“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!” Romans 5:9 (NIV)
Many today speak about the need for Christianity to be “relevant” to our needs. How does the Bible speak to me? How will the gospel change my life? How do we read, understand, and then apply God's Word? What does the gospel have to do with me in every day living? To answer these questions, it is almost as if teachers, preachers, and spiritual pundits try to “chase culture” to find ways to make the gospel palatable and “relevant” to its hearers.
For whatever positive outcomes such efforts may achieve, the immediate relevance of the gospel is found in its very essence: the saving power of God. Saving from what? The coming wrath of God.
As Paul begins unfolding the gospel in the book of Romans, he plainly says that “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” God's wrath is coming against all that stands against God's eternal power, divine nature, and righteous decrees (Romans 1:18, 32). Moreover, Paul makes the argument that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and so everyone will be subjected to the coming wrath of God. There are no exceptions. So how is the gospel relevant? It is saves us from the coming wrath of God.
The gospel saves us from God's negative judgment upon us for all eternity. We do not know the day or hour when the Lord is coming. But, we can be certain that God's wrath will be manifest. There is a sense in which the consequences of our sin give us a clue today as to the judgment that is coming against sin and all that causes evil in the world. In these consequences, we experience the reality that wickedness stands against peace and purposes of God. Moreover, wickedness does not produce peace, but only devastation. Ultimately, the gospel saves us from the eternal consequences of darkness and wickedness. Is the gospel relevant today?