“Closely related to God’s holiness is his wrath, i.e., his holy reaction to sin. Scripture speaks of the wrath of God in high-intensity language, and it is important to note that a substantial part of the Bible’s storyline turns on God’s wrath. No doubt, God is forbearing and gracious, yet he is also holy and just. Where there is sin, the holy God must confront it and bring it to judgment, especially given the fact that sin is not first against an external order outside of God; it is against God himself… Ultimately, in order for God to forgive, he must first satisfy himself, which is precisely what he does in God the Son incarnate, who bears our sin for us as our substitute… God will forgive the sins of his people by punishing a substitute for them… Instead of God leaving us to ourselves and swiftly bringing full judgment upon us, he acts in sovereign grace, choosing to save a people for himself and reverse the manifold effects of sin.”
Stephen Wellum, Christ Alone, 44–46.