In this set of verses Paul mentions four blessings that come to those who have been justified. We will think about two of them today. The first is that believers are saved from the wrath of God. The wrath of God is an ever-present reality for those who are not in a state of justification. Paul’s words here are a reminder that there are only two classes of people in the world – there are those who have been justified and there are those who are under the wrath of God.
Moreover, the wrath of God has present and future aspects. It is usual for us to think about it in its future aspect when it will be revealed on the Day of Judgement as God through Jesus will judge the world and sentence them to a lost eternity.
Yet there is also a sense in which God’s wrath is revealed in the present against those who practice sin. He reveals his wrath in a variety of ways through his providence, whether it be through natural disasters or wars. One of the ways in which God shows his wrath is by abandoning sinners to their own choices and letting them live a life of increasing sinfulness. Such don’t realise what is happening as they proceed to enjoy what they think is life. To be in such a situation is very solemn.
The good news for the justified is that because they have received this status from God they can never experience his wrath. It is the case that they can be affected by the circumstances brought about by God’s wrath on society, such as a war, but for them it is not an expression that God is angry with them. Instead it becomes a means of sanctification for them. And although they will have made many mistakes in life, they will not experience his wrath on the Day of Judgement.
The second blessing that they enjoy is the opposite of wrath. They have become reconciled with God and they and he are no longer enemies opposed to one another. Before they believed in Jesus, they were in a state of hostility – they were hostile to God and he was against them. Now they have been brought into a state of peace in which they can know the fulfilment of his promises to them. Although he has conquered them, he did so with the weapons of love and has brought them into a kingdom in which he will continue to express his love for them in a wide variety of ways.