OR DO YOU
THINK LIGHTLY: e kataphroneis (2SPAI):
(Romans 6:1,15; Ps 10:11; Eccl 8:11; Jer 7:10; Eze 12:22,23; Mt
24:48,49; 2Pe 3:3)
"Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise
and underestimate" (Amplified)
"are you treating with contempt", (Wuest)
(e) introduces the alternative.
Or, the thought is, is it that you
have such a poor estimate of God’s goodness that you think it gives you
license to sin?
reminds us that...
"An important part of the teaching of
this epistle is that God is a merciful God; His purposes are always
purposes of mercy. He may at times be engaged in activities like
judgment that seem to the casual observer to be directed against the
sinner. But even God’s judgments must be seen in a context of mercy;
they are meant to lead people to repentance and
forgiveness. God never punishes for the sake of punishment. And if this
is the case with judgment, much more is it so with God’s forbearance.
So, before he brings out what is in store for the impenitent sinner,
Paul has a short section in which he speaks of God’s kindness as
leading people to repentance." (The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Regarding the "you"
("thou" KJV), Spurgeon observes that
The apostle is intensely personal in
his address. This verse is not spoken to us all in the mass, but to some
one in particular. The apostle fixes his eyes upon a single person, and
speaks to him as "Thee" and "Thou."... I will give nothing for that kind
of hearing which consists in the word being heard by everybody in
general, and by no one in particular. It is when the preacher can "Thee"
and "Thou" his hearers that he is likely to do them good. When each man
is made to say, "This is for me," then the power of God is present in
the word. One personal, intentional touch of the hem of Christ's garment
conveys more blessing than all the pressure of the crowd that thronged
about the Master...Observe that the apostle singled out an individual
who had condemned others for transgressions, in which he himself
indulged. This man owned so much spiritual light that he knew right from
wrong, and he diligently used his knowledge to judge others, condemning
them for their transgressions. As for himself, he preferred the shade,
where no fierce light might beat on his own conscience and disturb his
unholy peace. His judgment was spared the pain of dealing with his home
offenses by being set to work upon the faults of others. He had a
candle, but he did not place it on the table to light his own room; he
held it out at the front door to inspect therewith his neighbors who
passed by...The poet of the night-watches wrote,--"All men think all men
mortal but themselves." As truly might I say, "All men think all men
guilty but themselves." The punishment which is due to sin the guilty
reckon to be surely impending upon others, but they scarce believe that
it can ever fall upon themselves. A personal doom for themselves is an
idea which they will not harbour: if the dread thought should light upon
them they shake it off as men shake snow-flakes from their cloaks. The
thought of personal guilt, judgment, and condemnation is inconvenient;
it breeds too much trouble within, and so they refuse it lodging. Vain
men go maundering on their way, whispering of peace and safety; doting
as if God had passed an act of amnesty and oblivion for them, and had
made for them an exception to all the rules of justice, and all the
manner of his courts. Do men indeed believe that they alone shall go
unpunished? No man will subscribe to that notion when it is written down
in black and white, and yet the mass of men live as if this were true; I
mean the mass of men who have sufficient light to condemn sin in others.
(Despise = KJV, have contempt = NET) (2706)
from kata = down +
= to think, have
understanding <> phren
= mind, faculty of perceiving and judging) literally means
to think down upon and so to despise, scorn, hold in contempt, not care
for because it is thought to be without value. It means to "think little
of". The idea is to look down on someone or something with contempt or
aversion, with the implication that one considers the object of little
value or as unworthy of one’s notice or consideration.
something is to look down on it as inferior and not worth consideration
or care. It is to disdain it and treat it with contempt as being
present tense indicating that this contemptuous attitude is continuous and
not just a one time thought.
Active voice emphasizes that this
attitude/action is a personal, conscious, willful choice and thus they
are fully accountable. One has to agree with J. B. Lightfoot who wrote
"The blackest of sin is not
righteousness violated, but mercy despised."
records that in classic Greek kataphroneo was...
"a common word, used with a single or
double gen. or, more rarely, with the accusative in the general sense of
acting in a way that shows contempt or disregard for somebody or
something, or for somebody on account of something....In the
kataphroneo usually renders (the Hebrew words) bûz and bazâh.
Objects of contempt include God (Hos. 6:7), one’s
father (Gen. 27:12), one’s mother (Prov. 23:22), the ways
of the law (Proverbs 19:16 - "He who keeps the commandment keeps his
soul, but he who is careless [despises - kataphroneo -
of his ways will die). Such contempt was, of course, profoundly
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Milligan write that kataphroneo
“does not denote a mere feeling of contempt—it is active.”
is used 9 times in the NAS and
is translated as - despise, 5; despising, 1; disrespectful, 1;
look down, 1; think lightly, 1.
(note) "No one can serve
two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he
will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 18:10 "See that you do
not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their
angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in
Luke 16:13 "No servant can
serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other,
or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot
serve God and mammon."
Or do you think lightly (KJV = "despisest") of the riches of His kindness and forbearance
and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to
1 Corinthians 11:22 What! Do
you not have houses in which to eat and drink? Or do you despise the
church of God, and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to
you? Shall I praise you? In this I will not praise you.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one look
down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith
and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
1 Timothy 6:2 And let those
who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because
they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those
who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach
Hebrew 12:2 (note)
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat
down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2Peter 2:10 (note)
and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and
despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they
revile angelic majesties,
is used 11 times in the non-apocryphal
- Ge 27:12; Prov. 13:13, 15; 18:3; 19:16; 23:22; 25:9; Jer. 2:36; Hos.
6:7; Hab. 1:13; Zeph. 1:12
One use in the LXX somewhat parallels the use in Romans 2:4
The one who despises
the word (God's Word) will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the
commandment will be rewarded." (Proverbs 13:13)
In another passage
Solomon records that
He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but
he who is careless (despises - kataphroneo -
of his ways will die. (Proverbs 19:16)
is used in
Mt 6:24 (note)
of despising the master one is not devoted to.
