Day 2

The Righteousness and Wrath of God

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 1:18-32, Proverbs 1:7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9

In a world full of self-worship and runaway passions, Romans 1 is arresting and sobering. This isn’t the sort of thing most folks want to talk about at your local coffee shop or over dinner and drinks. Paul directly confronts sin and brings us face to face with God’s righteous wrath. Indeed, God’s wrath, says Paul, is revealed against all ungodliness.

The judgment described is frightening. Perhaps the most frightening phrase is this: “God gave them up” (Romans 1:24). When our hearts are blind, false, desirous of carnality and evil, He gives us what we desire. To get what we want in this life is sometimes—dare I say most of the time?—not blessing, but judgment.

In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So also, unrighteousness anywhere is a threat to righteousness everywhere. The minute we begin condoning evil, justifying our selfishness, and excusing our pet sins, instead of repenting of them, we are asking for judgment: for blindness, darkness, waywardness, folly, debased minds, and perverse passions.

It is a slippery slope, and there aren’t any pit stops along the way. There is no “sort-of” righteous, no “halfway” committed. There is no neutrality. There is wisdom or folly, life or death. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7).

However, this talk of judgment isn’t a load of pessimism. God’s righteous wrath is the only good response to a world of sin, and even to our own rebellious hearts. It flows from the simple fact that God is good and holy.

God’s holy wrath was visited upon Christ on the cross. His righteousness triumphs; yet in the midst of His wrath, He remembers mercy. Because of this, it is possible to both tremble and to trust.

I am comforted by Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 3:9: “But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all.” Folly can’t be hidden. Ungodliness and unrighteousness will be revealed for what they are. This is both sobering and glorious news. I am provoked to repentance for my own folly and unrighteousness, and also to thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness and grace.

May Christ Himself keep us and guard us from our own folly—from the love of self and the love of the world, from presumption and from pride. May He keep us in His grace, that we may fear Him all the days of our lives. Thanks be to God, and to Him alone be the glory!

Written by Caleb Faires

Post Comments (21)

21 thoughts on "The Righteousness and Wrath of God"

  1. David says:

    “…the human mind is, so to speak, a perpetual forge of idols… The human mind, stuffed as it is with presumptuous rashness, dares to imagine a god suited to its own capacity; as it labors under dullness, nay, is sunk in the grossest ignorance, it substitutes vanity and an empty phantom in the place of God. To these evils another is added. The god whom man had thus conceived inwardly he attempts to embody outwardly. The mind, in this way, conceives the idol, and the hand gives it birth.” — John Calvin

    – A wrong view of god leads to a wrong view of self. A wrong view of self leads to a foolish, destructive life.

    “What comes to into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” — A.W. Tozer

  2. Michael Paul says:

    Father, may we not be ‘given up/over’ to our sin by being given ‘what we want’. This is a sobering thought that you are so good as to allow us to face consequences and feel the weight of many of our foolish wants. Yet, thank you that you do not allow ‘what we want’ at times. You truly are Most Wise! You know what will ‘make or break’ us. You ‘hem us in before and behind’. May we repent of our propensity toward self-reliance or thinking we know what is Best. I am reminded of lyrics to a song: “You remain Faithful even when I’m Faithless. Your unfailing Love never failed me yet. You’re the anchor for my soul. You’re the one who won’t let go. You remain, You remain. You remain Faithful”. -AMEN

  3. Nicholas says:

    Confronted with my own sin at the wee hours in the morning. God’s righteousness in my life is more than enough to overwhelm the depths of my depraved heart. I yearn to be closer to my savior Jesus. I yearn to be and live in such a way that brings nothing but honor to my God.

    Coram Deo

  4. Michael Lansdowne says:

    2 Timothy 3: 1-9

    1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

    As a father of two young men how do I make sure that these boys grow up to be Godly men. There is so much out there in this world that is waiting to consume them. I know it’s my job to lead and guide these young men but it can be difficult at times. Lord I pray for the strength, patience, knowledge, and love to guide my boys. Help me to lead by example with your help. Not just my boys but other men young and hold. If I fall astray Lord please help me to get back on track. Forgive me anything that I have done and will do that doesn’t align with you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

  5. Aaron says:

    Evil consumes itself. It is its own judgement. This isn’t God being passive though. This is the way he designed the world, to self-destruct when it defies the purpose that He designed for it.

  6. Chris Greenwood says:

    “…They not only do them, but even applaud others who do them.”

    “…always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    These two verses are truly sobering.

  7. George Paz says:

    Because God is both good and just, he will punish sin. The worst kind of judgment he can give is to give us up to whatever our sinful passions desire. Lord, you know how wicked my heart is. You know how I’m tempted to fall away. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, keep me in yourself. Help me to love what you love. Help me to hate what you hate. Do not let me fall away from salvation. Raise up men in my life to challenge me, encourage me, and spur me towards righteousness.

  8. Adam Jones says:

    “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” CS Lewis The Weight Of Glory

  9. DES says:

    Last night I told my wife that the mind is powerful. You can think and obsess on something and create illness and physical ailments and abnormalities. That power is what comes to mind when Romans talks of being given over to a debased mind. We are consumed by what we let in. Consumed by what we reflect on. The importance of taking every thought captive is never more important than when you realize how quickly thoughts become actions and actions become footholds and footholds take over.

