Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Romans 1:18

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

In spite of all the biblical revelation and empirical evidence to the contrary, many people in our culture today are convinced that man is born basically good. As a result of this thinking many churches and preachers present the gospel as a mere call for ‘basically good sinners’ to accept the unconditional love that Jesus Christ already has for them. God’s wrath against human sin is not considered significant and repentance marginalized. There are even some that think that repentance should not even be included or mentioned in a gospel presentation. After all, why should a person that is ‘basically good’ need to repent to God who, they say, unconditionally loves all of humanity. (God’s love for his redeemed is unconditional, but for unbelievers to be told this love includes them without mentioning sin and wrath is a huge disservice to their eternal security.) Not only is repentance unnecessary in the thinking of some, but a Christian can continue to live ungodly and unrighteous lives for the rest of their years safe and secure in a salvation based on a momentary decision of belief. This view has a man made decision of belief, without any sincerity or repentance, binding God to responding with a get out of hell free card.

Paul in verse 18 answers this false teaching loud and clear. They are WRONG and are suppressing the truth of the extent of their depravity and ungodliness. The truth is that the extent of the depravity of ALL mankind is extremely severe and Paul begins to expound on that truth in this verse. Because of this ungodliness, the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven. God, who is holy and just, is extremely angry with the sin of humanity and his wrath is a righteous anger that his justice demands must be satisfied. On the cross of Calvary Jesus received the full brunt of God’s wrath and anger. This was an amazing display of God’s love and also His wrath and righteous anger for human sin. Sinners should understand that the cross indicates that human sin is a very serious problem and that a “so-called” salvation that does not result in a gratitude that addresses unrighteousness and ungodliness is pure folly. Romans 8 reveals that nature has also been subjected to futility and decay and the photo above confirms that even the atmosphere is capable of producing violent outbursts. There was no lightning in the Garden of Eden and there will be no lightning in the new earth and new heavens.

While his wrath is great, praise God that he provided a covering, of the righteousness of Christ, for all that flee to the cross of Calvary.

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