Goodness, Leading to Repentance

Romans 2:1-4
"Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"

We are a Romans 1 people, and rightly so.  It is true that ungodly people suppress the truth in their ingratitude.  God turns them over to their sinful desires as part of His judgment.  We accurately assess unbelievers in this.  But as believers we are targeted in Rom 2.  We are without excuse.  The difference between believers and unbelievers isn’t that we don’t sin and they do.  It isn’t even that we admit the truth and they don’t.  The difference is that we repent and admit our wrong and seek God’s forgiveness.  We need lots of training and reminding to do this, and so we pause and think about it at this point in the service.

It is God’s goodness that leads us to repent.  He holds back judgment to give us opportunity to admit our fault.  We easily take this as God letting it go.  But He is waiting for repentance, not letting it slide.  Don’t take God as one who overlooks sin.  He wants you sanctified.

But also don’t take God as an angry, frowning, scolding God.  Psalm 103 says He will not always chide.  It is God’s goodness that helps us have the boldness to admit our wrong and hope for favor from Him anyway.  He is not a hard master, but a loving Father.


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