How God’s Wrath Equals and Reveals God’s Worth

Jonathan Leeman: The “penal” in the doctrine of penal substitution, being tied to God’s wrath, has long been a source of controversy inside the church and out. It’s criticized as overly “legal” or “forensic.” People want to look to the cross and talk about Christ’s love, not his enduring the divine penalty. But it’s worth stopping for a moment and meditating on what is behind a penalty. What is behind wrath? The answer is God’s worthiness or God’s worth. God’s wrath is equal to God’s worth, and that the “penal” in penal substitution therefore reveals this very worth. Wrath and worth are perfectly matched together. The former takes the measure of the latter and expresses itself accordingly. One is as precious as the other. So drop the “penal” from penal substitution and you diminish God dramatically. Despise his wrath and you despise his worth. To see this, it’s worth meditating for a moment on what the purpose of law is. The Reformers talked about the

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The Wrath of God and the Heart of the Atonement

Denny Burk: “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.” –Isaiah 53:10 “God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation in His blood through faith, in order to demonstrate His righteousness.” –Romans 3:25 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’” –Galatians 3:13 “It is those who cannot come to terms with any concept of the wrath of God who repudiate any concept of propitiation… It is God himself who in holy wrath needs to be propitiated, God himself who in holy love undertook to do the propitiating and God himself who in the person of his Son died for the propitiation of our sins. Thus God

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How Tim Keller Made Peace with the Wrath of God

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). In a sermon titled “The Dark Garden,” Tim Keller explains how he came to understand that a god without wrath and Hell is not as loving as the God we find in the Bible: Because [a cup of poison] was the method of execution for many people,…the Hebrew prophets came to use the cup as a metaphor for the wrath of God on human evil…. For example…Isaiah 54: “You will drink the cup of His fury and stagger.” So the reason why [Christian martyrs] who died for what they believed in didn’t die the way Jesus is dying—didn’t fall to the ground, didn’t find this horror coming down—was that they didn’t face the cup. They didn’t face the justice of God against all human wickedness and evil, which was just about to come down on [Jesus]…. It

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What Did Jesus Come to Save Us From?

John Piper: Let’s do this inductively. I ask. You answer. John 3:17, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Why did God send his Son? _______________ John 3:36, “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.” Does not obeying the Son (e. g., when he commands us to trust him) bring us under God’s wrath or leave us under his wrath? _______________ So what did God send his Son to save us from? _______________ Is this a felt need among the unbelievers you know? _______________ What are the implications for the content of preaching and                             evangelism? ____________

God’s wrath and mercy belong together

“The cross is the perfect statement both of God’s wrath against sin and of the depth of his love and mercy in the recovery of the damaged creation and its damagers.  God’s mercy, patience, and love must be fully preached in the church.  But they are not credible unless they are presented in tension with God’s infinite power, complete and sovereign control of the universe, holiness, and righteousness.  And where God’s righteousness is clearly presented, compassionate warnings of his holy anger against sin must be given, and warnings also of the certainty of divine judgment in endless alienation from God which will be unimaginably worse than the literal descriptions of hell.  It is no wonder that the world and the church are not awakened when our leadership is either singing a lullaby concerning these matters or presenting them in a caricature which is so grotesque that it is unbelievable. The tension between God’s holy righteousness and his compassionate mercy cannot be

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God’s Love and God’s Wrath

My thanks to Tony Reinke for posting this: Dr. Don Carson writes the following in his outstanding article “God’s Love and God’s Wrath” published in Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 156 (1999), pages 388–390: The Bible speaks of the wrath of God in high-intensity language. “The Lord Almighty is mustering an army for war. … Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. … See, the day of the Lord is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it” (Isa. 13:4, 6, 9). Even allowing for the unusual nature of language in the apocalyptic genre, Revelation 14 includes some of the most violent expressions of God’s wrath found in all literature. … How, then, do God’s love and His wrath relate to each other? One evangelical cliché has it that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. There is a small element of truth

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