Do Not Despise the Goodness of God
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]. 2 [But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things. 3 And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? 4 Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)? 5 But by your callous stubbornness and impenitence of heart you are storing up wrath and indignation for yourself on the day of wrath and indignation, when God’s righteous judgment (just doom) will be revealed. 6 For He will render to every man according to his works [justly, as his deeds deserve]. Romans 2:1-6 AMP
Romans 2:4 NKJV says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” God is RICH in goodness, kindness, and patience. He is so very, very, very generous–even with those who least deserve it. The more we come to know the Lord, the more we recognize His extreme generosity with us in every area of our lives!
The Lord, through Paul, gives the Romans a stern rebuke for underestimating His goodness and the riches of His goodness. He asks if they are so BLIND as to trifle with His goodness. He asks if they have forgotten, or if they are just ignorant to the fact, that His goodness is intended to lead us to repent. God actually shows His goodness and kindness to mankind to draw them to Himself and bring about repentance in their heart. God does not reveal His judgment to change hearts, He reveals His goodness!
There are two ways you despise God’s goodness. You despise His goodness to you by thinking that it’s alright for you to sin and do whatever you want to, just because God is good and kind, and you despise His goodness to you by not minding your own business–when you insist on judging and criticizing others–especially when you are already doing the very same things they are. God does not allow us to judge others ever–it is never acceptable to Him–not under any circumstances. Instead, He tells us over and over to humble ourselves before Him and acknowledge that we cannot please Him without His help.
No works we do will suffice–we must acknowledge our inability to save ourselves and bow our knee to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Word and Spirit of God, in our lives. Only people who have truly humbled themselves before God and had a real revelation that their own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), that God loves everyone of us completely unconditionally, that only Jesus can make them the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and who continue to trust in Him to purify their lives, will not be in a rush to judge others. They know that ALL men need God’s grace and mercy!
You despise God’s goodness when you use the Law to shame people into receiving Jesus as Lord. When you point out the sins and flaws in other people in a critical way, you are violating God’s commandment to not judge them. When you ask a person if they have ever told a lie, and you tell them they are a liar, you are passing judgment on them. The Word of God is very emphatic that we should NEVER judge another person. You are storing up wrath for yourself by judging others–whether you have good intentions or not!
Also, you are trying to save them through a method that has been failing for centuries–the Law. Yes, we must obey God’s commandments, but the function of the Law is not to save–it is powerless to save–it is to make mankind aware of their need for a Savior! When you use judgment to try to change people, you despise and underestimate God’s goodness, kindness, and patience. How do you love people and judge them at the same time? The two don’t go together.
You cannot take it upon yourself to convict people of their sins. In John 16:8, Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, “He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” The Amplified Bible says that He will “convict and convince the world.” It is your job to tell people how much God loves them and what He has done for them. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict and convince them. Don’t despise God’s goodness. Tell people about God’s goodness. Demonstrate God’s goodness. When you do it God’s way, many people will be touched and changed–by the grace of God–through your life.