Riches of His Kindness
Romans 2:4 (ESV) – Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Why doesn’t God strike down people who disobey right on the spot? Have you ever wondered about this question? There are examples of God doing this throughout Scripture. Uzza, Ananias and Sapphira, and Herod Agrippa all died suddenly for their sins. But people sin every day and are not struck down immediately. Why is that? Each of us sin every day and are not struck down on the spot. Why?
Our passage today provides an answer to this question. We read Paul’s words in Romans 2:4, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”
Paul talks about the people who presume upon the kindness, forbearance, and patience of God. Who does he mean by that? He means those that continue sinning, ignoring God’s commands, and living in rebellion. God doesn’t bring immediate punishment for every act of treason against Him, yet they continue. Paul said those kinds of actions are presuming on the riches of God’s kindness.
Why does God give that kindness to undeserved rebels? To lead them to repentance.
The reason for God’s kindness and patience for sinners is to lead them to repentance. It is the fact that God doesn’t slay us immediately that should cause us to
swell with gratitude for His patience.
We should turn from our rebellion when we recognize that God could judge us harshly on the spot but doesn’t. He is longsuffering with us.
Most people living in rebellion against God today believe they are just fine. God’s patience is mistaken for indifference or absence. True Christians refuse to presume upon His grace. Instead, we seek to honor the One who continues to be patient with us. We refuse to model our lives after those who believe God’s patience with their sin will last forever.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Paul describe God’s withholding of immediate punishment as kindness and patience?
- What are examples of sins in your life that were bad enough to deserve immediate punishment?
- How can we let this passage today lead us to repentance? What sins do you need to turn from?
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