"No one (no exceptions) can (is able
or has the inherent power to) serve (as a slave serves with total
devotion, dedication and duty the master) two masters (kurios - have
absolute ownership, supreme authority, uncontrolled power); for either
he will hate (detest or dislike strongly with the implication of
aversion and hostility) the one and love (Love unconditionally and
sacrificially not from affection but based on a decision of the will)
the other, or he will hold (hold oneself face to face with) to one and
despise (kataphroneo) the other. You cannot (is able or has the
inherent power to) serve God and mammon (comprehensive word for all
kinds of possessions, earnings, gains = materialism)."
kataphroneo in a good sense, the writer of Hebrews explaining
for the joy set before Him despising (kataphroneo) the shame (of the Cross)
pointed out some of the characteristics of false teachers explaining
they were men who...
indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise
(kataphroneo) authority (2Pe 2:10- note).
Other things that
are despised or looked down on are God’s church (1Cor 11:22), Christ’s
little ones (Mt. 18:10), a youthful leader, or a leader for his youth
- where Paul says to Timothy who was being despised "Paul says, “Stop
allowing anyone to despise you". In other words assert the dignity of
your office even though men may think you young to hold it) and
Christian masters of slaves (1Ti 6:2 -Christian slaves
are exhorted not to despise their Christian masters, because they (the
masters) are brethren).
Note how the original Greek
construction of this verse places the riches of His kindness at beginning of
the sentence for emphasis. God’s failure to zap people when they sin isn’t evidence of His disinterest. It’s evidence of
His kindness. Paul points out that the Jew & the moralist is
presuming upon the goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering of God,
which all should have brought the them into a humble repentance instead
of an attitude of superiority. They think of the “kindness, tolerance
and patience” of God as if it were a kind of "divine OK" on the course
he has chosen, rather than seeing it as a chance for repentance. No one
should assume he is all right with God just because life is easy for him
at a given time. God calls people through sunshine as well as through
The Jews and "religious" moralists
are continually looking down their noses not just at the pagans
described in Romans 1 but even worse at God Himself!
Hodge comments that to "despise"
"to hold a low opinion. To despise
God’s goodness is to form such a wrong idea of it as to suppose
that it gives a license to sin — to imagine that God will not punish,
either because he is so patient or because his goodness towards
us is so great that we will escape even though others perish." (Hodge,
C. Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 1835)
Sin is always on the downward grade, so that when a man proceeds a
certain length he inevitably goes beyond it. The person addressed by the
apostle first thought to escape judgment, and then he came to think
lightly of the goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering of God. He
thinks he shall escape in the future, and because of that he despises
the present goodness and longsuffering of the Most High. Of course he
does. If he does not believe in the terrors of the world to come for
himself, he naturally reckons it to be a small thing to have been spared
their immediate experience. Barren tree as he is, he does not believe
that he will ever be cut down, and therefore he feels no gratitude to
the dresser of the vineyard for pleading, "Let it alone yet another
year, till I dig about it, and dung it." I wish, as God shall help me,
to drive hard at the consciences of men upon this matter. I would be to
you, my careless friend, what Jonah was to Nineveh: I would warn you,
and bestir you to repentance. Oh that the Holy Ghost would make this
sermon effectual for the arousing of every unsaved soul that shall hear
or read it! (Earnest
OF THE RICHES
OF HIS KINDNESS
(KJV = GOODNESS): e tou ploutou tes chrestotetos autou: (Ro
note, Titus 3:4-note)
Goodness of God
See God's Attribute -Goodness
from pletho = to fill) properly denotes
abundance, plentitude, and literally is used to refer to material wealth
or prosperity (abundance of earthly, temporal goods) which is the
meaning in the parable of the seed and the soils (Mt 13:22, Mk 4:19, Lk
8:14 = Material riches are deceitful and choke out reception of the Word
of God. Be careful all you wealthy readers! Contrast spiritual riches -
Ep 3:8) Indeed, think of the people who know whose whole lives glow with
the glory of God for they are rich in spiritual possessions, albeit
often poor in material possessions!
Francis Havergal alluded to
true riches in these lines...
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Play Hymn - Take My Life and
Let it Be
Version by Chris Tomlin)
In Greek Plutus was the god of
riches. Liddell-Scott records secular uses of ploutos as referring to
treasures of gold, silver, the "riches" of the earth. Our English word
plutocrat means one who rules because of his wealth. In Greek the word
is connected to pleroma, the word for "fullness" so that a rich person
is one who is "full of money or property."
Louw and Nida write that
an abundance of possessions
exceeding the norm of a particular society and often with a negative
J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based
on Semantic Domains. United Bible societies)
The father of Keynesian economics was
J. M. Keynes (1883-1946) who said candidly that
The moral problem of our age is
concerned with the love of money, with the habitual appeal to the money
motive in nine-tenths of the activities of life.
Socrates (470-399 B.c.) said
If a rich man is proud of his wealth,
he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
Detzler writes that...
In early Greek literature, the
fullness of material things was contrasted with the fullness of
spiritual things. It was regarded as crude to be wealthy in terms of
possessions but poor in terms of immaterial things. (Sadly, many people
still make this foolish exchange. They surrender spiritual wealth for
financial fatness.) Along the lines of this spiritual wealth one reads
of Zeus, who was a pagan god rich in peace. But Homer spoke of wealth
which made it possible for one to live without working. Socrates said
that the rich were regarded as being socially sought after. (Wayne A
Detzler. New Testament Words in Today's Language)
Ploutos is more commonly is
used in a figurative sense in the NT to speak of a plentiful supply of
something and thus speaks of spiritual abundance or spiritual prosperity
(God's kindness - Ro 2:4, His glory - Ro 9:23, Ep 1:18, 3:16, Php 4:19,
Col 1:27, His grace - Ep 1:7, 2:7). Here in Romans 2:4 ploutos pictures
an abundance or plentiful supply of God's kindness or goodness.
a veritable treasure store of inexhaustible, bountiful kindness, forbearance
patience. They are not in short supply. Thank You Lord!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
("Sonnets from the Portuguese") stately it beautifully writing that...
God's gifts put man's best dreams
Wayne A Detzler. New Testament Words
in Today's Language.
TDNT writes that
This group is connected with a root
meaning “to flow,” which is connected to “to fill.” The basic sense,
then, is “fullness of goods,” and ploutos may mean either material
wealth or spiritual wealth (of wisdom etc.). Lexicography supports the
linguistic analysis. Thus ploutos means “wealth,” plousios “well-to-do,”
plouteo “to be or become rich,” and ploutizo “to make rich.”
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
The NIDNTT notes that...
