The Wrath of God
So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
We are spending some time here in the book of Romans. The reason for that is that this is the foundation of this letter the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now some may think surely the gospel is for the lost so why would you preach the gospel week after week to the Church? I’d like to point out that Paul says here “I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are in Rome also” So these who are in Rome are those who Paul referred to in vs 6 and 7 when he said “Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints.” So Paul is ready, longing that he might go and preach the gospel to these saints who are the called of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is so much more than a message for the lost. It’s not only the message the brings us to conversion but it brings us to sanctification, a victorious Christian life, freedom from the bondage of sin it bring us to absolute and total surrender to God which is the only means of true happiness and peace. The Gospel is what I preach week in and week out in this pulpit and will continue as long as God permits or until we are all brought into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The gospel is the power of God to not only convert us but to complete the work which He has begun in us. So we will spend so time here in the gospel, we will camp out here, we will live here and allow the Spirit to sanctify us here.
Paul has spoken quite a bit so far about the gospel. He Is ready to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. He is not ashamed of at all, because it is power of God to save every one that believes. It is God’s righteousness revealed through faith. But none of that matters to someone If they don’t need to be saved. The knight in shining armour can’t rescue the damsel if she is not in distress. So there is no point in taking about salvation until we have something to be saved from and Paul in vs 18 now turns to what it is we are to be saved from. So in vs 17 he tells us that the righteousness of God is revealed but why do we need the righteousness of God. and Paul’s answer to that in vs 18 is because.
God’s Wrath Revealed
God’s Wrath Revealed
God’s wrath is not something we like to talk about much, It’s got to be our least favourite characteristic of God. We like to talk of God’s love because after all God is love according to John. And somehow we think that God’s love and His wrath contradict each other. I believe that partly the problem lies in our understanding of these emotions in ourselves. Our wrath is typically a sinful thing. It usually comes from jealousy, pride, fear, self-righteousness and judgement, revenge just to name a few. Our wrath is usually manifested in a uncontrolled rage and thoughtless and careless actions. This kind of wrath is the kind of wrath that James spoke of when he said that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
However, God’s wrath is not like our wrath, it is not evil. And not only does it not contradict His love it is an expression of it.
God is good and just and righteous this is His glory and these are the things about God that make Him utterly satisfying able to provide us with everlasting peace and joy. Now because God is holy and righteous and just then He must punish sin. If He didn’t punish sin then He wouldn’t be just righteous and holy and we would have no everlasting peace, no joy, no satisfaction. Now I’m not suggesting that God maintains His glory solely for our benefit, I’m only saying that His glory is indeed beneficial for us and that is why we should worship and glorify Him because that is our greatest joy and our supreme purpose.
God’s wrath is something to fear
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
This wrath of God is revealed against all...
Ungodliness and Unrighteousness
Ungodliness and Unrighteousness
Ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. So then we could logically deduce that those who do not have the wrath of God revealed against them would be those who are godly or like God and righteous. So then that is the benchmark for those who wish to avoid the wrath of God you must simply be like God righteous, holy, just, perfect. But then there is Rom 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
to really understand this verse we have to go right back to the beginning. God created man in his own image male and female created he them. So we were in fact originally created to be like God, godly. We were righteous and holy and just. But Adam made a exchange with Satan. He traded God’s truth for Satan’s lie and he did it to try to become like God but God had already made him in his own image. The result was, as we know, is that he became ungodly and all his offspring were in Adam’s image which fall short of God’s image. The word “sin’ is an archery term and is means to miss the bullseye to miss the mark. So in Rom 3:23 godliness is the mark and all us sons and daughters of Adam and Eve miss the mark, we fall short of the mark. Which puts us right back at Rom 1:18 Because we fall short of God’s image we are ungodly and unrighteous and so God’s wrath is revealed against us.
Then we come to this last little phrase who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Or
Those Who Suppress the Truth
Those Who Suppress the Truth
We had the truth. Specifically as we see in vs 21 that truth is the knowledge of God. We knew God but suppressed the truth about God and we did not glorify Him as God.
The truth of God cries out.
Wisdom crieth without; She uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: In the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, And would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, And your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; When distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; They shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: They despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, And be filled with their own devices.
So now we go back to verses 16 and 17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Don’t suppress the truth of God this morning. God is righteous and holy and just and we fall short of his glory. That is it the truth. But the good news is that is you will confess with you mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in you heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved.