This passage gets to the heart of the Christian message. God created the world and created us to have relationship with him. But many people have chosen to reject God and exchange his truth for a lie, resulting in his “wrath”. This is an often-misunderstood term and can cause fear. But here we see that God shows his wrath by allowing us to have what we want. When people reject his truth and worship created things rather than the creator, he grants the desires of their hearts – a downward spiral of greed and lusts which takes them further away from him. This all sounds a bit desperate.
But God is loving. He is kind and patient (Rom 2:4) and the aim of his kindness is to lead us to repentance. I think God allows us to degenerate so that we will recognise the emptiness of self-satisfaction and start to look outside ourselves for answers. Paul’s long list of sinful behaviours is a list of symptoms, but the root cause of the problem is broken relationship with God As a physio, if I just treat symptoms rather than diagnosing and treating the real problem, people may feel some short-term relief, but the pain will return. I need to fix the root cause. In the same way, as Christians, we need to focus on the broken relationship with God which is the real cause of the problem – Sin – rather than focussing on sins (the symptoms).
Thank you, Jesus, that you came so that our relationship with our Father could be restored. Thank you that your death and resurrection treated the real problem. Thank you, Lord, for revealing yourself in creation. Please help us, and all the world, to see you and your grace.
Written by Megan Cornell