The Wrath of God

Berkouwer, on page 258 of his The Providence of God writes about the wrath of God:

Apart from God’s wrath neither His righteousness nor holiness, neither His love nor mercy can be understood… Wrath is the implication of God’s holiness. It must direct itself against evil… God’s wrath is not arbitrariness… It is the exalted reaction of His holiness.

But he also points out that –

God show His goodness and forgiveness in this, that He does not keep His anger forever (Mic. 7:18) The question “who knoweth the power of thine anger,” is the converse of the question, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity…?” (Micah 7:18)

Thus, Berkouwer can conclude that “In God’s forgiveness, it is also possible to recognize His righteousness, His wrath and His holiness.” How come? Because this same righteous and wrathful God  gave his Son for our redemption, who bore the penalty of our sins (i.e., the wrath of God) so that we might receive forgiveness. And in fact when Christ hung on the cross as our sin-bearer and substitute “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor. 5:19). The wrathful God is the God of love!

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