Six Characteristics of the Wrath of God in One Verse

If you’re the sort of person that doesn’t care much for the subject of the wrath of God, this post is for you. If you are a professing Christian who accepted Jesus as savior but did so not based on facing the issue of human sin head on, but based on something else, such as your ‘best life now’, this post is also for you!

Six Characteristics of the Wrath of God in One Verse

The verse:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom 1:18b

The six characteristics of God’s wrath found in the verse:

1. Quality. It is the wrath of God, and therefore a perfect wrath. If it was not perfect then God would not be perfect and he would not be God

2. Time. The wrath of God is revealed. Not ‘was’ revealed, not ‘will be’ revealed, but IS revealed. That means yesterday, today, tomorrow and always.

3. Source. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven. We are talking about a divine and all powerful wrath, that in no way can be compared with mere human anger.

4. Nature. “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” This a divine, perfect and holy wrath against the sin of men. That’s us.

5. Extent. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. This a divine, perfect and holy wrath against the sin of men. Not just the ‘big’ sins, or certain types of sin, but against ALL of OUR sin.

6. Cause. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. What truth? The Gospel truth that Paul was not ashamed of and is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, who are the just who live by faith (vv. 16 and 17).

Have you believed the gospel? My friend, if you haven’t, you are living under the holy wrath of a holy God, and condemned where you stand. (John 3:18, John 3:36).

If you have not believed in Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, there is GOOD NEWS! As Jesus said. . .

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Believe in the One upon whom God poured the holy, just, and perfect wrath that we all deserve!


HT: John MacArthur, j

17 responses to “Six Characteristics of the Wrath of God in One Verse

  1. Luke 9

    51 When the days were approaching for His [ad]ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

    Interesting verse that. ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.’ Why is that? because they desired vengeance?

    I suppose it depends upon whether you think Jesus is God and He and the Father are One.


    • That verse was the context of an entire sermon by John MacArthur. We will be starting Romans soon in the morning Bible Study at the chapel and I’ve started listening to MacArthur’s sermons for Romans like I did for the book of Acts.  I am blessed in doing so!


  2. Very well done! I like the breakdown on this verse. Anyone who can’t imagine God is fighting a full out war, as are we, better think again! The spiritual warfare is on to the last day of this earth and we’d better be prepared to fight it at every level!

    Steve Pejay


  3. Good luck with your jihad.

    God’s not at war with humanity. Though you may be.

    The notion of penal subsitution comes straight out of Medieval Catholicism.

    It’s idolatrous.


  4. If you want to do some real study at least try NT Wright’s New Perspective’s on Paul.

    I know you guys don’t like to read outside of your own ideological bias.


    • There you go with another silly generalization about ‘you guys’, whoever that might be. I think ‘you and your guys’, whoever that is might benefit from reading the Bible outside of your idological biases and take it for what it says. I know that’s a slim possibility because we’ve had this discussion. There is always hope.


  5. Jesus did not die on the cross to satisfy the justice of an angry God. That doctrine is novel in the Church and only began with Anselm’s Satisfaction Theory of Atonement. It’s the product of a time when Christianity was actually a law court. Ans do god was made in that image as the punisher of those who broke the Law upon whom is the ‘wrath of God’. That doctrine was picked up by Luther and Calvin and continued in the Western Church.

    It is noticeably absent in the Eastern Church.

    Christ’s mission was a healing ministry and that is how God deals with sin. Jesus was not on a juridical expedition.

    He heals us from sin. Sin causes suffering to us. It causes death to us. Nowhere does it say in scripture that God would kill you because of your sin.

    Jesus didn’t say go and sin no more to the woman caught in adultery so He could kill her later. It’s because He knew that her sin caused HER suffering and shame. He doesn’t condemn the pagan centurion but praises him for his faith. The thief who died with him did nothing but recognise Christ as an innocent man and for this he was ‘with Jesus in paradise’.

    Sin does nothing to God.

    As if God could be affected or insulted by our sin.

    What sort of a God is that?

    And by the way you haven’t said WHAT the ‘wrath of God’ is. Ancient cultures saw natural disasters as the ‘wrath of God’ as there were no natural explanations. There’s plenty of theories on that as well; from metaphoric to God distancing Himself.


    • You might want to look up 1 John 2:2. You will probably toss that one out the window just like you seem to have tossed out the notion that God is pouring out his wrath against sin, like the Romans passage so clearly states.


  6. Wow, basing your whole theology on a Greek word in one verse.

    The Early Church was clear that Christ died for the expiation of our sins. It is the blood of Christ which cleanses – not condemns.

    Was God’s wrath poured out on the sacrifices the Hebrews made?

    Were those animal sacrifices a way of pleasing God?


    • Wow, that sentence makes absolutely no sense, my friend.

      God IS pouring out his wrath on all ungodliness and unrighteousness. If God set up the sacrificial system via the OT law, why would he pour out his wrath on them? Silly question?

      One could certainly that OT sacrifice was a way of pleasing God, if obedience pleases him. Another silly question?


  7. Btw it’s the Reformed who want to translate hilasterion as propitiation. It was clearly understood as expiation in the Early Church.

    And we do know that God can forgive sins without a sacrifice, right?

    The Cross, far from satisfying God’s vengeance, bears the heart of God, a heart full of love that is broken and weeping for His creation.


    • Propitiation versus Expiation

      Propitiation literally means to make favorable and specifically includes the idea of dealing with God’s wrath against sinners. Expiation literally means to make pious and implies either the removal or cleansing of sin.

      The idea of propitiation includes that of expiation as its means; but the word “expiation” has no reference to quenching God’s righteous anger. The difference is that the object of expiation is sin, not God. One propitiates a person, and one expiates a problem. Christ’s death was therefore both an expiation and a propitiation. By expiating (removing the problem of) sin God was made propitious (favorable) to us.

      The case for translating the Greek word hilasterion as “expiation” was put forward by C. H. Dodd in 1935 and gained wide support.^[5]^ As a result hilasterion has been translated as ‘expiation’ in the RSV and some other modern versions. But a generation of debate has shown, especially in the work of Leon Morris, that the linguistic evidence appears to favor “propitiation” as the more appropriate rendering.^[6]^

      5. C. H. Dodd, The Bible and the Greeks (1935) pp. 82-95. As referenced in A Theology of the New Testament, by George Eldon Ladd, Donald A. Hagner, p. 470.
      6. Leon Morris, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, 3rd revised ed. (London: Tyndale Press, 1965). Cf. Matthew Black, Romans, New Century Bible (London,1973), p. 68; David Hill, Greek Words and Hebrew Meanings (Cambridge University Press, 1967), pp. 23-48.


  8. Bones,

    I put you into moderation. You are doing everything you can to try and disprove it. You want to debate the issue. That’s not something I want to do. I’ve had all the debate about it I can stand, and that’s a lot. This blog post is about God’s wrath. I just pointed out several characteristics that cah be found in a single verse. It’s the most irrefutable section of the NT that I can think of. Take or leave it.


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