May the LORD protect you and the devil neglect you.
What Is God Really Like?
The Attributes of God
Part 1 - Kindness
The attributes of God are properly part of a study of theology. That seems like a really serious sort of high-brow college thing, huh? But it simply amounts to understanding what God is really like, what kind of personality and character He has so we can have a relationship with Him. And THAT, my friend, is exactly what eternal life is all about. Get your own Bible and read John 17:3. There are hundreds of verses in the New Testament that talk about knowing or having knowledge of God and most of them mean knowing Him, not about Him. They all mean to actually know Him personally, intimately.
But to know someone requires that we know some information about them. The Bible was given to us so we could know God. We’re going to examine one aspect of God’s personality that isn’t examined much, i.e. His Kindness.
Kindness as a noun, in Greek Chrestotes, is used ten times in the New Testament, but only 4 times to refer to God. His kindness is His sweet disposition and benevolent nature. Kindness as an adjective, in Greek Chrestos, is used only 7 times in the New Testament and only 3 times referring to God’s kind behavior toward people. These words are translated as goodness, kindness, good, kind, and gracious. They are found in Luke 6:35, Romans 2:4 (both chrestos and chrestotes are used), Romans11:22, Ephesians 2:7, Titus 3:4, and 1 Peter 2:3
Luke 6;35 probably gives us the clearest full view of God’s kindness. The meaning of chrestotesmeans more than a goodness of heart or a kind nature. It is used when that goodness of heart and kind nature are seen in spite of the ingratitude and even hostility toward God when He has expressed His kindness in action toward someone. God acts kindly toward those “for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” – ESV.
Romans 1:18-30 describes mankind that 1they refused to glorify God (v.20), 2weren’t thankful (v.20), 3 exchanged worship for Him to worship of things that decay, rot, and perish (v. 23),4exchanged the truth about God into a lie (v. 25), 5worshipped and 6actually paid homage to created things rather than to Him, the Creator (v.25), 7disapproved of even thinking about the true God (v. 28), and 8actually hated Him (v. 30).
But the One True Living God was and remains kind toward these abominable humans. However, humans take God’s kindness toward them and explain it as a weakness and are contemptible of Him because He is kind in Romans 2:4. As the KJV puts it they despise it. The ESV says they presume on it. Literally, they have contempt for it, or as we would say in contemporary English, they look down their noses at it.
Their conception of God is that He is ignorant of our sin, impotent to do anything about it, or simply ignores it because “God is love.” They see Him as just a senile old man Who may have once had His act together, but no more. His eternal power and deity is plainly displayed all around them (Romans1:19-20). They ignore that God is also holy, just, and righteous and will one day unleash His wrath against sin and those that love sin. (Romans 1:18, 2:5-6). They are so contemptible of His kindness that they mistake it for weakness and not an opportunity and motivation to repent of their evil deeds and dead works of righteousness.
Unfortunately, there are carnal, fleshly Christians who act the same way. If they knew and believed the Word of God, they would live in a different way. They do not seem to know about God’s chastening in Hebrews 12:5-10 or the sin unto death in Romans 6:16. But I write to you who are interested in Biblical matters about His kindness because of Hebrews 6:9.
May you always have
LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare, and
FRIENDS that care...
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