Imagine the godliness person you can think of. You would probably describe them as loving, or kind, or patient. You probably wouldn’t describe them as wrathful or angry. Yet, if you really spent a lot of time with them you’d probably see them get angry at some point, especially at injustice.
So it is with God. Love, mercy, grace, kindness, patience and all the wonderful expressions of His goodness is His fundamental disposition. Yet He does get angry when there is an unrepentant love for sin in rebellion against the truth, or worship of false gods, etc. To imply that God is half loving and half wrathful as some do is very misleading.
It is very important to understand that reconciliation and forgiveness throughout scripture is never the result of God satisfying his wrath. Reconciliation and forgiveness is the result of God’s mercy and when God demonstrates his mercy He turns away from his wrath. Psalms 85:1-4 says the following:
Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. THOU HAST TAKEN AWAY ALL THY WRATH: Thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
One of the many problems with the substitutional-appeasement view of the cross is that it is sets forth a very un-Bibilical view of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is a Bible truth and one that we should take very seriously but one we must also understand correctly.
The Bible reveals that there are specific things which cause the wrath of God to come and the Bible reveals that there are specific things which cause the wrath of God to be turned away.
Those things which cause the wrath of God to come can be attributed to the actions of those who opposed Christ and put him to death. Yet those things which turn away the wrath of God can be seen in the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the scriptures, the wrath of God comes because of such things as unbelief, rebellion, loving sin, rejecting the truth, worshipping false gods, and forgetting God. On the other hand, the wrath of God is turned away by things such as obedience, intercession, atonement, zeal for righteousness, the fear of the Lord, and repentance.
BIBLICAL REASONS THE WRATH OF GOD COMES
- UNBELIEF (John 3:36; Hebrews 3:7-19; Deuteronomy 9-11; Psalm 78:17-33).
- REBELLION (Hebrews 3:7-19; Romans 1:18-32; 2:5,8; Leviticus 10; Numbers 11:32-34; Deuteronomy 9-11; Psalm 78:17-33; Joshua 22:20; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; 1 Samuel 28:18; Kings 22:13-17).
- LOVING SIN (John 3:17-21; Romans 1:18-32; 2 Peter 2:15; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6).
- REJECTING THE TRUTH (Romans 1:18-32; 2:5, 8; Deuteronomy 10; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33).
- WORSHIPPING FALSE GODS (Romans 1:18-32; Deuteronomy 29; Numbers 11:32-34; Psalm 78:17-33; Kings 22:13-17; Kings 23:1-27).
- FORGETTING GOD (Deuteronomy 6:10-15; 8:10-20; Romans 1:18-32).
BIBLICAL REASONS THE WRATH OF GOD IS TURNED AWAY
- OBEDIENCE (Deuteronomy 10-11).
- INTERCESSION (Isaiah 53, Exodus 32:7-14, Numbers 21:5-9; John 3:14-17; Deuteronomy 9).
- ATONEMENT (Romans 3:25; 5:6-11; Numbers 16:46; Numbers 18:1-5; Numbers 25:11).
- ZEAL FOR GOD (Numbers 25).
- THE FEAR OF THE LORD (Jeremiah 32:40).
- REPENTANCE (Acts 13:39-41; Kings 22:18-20; Kings 23:1-27).
THE LANGUAGE OF SCRIPTURE
Simply, there is no – out in the open – language in the New Testament that clearly tells us that God poured out His wrath on Jesus.
There is no place in the New Testament where any of the writers explicitly says: “God poured out His wrath on Jesus,” or “God satisfied His anger when Jesus died on the cross.” It simply isn’t there. Yet, there is an abundance of scripture in the New Testament which reveals – out in the open – that God’s disposition in giving His Son was love, mercy, grace, and kindness.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another ( 1 John 4:9-11, see also verses 12-21).
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16).
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement (Romans 5:6-11).
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:4-8).
Listed below are many verses which tell us – out in the open – that Jesus’ death was the result of God’s love, mercy and grace.
John 4:9-11, 1 John 3:16, John 3:14-17, Romans 5:6-11, Romans 8:32-39, 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Ephesians 1:3-9, Ephesians 2:1-8, Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2, Ephesians 5:25, 1 Timothy 1:9-16, Titus 3:4-7, Revelation 1:5, Matthew 9:13, Matthew 12:7, Luke 1:50; 54, Luke 1:67-80, Romans 11:25-36, Romans 15:1-12, Hebrews 2:9,17, Hebrews 8:12, 1 Peter 1:2-3, 8-13, 1 Peter 2:3-10, Acts 15:11, Acts 20:24, Acts 20:32, Romans 3:21-26, Romans 4:3-5, Romans 4:16, Romans 5:1-2, Romans 5:15-21, Romans 6:1-23, Galatians 1:6-9.