The word-group associated with
ploutos is related to polys, much, and means initially
abundance of earthly possessions of every kind. Later its meaning
divided in two directions. In the one it meant riches in a technical and
material sense. In the other it was more general, and occurs with a
qualifying word, generally in the gen., e.g. riches of wisdom, honour,
mercy, etc. All the words in this group can bear this double meaning:
plouteo, be or become rich; ploutizo, make rich; ploutos, possession of
many goods, super-abundance of something, riches; and plousios, as an
adj, wealthy, rich and as a noun a rich man.
In Homer external wealth and virtue are not separated (cf. Il. 1, 171;
16, 596; 24, 536, 546; Od. 24, 486). Rich is a comprehensive term for a
fortunate life blessed by the gods. Plato and Aristotle in particular
judge riches by their effect on society. If they do not serve the
community (polis), they are to be rejected. In Aristotle wealth is
always material and is something that can be used wrongly or rightly (Pol.
1, 9, p. 1256b-1258a, 8; 2, 9, p. 1269a, 34 f.). But Plato distinguishes
material riches from true riches which consist of wisdom, virtue and
culture (Rep. 7, 521a; 8, 547b; Phdr. 279c; cf. F. Hauck and W. Kasch,
TDNT VI 322). The Cynics completely despised material possessions
because they brought commitments and anxieties with them (cf. Stob., Ecl.
5, 782, 18; 5, 785, 15 ff.; 5, 766, 12; 5, 806, 17 ff.; see further TDNT
VI 322). The Stoics considered that the chief danger of riches lay in
their creation of a feeling of false security, but they also recognized
their value because of the opportunities of developing the personality
which they offered (Seneca, De Vita Beata 22, 1; cf. TDNT VI 323).
Basically riches were not to be rejected, for (a) in Gk. culture riches
did not have the sociologically divisive influence that they have had in
other cultures, and (b) the idea never appeared that they could be given
up for the benefit of the poor.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Here are the 22 NT uses of ploutos...notice
that Paul is word is a favorite of Paul's especially in Ephesians, which
is filled with riches!...
Matthew 13:22 "And the one on whom
seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and
the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the
word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:19 and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of
riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the
word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Luke 8:14 "And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones
who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries
and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to
Romans 2:4 (note)
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and
forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you
Romans 9:23 (note)
And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His
glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
Romans 11:12 (note)
Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their
failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment
Romans 11:33 (note)
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of
God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
2 Corinthians 8:2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance
of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their
Ephesians 1:7 (note)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our
trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Ephesians 1:18 (note)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may
know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the
glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 2:7 (note)
in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches
of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:8 (note)
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to
the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Ephesians 3:16 (note)
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to
be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
Philippians 4:19 (note)
And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in
glory in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:27 (note)
to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of
Colossians 2:2 (note)
that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love,
and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full
assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's
mystery, that is, Christ Himself,
1 Timothy 6:17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to
be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches,
but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Hebrews 11:26 (note)
considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.
James 5:2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become
Revelation 5:12 (note)
saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive
power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and
Revelation 18:17(note) for
in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every
shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their
living by the sea, stood at a distance
Comment: Note the striking
contrast between the riches of the Lamb (Re 5:12) and those of the world
system opposed to the Lamb!
There are 70 uses of ploutos
in the non-apocryphal
Gen. 31:16; Deut. 33:19; 1 Sam. 2:10; 1 Ki. 3:11, 13; 10:23; 1 Chr.
29:12, 28; 2 Chr. 1:11f; 9:22; 17:5; 18:1; 32:27; Esther 1:4; 5:11;
10:2; Job 20:15, 18; 21:7; 31:25; Ps. 37:3, 16; 49:6, 10; 52:7; 62:10;
73:12; 76:5; 112:3; 119:14; Prov. 3:16; 8:18; 11:16, 28; 13:7f, 22f;
19:4; 21:17; 22:1, 4; 24:4; 28:8; 29:3; 30:8; 31:3, 29; Eccl. 4:8;
5:13f, 19; 6:2; 9:11; Isa. 16:14; 24:8; 29:2, 5, 7f; 30:6; 32:14, 18;
60:5, 16; 61:6; Jer. 9:23; 17:11; Dan. 11:2; Mic. 6:12;
Haldane explains that Paul
qualifies these three great attributes of God by referring to them as...
the riches of His goodness,
and long–suffering, and forbearance, to mark the greatness of their
extent, their value and abundance, and to excite admiration in beholding
a God all–powerful, who has no need of any of His creatures, and is
infinitely exalted above them, striving for so long a period with an
unrighteous, ungrateful, rebellious, and stiff–necked people, but
striving with them by His goodness and patience. This language is also
introduced to correct the false judgments of men on this patience of
God; for they are apt, on this account, to imagine that there is no God.
If, say they, God existed, He would not endure the wicked. They suppose
that God does not exercise His providence in the government of the
world, since He does not immediately punish their sins. To repress these
impious thoughts, the Apostle holds forth this manner of God’s procedure
as the riches of goodness and patience, in order that the impunity which
it appears that sinners enjoy, might not be attributed to any wrong
principle. (Haldane, R. An Exposition of Romans).
writes of the riches of His kindness...
Yes there is kindness in the midst of
wrath. God is always doing more than one thing. Jesus said, "He causes
His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the
righteous and the unrighteous" (Mt 5:45-note). Paul said to the pagans of
Lystra, "[God] did not leave Himself without a witness, in that He did
good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying
your hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). He said this to people
who were dying and suffering and sinning under the wrath of God. God
warns with his wrath and he woos with his kindness. He speaks both
languages: severity and tenderness. Do you recall how Jesus interpreted
the coming of John the Baptist as a severe, leather-girded,
locus-eating, desert-living, adultery -condemning prophet, on the one
hand, and his own coming as a party-going, wine-making, child-healing,
sin-forgiving savior, on the other hand? He said, "We played the flute
for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn."
Instead, you said, "John has a demon and Jesus is a glutton" (Mt 11:17).
