Bible Questions?

What is the difference between anger and wrath in the Bible?

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Anger and wrath are both used in the Bible. Anger is an emotion of dislike when we are confronted with something harmful or hurtful. It is part of our nature and not always necessarily wrong or sinful. However, it can very quickly lead to sin because responding in hate leads to sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”

The loss of control when you are angry leads your heart to a disposition of hatred, bringing out the worst in you, especially when your pride is wounded. This is the opposite of love which is meant to characterise a believer in Christ. There are also times when anger is necessary—for example, the disciplinary anger of a father toward a child. We also see righteous anger from Jesus. In Mark 3:1-5, Jesus was angry at the Pharisees’ indifference to suffering and their ill will. In John 11:15-17, we see Jesus was angry because of the desecration of the temple. The anger seen here results from the dishonouring of God and is far from being sinful. Sinful anger is the loss of control, bringing out the worst in the fallen human nature, such as when Cain kills Abel in Genesis 4:3-8. 

On the other hand, God’s wrath is a strong term describing God’s anger in scripture. It is the response of a holy and just God to the sinful actions of those who do not meet the standard of His holiness. Wrath is not God’s eternal attribute but His reaction to sin. The wrath of God is not opposed to His love; instead, it is in the outworking of that love. If God were indifferent to sin, then He would not be loving. Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

Those who do not profess Jesus Christ, who is risen as their Savior and God, remain under God’s wrath. Ephesians 2:3 says, “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” The good news of the gospel is that through the atoning work of Christ, He has made it possible for us to be delivered from the wrath of God because Christ Himself took it in our place. Romans 5:9 says, “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

We who are in Christ have been reconciled to God our Father and are no longer under condemnation. Romans 5:10 says, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

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