The God of Love and Fury – Gospel in Life

The God of Love and Fury

Tim Keller |  January 6, 1991

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  • God's Love
  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
John 3:16-36
RS 11-12

John 3:13–36

John 3:16 talks about sin and punishment, ideas we often forget when discussing spirituality. It stresses that belief in Jesus Christ is necessary to avoid such punishment. It also highlights the existence of God’s love and anger, both of which are holy and unlike our human feelings, and play a big role in shaping our lives. The cross is where God’s love and anger meet. If we misunderstand it, we might wrongly see God as too forgiving or too harsh.

1. God is a God of fury, but we have to understand his fury (his anger) is actually an expression of his love for the truth and his standards

Our culture can influence how we think, but we need to remember that the idea of a loving God, which was unexpected in a society focused on survival and self-interest, came from the Bible. The Bible’s teaching of love was difficult for society to accept, especially in today’s culture that doesn’t believe in absolute moral standards and truth, leading to a personalized view of God. God’s anger isn’t just grumpiness, it’s His strong opposition to evil, born from His love of truth and goodness, similar to how a government opposes those who break the law.

2. You can’t understand God’s wrath unless you understand his wrath arises from a love for his creation, for people

God’s anger is closely tied to His love, just like our human feelings, as shown in Becky Pippert’s “Hope Has Its Reasons”. God’s anger isn’t just irritability, it’s a divine anger towards sin and evil, which we experience as natural results of disobedience. However, God’s rules are meant to shape us and help us reach our potential, with His anger rooted in His love for truth, standards, and His creation.

3. The real God can only be understood if you understand the cross

Different types of churches can shape how we see God, sometimes leading to wrong images that encourage selfishness or abuse. The real understanding of God is found in the cross, where His anger and love meet, and through His Son’s sacrifice, His anger is calmed and His love is fulfilled. The idea of “no punishment” for those who believe in Jesus highlights the transformative power of Christ’s love and the importance of understanding both God’s love and justice.



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