The gospel came with both languages, but they would not hear. O,
unbeliever, God is speaking to you in your pain to warn you, and God is
speaking to you in your pleasure to woo you. Don't misread the voice of
Brian Bell - It is not the
badness of man but the goodness of God that brings a person to
repentance! So, me living with guilt on overload won’t do it?…Nope! How
about Shame that would make a sailor blush?... Nope! The prodigal
(Luke 15:11-32) came to repentance, not when he thought of his
badness but of his father’s goodness! But when he came to himself, he
said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to
spare, and I perish with hunger! (Lk.15:17) “When the dove was weary,
she remembered the ark and flew into Noah's hand at once!” (Spurgeon)
useful, profitable in turn from verb chraomai
= furnish what is needed) refers to providing that which one needs. It
pictures a tender concern for others which is reflected in a desire to
treat others gently. This word includes the idea of so called “common grace”
which speak of the benefits God
bestows on all men (cf. Mt 5:45; Acts 14:15, 16, 17). Chrestotes is kindliness which disposes
God to do good.
See related study of God's Attribute
Here the 10 NT uses of chrestotes - Ro 2:4;
3:12; 11:22; 2 Co. 6:6; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 2:7; Col. 3:12; Titus 3:4
Leon Morris adds that...
The basic thought (of chrestotes) is
that of goodness. But it is the goodness that is goodness of heart, not
that which is austerely correct. The translation “kindness” brings out
this benevolent aspect, but we should not be unmindful of the fact that
goodness is also involved. Paul is thinking of God’s goodness, which
is seen in the kindness he shows to his people. (Morris,
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
kindness of God to us, remembered,
reflected upon, heartily believed in should move our hearts and change
our whole disposition toward God. Contrast unregenerate man's "kindness"
(translated "good" - Ro 3:12-note)
versus regenerate man (Gal 5:22-note,
God's kindness is not just past as shown in this verse, but future as
show in (Ep 2:7-note).
"Strangely, most people do not perceive of God as being totally good.
Instead of recognizing His gracious provision, patience, and His mercy,
they accuse Him of being insensitive and unloving for letting certain
things happen. “How could God allow that little child to die?” they
ask, or, “Why does God allow that good person to suffer pain and poor
health and permit a scoundrel to enjoy health and wealth?” Such people
judge God from an incomplete and distorted human perspective, failing to
acknowledge that, if it were not for God’s gracious goodness and
patience, no human being would be alive. It is only His grace that
allows any person to take another breath (Job 12:10)." (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Moody)
describes the spiritual aspect of the
Myriads of our fellow men have never had an opportunity of knowing
Christ. The missionary's foot has never trodden the cities wherein they
dwell, and so they die in the dark. Multitudes are going downward,
downward; but they do not know the upward road; their minds have never
been enlightened by the teachings of God's word, and hence they sin with
less grievousness of fault. You are placed in the very focus of
Christian light, and yet you follow evil! Will you not think of this?
Time was when a man would have to work for years to earn enough money to
buy a Bible. There were times when he could not have earned one even
with that toil; now the word of God lies upon your table, you have a
copy of it in almost every room of your house; is not this a boon from
God? This is the land of the open Bible, and the land of the preached
word of God; in this you prove the riches of God's goodness. Do you
despise this wealth of mercy? Possibly you have enjoyed the further
privilege of sitting under a ministry which has been particularly plain
and earnest; you have not had sermons preached before you, they have
been preached at you: the minister has seized upon you and tugged at
your conscience, as though he would force you to the Saviour. With cries
and entreaties you have been invited to your heavenly Father, and yet
you have not come. Is this a small thing?
William Newell writes:
Note the degrees or stages, also, of God’s kindness during the
earth-life of such a man: First, it is God’s "goodness, " in daily
preserving him, providing for him, and protecting him. Second, Divine
goodness being despised by him, God’s "forbearance" is exercised, -God
does not smite instantly the proud ingrate, but goes on in goodness
toward him, withholding wrath even at times when disease, danger, or
death threaten all about him. Third, all God’s goodness and forbearance
being despised, God’s "long-suffering" keeps waiting, even over "vessels
of wrath" (Ro 9:22-note) (Romans
God always punishes sinners but sometimes His judgment is delayed so
that men will have time to repent. Thus every breath taken by an unsaved
man is a sign of God's kindness (goodness), meant to lead him step by
step to repentance and faith.
The Goodness of God
Is part of his character -Psalms
25:8; Nahum 1:7; Matthew 19:17
DECLARED TO BE
Great -Nehemiah 9:35; Zechariah 9:17
Rich -Psalms 104:24; Romans 2:4
Abundant -Exodus 34:6; Psalms 33:5
Satisfying -Psalms 65:4; Jeremiah 31:12,14
Enduring -Psalms 23:6; 52:1
Universal -Psalms 145:9; Matthew 5:45
To his Church -Psalms 31:19; Lamentations 3:25
In doing good -Psalms 119:68; 145:9
In supplying temporal wants -Acts 14:17
In providing for the poor -Psalms 68:10
In forgiving sins -2 Chronicles 30:18; Psalms 86:5
Leads to repentance -Romans 2:4
Recognize, in his dealings -Ezra 8:18; Nehemiah 2:18
Pray for the manifestation of -2 Thessalonians 1:11
Despise not -Romans 2:4
Reverence -Jeremiah 33:9; Hosea 3:5
Magnify -Psalms 107:8; Jeremiah 33:11
Urge others to confide in -Psalms 34:8
The wicked disregard -Nehemiah 9:35
AND FORBEARANCE: kai tes
(Ro 3:25 Ro 9:22 Ex 34:6; Nu
14:18; Ps 78:38; 86:15; Isa 30:18; 63:7-10; Jonah 4:2; 1Ti 1:16; 1Pet
(tolerance) (463) (anoche
from anecho = be patient with in regard to errors or
weaknesses = "put up with") describes self-restraint, a holding back, a pause, a temporary
state of respite from something onerous or disagreeable. Forbearance refers to a
refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or
obligation) that is due.
describes a refraining from the enforcement of something. It is as if God
had granted us temporary clemency, where clemency is
defined as a mild, merciful disposition in the one who otherwise has the
power and/or duty to punish.
Anoche implies something temporary which
may pass away
under new conditions. Hence it is used in connection
with God's passing over of sins in the time preceding Christ's sacrificial
death, Paul explaining in the only other
NT use of anoche that...
because in the
forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.
