Goodness of God
By Terry Cheek
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
From chapter two verses one through three the Bible asks if we who commit sin and point out the sin of others do so thinking we will avoid judgment. We know that we cannot avoid judgment. Why would we want to be so hypocritical about it? We pick up this article with verse four which asks if we despise the riches of God. Specifically, goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. The goodness of God speaks of his many attributes, some of which are virtue, purity, and grace. God accepts the repentance of his children as an act of grace and mercy brought about through his purity and virtue. Then there is forbearance which is God’s restraint from giving us justice instead of mercy. Again speaking to the child of God. When we rebel or become judgmental we risk bearing the wrath of God. Who are we to condemn someone when we are nothing more than redeemed individuals by God’s saving grace? Finally, there is longsuffering. Which is God patiently enduring the faults and failures of those saved by grace through faith in Christ. It is easy for us to forget where we came from after years of faithfully following God through Jesus Christ. The Christian is reminded of where they came from. I am reminded of being told as an adolescent and young adult to not get above my raising. We should always remember in the lives of every born-again believer, those who are walking closely and at a distance, that God’s goodness will lead us all to repentance.
Romans 2:5-11 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”
Our Bible describes a person with a hard and impenitent heart as someone who is calloused against God and does not have any sorrow for their actions or behavior. This can be a religious person who has spent their entire life in church attendance and service. Or it can be someone who has never darkened the door of a church. God is not speaking to the act of an outward appearance. He is speaking to the condition of their heart. The Pharisees looked good but many if not most of them had a hard and impenitent heart. That is why they refused to accept Jesus and their Messiah. We are told specifically that these people have a revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Revelation is the revealing of secrets and them becoming known. Each one of us will have the secrets of our hearts revealed by God’s righteousness and sovereignty. Those who seek the glory of God, his honor, and eternal life. And, those who are contentious, obeying unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath. The Westminster shorter catechism offers this. “What is the chief end of man? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” How often do we seek to glorify ourselves or others? We can stand with some of the mightiest men preaching and teaching the Bible but if we do not stand to glorify God we are failing him. Finally, we are told God is no respecter of persons. Our family name, finances, influence, years of church membership, or the people who know us do not impress God. Only the purpose held in our hearts. Until we meet again in person or print may God bless you is my prayer
Nelson, Thomas. KJV Study Bible, eBook. Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry
You can contact Terry by email at email@example.com
Or by visiting www.theinspiringword.org
Read more from Terry Cheek here.