Romans 1:16-18

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in it by faith to faith according as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness …”

It has become popular to ignore or even deny God’s wrath. But the apostle Paul, whose ministry began with an encounter with the risen Christ, proclaims God’s wrath against sin as the basis for man’s need for salvation. A popular teacher’s speaking tour was entitled, “The Gods Are Not Angry”. He claimed that God is not angry with men, and that Christ died to show that God wants men to know that. Salvation, rather than being from condemnation and punishment for sin, is salvation from our self-destructive behaviour and attitudes, and from misplaced guilt.

But why would it cost Jesus His life to achieve a purpose of retraining human behaviour to greater self-acceptance and moral inclination. Would His ministry not have been more successful – and better received – if he had lived to old age teaching men now to be good? He could have trained His 12, then His 72, then His 120 and so on, how to go out and conduct seminars on “brotherly love,” “peace-making,” “charitable giving,” and “comforting the hurting”. Instead, He went to the cross at 33, in the prime of His life, and His apostles spent the next four or five decades proclaiming His death for men’s sins and salvation from God’s judgment of that sin to those with faith in His blood.

No, Paul declares with confidence that God’s wrath is shown from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. God is angry with sin, and has judged sinful men guilty.

But Paul also declares the remedy: the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the salvation from God’s wrath.