Anoche was used
in secular Greek writings to
describe a truce between warring parties. A truce represented a
suspension of fighting, especially a suspension of considerable duration
and by agreement of opposing forces. Anoche described an armistice which
is a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement between
the opponents. The distinction is that the use in Scripture involves a
"one sided armistice" in which God suspends justly deserved
punishment even in the face of men continuing to be His enemy (Ro 5:10-note) and continuing to exhibit hostility (Col
1:21-note) toward Him. What
an awesome God You are to sinners such as we! Armistice Day marked
the termination of WWI on Nov 11, 1918. God's "Armistice Day" occurred
on Calvary 2000 years ago. Hallelujah!
Morris adds an important
note writing that anoche means that...
God does not punish the sinner
immediately after he sins. He holds back his final judgment and thus
gives the sinner an interval in which he can repent and turn to God. But
the important thing to notice about this word is that it points to a
truce, not a peace. It is temporary. It implies a limit. If the sinner
does nothing but sin, if he rejects the invitation to repent (cf. Eccl
8:11), then in due course he must face God with all his sin about him.
God’s forbearance is wonderful, eloquent of his deep concern for people.
But it is not forgiveness. (Ibid)
Trench says that anoche
forbearance or suspension of wrath, that truce with the sinner, which by
no means implies that the wrath will not be executed at the last; nay,
involves that it certainly will, unless he be found under new conditions
of repentance and obedience (Vincent)
Rather than destroying every person the moment he or she sins, God
graciously holds back His judgment (cf. Ro 3:25-note). He saves sinners in a
physical and temporal way from what they deserve, to show
them His saving character, that they might come to Him and receive
Ray Stedman writes that...
God patiently waits to help us see
through these delusions. He is patient with us; he is forbearing. He
doesn't beat us over the head, and demand that we face the truth. He
patiently waits and gently leads, and put us in circumstances where we
see these things if we are willing to face the facts. Because he waits
so patiently, we fondly imagine that we can go on living in our castle
in the clouds forever. But all bubbles burst eventually, and, sooner or
later, we discover that all along we were not fooling God one bit -- he
sees us for exactly what we are. (Romans
2:1-16: The Secrets of Men)
But clearly God's forbearance has a limit.
And so Paul is saying to the religious person that
You think that you are safe because God’s judgment has not yet descended
upon you. But what God is giving you is not carte blanche to sin; he is
giving you the opportunity to repent and to amend your ways.
In Ecclesiastes Solomon makes a
parallel statement explaining the consequences of failing to appreciate the true nature and purpose of God's
present patience writing that
Because the sentence against an evil
deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men
among them are given fully to do evil. (Ecclesiastes
God's postponing of His wrath only
makes people think they can get away with more evil. Paul's point here
in Romans 2 is clear that no man can sin forever with impunity.
William Barclay writes that...
Anoche is the word for a
truce. True, it means a cessation of hostility, but it is a cessation
that has a limit. Paul, in effect, is saying to the Jews, “You think
that you are safe because God’s judgment has not yet descended upon you.
But what God is giving you is not carte blanche to sin; he is giving you
the opportunity to repent and to amend your ways.” A man cannot sin
forever with impunity. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster
Spurgeon describes God's forbearance
writing that it...
"comes in when men having offended, God withholds the punishment that is
due to them; when men, having been invited to mercy, have refused it,
and yet God continues to stretch out his hands, and invite them to come
to him. Patient endurance of offenses and insults has been manifested by
God to many of you, who now hear these words of warning. The Lord knows
to whom I speak and may he make you, also, know that I am speaking to
you, even to you. Some men have gone back to the very sin of which for
awhile they repented; they have suffered for their folly, but have
turned again to it with suicidal determination. They are desperately set
on their own ruin and nothing can save them. The burnt child has run to
the fire again; the singed moth has plunged again into the flame of the
candle; who can pity such self-inflicted miseries? They are given over
to perdition, for they will not be warned. They have returned to the
haunt of vice, though they seemed to have been snatched from the deep
ditch of its filthiness. They have wantonly and willfully returned to
their cups, though the poison of former draughts is yet burning in their
veins. Yet, despite this folly, God shows forbearance towards them. They
have grievously provoked him when they have done despite to his word,
and have even turned to laughter the solemnities of his worship, against
their own consciences, and to their own confusion: yet when his hand has
been lifted up he has withdrawn it in mercy. See how God has always
tempered his providence with kindness to them. He laid them low so that
they were sore sick, but at the voice of their moaning he restored them.
They trembled on the brink of death, yet he permitted them to recover
strength; and now, despite their vows of amendment, here they are,
callous and careless, unmindful of the mercy which gave them a reprieve.
Did you ever think what is included in the riches of forbearance. There
are quick tempered individuals who only need to be a little provoked,
and hard words and blows come quick and furious: but, oh, the
forbearance of God when he is provoked to his face by ungodly men!"
O unexhausted Grace
O Love unspeakable!
I am not gone to my own place;
I am not yet in hell!
Earth doth not open yet,
My soul to swallow up:
And, hanging o'er the burning pit,
I still am forced to hope. --Spurgeon
The Longsuffering of God
Is part of his character -Exodus 34:6; Numbers
14:18; Psalms 86:15
Salvation, the object of -2 Peter 3:15
Through Christ’s intercession -Luke 13:8
Should lead to repentance -Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9
An encouragement to repent -Joel 2:13
Exhibited in forgiving sins -Romans 3:25
His people -Isaiah 30:18; Ezekiel 20:17
The wicked -Romans 9:22; 1 Peter 3:20
Plead in prayer -Jeremiah 15:15
Limits set to -Genesis 6:3; Jeremiah 44:22
Abuse -Ecclesiastes 8:11; Matthew 24:48,49
Despise -Romans 2:4
Punished for despising -Nehemiah 9:30; Mt 24:48, 49, 50, 51; Ro
Manasseh -2Chr 33:10, 11, 12, 13
Israel -Psalms 78:38; Isaiah 48:9
Jerusalem -Matthew 23:37
Paul -1 Timothy 1:16
AND PATIENCE: kai tes makrothumias:
(Ex 34:6 2Pe 3:9, 15)
from makros = long + thumos = temper) (Click study of
literally a “long-temper”. A short-tempered person speaks and acts
impulsively and lacks self-control. Makrothumia means patience
with people, the ability to bear long in the face of disappointment and
opposition. God is longsuffering, putting up
with provoking people or circumstances without retaliating. Makrothumia is God's long suffering, as if His the pouring
out of His wrath was on a long fuse, burning slowly but giving time to
escape. The "slowness" in
avenging wrongs demonstrates His goodness and forbearance—for long
periods of time (cf. 2Pe 2:5-note).
