Romans 1:18 “The Good News of God’s Wrath”

In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins his passionate proclamation of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ with an explanation of God’s wrath.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”  (Romans 1:18)  It is somewhat counter-intuitive.  God’s good news begins with God’s wrath!  It may sound strange, but it is true.  And, it is absolutely necessary to understand the totality of God’s wonderful plan of salvation.  In order for us to understand what it means to be saved, we must understand what we are being saved from.  The wrath of God is a scary thing, but it is much different from the wrath of man.  When we think of wrath, we think of an out-of-control temper tantrum.  We think of a spontaneous outburst of anger.  With God, it is different.  “The wrath of God is revealed.”  It is the present tense.  The wrath of God is being continuously revealed.  It is going on now.  And, it is a slow burn.  Sometimes, it would be nice if God’s wrath was instantaneous.  If someone committed a heinous crime, God could send a lightning bolt from heaven to zap the evil perpetrator.  A well-timed meteorite aimed at an atheistic blasphemer would be somewhat satisfying to my humanly flawed sense of justice.  But, that is not how God operates.  His wrath is real, but it is more subtle than that.  It is long-term.  It is designed not just for a lifetime, but for all eternity.  In his poem, “Retribution,” Longfellow captured the sentiment perfectly.  “Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all.”  We were all born sinners.  We have all experienced the well-deserved grinding of God’s wrath.  We all need the good news of the gospel!