Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
7 November 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
There is a Tear Fund COP 26 Service @ St. Michael’s Church 7pm today, 07 November 2021 – All welcome!
Mikhaila Peterson, the 29 year-old daughter of controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson, testified recently she has found God and is praying and reading her Bible on a daily basis. It all came to a head when she met a Christian whom she shared with about 4 problem areas in her life. The Christian told her she needed God and to seriously pray to Him, which she did. The next day the 4 areas were resolved and she was filled with a deep peace.
See Premier magazine for more
Reading: Romans 1:18-32
The wrath of God is being revealed.Romans 1:18
There are two revelations referred to in Romans chapter 1, that of the righteousness of God (Rom 1:17), and that of the wrath of God (Rom 1:18). It’s important in understanding ‘the wrath of God’ that we don’t impose on it our thinking about human wrath and anger. God is not an angry God, for God is love, but His wrath is a response to human evil, to human contempt towards Him and to the rejection of His love.
Unlike ourselves, God doesn’t cease to be loving when revealing His wrath: God is love, period, and when He reveals His wrath, it is His response to human evil. In this passage rather than seeing an unrighteous wrath, that is selfish, irrational, uncontrollable, revengeful, we see God’s righteous wrath, e.g. giving people over to their own sinful desires. Three times we read that humanity “exchanged” and three times we read of God’s response “Therefore, God gave them over”:
They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images …Rom 1:23
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity …Rom 1:24
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie …”; Rom 1:26: “Because of this God gave them over to shameful lusts.Rom 1:25
Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones …Rom 1:26
so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.Rom 1:28
“That which is a cause of wrath becomes its effect … Here cause and effect are one and the same.”
People are knowingly and deliberately suppressing the truth by their wickedness and as such they are without excuse because God has made things plain to them:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and unrighteousness of people, who suppress the truth by their unrightousness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.Romans 1:18-20
As we shall see, God’s love and righteousness go hand in hand, and His righteous judgment is synonymous with His wrath in e.g.
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed.Rom. 2:5
Far better to learn from God’s righteous wrath now than on the Day of Judgment!
Questions for Discussion
- Do you find the wrath of God an embarrassing subject?
- Do you find the wrath of God something you delight in – ‘Let them have it!’ so to speak?
- How do we understand the wrath of God as God giving people over to their sinful ways?
- In what way might the wrath of God be redemptive?
Quote of the week
“The ‘revelation of wrath’ relentlessly exposes the awful truth that the human race constantly attempts to suppress … the true nature of its relationships” (R. Jewett).
Verse of week
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.Habakkuk 3:2
Our gracious, loving heavenly Father, Your ways are past finding out and Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours. Again, we ask for understanding of that which You have revealed in Scripture. Help us not to fear anyone who strongly hates and disagrees with Your Word, but let us lovingly stand for and share Your truth as revealed in Your Son and by Your Spirit, in Jesus Christ, Amen!