    Lord, make me aware of your presence today. Help me take every thought captive. Help me to immediately reject the lies and suggestions of the evil one and submit to your will. Lord, thank you for the victories of yesterday and please help me to ascribe those to your goodness and faithfulness and not to any action of mine. Help me to not be prideful. Help me to be confident in you. Confident that you have begun a good work and will finish it. I love you Father.

  10. Nathan Selby says:

    It is sobering to read these passages. To know that God gives people over to their passions and ungodliness. But that is because we are, and myself, have been denying His existence, His power, His creation. I can see this in my own life. My thoughts, desires, what I focus on, is all nasty. Filthy. It’s my own doing.
    I need you Jesus. Save me from myself and my dirty ways. I am not honoring You or giving You any glory. Please save me from myself. Please lead me back to you Lord.

  11. Jeff Ulrich says:

    It is hard to see so much judgement. Yes they had a choice but when you are that far into sin you only see judgement. Especially when the people of the church use these scriptures so they can be “righteous judges”. Like they are God themselves. God can let them fall into their foolishness but I will still chose to love them.

  12. Nate widow says:

    I’m so happy God not only gives me Grace but helps me understand my selfishness at times. I’m sure we all try to justify being selfish but I can’t see any reason to be. God is good!

  13. Jeremy Wilson says:

    It’s sobering to look at this passage and realize that this is what humanity is capable of. We are so capable of seeing God and turning the other way to follow our own desires and ego. Claiming to be wise, we become fools. This illustration points to our own depravity and bent toward sin. Apart from Christ, there is no good in us. There is no righteousness in and of ourselves. May we recognize that God is a loving God, but also is a just God. May that spur us to share the Gospel all the more to the ends of the earth.

  14. Caleb Gassaway says:

    This passage of Scripture is so real, We need to not turn away from it but learn from it. Stay humble with our eyes fixed toward the cross. That’s the only way we can remain humble.

  15. Aaron Milbourn says:

    Ive got to be self aware at all times. We all struggle and we all stray from the will of God to a certain extent. We are not safe from the evil one who comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I have to have my guard up and my hands open. My hands must be open for accountability and for God to use me as his vessel. Do not close up compartments where you don’t let God access. That’s a slippery and dangerous path.

    I want to keep this focus each day. God, how can use me today? Direct my path. How can I love my neighbors like Jesus loved me?

  16. Wade says:

    Paul isn’t coming on slow at all on this one. Straight to the point, unapologetic, unashamed, and uncompromising. I love it. I feel like the passages about false idols and the pursuits that lead to really resonate and become relatable. I also love what was said in the commentary about not giving excuses or justifications that keep you from true repentance. I find myself too ready to do this when examining the areas in my life where sin has been allowed to take a hold.
    Ultimately I don’t think this is an attack and should be read in a sense of self reflection to understand just how far we are from God without Christ’s interference. It’s so easy to be slowly lulled by the world into this idea of worldly wisdom and lose all sense of godliness and RIGHTness. The worlds perverseness can be seen in the “wisdom” that has lead to exactly what 2 Timothy warns is coming, and does so gladly. Then goes on to cast out any who do not join in like-mindedness. It’s a tough subject and one that deserves more self examination. How to love those in the world but not give in to these compromises? or rather maybe it’s how to SHOW that love without giving in to compromise?? how to have that conversation, if it’s supposed to be had… why not do works and let the conversation come to us? Would it be easy if these answers were spelled out? No, and Maybe that’s the point lol.

  17. Michael says:

    I think of my own bends toward sin and the ugliness of my heart before the holiness of God and it is truly frightening, but thanks be to God for his mercy and grace. I can only imagine reading this for the first time without the knowledge of the Gospel.

  18. Drew Patrick says:

    Romans day 2

    He reads truth study guide

    Is there a command to obey

    Timothy 2 – avoid snakes in the grass

    Is there an example to follow

    More like an example not to follow

    Is there a promise to claim

    That god sometimes give us up to sin, if we activlley seek it.

    Is there a sin to avoid


    Is there a principle to follow

    Be on guard . Watch yourself. . If you poke the bear enough he will wake up and play. And when he does he bites.

    Other thoughts

  19. Del’Shawn says:

    The more I read Romans I realize that this is the book that Christians should begin reading first and pair it with Proverbs. God desires us to live a life of righteousness, honesty, peace, humility, joy and love. However, if we continually choose a life of sin, he will allow us to be subjected to all that follows with that life. It’s a life of darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. I’m thankful for this word as it really brings your soul into conviction. I am thankful that God is merciful because I don’t want to face the judgment of God.

  20. David says:

    Lord, please help me to truly honor You as God. What a tremendous statement. Show me what it means to truly honor You as the almighty creator of all. Humble me. Please do not ever give me up to debased passions but hold me up in Your righteous right hand and preserve me until That Day.

  21. Chris says:

    Time spent on sin in my quiet times should be much more significant. Not to dwell on it, but to feel and understand the weight and severity of it. This certainly makes the remaining chapters of Romans that much sweeter.

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