This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Romans series with a message about God’s wrath toward sin and His desire for us to repent and choose Him. We can only know the goodness and power of the Gospel when we understand the deep depravity of mankind. This is good news! Jesus died that we could be righteous, and we want to be a people who oppose our flesh and choose life with God!

Exploring the Wrath of God

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

Romans 2:5 (ESV)
5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

• Definition ~ God’s firm, settled, perfect hostility against all evil.

Romans 1:17–18 (ESV)
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

The Various Kinds of the Wrath of God
1) Eternal Wrath (hell).
2) Cataclysmic Wrath (flood).
3) Judicial Wrath (cause & effect).
4) Permissible Wrath (abandoning sinners to pursue sin and consequences).
5) Final Wrath (Day of the Lord).

Proverbs 1:23, 29-31 (ESV)
23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, 31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.

God’s wrath is provoked. God’s love is not provoked. He does not love us because he sees some wisdom, beauty, or goodness in us. He loves you because he loves you, and you can never get beyond that (Deuteronomy 7:7). But God’s wrath is different, his holy response to the intrusion of evil into his world.

“Wrath, unlike love, is not one of the intrinsic perfections of God. Rather, it is a function of God’s holiness against sin. Where there is no sin, there is no wrath-but there will always be love in God.”

• Either you get wrath, or Jesus gets wrath for you.

Romans 1:19 (ESV)
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

• General Revelation ~ Anybody, at any time, and anywhere can know who God is.

“The undevout astronomer is mad.” Johannes Kepler

Psalm 19:1–3 (ESV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.

General Revelation
• External Creation (Rom. 1:19-20) – beauty, power, intelligence, detail.
• Internal Conscience (Rom. 2:14-15) – good, wise, moral.

“God has inlaid the evidence of the fundamental truth in the very nature of man so that no where is he without a witness.” Augustus Strong

General and Specific Revelation

Romans 1:20-21 (ESV)
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

The Three Components of Salvation…

  1. Knowledge (facts)
  2. Agreement (assent)
  3. Commitment (depend)

• General Revelation ~ Nature shows us a God of might, intelligence, and intricate detail.
• Specific Revelation ~ We learn about God’s love and forgiveness and promises of eternal life through relationship with Jesus.

The Spiral

Romans 1:22-23 (ESV)
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Romans 1:24 (ESV)
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Acts 7:42 (ESV)
42 But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven…

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'” C.S. Lewis

Romans 1:25 (ESV)
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

• People tend to believe lies that reinforce their own selfish beliefs.

Romans 1:26–27 (ESV)
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Leviticus 18:22 (ESV)
22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

John 8:10–11 (ESV)
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

What Are Forbidden Sexual Acts in the Bible?

  1. Rape (Gen. 34:1-31; Jdg. 19:1-30, 2 Sam. 13:11-14).
  2. Incest (Lev. 18, 20, 27).
  3. Homosexuality (Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9).
  4. Beastiality (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16; Deut. 27:21).
  5. Prostitution (Lev 19:29; 21:9; 1 Cor. 6:16).
  6. Fornication (Gen. 38:24; cf. Lev. 21:9; Deut. 22:21; 1 Cor. 6:18, 7:2; Heb. 13:4).
  7. Adultery (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18; Prov. 6:32; Matt. 5:27-32, 15:19; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
  8. Polygamy (Gen. 2:1-8 cf. Matt. 19:4-6; Gen. 4:19-24; 1 Kings 11:-9; 1 Tim. 3:2,12).
  9. Sexual Immorality [“porneia”] (Matt. 19:9; 1 Cor. 6:13, 6:18; Eph. 5:3; 1 Thess. 4:3).
  10. Pagan sexual activity (Ex. 32, Is. 57:7-8, Hosea 4:12-14, Eph. 5:5, Col. 3:5).

Romans 1:28–32 (ESV)
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

The Slide
Step 1 – Reject God…
Step 2 – Reject authority figures…
Step 3 – Self-proclaimed wisdom and liberation…
Step 4 – Dismantle external morality and authority…
Step 5 – Align with others in rebellion…
Step 6 – Seek approval and endorsement of lifestyle from others…

John 3:36 (ESV)
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Look through the “Exploring the Wrath of God” section again. Was there anything you learned about God’s wrath that is different from what you previously thought? For example, did you think of God’s wrath as slow and controlled? And how does that change your view of God?
  2. Do you have a testimony of general revelation (seeing God’s might, intelligence, and intricate detail thought nature) before you had specific revelation (learning about God’s love and forgiveness and promises of eternal life through relationship with Jesus)? Share with your group.
  3. God allows us to choose Him, but often we choose our idols. Are there ways you choose an idol rather than God?

Application Questions:

  1. This week, sit with the Lord and ask Him to show you if there is any self-deception in your thinking. Pastor Chris said self-deception is thinking you are right and in God’s will, even though it does not align with Scripture. Spend time repenting and re-aligning with the Word.

Join us for an in-person service at City Central Church in Tacoma, WA
Sundays at 9am + 11am