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Wrath in Romans 1: -.5:
A - 1: 18. Wrath revealed against unrighteousness.
B - 2: 5. Treasuring up wrath. "Works" (verse 6).
C - 2: 5. The day of wrath and righteous judgment.
D - 2: 8, 9. Wrath rendered to Jew and Gentile alike.
C - 3: 5. Is God unrighteous Who visits with wrath?
B - 4: 15. The law worketh wrath. "Faith" (verses 14 and 16)
A - 5: 9. Saved from wrath, because made righteous.
This revelation of wrath against those who, while being ungodly and unrighteous themselves, hold
down the truth in unrighteousness, is further connected with willful despising of that goodness which
should lead to repentance. In two places the righteousness of this wrath is emphasized (2: 5 and 3: 5).
There is much to be learned by comparing I and 2 Thessalonians with this passage in Romans.
"Wrath revealed from heaven" (Rom. 1: 18).
"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven" (2 Thess. 1: 7).
"When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God. . . .
"They did not like to retain God in their knowledge" (Rom. 1: 21, 28).
" In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God" (2 Thess. 1. 8).
"They have pleasure in them that do them" (Rom. 1: 32).
"They had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2: 12).
"They changed the truth of God into the lie" (Rom. 1. 25).
"They received not. . . the truth. . . . they believe the lie" (2 Thess. 2: 10, 11).
"They changed the glary of God into an image made like to man" (Rom. 1: 23).
"The man of sin. . . . showing himself that he is God" (2 Thess. 2: 3, 4).
"Wrath revealed. . . . idolatry" (Rom. 1. 18-25).
"Ye turned to God from idols. . . . saved from the wrath to come" (1 Thess. 1: 9, 10).
"God also gave them up to uncleanness" (Rom. 1: 24).
" Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God" (1 Thess. 4: 5).
If we also bring together the parallels that we find in the book of the Revelation, we shall have a full
reference to that satanic system of iniquity commenced at Babel, dominating the nations of the earth from
that time onward until judged at the coming of the Lord in the day of wrath.
The wrath of God in Rom. 1: 18 is revealed against specific sin, viz., " Upon all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of those men who hold down the truth in unrighteousness." The ungodliness and
unrighteousness that kindles the fierce anger of God is that which actually suppresses the truth. It is not the
ungodliness of the ignorant, nor the unrighteousness of the wayward, but the conscious opposition of
ungodliness to revealed truth. The mystery of iniquity has ever opposed the mystery of godliness.
Man is disposed to place common honesty between man and his neighbour as of more importance
than" worship." Many a moral person would think nothing of the charge that he was not pious, yet the
deeper our insight into the basis of all things, the nearer it brings us to the footstool of God. Is there not
enough in Scripture to indicate 'that the first sin of all had direct relation to the worship of God? (Ezek.
28:). Did not the tempter bait his hook with the words, "Ye shall be as God"? Did not Israel break the
ten commandments when they broke the first in the worship of the golden calf? Is not the first example of
living by faith that of Abel the worshipper, and was not Cain's primal sin the suppression or withholding of
the demands of God's holiness? Babylonianism, author as it is of vice and cruelty, is primarily and
essentially a system of false worship.
The words" hold the truth" are really" hold down" or " suppress" the truth. This word (katecho)
occurs in the epistle we have already referred to, namely, 2 Thess. 2: 6, 7, where it is rendered in the A.V.
by "withholdeth" and "letteth." A careful comparison of Rom. 1: and 2 Thess. 2: will help us to realize the
restraining power of Babel, this suppressing of the truth, this exchanging of the truth for the lie, this
rendering of the worship due to the Creator to the creature.