The Immutability of God, and The Transition from Wrath to Favor, by David Bishop
I deny the idea that God is never angry with His elect. I deny the concept of two wraths – in the sense that there is one wrath in which God is angry with the non-elect, and then another kind of wrath in which God is not ever angry with His elect.
From what I can tell, Scripture affirms only one kind of wrath, in the sense of God being angry with sin. Of course, anybody who believes the Bible agrees that God’s anger at the non-elect. I Thessalonians 1: 16–God’s wrath has come upon them completely”.
But I also deny the view that God is never angry with His elect.
Scripture never defines the elect as being under God’s hatred, but it does indeed define the elect as being under God’s anger prior to justification. Anger and hatred are two different things, and I don’t think we should confuse the two.
Psalm 7:11 “God is angry with the wicked everyday.”
Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – 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.”
Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:6 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification for all men.”
I know some who believe Jesus died only for His elect, but then who deny God is angry with His elect prior to justification. But Romans 5:6 defines the elect as ungodly (speaking prior to justification). If God is not angry with the ungodly, then God is not holy. How can the elect be ungodly, but then God not be angry with them?
Ephesians 2:3 says, “and were by nature children of wrath, LIKE THE REST OF MANKIND.”
Some believe that if God were ever angry with the elect, then it would be proof that God is not immutable, that He in fact changes.The immutable will of God doesn’t mean God’s decrees had no change built into it. What I mean is, His decree to redeem His elect included the fact that He would be angry with His elect in time, before He justified them. If He had never been angry with His elect, or if He continues to be angry with His elect after He justifies them, then we would have to say that God’s character changes.
But God’s character does not change. When an elect person is imputed with the righteousness of Christ, God declares that person righteous. When an elect person has not yet been imputed with righteousness, God declares that person ungodly and condemned. God is no respecter of persons.
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