In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In the last few weeks we’ve been considering the consequences of our sin. In previous weeks we saw that when we sin, we lose communion with God, God is displeased and God curses us. This week I want to show you that God is wrathful toward us.
We all know what it is to have someone be angry or wrathful toward us. But does God get angry? Isn’t God a God of love and goodness and kindness and gentleness and mercy and grace? Surely he doesn’t show wrath towards his creation.
The Bible plainly states that although God is all those things I just listed, he also is a God of truth and holiness and justice and purity. And just like we get angry when someone seriously breaks a rule that harms us, so God’s anger is aroused when someone breaks his laws by sinning. For example, we read about God’s anger to the Israelites in Psalm 78: ‘But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes. Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow. They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. When God heard them, he was very angry; he rejected Israel completely’ (Psalm 78:56-59). The apostle Paul also says ‘No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient’ (Ephesians 5:5-6).
God’s wrath is indeed a truth of Scripture, which is incredible to behold when we understand another Scriptural truth – we are all sinners and therefore deserve God’s wrath. Paul even says about Christians: ‘As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath’ (Ephesians 2:1-3). But thankfully God has provided a way to escape his wrath. Paul continues: ‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved’ (Ephesians 2:4-5). If you trust in Jesus, you are saved from God’s wrath.
Have you believed in Jesus’ death for you or are you still arousing God’s wrath?