William Barclay adds that makrothumia
is characteristically a word which expresses
patience with people. Chrysostom defined it as the characteristic of the
man who has it in his power to avenge himself and deliberately does not
use it. Paul is, in effect, saying to the Jews: “Do not think that the
fact that God does not punish you is a sign that He cannot punish you.
The fact that His punishment does not immediately follow sin is not a
proof of His powerlessness; it is a proof of His patience. You owe
your lives to the patience of God....almost everyone has “a vague and
undefined hope of impunity,” a kind of feeling that “this cannot
happen to me.” The Jews went further than that; “they openly claimed
exemption from the judgment of God.” They traded on his mercy, and
there are many who to this day seek to do the same. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster
Press) (Bolding added)
Do you presume
upon His patience?
Don't presume too long, for one day it will be too late.
As alluded to above, this
section of Romans alludes to God’s common
grace—the way He demonstrates His grace to all mankind (cf. Ps 119:68;
145:9). Men often see the
patience of God as a weakness in God.
We've all heard the following or something very similar: "If there is a God in heaven, let Him strike me
dead!" When it doesn't happen then they rashly and wrongly
conclude: "See, I told you there was
no God." Men are deceived by sin & misinterpret God's
patience as His approval.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Oh, how long doth God suffer the ill manners of men! Forty years long
was he grieved with that generation whose carcasses fell in the
wilderness. Has it come to forty years yet with you, dear hearer?
Possibly it may have passed even that time, and a half-century of
provocation may have gone into eternity to bear witness against you.
What if I should even have to say that sixty and seventy years have
continued to heap up the loads of their transgressions, until the Lord
saith, "I am pressed down under your sins; as a cart that is full of
sheaves I am pressed down under you." Yet for all that, here you are on
praying ground and pleading terms with God; here you are where yet the
Saviour reigns upon the throne of grace; here you are where mercy is to
be had for the asking, where free grace and dying love ring out their
charming bells of invitation to joy and peace! Oh, the riches of his
goodness, and forbearance, and longsuffering. Three-fold is the claim:
will you not regard it? Can you continue to despise it?
The respected wordsmith
Marvin Vincent explains that makrothumia is derived
with the sense of strong passion, stronger even than
as is maintained by Schmidt (“Synonymik”), who describes
thumos as a
tumultuous welling up of the whole spirit;
a mighty emotion which seizes and moves the whole inner man. Hence
the restraint implied in makrothumia
is most correctly expressed by
long-suffering, which is its usual
rendering in the NT. It is a patient holding out under trial; a
long-protracted restraint of the soul from yielding to passion,
especially the passion of anger. In the
NT the word and its cognates are sometimes rendered by patient
which conceals the distinction from hupomone, uniformly
and signifying persistent endurance,
whether in action or suffering. As Trench observes, “hupomone
both in one.” ...makrothumia is
exercised toward persons;
hupomone, toward things. The former is ascribed to God as
(Lk 18:7; 1Pe 3:20-note;
the latter never; for
the God of patience
(Ro 15:5-note) is the God who imparts
patience to his children. “There can be no resistance to God nor
burden upon him, the Almighty, from
things. Therefore hupomone
cannot find place in him” (Trench).
NOT KNOWING THAT THE KINDNESS
OF GOD: agnoon (PAPMSN) hoti to chreston
Not knowing (50)
(agnoeo from a = not + noéo = perceive, understand)
means to be unaware of or to be ignorant of. It also conveys the sense
to refuse to think about or pay attention to and so to ignore. Men
knew of God’s Being through natural revelation (Romans 1:19, 20, 21-note,
Ro 1:28-note), but
did not know the purpose of His kindness. Why are people ignorant of
God’s intention to be kind? Paul explains in the next verse that begins
with "but because".
is instructive for it describes the reader's ignorance as a continual or
habitual condition and the
active voice adds the thought that
the ignorance is not an accident but is a willful choice!
Here are the 22 uses of agnoeo
in the NT - Mk. 9:32; Lk. 9:45; Acts 13:27; 17:23; Rom. 1:13; 2:4; 6:3;
7:1; 10:3; 11:25; 1 Co. 10:1; 12:1; 14:38; 2 Co. 1:8; 2:11; 6:9; Gal.
1:22; 1 Thess. 4:13; 1 Tim. 1:13; Heb. 5:2; 2 Pet. 2:12
Morris writes that agnoeo
in context implies that their...
ignorance is culpable; the person
ought to know." Morris goes on to quote "Lenski, “Is it too much to
say that agnoeo means, ‘will not see’?” The person in question does not
want to be shaken out of his self-satisfied, sinful state. (Morris,
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Hodge explains that "not
not understanding, and here not
comprehending the true nature and purpose. Men abuse God’s goodness
because they do not correctly understand that, instead of intimating an
intention not to punish, it is designed to lead them to forsake their
sins. God’s goodness leads us to repentance because it shows us our duty
towards a Being who is so kind, and because it gives us grounds to hope
that we will be accepted. (ibid)
Moule - Specially the goodness of
(chrestos from chráomai = furnish what is needed) is not
the identical word used for "kindness" (chrestotes) earlier but
is obviously closely related. Chrestos refers primarily to that
which is fit for use, able to be used and hence is good, virtuous, and
pleasant (in contrast to what is hard, harsh, bad or unprofitable).
Here are the 7 uses in the NT - Matt.
11:30; Lk. 5:39; 6:35; Rom. 2:4; 1 Co. 15:33; Eph. 4:32; 1 Pet. 2:3
Morris adds that
There seems no significant
difference (between chrestotes and chrestos), and the addition of the
cognate word simply puts emphasis on the idea that both convey. That
which is good and kind in God is directed towards bringing people to
Spurgeon describes God's
kindnesses this way...
A man breaks a leg, and the surgeon
sets the bone. That is kindness. But suppose the man's mother should set
the bone. Oh, how she would do it with lovingkindness! That is how God
has dealt with us. Oh, how tenderly!
Kindness refers to the benefits God gives,
forbearance refers to the
judgment He withholds, and
patience to the duration of both. For long
periods of time the Lord is kind and forbearing. That is God’s common
grace or providence that He bestows on all of fallen mankind.
Ray Stedman summarizes this
section noting that...
