Sunday, August 22, 2010

Charles Spurgeon: The Forbearance of God Part 1

TheRESURGENCE posted some great sermon notes from Charles Spurgeon on "The Forbearance of God" with more to follow (we'll post them as they are updated at TheRESURGENCE). We believe this is an important issue because far too many Christians misunderstand or abuse the Grace of God and suffer mightily as a result. Just think though of the extraordinary communion with God and power from God that is acessible to those that understand His grace and apply it to their lives!

The beauty of reading and/or posting only an outline of the issue is that it encourages us to dig through the scriptures ourselves and discern their meanings and applications in our own heart. So, be sure not to skip over all the scriptures without looking them up! :-)

The Forbearance of God

Romans 2:4—"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?"

It is an instance of divine condescension that the Lord reasons with men, and asks this question, and others like it (Isa. 1:5, 55:2; Jer. 3:4, Ezek. 33:11).

God not only acts kindly to sinners, but when they misuse his kindness he labors to set them right (Isa. 1:18, Hosea 11:8).

It is a sad thing that any who have seen God's judgments on others, and have escaped themselves, should draw from this special mercy a reason for adding sin to sin (Jer. 3:8).

Honor God's Goodness and Mercy. A reverent sense of it will be a sure safeguard against taking it for granted.

It is manifested to us in a threefold form:

-Goodness which has put up with past sin (Ps. 78:38)
-Forbearance which bears with us in the present (Ps. 103:10).
-Long-suffering which, in the future as in the past and the present, is prepared to bear with the guilty (Luke 13:7-9)

It is manifested in great abundance: "riches of his goodness."
-Riches of mercies bestowed, temporal and spiritual (Ps. 68:19)
-Riches of kindness seen in gracious deliverance, measured by evils averted which might have befallen us, such as sickness, poverty, insanity, death, and hell (Ps. 86:13)
-Riches of grace promised and provided for all needs.

It is manifested in its excellence by four considerations:
-The person who shows it. It is "the goodness of God" who is omniscient to see sin, just to hate it, powerful to punish it, yet patient towards the sinner (Ps. 145:8).
-The being who receives it. It is dealt out to man, a guilty, insignificant, base, provoking, ungrateful being. (Gen. 6:6)
-The conduct to which it is a reply. It is love's response to sin. Often God forbears, though sins are many, wanton, aggravated, daring, repeated (Mal 3:6).
-The blessings which it brings. Life, daily bread, health, gospel, Holy Spirit, new birth, hope of heaven (Ps. 68:19).

It has been in a measure manifested to you. "Do you presume?"

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