How do the Law, faith, and wrath relate?

The law brought condemnation (Rom. 4:15). It is only for sinners, not for the righteous (1 Tim. 1:9). Righteous people do not need the law. The law is for those people who are not trustworthy. Its function is to inflict the penalty of justice upon the transgressor, and so works wrath.


If I am under law and I violate it, as I will (Rom. 1:18-3:20), then I have transgressed. I must be punished, which would rule the fulfillment of the promise. Law nullifies faith and promise.  Additionally, if I am NOT under law and I sin, as I will, then I have not transgressed. There can be sin without there being a transgression. There can be judgement on sin where there is no law, but not on transgression where there is no law (Genesis 19). When a just judgement is made and carried out, the situation is put right (Genesis 4).  Faith is defined as belief that engenders a response which will show evidence of faith. Only one thing hinders our faith, the lack of knowledge. Faith grows by means of knowledge of God revealed in Scripture. However, sometimes God moves us beyond our knowledge so we will struggle and in so doing learn to know Him better. In our struggles when we make uninformed decisions that are inconsistent with the nature and revelation of God. The degree to which we are unaware of God’s revealed character is the degree to which we are immature in our faith and to that extent, we make sinful choices. But at those times, we are not being rebellious, simply immature.

If we do not have faith, then the wrath of God remains upon us (John 3:16-18). But if we have faith, then God’s wrath has been averted form us, because we have been reconciled to God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:19-23). This reconciliation to God occurs because the faith we have been made holy in His sight, if we continue in faith (Colossians 1:19-23). Christ reconciled both Jews and Gentiles to Himself by destroying the Law and its regulations (Ephesians 2:15-16). Having been reconciled to God, we are new creations and He does not count our sins against us (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). 

One key difference between sin as transgression and sin as immaturity is God’s response to it. When God views sin as transgression, He executes His wrath against it to vindicate justice. When God views sin as immaturity, He can not bring wrath. Rather, He deals in love and seeks to restore and grow His beloved but immature children. Sin now has the character of immaturity. We come under his disciplining, restoring love, not His wrath.


One Response

  1. […] How do the Law, faith, and wrath relate? […]

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