God’s Goodness

Text: Romans 2:4

Aren’t you glad God is good?  No, you’re not.

This phrase is interesting in that it brings up two very curious ideas.  The first is that you would despise God’s goodness. That doesn’t even sound reasonable, and it’s not.  The second is that God’s goodness as you interpret it is God’s approval when in fact God’s goodness is His longsuffering through His disapproval of behavior until He can hopefully correct it.

You despise God’s goodness when it’s shown to people you don’t like

  • You recognize moral failures in others, but you ignore them in yourself.  You want judgment of other people when they do wrong, but you don’t want it for yourself.  Highly critical of others, but not of ourselves.
  • You say why does that bad person live on?  Sometimes God is giving them an opportunity to get it right.  What you didn’t ask is why do you live on?
  • You get to a crossroads where you can put on display the goodness of God toward the unlikeable or you can despise the goodness of God toward them.

You despise God’s goodness when it presents us with responsibility

  • What about when God would like to use you to present his goodness to someone else?
  • The cross is an offence.  Jesus Christ is unfortunately an offense.  But the cross and the Lord Jesus Christ are the goodness of God.  You’re embarrassed about the goodness of God.
  • Don’t despise your responsibility to God’s goodness.  Take responsibility for it.
  • Galatians 4:15-16 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

You despise God’s goodness when you’re led by overwhelming guilt

  • God’s leadership will lead you through guilt, but not to guilt.  Guilt is not the destination, it’s something you pass through on the way to restoration.
  • Some of you believe right now that you are too far gone in sin, or you’re too old to change, or you’re too far down some sidetrack in life to get back on course.
  • The verse says it is the goodness of God that provides the leadership to get you where you need to be!
  • God’s goodness is for the purpose of getting you where you need to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, etc.
  • So you have an option.  You can either continue to despise God’s goodness by ignoring his leadership, or you can embrace his goodness and apply these scriptures to your life.
    • Dad guilt and more often Mom guilt.  And then so many parenting decisions get made out of guilt instead of letting the goodness of God in the scriptures direct and lead.
    • Regret in life; I’m just too far down the road to change anything.  Well, you can either continue to despise the goodness of God or you believe the verse you just read.
    • Nineveh was a city that was 1,500 years old – 15 centuries.  God said to Jonah Go tell the Ninevites they have 40 days left.  Were they too far gone? They could say Oh we’re too far gone! No, they repented and God spared them.

You despise God’s goodness when you proclaim your own goodness

  • And isn’t that interesting that God’s goodness leads to repentance?  When you and I think of God’s goodness we think of God’s approval of everything you do. And if there is any condemnation on what you’re doing it’s not God’s goodness, it’s bigotry.
  • God’s thoughts are higher than our and his ways higher than our ways.  Of course they are going to be different. And the Lord is trying to bring your thought up where His are.

You despise God’s goodness when it’s presented to us by someone you don’t care for

  • You ever have someone you really don’t like say exactly what needs to be said to you?
    • John the Baptist an outcast.
    • You’ll make it about personality, but it’s not about personality.
  • Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

You despise God’s goodness when it’s presented in a way you don’t like

  • Preaching is how God has manifested his word and some folks would rather it be given a different way.
  • The hypocrisy here is incredible.  You know you’ll accept a lie in almost any form.  Loud, quiet, with explosions, with profanity, violence, murder, hatred, screaming, etc.  I mean you want the preacher to tone it down, or not use such harsh language, but you’ll go home and absorb much worse from a movie that is completely fake.  Or from your buddies in conversation at work.
  • But how dare that preacher get too excited about the truth.  Or that Christian get too excited about being saved. Tone it down a little bit, that’s so embarrassing.
  • Aren’t you glad you weren’t the mother of the girl who was raised from the dead by Jesus Christ?!
  • The truth is that presentation is not really the problem.  It is that we don’t like the truth.

You despise God’s goodness when you neglect his forgiveness in Jesus Christ

  • Not saved here today, then you have despised God’s good sacrifice for your sin.