Wrath is love. I think that understanding this will be a great help in understanding God and scripture.
Wrath is really the conflict that occurs between good and evil, and is demonstrated by the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh, for example. [and law, because “law brings wrath” ]* [law provokes wrath]
The flesh is really the product of the creation as it had to be, in its creative nature of giving life to a creature who resembled God, and had to have free will.
It was inevitable that man would develop in such a way as to result in a corrupted nature.
God created man out of love, in order to “produce” more love. His “procreation” was inevitably going to “end in tears”, and it is obvious that not many people will survive to the end, and through the end.
God has to take responsibility for this, and yet the end result is obviously worth it or he would not have done it.
So creating in love, and knowing all that would result, he then had to send his son into the fray, to provide the necessary healing to captivate those who would believe him and believe in him through his son Jesus.
The nature of Jesus seems very foreign to us who are of the nature of the world – He spoke as one from another world, his behaviour and speech were beyond reproach, and he was seen as either very holy or very crazy.
We see him this way because we are in fact, from two different worlds. He is from a world that is perfect, from which he obtains his integrity and truth which is uncompromising, while we are from the earth and have been well and truly compromised. Our “truth” was corrupted from the beginning, whereas perfect truth was all he knew. [we are of “the lie”]
Therefore it is to be expected that we could not begin to imagine how we could approach this (his) standard of “morality” or to gain this standard of righteousness. [but he gives us this].
We understand in common parlance that God’s wrath was taken by the son. Yet what we see is simply God’s love acting upon the evil that we embody, being human, and being corrupted internally because of the fallen human characteristics. The sin he was “paying for” was primarily that which existed internally and which he had to confront with his righteousness and overcome, destroy, or convert to that which conformed to the nature of love.
God and sin cannot exist in the same space. It is said that “each man’s work will be tested by fire” [christians] and what remains will be accepted by God, but what is burnt up will be destroyed. [if there is nothing left then the person suffers total destruction (non-christian).] The natural nature of man is incompatible with God’s nature, and what has to happen is that man’s nature has to be changed in order to be acceptable to God, [this occurs through faith in Jesus work on the cross] in order for him to survive an encounter with God. (Our God is a consuming fire).
Jesus underwent the “fire” of the conflict between his righteous spirit and those elements of his humanity that were in rebellion against, and had not produced the fruit of, righteousness. This resulted in suffering for him. He experienced the hell that is the experience of sinners who remain unchanged. [unbelieving].
Here is a bit of a dilemma, as he represents both the unrighteous sinner and the righteousness of God at the same time. He experiences both the pain from the sin effect as well as the pain of his creation having to suffer, which amounts to the same thing in his case.
Fire meets paper, paper does not survive. Sin meets the fire of the Spirit, again, sin does not “survive”.
When God confronts man, there is a conflict that he may feel in his conscience. God works with man to persuade him to repent. The Christian, in his belief, works with the Spirit to enable the removal of sin and its works from his life. The unrepentant sinner resists the Spirit until he dies. So he dies in his sin.
When the end comes and the Spirit returns in force on the earth, all that is not of like nature is destroyed, while that which is of compatible nature will be assimilated to himself.
“The Spirit and the flesh are opposed, so that you do not do what you want, but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law”. [you are “under” grace, “in” Jesus]. [death is empowered by law and disempowered by grace; life is empowered by Spirit]
So God’s wrath is actually his loving nature that, having struggled with man all his life to change his ways, now comes ultimately in the full force of his love that cannot allow sin to continue.
This may appear a little disjointed, but I hope the ideas expressed may help to gain insight into the love/wrath matter. Happy to expound further if requested.
[ God is love and only love, but from our sinful faulty perspective we see him as wrath ] *[ flesh conflict is because of law/wrath, see Romans 7 ]. [we see him as law] [but “mercy triumphs over judgement” ] [grace is given through Jesus].
Clove Cwrath Clove Cspirit Cfire