But now the apostle makes an abrupt shift, and begins dealing with an entirely new subject altogether from this glorious righteousness of God which is reckoned to the account of every person who believes.  Instead of launching upon a detailed explanation of that blessed righteousness of God which is revealed from faith to faith in the Gospel, or laying out more Old Testament evidence for his blessed doctrine of free justification through the blood and righteousness of Christ, he dives into probably the deepest discourse in all the scriptures upon the wrath of God, its manifestation, and the reasons for it.  Why do we see this abrupt change?  This is an important question for us to answer, but as we carefully examine the context of Romans the reason should become obvious.

Paul now begins to speak of the wrath of God, because he must set the grace of God in its proper context.  Our modern age provides a tragic revelation of what happens when the love and grace of God is preached to the absolute exclusion of His wrath against sinners.  Such unbalanced teaching is in reality false teaching, and produces antinomianism, licentiousness, and false confidence in people who think they may practice all manner of ungodliness, and yet still be right with God.  Paul would have us to know that, as glorious as this Gospel of God’s grace is, it does not forever banish His fully equal attributes of justice and wrath against sin.  Rather, God’s grace is a remarkable contrast to His just anger against sinful men who have turned their backs upon Him to pursue their own ways and devices.