“Saved Through Him from Wrath” ( Romans 5: 1-10, HOLMAN ) by Carley Evans


So much of the good news is contained in the first ten verses of the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome. He says clearly that we are “declared righteous,” that “we have peace with God,” that “we have obtained access” to “this grace in which we stand.” We may know with certainty that “this hope will not disappoint us.” Why? “Because God’s love has been poured out.” We have been given the Holy Spirit. And all this was given to us “while we were still helpless.” “Christ died for the ungodly.” That’s you and me! This willing death of God’s Son “proves” God’s love for us. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” Therefore, “we will be saved through Him from wrath.” After all, says Paul, if Christ died for us while we were His enemies, “how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His Life!”

Since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that,but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance,endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!

“The Wrath of Man” ( James 1: 20-22, WYC ) by Carley Evans


James warns us to cast aside “plenty of malice” for “the wrath of man” does not work “the rightwiseness of God.” Then he bluntly tells us to be “doers of the Word” so that we do not deceive ourselves. James tells us it is not enough to hear Jesus; we must follow after Him.

Presently we see a great deal of “the wrath of man” as well as “plenty of malice.” Just examine your local newspaper if you doubt this is true. The problem is that Christians are expressing this same “wrath” and “malice;” this is unfortunate as our malice and wrath do not work “the rightwiseness of God.”

We are to be doers of the Word.

1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.]

This was in the beginning at God.

All things were made by him, and without him was made nothing [nought], that thing that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men;

and the light shineth in darknesses, and [the] darknesses comprehended not it. (John 1: 1-5, WYC)

Jesus is the Word; and He is Light who shines in darkness. The darkness does not understand ( or overcome ) the Light of Love, who is Jesus.

20 for the wrath of man worketh not the rightwiseness of God.

21 For which thing cast ye away all uncleanness, and plenty of malice, and in mildness receive ye the word that is planted, that may save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Be like the Light of Love; be the Word.

“His Own Choice” ( Romans 9: 8 – 23, Knox Bible ) by Carley Evans


Isaac Blessing Jacob, painting by Govert Flinc...
Isaac Blessing Jacob, painting by Govert Flinck (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).

Does Paul mean to say that God chooses whom He blesses? Paul may as well say, “Of course I do!” Paul pulls out some ammunition from the old covenant scriptures. He mentions the clear division between Pharoa and Moses – one an object of God’s wrath, the other an object of His mercy. Paul briefly tells of Abraham’s two sons; he says, “You know them; you know how that all came down.” Then he fleshes out the story of Rebecca’s two sons: Jacob and Esau. He writes:

“God’s sonship is not for all those who are Abraham’s children by natural descent; it is only the children given to him as the result of God’s promise that are to be counted as his posterity. It was a promise God made, when he said, When this season comes round again, I will visit thee, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only she, but Rebecca too received a promise, when she bore two sons to the same husband, our father Isaac. 11 They had not yet been born; they had done nothing, good or evil; and already, so that God’s purpose might stand out clearly as his own choice, 12 with no action of theirs to account for it, nothing but his will, from whom the call came, she was told, The elder is to be the servant of the younger13 So it is that we read, I have been a friend to Jacob, and an enemy to Esau.”

Paul hears the protests. He realizes how this sounds to the human ear. God is unfair. How dare He pick and choose us like that. How dare He send some of us to eternal hell while rescuing only a few of us! Paul counters:

14 What does this mean? That God acts unjustly? That is not to be thought of. 15 I will shew pity, he tells Moses, on those whom I pity; I will shew mercy where I am merciful;16 the effect comes, then, from God’s mercy, not from man’s will, or man’s alacrity. 17 Pharao, too, is told in scripture, This is the very reason why I have made thee what thou art, so as to give proof, in thee, of my power, and to let my name be known all over the earth.18 Thus he shews mercy where it is his will, and where it is his will he hardens men’s hearts.19 Hereupon thou wilt ask, If that is so, how can he find fault with us, since there is no resisting his will? 20 Nay, but who art thou, friend, to bandy words with God? Is the pot to ask the potter, Why hast thou fashioned me thus?21 Is not the potter free to do what he will with the clay, using the same lump to make two objects, one for noble and one for ignoble use? 22 It may be that God has borne, long and patiently, with those who are the objects of his vengeance, fit only for destruction, meaning to give proof of that vengeance, and display his power at last;23 meaning also to display, in those who are the objects of his mercy, how rich is the glory he bestows, that glory for which he has destined them.

