Summary: This sermon looks at God’s goodness to us and asks "how do we respond to his goodness?"
Series: The Book of Romans 11/21/2004
The Goodness of God
Text: Romans 2:4-5
Introduction: How do you respond when someone asks you, “how are you doing?” Most of the time you probably give the common answer, “I’m doing fine.” We answer “fine” even if we really aren’t fine don’t we? We do that because we know that asking “how are you?” is really just a cultural greeting and people don’t really care how you are. Most of the time people would be shocked if you tried to tell them how you are really doing.
I began several months ago responding to this greeting by saying “I’m doing better than I deserve.” That is not my original saying; a man named Dave Ramsey uses that on his call-in radio program. I love that response because it acknowledges that we receive blessings everyday that we do not deserve. If we truly got what we deserved we would be in a lot worse shape than we are. In fact if we got what we deserved we would immediately experience the wrath of God.
You know God’s timing is perfect. I mean here we are for the last several weeks, studying the book of Romans, and on this week of Thanksgiving we come across a verse on which is perfect for us to focus. A verse that deals with God’s goodness to us and all for which we have to be thankful. A verse that reminds us not to take God’s goodness toward us for granted.
Read with me Romans chapter 2 beginning in verse 4
I want you to think this morning about how lightly you regard God’s goodness toward you. What affect does God’s goodness have on you?
The first thing about God’s goodness that I want us to see this morning is Two Aspects of God’s Goodness. When the Bible speaks of God’s goodness to us, it refers to his goodness in two different aspects. First of all it tells us that God is Good in His Nature. God’s very nature is to be good. All that he does is good. In fact because goodness is one of his attributes, he can’t do anything bad or evil. Listen to how the Psalmist describes the Lord God in several places:
PSALM 52:1 The goodness of God endures continually.
Psalm 14:1-3 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
Psalm 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD
Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
Because God is always good we can know that all that we face in life is for our good. We know that even the bad things that happen to us are in some way for our good. We may make bad decisions but God’s disposition toward us is always good, and when we seek him he “works all things for the good.” God cannot do evil.
The scripture not only speaks of the fact that God is good but also that he is good to us. A second aspect of God’s goodness is that God is Good in His Actions Toward Us. James 1:17 tells us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,..”
The second thing about the Goodness of God that I want you to see this morning is The Riches of God’s Goodness. And as we look at the riches of God’s goodness toward us, I want you to consider what effect does God’s goodness have on you. Are you grateful for His goodness toward you or do you take it for granted or even despise it by your lack of regard for his goodness? Paul lists for us some of the riches of God’s goodness toward us in verse 4. (Look at it again).
The first of the riches that he lists for us is God’s general goodness toward us or his kindness. God is kind toward us. Just think of all the ways that God has been kind to you. God’s kindness is shown in creation. God has created the sun to keep us warm and to light our way. He has created animals and plants for food. He gives us rain and sunlight to make the crops grow. He has made us with hands that can grip things and can do our work. Legs on which we we can walk. Eyes with which we can see. Listen the way that God has created us and all of his creation shows his goodness toward us. We did not just evolve into the way we are, God created us the way we are, and he is so good to us. You remember that the creation account in Genesis says that after each day of creation God said “it is good.” Do you thank him for his goodness to you in creation? Or do you take it all for granted and even despise his goodness to you?