Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 2<br>Excuse #2 - I Am Doing OK Without God

Friday, December 19, 2008

Romans Chapter 2
Excuse #2 - I Am Doing OK Without God
Response: Every moment you keep fooling yourself are accumulating more wrath for judgment day.

Romans 2:4-5 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? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

While ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men, who by their wickedness suppress the truth’, we must not overlook that fact that God rains down his mercies upon both the just and the unjust. Summer and winter and seedtime and harvest come upon both the just and the unjust alike.

When God blesses a city or a congregation or a family that blessing falls upon the whole group – both believers and pagans. And He blesses every day. God’s people see it and give thanks; the unregenerate take it, consume it upon their lusts and ignore the Source. We must not forget, either, that He is also working in His saints by making them salt and light in the world, thus preserving it against the day of retribution. Through them, the gospel call goes out day and night all over the world.

These kindnesses are meant to lead people to repentance. But they do not. And not because of any lack on the part of God. It is on account of the hardness of people’s hearts. They don’t see – they don’t want to see – God’s hand in all things – especially the blessings of life, health, security, shelter, food, breath and peace. They think these things appear by some random arrangement of impersonal universal laws.

And they think they come on account of their own efforts to control and to carve out some piece of life for themselves, however fleeting. So they take God’s kind and merciful providences for granted and they attribute their blessings to dumb luck and human effort. They are OK without the very God who upholds all things by the power of His Word – including the things they receive and consume so ungratefully.

We all did likewise before God made Himself known to us. Hopefully, now that we do know Him, we don’t make the same mistakes. Hopefully there is a visible difference between those who consciously live at the pleasure of their Sovereign Lord and those that live for their own pleasure. Sadly, the Christian church is so often indistinguishable from the world. Do we take God’s providence for granted and do we think that we live of and unto ourselves? Or do we constantly remember the words of Jesus…
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? {Matthew 6:26-30}
…and of His chosen Apostle, Paul…
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. {Romans 6:17-18}


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