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Was the wrath of God satisfied when Jesus died
July 29, 2022
Wrestling and Prevailing with God
I have written on the atonement several times. If you have read any of those, you know that I do not believe that "on that cross, when Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied." So here's a little Bible study on the wrath of God.
The first four sections are verses and information. My comments are in the bottom section.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist warned his hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" (Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7).
I am not going to comment on this. It does not appear to help answer whether Jesus' death satisfied the wrath of God.
WHY DOES THE WRATH OF GOD COME UPON PEOPLE?
*John 3:36: Because they do not obey God. I think this could also be translated "the one that is not persuaded by him." As John says in his first letter, we make God a liar if we do not believe him (1 Jn. 5:10). *Romans 1:18: ungodliness and unrighteousness *Romans 2:5: hardness and impenitent heart *Ephesians 5:3-6: sexual immorality, uncleanness, greed, and "coarse and foolish talking and crude joking" (HCSB). Colossians 3:6: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed *1 Thessalonians 2:15-16: Jews who persecute Paul and forbid him from speaking to the Gentiles
HOW ARE WE RESCUED FROM WRATH?
*Romans 5:9: "... we shall be save from wrath through [Jesus] ... having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (NKJV) *Eph. 5:3-7: by not joining with the sons of disobedience in their sexual immorality, uncleanness, greed, and "coarse and foolish talking and crude joking." *1 Thessalonians 1:10: Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come. *1 Thessalonians 5:8-9: Be sober, put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of righteousness
WRATH IS STILL COMING
*Romans 5:9: "... having now been justified by his blood, we shall be save from wrath through [Jesus] ... having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." *1 Thessalonians 1:10: Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come Revelation 6:16-17: People shout to the mountains and rocks to deliver them from the wrath of the Lamb because "the great day of his wrath has come." (NKJV) *Revelation 11:18: "The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints." (NKJV) *Revelation 19:15: "Now out of [Jesus'] mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (NKJV)
There is a hymn that says, "And on that cross, when Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied." This cannot be true because as we have seen above, the wrath of God is still future.
Note: There is an interesting blog post about the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song's attempt to change the words from "the wrath of God was satisfied" to "the love of God was magnified" at https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/on-the-cross-when-jesus-died-was-the-wrath-of-god-satisfied/. The author, Ian Paul, says there, "God is never described as being angry; wrath is always a noun."
We should also notice above that although Jesus' death and blood reconciled us to God, it is his life that saves us from the wrath to come (Rom. 5:9-10). This should bring Galatians 2:20 to mind.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NKJV)
Again, as seen above, to be rescued from the wrath of God, we must be persuaded by Jesus, stay away from sexual immorality, uncleanness, and greed, be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and the helmet of righteousness. The route to taking off the "old man" that does all these things is to clothe yourself with Jesus Christ and live by faith in him (Eph. 4:22-24).
Because I know this is contrary to what most evangelicals believe, let me include this quote from Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna throughout most of the first half of the second century, and said to have been appointed to that position by apostles. I have updated the English, but not changed the content. You can find this epistle with a search online.
"In [Jesus], though you do not see him now, you believe, and believing, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Many desire to enter this joy, knowing that 'by grace ye are saved, not of works,' but by the will of God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, girding up your loins, serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. ... He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. ... But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved, keeping ourselves from all unrighteousness, greed, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing." (Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians, chs. 1-2)
The issue, my friends, is not that you might "lose your salvation," but that you might never get the salvation you still need: salvation from wrath. That salvation will never come unless you put on the Lord Jesus Christ and take off "anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth" (Col. 3:8).
The clearest passage that confirms this is Ephesians 5:3-7, but Romans 2:6-7 with Galatians 6:7-9 is clear as well.
If the last few paragraphs took your breath away, my blog post at https://ancient-faith.com/2022/07/28/1-peter-117-conduct- yourself-throughout-the-time-of-your-sojourning-in-fear-of-whom-of-what/ may help you get it back. You also need to know for certain that God is merciful, does not remember the sins for which we have repented, and has never required sinless perfection from humans. If you search "judgment" in the search box at the link to the blog I just gave you, you will find plenty of articles teaching it.
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