It’s Really that Good

The Great Physician at Work by F. Hofmann c. 1890

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”- Romans 2:4

Do i look down on the kindness, forbearance, and patience of God? Do i think so little of Him as to continue to let my sin steam role and man-handle me? Have i used the kindness of God to excuse myself of my own sin? Have i forgotten what the kindness of God cost Him? Yes. Then let me remember. It cost Him the life of His son, the most precious blood ever to spill. It cost the most valuable blood ever to exist to be emptied on the ground. There is a glimmer in the text, a whisper that tells us a true, human problem. The problem with us is not that we think too much of God’s kindness. The verse does not say, “do you think God is THAT merciful, THAT gracious?! You must be joking!” Paul says, “do you think lightly?” Do you look down upon it with contempt? The problem, again, is not that we think too much of God’s kindness but that we think too little of it. God’s kindness in Christ has not made unlikeable people likeable. The kindness of God has not made semi-presentable people presentable, or o.k. people good. God has turned prostitutes into wives. He has turned enemies into sons and daughters. He has turned haters into friends. He has turned idolaters into God-worshippers. He has healed the blind, raised the dead, nourished the sick, and touched the untouchable. The kindness of God, the transforming nature of grace itself, cost the ultimate price, the price of His Only Son. The beautiful, all-satisfying God of the universe allowed Himself to be murdered at the hands of His filthy subjects, so that He could offer, free of charge to us, true life, true identity, true security, true happiness, true salvation. His kindness, His forbearance, and His patience are TOO GOOD. They are THAT GOOD. It is lavishly kind to withhold from us what we deserve and give us what we do not. Let us continue to marinate in the kindness of God in Christ, letting this truth, in its weightiness and lavishness, lead us to a lifestyle of worship and praise. While the passage whispers, it also boldly proclaims. It proclaims judgment for all who do not repent. For there will be a day when God will no longer be kind to those who refuse Him, will no longer pass over their sins, will no longer extend patience. Let us grasp the kindness of God while it lasts, repenting and believing in the greatness of Jesus before it is too late. The doctrine should lead us to mirror and image the Saviour. We mirror and image Him by showing kindness to others, not needing them or using them, but loving them and extending mercy. And then for the extra mile: we are to exercise this kindness to the most unlovable, the most despicable, the worst enemy, for, in a simply way, this is what Christ has done to us.

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