Romans 2; God’s Goodness


Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4

Romans is so rich in God’s grace and goodness. We see again and again how it is not works that save us, but God’s grace and goodness that save us. Even when some people preach faith and grace they still unwittingly preach legalism. For example, Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God.” Here we see that God’s grace gives us faith. Our faith does not give us grace. God gives us grace so that we will have faith. My faith is in response to God’s grace. That is the gospel. God’s grace is not in response to my faith. That would be legalism. Likewise in Romans 2:4, God’s goodness leads me to repent and turn away from sin. That is the gospel. My repentance does not lead to God’s goodness. That would be legalism.

The Human Race Has A Sin Problem

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile Romans 2:9

Romans 2 and this week’s SS lesson makes it clear that we are all have a sin problem. Even those who preach the truth struggle with sin. “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1 NIV  For example, the same men who wrote those noble words on the Declaration of Independence  “All men are created equal” also owned slaves! And while we are at it, let’s make it clear that not all slave owners were white and not all slaves were black. This is not about race. It is not about time. Romans 2 makes it clear that the entire human race has a sin problem. Jew, Gentile, Yellow, red, brown, and black and white, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, we are all a part of the only race the Bible recognizes, and that is the human race. The human race has a sin problem.

The Jews were appalled at the crimes their fathers committed against God’s prophets and then turned right around and Crucified His Son! When you study history you find you are not studying about long ago and faraway places as much as you are studying about human nature in anytime and anyplace. We are all the same. We can stereotype and label other people as having a sin problem, or we can confront the fact the we ourselves have a sin problem. Here is good news for those who accept they have a sin problem:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 NIV

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD “—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalms 32:5

Before we can be a part of the solution we have to see ourselves as part of the problem. Romans has the solution for the sin problem!

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.