THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY (WRATH AND LOVE)
THINKING RIGHT THOUGHTS ABOUT GOD (PART VI)
And so now we come back to the beginning of our passage. What does it say God is revealing from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth? “His wrath”. That is, His just anger is being stored up more and more, and one day it will explode. The world (as we know it) will be over and all those who have suppressed the truth about Him, who then are thankless, who then exchange Him, who then live debauched lives will face an eternal hell in torment.
Who can escape His judgment? Who has possibly always thought rightly about God or who hasn’t been given over to sinful practices, thoughts and attitudes. There isn’t anyone reading this today that has thought entirely right about God. There isn’t anyone reading this today that has given Him the honor He’s due! There isn’t anyone reading this today who hasn’t exchanged His glory for something far less! All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
That is, except One, the One, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man! Never once did He suppress the truth in unrighteousness, but as the very incarnation of the Word of God, He exposed the truth of God fully for everyone to “behold the glory of the One and only.” In everything, He gave perfect honor and glory to His Father. Therefore, right before the cross, He could triumphantly say,
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
Never sinning, when tempted by Satan to exchange the glory of the immortal God for bread, or for power, or for His own glory, He refused saying, “It is written, ““Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” In fact, though we have each one of us exchanged the glory of the immortal God for false gods, Jesus Christ makes an exchange of an entirely different sort. He will go to the cross and there on that cross, the Bible says He will exchange with us His righteousness for our sin. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who knew no sin, to be sin for us that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” On that cross, Jesus Christ takes “the wrath being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men”.
Luther stated it as vividly as possible:
“All the prophets did foresee in Spirit that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer, etc., that ever was or could be in all the world. For he, being made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world and is not now an innocent person and without sins…but a sinner.”
You think he’s exaggerating? What does 2 Corinthians 5:21 say? Luther goes on:
“Our most merciful Father…sent his only Son into the world and laid upon him…the sins of all men saying: You be Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blasphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged upon the cross; and briefly you be the person which has committed the sins of all men; see therefore that you pay and satisfy for them. Here now comes the law and says: I find him a sinner…therefore let him die upon the cross. And so he sets upon him and kills him. By this means the whole world is purged and cleansed from all sins.”
Through faith in Christ, we are made to look as though all our thinking, all our words, all our deeds are right in line with a perfect conception of God. Through Christ, it is as if we have worshiped Him from the beginning in spirit and truth.
The answer then to the question, How do we who have failed so miserably in our thinking about God avoid His wrath? Flee to Jesus, the One who’s already taken Hell in our place.
Soli Deo Gloria,