Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be in prayer for one another this week. Pray for each other’s joys and sorrows. Use the weekly prayer list as a help to lift one another up before the throne of grace. Pray for our new mothers, our families, and our singles. Pray for our young people, children, and those dealing with chronic health concerns. Pray for opportunities for evangelism and to invite our neighbors and friends to church. Pray for greater holiness, a greater love to Christ, and a greater hatred of sin. And give thanks for all the blessings the Lord showers upon us each and every day. And finally, may our prayers be filled with praise and adoration to our great and glorious Triune God.
A few announcements:
- Pray for our presbytery meeting that will be meeting from Thurs to Saturday in Dallas. Pray for grace and wisdom as we conduct the business of the church.
- Also, the session will be meeting next week and will be considering our monthly ministry schedule (as I mentioned this past Sunday). Thus stay tuned for announcements regarding men’s and women’s events, Bible studies, prayer meetings, etc.
- Finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection on the wrath of God (not a popular topic, but a very important one).
God bless and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The Wrath of God, part I”
Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”
The wrath of God is not a popular topic these days. Books on the wrath of God do not crack the Times’ ‘Best Sellers’ list. Many a preacher rarely, if ever, preaches on the theme. Sad, but true. For the wrath of God is simply an application of God’s holiness. God is holy and cannot stand the presence of anything unholy, namely sin (Hab 1:13). The wrath of God is an expression of His holiness in the context of sin. Moreover, the Bible, the very word of God, has much to say about God’s wrath (Num 16:46; Ps 110:5; Rom 2:5; 5:9; Eph 5:6; Rev 6:16; 14:19). We then ignore this important Biblical theme to our own detriment.
The Apostle Paul begins his grand theological letter, the book of Romans, with this very theme. After his standard introduction and his thesis statement (1:1-17), Paul begins the body of the letter this way: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (1:18). Over the next two weeks, I want to consider two questions related to Paul’s teaching on God’s wrath in Romans 1. This week, we will consider the causes of God’s wrath; and next week we will consider the effects of God’s wrath.
What is the cause of God’s wrath? The Apostle Paul tells us plainly and clearly: “… against all ungodliness and unrighteousness and men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (v. 18). Simply put, the cause is sin, ungodliness, unrighteousness. Paul, however, elaborates a bit when he states that men ‘by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.’ Fallen man suppresses the truth of God. We suppress the truth of the one true and living God. Think for a moment of these two key terms. First, what is the ‘truth’ that all men suppress? The truth fallen man suppress is the truth concerning the power and glory of God on display for all the world to see (see vv. 19-20). God has ‘made plain’ his glory, power, and majesty through creation; and he has made plain his divine standard through the human conscience (Rom 2:15).
And second, how does man ‘suppress this truth?’ Again, Paul tells us: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him … and [they] exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images … they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (vv. 21, 23, 25). We are worshipping creatures – we will worship someone or something. And fallen man exchanges the truth that God has revealed for a lie – he suppresses it – he holds it down – he pushes is away – and worships the creature (whether self, or success, or money, or sex, or family, or …) rather than the Creator. This is sin. This is idolatry. Apart from God’s grace, all man is guilty of exchanging the truth of God for a lie. All mankind suppresses the truth. And all mankind stands under the wrath of God. We deserve his wrath. For apart from his saving grace we are ungodly and unrighteous.
This, brothers and sisters, is the grim reality for the world outside of Christ. We deserve the wrath of God. Every inch of creation proclaims the existence and the glory of the one, true, and living God. And we all suppress this truth to our own peril. This is the bad news. Is there good news. Indeed there is! God amazing grace in Christ towards such hopeless sinners. The wonder of his grace infinitely exceeds the horror of our sin condition! For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).