Romans 1:18 NASB
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”
The wrath of God must be understood to accurately portray the gospel and God’s perfect will in our lives. Wrath is translated in the greek “thumos”. This specific use of the word wrath indicates strongly a sense of internal displeasing, anger from God. His agitation towards sin is revealed from heaven referring to judgement. God’s wrath is not like our wrath. We become angry in our flesh and lash out in passion that is not always aligned with righteous anger. God’s perfect and justified anger can’t be viewed as evil or misplaced. We must have an appreciation and fear of God’s anger towards unrighteousness. God cannot be Holy and just without placing His wrath upon those who are unrighteous. If He did not then He could not be Holy. For God reveals not only His righteousness through the action of the gospel but also His objection towards the very unrighteousness He is saving us from.
Specifically, Paul addresses men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is intentional in showing the willful ignorance of the Gentile towards God’s holiness. They suppress the truth like someone who subdues their conscience and numbs it to the truth. Man suppress the truth and what is right by committing acts of sin and callousing the heart. The Gentiles did not have the Law of Moses but they still had the truth which God implants into our conscience where we know the truth but still violate it and suppress it with wickedness. It is through this suppression and acceptance of unrighteousness that God’s wrath is aimed and only by God’s righteousness can someone be spared of that wrath.
“We should understand that since God is eternal, His anger also remains to eternity. On the other hand, since He is endowed with the greatest excellence, He controls His anger. He is not ruled by it; rather, He regulates it according to His will. What I am saying is not contrary to what I have previously said. For is His anger were completely inextinguishable, there would be no place after a sin for satisfaction or reconciliation. Yet, He Himself commands men to be reconciled before the setting of the sun. In other words, the divine anger remains always against those who sin always…He who ceases to sin renders the anger of God extinguishable.
Lactantius (c. 304-313, W), 7.277 extended discussion: 4.529, 7.259-7.280.