Paul's question is, "Why are you
acting the way you are?" Why do you judge others so critically and so
constantly, yet never seem to judge yourself? Surely it can't be that
you think you are going to escape! If you know that God judges according
to truth, you must be included in that judgment as well. If it is not
that you think you'll escape his judgment, then it must be that you are
treating with disdain the opportunities God gives you to repent. Why are
you allowed to live? Why are you permitted to experience life, to
find a new year lying ahead of you, with all its chances to correct
these wrong attitudes and conditions? God's goodness, tolerance, and
patience are exhibited in His giving you a chance to change, a chance to
acknowledge your sins and to be forgiven. We have to see all our life
in this respect. A faithful God, judging the inner part of life,
does give us these opportunities. He knows we are blind. He knows that
we often struggle at recognizing what is wrong in our life, and so He
gives us these opportunities to repent and change. These moments of
truth are very important. (Romans
2:1-11 Sinful Morality)
LEADS YOU TO REPENTANCE: eis metanoian se agei (3SPAI):
(Acts 3:26,5:31, 11:18; 2Ti 2:25-note)(ISBE topic
Not drags but draws! (cp Jn 6:44)
Play this beautiful Maranatha
Praise Band song -
HCSB - Grace should lead
people to repent of their sin (2Pe 3:7-13).
Moule - “repentance,” here as
elsewhere in N. T., means far more than alarm or grief; rather, a change
of thought and will. See especially 2 Cor. 7:9, 10; 2 Tim. 2:25. The
point of this verse is specially for the (still unnamed) Jew. He thought
his spiritual privilege and light, so long and lovingly continued, a
mere honour, instead of a peculiar call to conscience.
means to lead along, bring, carry, move or impel. Ago
is used figuratively of forces or influences affecting the mind and here
in Ro 2:4 the "force"
kindness of God
which continually (present tense) leads sinners to repentance.
It is not the badness of man but the goodness of God that brings us to
repentance. Do I take God’s many blessings for granted?
draws our attention to the fact that Paul does not say
of God calls thee to repentance," but "leads thee."
This is a much stronger word. God calls to
by the Gospel; God
by his goodness. It is as though he plucked at your sleeve and said,
"Come this way." His goodness lays its gentle hand on you, drawing you
with cords of love and bands of a man. God's forbearance cries, "Why
wilt thou hate me? What wrong have I done thee? I have spared thee; I
have spared thy wife and children to thee; I have raised thee up from
the bed of sickness; I have loaded thy board; I have filled thy
wardrobe; I have done thee a thousand good turns; wherefore dost thou
disobey me? Turn unto thy God and Father, and live in Christ Jesus.
Spurgeon explains how God
leads unbelievers to repentance in the everyday circumstances of life:.
It seems to me that every morning
when a man wakes up still impenitent, and finds himself out of hell, the
sunlight seems to say, ‘I shine on thee yet another day, as that in this
day thou mayest repent.’ When your bed receives you at night I think it
seems to say, ‘I will give you another night’s rest, that you may live
to turn from your sins and trust in Jesus.’ Every mouthful of bread that
comes to the table says, ‘I have to support your body that still you may
have space for repentance.’ Every time you open the Bible the pages say,
‘We speak with you that you may repent.’ Every time you hear a sermon,
if it be such a sermon as God would have us preach, it pleads with you
to turn unto the Lord and live.
(metanoia) means to change one’s mind,
which is associated with a corresponding change in behavior.
= 22 uses of
in NT - Mt. 3:8, 11; Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3, 8; 5:32; 15:7; 24:47; Acts
5:31; 11:18; 13:24; 19:4; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 2:4; 2 Co. 7:9, 10; 2Ti
2:25; Heb 6:1, 6; 12:17; 2 Pet. 3:9
implies a radical change in one's view of things (specifically a change
of mind about sin), and in one's estimate of
matters and a change in one's purposes, a change in one's thoughts and in
Repentance is to leave
The sin we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve
By doing so no more.
(see illustration repentance 1Th 1:9-note)
is not synonymous with regret which says “I'm sorry I got caught”.
Likewise it is not remorse which is a deep sorrow for sin
which causes a a gnawing distress arising
from a sense of guilt for past wrongs but lacks the positive note in
repentance. Note that
is not simply negative. It means turning to a new life in Christ, a life
of active service to God.
is a change of mind that results in an action of the will. If a sinner
honestly changes his mind about sin he will turn from it. If he
sincerely changes his mind about Jesus Christ, he will turn to Him,
trust Him, and be saved.
repentance as follows...
A man may hate sin just as a
murderer hates the gallows, but this does not prove repentance. If I
hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin. I merely
regret that God is just. But if I can see sin as an offense against
Jesus Christ, and loathe myself because I have wounded Him, then I have
a true brokenness of heart... What if I say that repentance is like the
cry of a newborn babe, which indicates that the child is alive? That cry
of "God be merciful to me a sinner!" (Luke 18:13) is as sure a sign of
life as the song of cherubim before the throne...To hate sin because it
caused the brow of Christ to be girt with the thorn crown, and the face
of Christ to be dishonored with the spittle, and the hands of Christ to
be pierced with the nail—this is repentance—not because I am afraid of
hell, not because sin brings pains and penalties with it, but because it
made Jesus Christ to suffer for me such pangs unutterable....Repentance
and faith are like Siamese twins. If one is sick the other cannot be
well, for they live but one life. If ever you are asked which comes
first, repentance or faith, you may answer by another question: "Which
spoke of a wheel moves first when the wheel begins to move? "
Spurgeon adds that
Repentance is not a preparation for looking
to Christ. Do you not see that? The looking is put first, and the
mourning after-wards. Yet you have said, "We must mourn for sin, and
then look to Christ to pardon it." That is not God's order. There will
never be a tear of acceptable repentance in your eye till you have first
looked to Jesus Christ. If you weep for sin without fixing your gaze on
Christ, you will have to weep again over your repentance, for it is
itself another sin." And again says "We are to tell of the source of
repentance, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted on high to
give repentance. Repentance is a plant that never grows on nature's
dunghill. The nature must be changed, and repentance must be implanted
by the Holy Spirit, or it will never flourish in our hearts. We preach
repentance as a fruit of the Spirit, or else we greatly err.
Spurgeon spared no words on
the critical nature of repentance in salvation declaring that...
