The Goodness of God Leads to Repentance
"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:42, NKJV)
Does the goodness of God lead to repentance? Is repentance the result of truly understanding God's goodness?
The more we learn about God’s goodness, the more we are drawn to the wonderful gift He offers us—salvation through His son Jesus Christ. Because of His goodness and love for us, God gave His only Son, who was sinless, to pay for our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that “God made him who had no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Even though we do good things or try to live a good life, we are not good by nature. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:10 “There is no one righteous, not even one.”
Our goodness has to come from the source of all good things—God, who is inherently good. He urges us to come to repentance and, as we read in Romans 2:4, He patiently waits for us: “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"
The biblical definition of repentance is "to change one's mind." The Bible tells us that when a person repents, his or her actions change. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."
Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.
The Goodness of God Leads to Repentance – What Theologians Say
Justin Martyr wrote, "Therefore we must confess that He, who is ever the same, has commanded these and such like the institutions on account of sinful men, and we must declare Him to be benevolent, foreknowing, needing nothing, righteous and good."1
J.I. Packer said, "God's love is an exercise of his goodness toward sinners. As such, it has the nature of grace and mercy. It is an outgoing of God in kindness which not merely is undeserved, but is actually contrary to desert; for the objects of God's love are rational creatures who have broken God's law, whose nature is corrupt in God's sight, and who merit only condemnation and final banishment from his presence."2
1 Justin Martyr, Dialogue of Justin in Roberts and Donaldson, The Ante-Nicene Fathers. As quoted in Systematic Theology by Dr. Norman Geisler.
2 J.I. Packer, Knowing God.
Goodness of God - Learn More!
Like this information? Help us by sharing it with others using the social media buttons below.