For in it [the Gospel] God’s righteousness is being revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith.” For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth.Romans 1:17-18
In the gospel God’s righteousness is being revealed but at the same time God’s wrath is being revealed. God’s righteousness is being revealed // God’s wrath is being revealed. What an interesting contrast!
Note how wide this image is in Romans. Paul is not just dealing with this concept in a couple of verses and then moves on to his next point. This contrast is significant and deep. How do we know that? Well take a look at Romans 3:21 – “But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness is revealed and is attested by the Law and the Prophets . . .” Yes that is right, Paul is continuing the theme from 1:17 all the way through to Chapter 3:21. Pay careful attention and hang on to your hat.
I have been taught by my Biblical language lecturers to take note of the verb tenses in the Biblical text. Pay attention to the verb and time setting, mood and aspect. In this case we have an interesting contrast. The righteousness of God is being revealed is a continuous present participle. Is being, Is in the process of being revealed.
But hang on a minute, God’s wrath is being revealed. Is being, Is in the process of being revealed? God’s righteousness is being revealed and God’s wrath is being revealed. Both . . . and.
But how is God’s wrath being revealed? “I think you have got that wrong Paul.” God’s wrath will be revealed in the end times. It is not being revealed now. Not “is being revealed” but “will be revealed”.
Maybe there is a mistake in Scripture Ian. No, no mistake. What Paul is telling us is indeed the Truth.
Your task now is to read Chapter 1 of Romans and find out how God’s wrath is being revealed now. I would also suggest you read the whole sense unit – Romans 1:17 through to end of the Chapter 3 to see how it all hangs together. Your Mission should you choose to accept it is to follow the thread of Paul’s thoughts. Not an easy task. If you choose this assignment the message won’t self destruct in 10 seconds. The book will always be there waiting for you to come back again. This is a Mission Possible; not a Mission Impossible. Tom Cruise won’t help you, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit will. Go for it.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.Anon
It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.Mark Twain