Jesus Creed

Paul connects God to wrath, and he does so quite demonstrably in Romans 12:19:

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ?Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.? 20 No, ?if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.? 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1. The emphasis of this text is the need for Christians to absorb faults and to respond with mercy and kindness and grace. The emphasis is positive virtues; the emphasis is to avoid reactiveness and vengeance.
2. The emphasis, in a word, is Shalom.
3. They are to leave judgment with God and, in that context, Paul says God is a “God of wrath” who will exact “vengeance” at the right time.
4. The job of Christians is not be full of revenge but to be full of mercy and peace; to overcome evil with God and not to let the vicious cycle of violence overcome them. God is the one who exacts judgment.
5. Because of our text tomorrow, I would say this “wrath” is “historical wrath.”

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