Ask A Pastor: Is God Angry With Christians When We Sin?
“I know that God is angry with the wicked every day, but is He angry with His people when we sin? Does He chasten us in anger?”
These are good questions, and it is important to ask them because we need to know the answers. God is indeed angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11), but there are a few things about that which we should seek to understand:
(1) God is just and altogether righteous, and so He hates sin and will by no means clear the guilty. His justice must be satisfied in order for His mercy to be extended.
(2) God’s anger is a righteous indignation, and so it is not, like ours, subject to mood swings. God Himself does not change, and, as a result, His anger toward the wicked and unbelieving does not change except there be a change in the sinner’s legal status and spiritual condition.
(3) God sent His own dear Son into the world to be a Substitute for sinners. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, fulfilled all righteousness on behalf of those for whom He was sent, and was also offered up unto death on the cross in order to pay the full penalty of their unrighteousness. Hence, there is forgiveness with God after all.
(4) These are the very people whom God loved in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Each and every one of them will be saved (John 6:37) and will be kept by God’s power through faith in Christ to the end of the world (1 Peter 1:5). They are saved, not by any works of their own, but by grace apart from works, and that saving G-R-A-C-E means that they receive God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense; they owe all honour and glory to Him.
(5) Everyone else is offered this same salvation, freely and sincerely (Isaiah 45:22; Ezekiel 18:23; Romans 10:11-13), which means that they have no one to blame but themselves if they refuse it. Those who never hear the gospel call are condemned for their sins – the wages of sin isdeath, remember – but those who hear and still refuse this offer are even more to blame (Luke 12:47,48).
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8.) God is never angry with His people, with His children and heirs, in the same way that He is with the wicked. Because He declares us righteous before Him through faith in Christ, and because that is now how He sees us for Christ Jesus’ sake, He is longsuffering toward us. But we must never play with sin or test His patience. The Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom we are sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
It is true that the Lord chastens us when we go astray, but we should not feel threatened by that. Rather, we should be thankful instead, because He does it for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness (see Hebrews 12:5-11). The fact is that He loves those whom He chastens and has promised to heal our backslidings. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us” (1 John 1:9).