Not Justice

J.L. Packer:

What manner of thing is the wrath of God which was propitiated at Calvary?

    It is not the capricious, arbitrary, bed-tempered and conceited anger which pagans attribute to their gods.  It is not the sinful, resentful, malicious, infantile anger which we find among humans.  It is a function of that holiness which is expressed in the demands of God’s moral law (Be holy, because I am holy”–I Peter 1:16), and of that righteousness which is expressed in God’s acts of judgment and reward.  “We know who it is that has said, ‘Justice is mine: I will repay’ ” (Heb 10:30 NEB).

    God’s wrath is “the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness” (John Murray, Epistle to the Romans)…the right reaction of moral perfection in the Creator toward moral perversity in the creature.  So far from the manifestation of God’s wrath in punishing sin being morally doubtful, the thing that would be morally doubtful would be for him not to show his wrath in this way (emphasis added).  God is not just–that is, he does not act in the way that is right, he does not do what is proper to a judge–unless he inflicts upon all sin and wrongdoing the penalty it deserves.

                               Knowing God, chapter 18, The Heart of the Gospel


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