The Works of the Wrath of God According to Rom. 1:18, 21-32
This is the tenth and concluding part on “What it Means to Be Born Again”. This study is based on Eph. 2:1-3. Part 7a-7d looks at what the Apostle Paul means by saying that we were by nature the children of wrath.
Eph. 2:1-3 reads, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
Eph. 2:1-3 outlines seven facts about our spiritual death before we are born again in our Lord Jesus Christ. In Eph. 2:1-3 we learn that before being born again:
- Believers were dead in trespasses and sins. (Part 1)
- Believers use to walk according to the course of this world. (Part 2)
- The course of this world is according to the prince of the power of the air. (Part 3)
- This spirit of the prince of the power of the air now works in the children of disobedience. (Part 4)
- Believers dwelt in the lusts of their flesh. (Part 5)
- Believers fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind. (Part 6)
In this post we will look at how the works of wrath impacts our lives. Rom. 1:18, 21-32 provide a fairly informative study on how the wrath of God impacts our lives.
Rom. 1:18, 21-32
Rom. 1:18 reads, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”
We hold the truth in unrighteousness when we err in heart. We err in heart when mistake the spirit of Satan for the Holy Spirit. This we do when we do not know the Glory of the Holy Spirit of God in Christ Jesus.
In Ps. 95:10, 11 the Word of God says, “Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”
To enter into God’s rest is to enter into the Presence of God. The Presence of God is the Glory of God. The Glory of God is the Holy Spirit that conceived our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, and raised Him from the dead (Luke 1:34, 35; Rom. 6:4; 8:11). The Glory of God is also known as the Holy of Holies (Ex. 26:33 (MKJV)), and the Holiest (Heb. 9:3). It is from this Holy of Holies that Adam and Eve were driven after their fellowship with Satan (Gen. 3:6, 22-24). From Heb. 10:19 we learn that we are free to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
We err in Heart when we unwittingly believe the manifestations of Satan to be the works of the Holy Spirit. Manifestations of Satan and his spirits include dreams and visions, powerful miraculous and signs, and lying wonders (2Thess. 2:9). Thus, we accept and believe a false christ instead of the true Christ (Mark 13:21, 22; 2Cor. 11:3, 4).
Error of Heart
Error of heart is depicted in Isa. 28:7 as being drunk with spiritual wine. In Isa. 28:7 the Word of God says about the priests and prophets of Israel, “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”
This wine in Isa. 28:7 is that spiritual wine of the wrath of God mentioned in Rev. 14:8, 10; 18:3. From Isa. 28:7 it is clear that we err in our hearts when we err in a dream or in a vision. We err in dreams and visions when we mistakenly accept a dream and vision of Satan to be from the Holy Spirit.
Your faith will mistakenly be in the works of Satan if you do not know the Glory of God. Salvation in Christ is about the salvation of your soul from Satan’s veil of death by faith in Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ delivered you from the power of Satan so that you may be restored unto Eternal Life.
Eternal Life is obtained by living in the Light of the Glory of God, and not by a pious lifestyle. The Light of the Glory of God is in the Holy Spirit of our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. When we err in dreams and visions we err in heart (spirit). When we err in the spirit we stumble in judgment and hold the truth in unrighteousness.
Rom. 1:21 reads, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
We become vain in our imaginations when we do not glorify God as God. To glorify God as God means to ascribe God’s Glory unto Him. You do this by acknowledging that no other spirit can manifest in His Glory.
The Word of God says, “I will not give my glory to another” (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). This means that He will not allow the devil to appear in His Glory. Therefore, when the devil appears unto you in a dream or a vision he cannot appear in the light of the Glory of the Holy Spirit of God in Jesus Christ. Dreams and visions are the only way that you can see any spirit.
Satan has no light in himself. Satan and his kingdom were stripped of the Light of the Glory of God and filled with darkness (Rev. 16:10). Therefore, when Satan or his spirits appear unto you in a dream or vision, they can only appear in the light of the sun, or the moon, or some man-made light, like candlelight or firelight.
To glorify God as God you have to acknowledge Him in all your ways (Prov. 3:6). He supplies your every need according to His Glory (Phil. 4:19). Therefore, you must resist everything that does not manifest in His Glory.
2Cor. 3:8, 9 also teach that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is in the Glory of God. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit appears to you in a dream or a vision it will be in the Glory of God. By acknowledging that God operates in His Glory, you will glorify God as God.
Rom. 1:22, 23
Rom 1:22, 23 (MKJV) reads, “Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.”
Where there is no knowledge of the Glory of God it is easy to liken the Glory of the Holy Spirit of God to the image of man, or animals and insects. We are told in John 4:24 that, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” The Holy Spirit of the Glory of God in not found in graven images like statutes, totem poles, or photographs, etc. Nor is He found in the sun or the moon or the stars, or images thereof.
