Jesus Creed

In the first five chps of Romans the term “wrath” appears; we are in chp 3 today:

1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written, ?So that you may be justified in your words, and prevail in your judging.? 5 But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my falsehood God?s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), ?Let us do evil so that good may come?? Their condemnation is deserved!

Wrath here is connected (1) to God and (2) to judgment.
A big issue in this text is that God’s glory will win out; that human faithlessness establishes the truthfulness of God’s righteousness; that God’s wrath establishes God’s justice.
There is a kind of objectivity about Paul here: whether he does what is right or not doesn’t matter; God’s own righteousness, justice, holiness, and love are established either way. Here is the beginning of an idea that the Puritans often mentioned: that one could delight in the God of glory and holiness and justice and righteousness and love whether or not one was on the right side of God’s judgment.
Since judgment is a theme here, I would say this text could be either historical or eternal wrath — both variants on God’s justice and God’s act of judgment to establish justice.

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