Summary: Today, I want us to consider the goodness of God. The goodness of God is designed to appeal to our better nature and cause us to respond favorably to God. The purpose of God's goodness and forbearance is not to encourage sin, but to appeal to man's better

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The Goodness of God

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?”

In the book of Romans, Paul introduces the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means for an unrighteous man to be made righteous in the sight of God. Romans 1:16 states,

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work is God's only remedy for lost humanity. Then Paul moves to his doctrine of Man. He shows that the whole human race had a desperate need of righteousness. The Gentiles who had no written law were sinners by nature and stood guilty before an absolute Holy God because they refused to obey the natural law written in their hearts and minds. They willfully violated their conscience and preferred darkness rather than light. Paul goes on to say in Romans 1:21,

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Then in Romans 1:25,

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

Finally, Paul concludes Romans chapter one by saying in verse 28 through 32,

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

With full knowledge, mankind willfully walked in disobedience. Besides that, the Jews judged and condemned the Gentiles while they themselves were guilty of the same sin. The Jews were given the divine Law of God, and clearly understood the standard of God, but still they willfully disobeyed God’s Laws. So God gave them up to their own sinful desires. Their foolish hearts were darkened and their minds were reprobate. God left them to their own ideas. Soon they were involved in gross sex sins and doing things that were unseemly. Homosexuality and lesbianism were rampant. They degraded their bodies and sought to do evil rather than good. They worshiped and served the creation more than the creator. Their thoughts were evil continually. It is amazing how willfully they sinned against God, His goodness and His mercy towards them. The Gentiles sinned against their God-given conscience and the light God had placed in their hearts, while the Jews sinned against the written Law of God, the voice of the prophets and their own conscience. They were both equally guilty before a Holy God. God allowed and tolerated their sin for a season that their sin might appear to be exceedingly sinful, so that the Jews and Gentile alike might see their need for God’s forgiveness and grace. Without God’s grace and mercy, both were hopelessly lost and without remedy.

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