The Glory of God is with the Clouds of Heaven, that Holy City Jerusalem from above. The Clouds of Heaven are not the same as the clouds of the earth. A Cloud of Heaven has a Light that shines in it. The Apostle Paul describes the Light of the Glory of God as “a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun (Acts 26:13).
The brilliancy of the Light of the Cloud of the Glory of God is purer than the sun when it shines in its strength. This means that you cannot look into the sun, but you can look into the Light of the Glory of God. The Light of the Cloud of the Holy Spirit of the Glory of God in Christ also has the brightness of the rainbow about it (Ezek. 1:27, 28).
Rom. 1:24, 25
Rom. 1:24, 25 reads, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
We change the truth of God into a lie when we accept the manifestations of the devil as coming from the Holy Spirit. We also change the truth of God into a lie when we misinterpret and misrepresent the Word of God. The Word of God in Ps. 56:5 says, “Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.”
When we misinterpret and misrepresent the Word of God we give the devil dominion over our life. In Matt. 4:3-11 we find that the devil tried to get our Lord Jesus Christ to worship him by misquoting Scriptures. When we misunderstand Scriptures we open ourselves up to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1Tim. 4:1). Acts 7:42, 43 give us an example of this.
In Acts 7:42, 43 the Martyr of Christ says, “Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.”
We also change the truth of God into a lie when we accept a spirit that does not appear in the Glory of God. Thus, we worship and serve the created rather than the Creator.
Rom. 1:26, 27
Rom. 1:26, 27 reads, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
Rom. 1:26, 27 describe a lesbian woman and a gay man. The lesbian woman and the gay man are described in Rom. 1:26 as a female and a male whom God gave up unto vile affections. These vile affections, or dishonourable passions, are the desire to lay with a member of the same sex. Like the attitudes in Rom. 1:29-31, these desires for sex with members of the same sex are also the result of the works of the spirit of the wrath of God. Not all of us are given up to the same works of the spirit of the wrath.
In Rom. 1:24 the Apostle Paul writes that, “God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.” The words “God also gave them up” indicates that, just as God gave others up to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28) – a lesbian and gay person has also been given over to lesbian and gay affections.
According to Rom. 1:24 you dishonour your body when you have sex with a member of the same sex. Your body is a member of Christ (1Cor. 6:15), and also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:19; 1Cor. 3:16, 17). Rom. 1:24-27 is written to believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and not to atheists and those who adapt Scriptures to suit them.
From Rom. 1:24, 26, 27, 29-31 we can understand that the wrath of God can rest upon us in any form of vile affection. In addressing their unchristian way of dispute resolution, the Apostle Paul writes to the Church, saying, “Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren (1Cor. 6:8).
The mere act of litigation against your fellow believer is an act of fraud that robs you of your salvation in Christ. This is evident from the next verse. In 1Cor. 6:9, 10 the Apostle Paul continues, saying, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,”
Referring to 1Cor. 6:9 – the word “effeminate” is translated from the Greek word “malakos” and refers to a catamite, figuratively speaking. The phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind” is translated from the Greek word “arsenokoitēs” which means a sodomite.
The phrases “uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts” and “vile affections” in Rom. 1:24, 26 refer to the same lusts of the flesh mentioned in 1Cor. 6:9.
In 1Cor. 6:10 the Apostle Paul continues, saying, “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” From 1Cor. 6:9, 10 we can learn that gays and sodomites are under the same condemnation as thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revellers and extortionists.
In 1Cor. 6:11 the Apostle Paul continues, saying, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” This means that in Christ Jesus you have been set free from all the works of the spirit of the wrath of God.
Rom. 1:28 reads, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
Rom. 1:28-31 list various attitudes that are unbecoming of the believer in Jesus Christ. Dan. 4:33, 34 recounts how that God changed the human mind of king Nebuchadnezzar to the nature of an animal. King Nebuchadnezzar consequently lived in the veld and ate grass like an animal. Likewise, the spirit of wrath also influences our minds. When we are not born again we are under the spirit of wrath – regardless of our capabilities.
We cannot reflect the mind of Christ when we are not born again. The only way that we can retain God in our knowledge is when our knowledge reflects the knowledge of the Glory of God. Your knowledge can only reflect the knowledge of the Glory of God when you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit of the Glory of God.
Rom. 1:29-31 list various attitudes in our lives as a result of the wrath of God. The list in Rom. 1:29-31 reads: all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.
The spirit of the wrath of God is not the Holy Spirit of our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, if any of the works of wrath listed in Rom. 1:24, 26, 27, 29-31 operate in your life or in the life of a loved one, you can get deliverance in Christ Jesus, if you want to and believe.
God bless and guide you.