Do you believe in destiny? Do you know God’s sovereign power? Do you protest against His own choices? When you recognize and accept God’s mercy in the light of Romans 9 and John 1 and Ephesians 1, to name a few, then you may find yourself melting away, or as Job puts it so well, “repenting in dust and ashes.”

“Love Mercy?” ( Proverbs 14:22 WYC ) by Carley Evans


The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The one who knows the truth; who believes in the Lord — in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — loves mercy.  That those who believe in Jesus and His sacrifice also love mercy should come as no surprise. Jesus is the epitome of mercy. The opposite of mercy is evil. “They err that work evil.”

“He that believeth in the Lord, loveth mercy; they err that work evil. Mercy and truth make ready goods (Mercy and truth bring forth good things);”

A lot of wrath rolls off the tongues of those who ought to remember that “mercy and truth bring forth good things.”

“The Wrath Of God” (Proverbs 15: 1, HCSB) by Carley Evans


(Friday, June 4, 2010 at 1:21pm)

A harsh response stirs up wrath.
A gentle answer turns away anger.

“Don’t allow the sun to go down on your anger.”

“For anger does not bring about the will of God.”

“Who can stand before His wrath? Who can resist His fury? His anger pours out like a stream of fire, and the rocks melt before Him… He Himself will make an end of you all.” (Nahum 1: 6, 8, NEB)

Essentially the only time Jesus is recorded as angry is in the temple which is a marketplace rather than a place of worship — a “den of thieves” rather than the “house of the Lord.” Jesus drives out the thieves with the very wrath of God.

Anger is a part of our God. He knows anger; He feels wrath — a need for revenge against enemies. God has enemies; they are us.

God’s gentle response to His anger against us, His enemies, is to send His Son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross in our stead; His wrath is not turned away but poured out on His own Son — His wrath is fully released and totally satisfied.

“Untraceable” (Romans 11: 33, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Remember dot-to-dot puzzles? Remember tracing a line from one numbered dot to the next numbered dot in an effort to complete a picture, usually a picture of a puppy or a clown or an umbrella?

God is not a dot-to-dot puzzle who is revealed as you trace a line from one dot to the next. God is untraceable. “For who knows the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid?” (Romans 11: 34 – 35)

Job thinks he knows God, but he is surprised by God. He realizes that he does not know God, that what he believes about God is only a shadow, a rumor of the reality of God.

Today many people appear to know God, claiming they hear His voice, they know His thoughts, they state His truths. But, “how unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways” writes Paul — a man who encounters the Christ on the road to Damascus.

Remember, “God imprisons all in disobedience, so that He may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11: 32) Who fully comprehends this? Who is able to say they have have “the wisdom and the knowledge of God?” Who understands that God punishes all wickedness, yet forgives the wicked? Who understands that God does not abide sin, yet welcomes home the sinner? Who understands how it is that “mercy triumphs over judgment?” (James 2: 13) For God says, “For whoever keeps the entire law, but falls in one point, is ‘guilty of breaking it all’.” (James 2: 10)

God is not a dot-to-dot puzzle to be revealed by tracing over a predetermined yet unseen line. God is a great mystery. He is the good news. He is our savior, healer, sanctifier, and king. Let us rejoice in our salvation — let us be glad Jesus loves us.

“Paid In Full” (Habakkuk 1: 13, HCSB) by Carley Evans


O Lord,”Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.”

Hence, Your Son Jesus comes to live on earth, and die on a cross to save us from Your wrath. Without Jesus’ sacrifice, You are too pure to accept us for we are evil, committing wrongdoing.

Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how many times can my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (Matthew 18: 21) Jesus says to Peter that he must forgive his brother an infinite number of times, even if this brother commits the same sin over and over and over again.

You, O God forgive us in the same manner — an infinite number of times because our sins — our debts against your glory — are paid in full by the blood of Your precious Son, Jesus Christ.

O God, let us be grateful as David is grateful. Let us sing praise to Your Name, and give You all the glory. Amen.