Views on God’s Wrath in Romans 1

This week I’m preaching on Romans 1:18-32 – probably one of the most culturally offensive passages of scripture – but also one of the most important for it shows us the reality of God’s wrath against sinful humanity.

One of the more “offensive” parts is that God is a God of wrath. Culture hates this. The general public refuses to see any anger in God and opts instead for a pale-version of love. A love that has no regard for right or wrong or justice. But God’s wrath is certainly in the Bible and its super clear in Romans 1:18. So what is God’s wrath in this verse? Here are a few options:

  • It is God’s handing of people over to the natural outworking of their sinful behavior in the present time. – Moo
  • It is what is revealed in the preaching of the gospel, for the preaching of the cross is what makes know the seriousness of sin that calls for God’s wrath and the grace of God in producing salvation. – Barth
  • It is the future pouring out of God’s wrath.
  • It is both the present outworking and future judgment. – Dunn

Its this last option which the most attractive for it captures the overarching narrative of scripture well and it also takes account of what is presently being revealed (1:18) and the notion that wrath is being stored up for a future day (2:5).


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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