Did the cross bring an end to the wrath of God?
How can God still be angry at sin? After the cross, aren’t we in the clear? Why would believers experience the wrath of God?
There is a movement in Charismatic circles known as Hyper-Grace that has many similarities to Free Grace Theology. They believe strongly in faith apart from works. They also affirm eternal security. Proponents of Hyper-Grace include Paul Ellis, Joseph Prince, and Andrew Farley.
However, there are differences, too. One difference is that Hyper-Grace denies the wrath and judgment of God in the life of the believer. They have no place for it after the cross. By contrast, Free Grace Theology emphasizes God’s temporal wrath and discipline, even on believers. That insight is crucial to correctly understand the warning passages of Scripture.
This issue does raise a genuine question, namely, how can that be? How can God still show wrath after the cross? Didn’t the cross solve the wrath problem?
Paul Peter Waldenstrom (1838-1917) was a Swedish theologian, a Pietist, and a leader in the free church movement. Here is how he answered the question:
“Where is it written in Scripture, that God’s holy wrath is quenched in blood? We see quite the opposite, that in Scripture it speaks about God’s wrath with just as much seriousness after as before the shedding of Christ’s blood. For God’s wrath is nothing other than the character or form that God’s righteousness takes on in relationship to sin. It is in its essence the same as God’s righteousness. To ‘quench God’s wrath’ would therefore be the same thing as quenching God’s righteousness. And that is certainly not what Christ accomplished. No, God’s righteousness can never in all eternity take on any other form in relation to evil than disgust and wrath. This much is clear: God’s wrath over sin could not be removed through the death of Christ.” (P. P. Waldenstrom in The Swedish Pietists: A Reader, p. 59).