God’s Righteous Wrath Explained: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 21st, 2009

Romans 1:18–32

God is angry with sin.
What were the sins of the gentiles.

 1:18.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
 1:19.  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
 1:20.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

 1:21.  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
 1:22.  Professing to be wise, they became fools,
 1:23.  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.
 1:24.  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
 1:25.  who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
 1:26.  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
 1:27.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
 1:28.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
 1:29.  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
 1:30.  backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
 1:31.  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
 1:32.  who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.


God is mad. What makes him so mad? Well, in simple words, when people act in ways that are ungodly and hide the truth.

Hey, what happened to all this forgiveness and Jesus taking away all our sin stuff? Truth? is there a real truth? Truth is just relative, right? God gave everybody the way to understand truth and what is right. I don't have to tell you that certain things that happen to you make you happy, and others make you upset. I don't have to tell you that certain acts done to you are fair or unfair. That is just built in. Hardwired into our genes, so to speak. A mark of the fingerprints of our creator, to put it another way.

Problems set in when we stop looking at the big picture and take the focus from God, the real center attraction, and place it on ourselves. It would be like deciding that the earth really doesn't revolve around the sun afterall. Hey, most of the population has never been off this planet, how do we really know that the things astronomers tell us are true? The sun and moon rise and set around the earth. At least thats the way it appears, so it must be true... right?

Let's get a little more selfish. As I walk down the street, the earth passes beneath my feet, as opposed to me moving across it. At least that is the illusion I get. As I approach a door, somebody throws it out and nearly knocks me down. They did that on purpose. They waited until I was right there and they're out to get me. No matter that there is no window in the door and they had no way of knowing what, if anything might be on the other side. Hmm... So now the world no longer revolves around the sun, but the univers converges on my own little space. How selfish is that? What a total distortion of the real, absolute truth. Yet we all do it to some degree. Admit it.

To be honest with ourselves, we have the ability to recognize this real truth, and the right things that God would like us to be doing. To ignore that fact is to be like the people in this passage who make themselves wise. They try to reinvent God. It's talking about idols, but any reinvention of God applies to trading the incorruptable real God, for any, lesser convenient idea that suits our whims at the moment.

OK, we don't have idols anymore, in the sense of the Biblical times. We still have objects that we invest large amounts of time in. We can spend extra time working to escape from our daily grief or personal sadness. Keeping busy keeps our mind too busy to think about those problems at home, or elsewhere in our lives. Over indulging in a hobby, boat, car, computer, or some other object distracts from problems that need our attention. Trying to escape in substances like drugs or alcohol go beyond fun or leisure and tear lives apart. What do you invest your time to seek relief from the daily unpleasantness? Bingo! There's your idol. That's your god that you worship. Is it something that is not the God?

God is mad about it. But do you know what? He lets us keep doing what we please. Besides being morrally wrong, there are certain physical consequences. Continue in a bad habit long enough and the body pays a price. Disease can be passed along, especially certain sexually transmitted ones. Abuse the body with foreign chemicals like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and eventually, important organs start to break down. Run hard enough and long enough and your body will simply shut down in exhaustion. I think you probably get the idea. God lets us do anything we like, but to keep on his good side, we need to stop and realize what we are doing. We need to ask, "Is what I am doing giving glory to God?" If it is, keep on keeping on. Be real. Don't try to rationalize your excuses. You're not only lying to yourself, but to God. He knows and so do you.

OK, you still don't get it? Paul goes on to give a laundry list of bad behaviors including sexual ones, but many others. I'm sure you can find one that fits you. I know my toes have been stepped on by this list.

Just because Jesus died to pay for our sins, is no reason to continue in them. It is our faith and right lifestyle that makes us a child of God, not a legal check list of what we can get away with. None of us is perfect. Our sins will continue until the day we die, but set your mind on things of God's nature. Dwell on the ways we can use our natural environment for his purpose, not to abuse for ourselves.

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