Does Sin Provoke God’s Wrath?
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
Romans 1:18-19 (NKJV)
God’s anger is not vengeful, but is best understood as a firm and loving opposition to sin in all its forms and degrees. God’s wrath is a holy antagonism toward those attitudes and actions which oppose his Kingdom and destroy life and relationship.
God’s wrath is not arbitrary or capricious. It bears no resemblance to the unpredictable passions and personal vengefulness of the pagan deities. Instead, it is his settled, controlled, holy antagonism to all evil.
God’s wrath was absorbed by the Son who died in our place and bore our just judgment on the Cross. The death of the innocent and sinless Christ satisfies (i.e., propitiates) God’s wrath for penalty of sin has now been paid willingly by the Son.
A Substitute has appeared in space and time, appointed by God Himself, to bear the weight and burden of our transgressions, to make expiation for our guilt, and to propitiate the wrath of God on our behalf. This is the gospel.
R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross (Orlando, FL; Reformation Trust Pub., 2007), 81.