Sin and hell are married unless
repentance proclaims the divorce.
A W Tozer wrote
I think there is little doubt that
the teaching of salvation without repentance has lowered the moral
standards of the Church and produced a multitude of deceived religious
professors who erroneously believe themselves to be saved when in fact
they are still in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. God
will take nine steps toward us, but He will not take the tenth. He will
incline us to repent, but He cannot do our repenting for us.
The very kindness of God is trying to lead
this religious person to a right-about face, a
change of mind and attitude instead of a complacent
self-satisfaction and pride about their superior blood line and privilege.
Repentance is a
gift to undeserving sinners granted by a merciful, kind God ("the
kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind" see note
The great preacher of repentance,
John the Baptist, cried,
for decisive action and conveys a sense of urgency) for the Kingdom (all
you Jews have been hoping for) is at hand (has been brought near and is
still present =
With religious pretenders John the
Baptist was stern, as was Jesus Who
began (His ministry) to preach and
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The proof of genuine repentance is fruit bearing
John the Baptist proclaiming
Therefore (because of "the wrath to
come" = God's righteous judgment) bring forth (aorist
fruit in keeping with repentance (Mt 3:8)
Paul wrote later that genuine repentance is not worldly sorrow but is
without regret explaining that...
the sorrow that is according to the
will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to
salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what
earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you:
what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what
longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you
demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. (2Co 7:10-11)
For an excellent survey of
more than 100 Scriptural Cross References dealing with the oft
misunderstood but absolutely vital topic of "repentance" click
Take an evening and read through these Scriptures making note
of what the Spirit teaches you concerning the nature of and importance of
genuine Biblical repentance. Then you can compare your observations with
what the commentaries have to say about this subject.
It is an old saying...
is never too late
But it is a true saying..
Repentance is never too soon
'If thou hast fallen into sin through
violent temptations, seek speedily for
repentance for it,
recovery out of it, and reformation from it.
A Few Puritan Thoughts
'Repentance with man is the changing of his will; repentance with God
is the willing of a change.
Whoever delays his repentance does in effect pawn his
soul with the devil.
of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart hardens. The longer ice freezeth,
the harder it is to be broken.
repent too soon, because you do not know how soon it may be too
Though true repentance is never too late, yet late repentance is
Hughes sums up this section
"we see the psychology of the
self-righteous: their ignorance of the nature and extent of sin,
blindness to their own sins, extreme judgmentalism, siding with God
against others’ sins, interpreting God’s kindness as approval. God
understands those who are truly self-righteous. He is never fooled. That
is why his judgment will be rendered with unerring, terrible perfection.
He sees all. In Psalm 139:4 David says,
“Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.”
God knows the real intention behind
every spoken word. God knows instantly and effortlessly everything about
us. A man may be a “good” person—upright, outwardly moral, sure of his
goodness. But if he dies without Christ, Christ will say to him,
“You, therefore, have no excuse” (Ro
And his judgment will be perfect." (Hughes,
R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Crossway
What it is -Is 45:22; Mt 6:19, 20,
21; Acts 14:15; 2Co 5:17; Col 3:2; 1Th 1:9; He 12:1,2
Commanded to all by God -Ezekiel 18:30, 31, 32; Acts 17:30
Commanded by Christ -Revelation 2:5,16; 3:3
Given by God -Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25
Christ came to call sinners to -Matthew 9:13
Christ exalted to give -Acts 5:31
By the operation of the Holy Spirit -Zechariah 12:10
Called repentance to life -Acts 11:18
Called repentance to salvation -2 Corinthians 7:10
WE SHOULD BE LED TO, BY
The long-suffering of God -Genesis 6:3; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:9
The goodness of God -Romans 2:4
The chastisements of God -1 Kings 8:47; Revelation 3:19
Godly sorrow works -2 Corinthians 7:10
Necessary to the pardon of sin -Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22
Conviction of sin necessary to -1 Kings 8:38; Proverbs 28:13; Acts
By Christ -Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15
By John the Baptist -Matthew 3:2
By the Apostles -Mark 6:12; Acts 20:21
In the name of Christ -Luke 24:47
Not to be repented of -2 Corinthians 7:10
The present time the season for -Ps 95:7,8; He 3:7,8; Pr 27:1; Is 55:6;
2Co 6:2; He 4:7
There is joy in heaven over one sinner brought to -Luke 15:7,10
Ministers should rejoice over their people on their -2 Corinthians 7:9
Should be evidenced by fruits -Isaiah 1:16,17; Daniel 4:27; Mt 3:8; Acts
SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY
Humility -2 Chronicles 7:14; James 4:9,10
Shame and confusion -Ezra 9:6-15; Je 31:19; Ezekiel 16:61,63; Da 9:7,8
Self-abhorrence -Job 42:6
Confession -Leviticus 26:40; Job 33:27
Faith -Matthew 21:32; Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21
Prayer -1 Kings 8:33; Acts 8:22
Conversion -Acts 3:19; 26:20
Turning from sin -2 Chronicles 6:26
Turning from idolatry -Ezekiel 14:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9
Greater zeal in the path of duty -2 Corinthians 7:11
Exhortations to -Ezekiel 14:6; 18:30; Acts 2:38; 3:19
Averse to -Jeremiah 8:6; Matthew 21:32
Not led to by the judgments of God -Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9
Not led to, by miraculous interference -Luke 16:30,31
Neglect the time given for -Revelation 2:21
Condemned for neglecting -Matthew 11:20
Danger of neglecting -Matthew 11:20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Luke 13:3,5;
Neglect of, followed by swift judgment -Revelation 2:5,16
Denied to apostates -Hebrews 6:4, 5, 6
Illustrated -Luke 15:18, 19, 20, 21; 18:13
The Prodigal Son -Luke 15:17, 18, 19
The Repentant Son -Matthew 21:29
Paul -Galatians 1:23
Israelites -Judges 10:15,16
David -2 Samuel 12:13
Manasseh -2 Chronicles 33:12,13
Job -Job 42:6
Nineveh -Jonah 3:5-8; Matthew 12:41
Peter -Matthew 26:75
Zacchaeus -Luke 19:8
Thief on the Cross -Luke 23:40,41
Corinthians -2 Corinthians 7:9,10
Saul -1 Samuel 15:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Ahab -1 Kings 21:27, 28, 29
Judas -Matthew 27:3, 4, 5