Repentance and God's Goodness
A Sermon on Romans 2:2-4
We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 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? (ESV)
The kindness of God leads us to repentance, but God's goodness does not erase His wrath. If that sounds severe, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones eloquently brings the proof from Romans 2:4. God, by His unchanging character is good and just. Though He is long-suffering, He never ignores sin. His justice requires that He wrath against sin. It would be like a parent threatening a disobedient child but never following through with a punishment. That child loses respect for the parent since the expectation of punishment never came true. In the same manner, we should be in awe of God and his mercy toward us, and our sin should cause us to actively repent. We should never use an attribute of God or Scripture for our own selfish purposes. Paul is preaching to the Romans in this passage that the Lord leads them, both the believer and the unbeliever. The word that leads is an active and positive word. The fact that the Lord is actively leading us is a great hope and proof of His great goodness and mercy!