Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Question of the day: Can we unpack these verses?
Romans 2:2-4 "We know that God's judgment on those who practice such things is based on truth. But you, O man - judging those practicing such things yet doing the same - do you suppose that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you belittle the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience - not realizing that God's kindness leads you to repentance?"
Answer: Sure! Here we go. We have herein described the perfect hypocrite. "Say one thing while doing another." We think we look good and smell good, but all the while we stink (and we don't look nearly as good as we think).
All of us have been that person at one time or another. When we repent (and this is critical), we must feel God's heart. Repentance always includes the truth; all of it. We must feel the pain we have caused in others. Then, by the leading of the Holy Spirit change direction. (John 16:13)
We were moving away from God, now with the "turn" we are moving closer to God. We pick ourselves up and when we do, we are closer to the cross than before. The closer we are to the cross, the better everything is. All our senses function at a higher level when we are closer to the cross.
Now in Romans 2 verse 4 we find 3 terms we are warned not to belittle; kindness, tolerance and patience. As I meditated on this, I found it curious that only kindness is addressed in the Word. God's kindness toward us leads to repentance.
Then I thought how our repentance yields tolerance and patience. Tolerance (not the tolerance of the world - ie. putting up with ...) and Patience are sisters. They both involve giving people the opportunity to come to their senses and make godly choices in life without hasty condemnation on our part.
Think back to what we learned yesterday (which I'm tying to what we are learning today) ...
Ephesians 4:30-32 "Do not grieve the Ruach ha-Kodesh of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness and rage and anger and quarreling and slander, along with all malice. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other just as God in Messiah also forgave you."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,