Historic Christianity believes that Jesus satisfied God’s wrath against sinners on the cross. We find in Scripture (Rom. 3:21–25; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10) that Jesus offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice, which removed our guilt and turned God’s wrath away from us. As a result, we are reconciled to God.
This is a foreign concept in the modern American church. Many do not believe God displays wrath, let alone gets angry. If God does not get angry at sin, can we still believe He is righteous, good and holy? If God does get angry at sin, does this make Him less righteous, good and holy?
About Corey Sharpe
Where do we get our beliefs?
Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology.
From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ.
Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles.
I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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WOW! What a topic! So here I go. First I would say that, since we believe that we are made in the image of God, and we get angry, then I would say God gets angry. However, I might add that we also have the capacity to LOVE – in the image of God. I teach my “angry” clients that: Anger is an emotion, neither good nor bad. It is what we do with our anger that makes it good or bad. When we use our anger to make a positive change in our lives or in the world, it is productive – it no longer rules our lives in a negative way. Case in point, the mother who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, did so because she was angry about the drunken driver who killed her son with his car. Doesn’t God use His anger to foil the ‘sinful one’? On our behalf!
I think God gets angry when we sin and he should. He gave his only son to die on the cross for our sins and what do we do? We keep sinning. God is our father and he will always love us. By way of the Holy Spirit we know when he is not happy with our actions. Does this make God less holy, good or righteous? Not at all. I like what Dee said about anger being an emotion and it can be productive. Too many times today though we hear about the consequences of anger. Forgiveness should be the follower of anger. God always forgives us and we in turn should forgive others.
Corey, why do our posts always show such crazy times?
So you weren’t up at 3am blogging. 🙂 Not sure what’s going on with the time.
Apart from Christ, we are slaves to sin, spiritually dead, separated from God, and objects of His wrath. See Eph. 2 : 1-3 So yes, through the regeneration of Christ (being born again) we are saved from God’s wrath, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
I don’t believe God forgives all sins, and, if I could, I would italicize that word “all”. This is where we get into trouble. A believer (I emphasize believer) has to repent of his sins in order to receive forgiveness from God. When we think about praying without ceasing, isn’t it because we are so prone to sin and are aware that we need forgiveness for the sinning we continue to do and will do until we die?
Yes, we keep sinning but we turn back again and again to the only One who can look on us in and with love, ’cause we are pretty unlovable, really.
He alone is righteous, good and holy. He is holding His righteous anger in check until the final battle against sin is won. He hates sin. He poured out His wrath on His own Son on the cross; why should we suppose that He won’t turn His wrath on anyone of us who does not believe in the Messiahship of Jesus and consciously turn from sin?
That’s my two cents’ worth.
Thank you all for posting. When we say God does get angry, we must be careful not to attribute our imperfect expressions of anger to God. God’s anger is not irrational, but ours can be. God’s anger is righteous because he is righteous. We can only understand the rightness or wrongness of our own anger in light of God’s anger.
Right! And I’ve been told that only God/Jesus is capable of righteous anger!