Run Its Course

What is also really interesting in this passage is that the current, ongoing wrath of God is not the wrath we find in Revelation 6-19. It is not the seals or bowls of judgment. It is not the full-scale retribution for sin. Instead, the text uses two really important ideas to explain the current, present day (watch it on TV, listen to it in school or at work, read about it on Nextdoor.com) wrath of God.

The words/phrases in the text that jump off the page are “exchanging” and “God gave them over”. Let’s consider both of them. In fact, if you are in the habit of writing in your Bible then you should circle suppress, exchange, and God gave them over. Those three words/phrases explain this passage.

A. It is possible to exchange the praise and glory of God for idolatry

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom … but fools despise it. That is what happens in v. 22. They think they are wise, but they make a series of really bad exchanges.

  • Bad Deal #1: Exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for the images of his creation. (vv. 23-24)
  • Bad Deal #2: Exchanging the truth of God for a lie (vv 25-26)
  • Bad Deal #3: Exchanging the acknowledgment of God for the rejection of God (vv. 26-28)

Our world worships creation. We ought to care about our environment and the animals in it because they proclaim the glory of God. It is not just that our world is a better place if a Leopard is in it.

Many in our world are more enamored with creation and what is in it than with God. That is idolatry. Our society does not typically worship at the idol of a cat, a dog, a cow, or a pig. But we are more than happy to create idols out of other things.

Hold up a $20 bill. This piece of special paper does not have intrinsic value … it has assigned value. Yet, the number of these that you have determine where you will live, what you drive, what you eat, where you go on vacation, what kind of medical care you receive, and possibly even how you will think about yourself.

For many, they would happily trade their worship of the creator for a few of these.

Or I heard about something that happened at the recent Golden Globe awards…

I want to speak wisely…but what this woman had to say about the privilege and appropriateness of abortion was godless and despicable

Think of how many more babies will be murdered in their mother’s womb because this actress exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an idol…

There are all kinds of lies in our society about God, about us, about what rights we have or do not have.

There are all kinds of truth claims offered up and those who suppress the truth would rather have the lie than the truth.

People would rather say that God is dead or does not exist than acknowledge his presence in their life.

Now … please listen to this because it is so important.

B. When one rejects God and his truth God gives them over to pursuing their passions and approving the passions of others (vv. 28-32)

This little phrase “God gave them over” is so important. That is the description of his wrath.

Until then, God tells us that he is patient not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

You see the version of God’s wrath today is that God gives people over to doing what they already want to do.

Have you ever wanted something or to do something and you would just do anything to get it? Sometimes God gives you exactly what you want to show you what a foolish request you have made. Second coming wrath is God’s direct judgment on sin. Today, God’s wrath comes in the form of letting your sin run its course.

That happens …

1. In man’s heart

Romans 1:24 - Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…

This is one of the ways in which the gospel is so powerful because when a person is willing to admit their sin and rebellion and inability to satisfy God’s demands on his own…then he is ready to celebrate the truth instead of suppress it…

Paul summarized the process to the Thessalonians when he said…

1 Thessalonians 1:8–10 - For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

and one of the great blessings of the gospel is that you can be changed at the level of the heart…so you learn to love God’s truth…and celebrate God’s truth…and evaluate and conform your desires to God’s truth…which then transform’s…

2. In man’s behavior

Romans 1:24 - Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

I would be less than a pastor if I did not point out what this passage clearly teaches about homosexuality…[our pastoral team met this week to ensure that what we were saying at West, at North, and here was the same]

Although I can’t give the subject full treatment…let me at least say this…God created sex…and within the boundaries of monogamous marriage…it is good, and holy, and right…however,

But please notice that the presence of the homosexual movement is just one indication of God’s wrath. We see in v. 29 that it involves greed (remember the $20), evil, envy, gossip, deceit pride, disobedient to parents, unloving, and unmerciful.

Praise God that we do not have to suppress the truth but can celebrate it instead.

That is why Scripture says, “Today is the day of salvation.”

Finally,

III. God’s current wrath poured out on those who suppress the truth serves as an indictment whereby the full sentence is the eternal wrath of God. (v. 32)

I have wanted to make a significant distinction between God’s eternal wrath coming at the return of our savior and the current version because I believe it helps explain how the passage relates to our lives. The wrath of God upon unrighteousness in Romans 1 is allowing more unrighteousness. It is not putting a stop to evil.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, verse 32 hints at something still to come.

Romans 1:32 - and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

A. Meaning of death

Death has three possible meanings in Scripture.

It’s certainly not physical death…because none of us would have survived…It’s not spiritual death – such persons are already separated from God….It is the only one remaining.

Today’s wrath of allowing more unrighteousness culminates in the second death at the return of Jesus.

B. The outrage associated with applauding those who continue to mock the upcoming sentence.

What was it that Tiffany Haddish shouted as Michelle Williams lauded the benefits of murdering her own child?...”Preach…preach”… Verse 32 explains how Michelle Williams and Tiffany Haddish can be under the wrath of God and still experience riches, fame, and influence in society. Unrighteousness leads to more unrighteousness.

So what do we do with all of this?...the take-aways are everywhere…

  1. If you haven’t already, run to the cross and embrace a Savior who will willing and able to bear the full and just penalty of God’s wrath for our sins.
  2. Celebrate the truth that God has revealed to us and zealously avoid suppressing it even when it is hard.

Paul could have started Romans 1:18 where v. 17 left off. Let’s celebrate the righteous of God that we enjoy. But he wanted us to reflect on our prior, unsaved condition. He wanted us to reflect on condition of the people around us.

  1. Praise God that while you might be disciplined as a father disciplines his children, God does not (hear this) God does not give you over.

One of the ways that I know I am not under the wrath of God is that I might choose to sin and I might choose to sin for a period of time. But I have guilt, I have grief, God grants repentance and change. I may sin, but God is not giving me over to carry out my desires to their logical conclusion.

4. Look for appropriate and timely occasions to speak honestly and directly with others about what rejecting the gospel truly entails

John 3:36 - He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

One of the many curious uses of this concept occurred during the ministry of John the Baptist…it’s actually recorded in multiple gospels, but Matthew tells about it in chapter 3…

It’s when the Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to be baptized by him…do you remember what John asked them…

Maybe, just maybe, God will allow us --- like the counselor last Monday – to lead someone to Christ this year and we can rejoice that God exchanged wrath for righteousness.


Dr. Rob Green

Roles

Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries - Faith Church

Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

MABC Department Chair, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Bio

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Dr. Rob Green joined the Faith Church staff in August, 2005. Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Pastor Green has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 9 books/booklets. Rob and his wife Stephanie have three children.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.