The Wrath of God
Read Colossians 3:6-7 (ESV)
On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
How did sin negatively impact your life before you became a believer in Jesus Christ? How does it continue to impact your life?
There is no doubt about it. We love to have our ears tickled. We like to hear that God loves us. We want to follow people on social media who tell us, “It’s ok! We are loved and we are enough just the way we are.” If someone calls us out on our sins, we think they are judgmental and that they should really be more accepting. After all, we are only human. And when someone speaks of God’s wrath, many have a tendency to say, “My God would never punish us just for making mistakes.”
But Paul sets us straight. In yesterday's verses, Colossians 3:4b-5, Paul listed sins that believers are to put to death: “...sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Then, in today’s verses he explicitly names an attribute of God that many in the church would like to ignore—God’s wrath. He says that the beforenamed sins are the reason that God’s wrath is imminent. And he is quick to remind us, lest we get complacent or judgmental of others, that we used to walk in these same sins. In fact, the only reason we are no longer condemned for these sins is because of our faith in Jesus Christ!
In 2 Timothy 4:3, Paul warned: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Ouch. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
But I am not here to tickle your ears. I am here to teach the truth of Scripture. And the truth is that one day, God will judge everyone for their deeds. God is holy. He hates sin and cannot tolerate it. But God is also love. In fact, one of the reasons He hates sin is because it destroys His children! It is also because of His love that He allowed His wrath to be poured out on Jesus in our place.
Before we became believers in Jesus Christ, we walked in sin, too. We deserved His wrath. And yet, in His love, He sent Jesus to us to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus bore the full weight of the wrath of God that we owed. Since we used to walk in sin, surely we understand the seriousness of it? It cost us so much and it cost Jesus even more! Because of our sin, He suffered and died in our place. May we never take the mercy of God for granted. May we never abuse His grace as an excuse to continue in sin.
Friends, sin is serious business. Because of it, everyone who is not in Christ will bear the full weight of God’s wrath. For those of us in Christ, we have the good news of the forgiveness of our sins. But for us, the good news just keeps getting better. In Christ, we are promised eternity, resurrected bodies, and a share in Jesus’s glorious inheritance in the future. In the meantime, though, we have been given the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit’s help, we have the power to turn from our sins and live in a way that glorifies God now! So, put away the sins of your past. They don’t have power over you anymore. So don’t walk the way you used to walk. Walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Colossians 1:10).
Lord, I confess that in the past, I walked in sin. I lived like an enemy of God. But in You, I have been made new. My sins were put to death with You on the cross. Help daily to turn from my sin and walk in a way that is worthy of You and Your Gospel. Amen.