Kindness (June 29, 2011)

Gospel-Centered

Christian kindness comes from God, whose relationship to us through Christ demonstrates kindness to an ultimate degree. (Ephesians 4:31-5:2)

  1. The kindness of God (4:32): God demonstrates his disposition of grace toward us in so many passages, but there are two that come to mind most directly:
    1. Luke 6: 35-36 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
    2. 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?”
  2. The love of Christ (5:2): Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Does it? Does the Bible speak of how Jesus loves me? Yes! Two passages from the book of John specifically come in consecutive verses: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13 ESV)  1 John 3:16 echos this idea: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.”

One of the most powerful passages describing the love of Christ is Titus 3:3-5. “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

The kindness of God, God’s disposition of grace toward us is most evident in the gospel. Why should God look upon us with this kindness? There is nothing about us that would merit his kindness and yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us! You say, “Well, God can show unmerited favor easily…he’s God! I have trouble doing that. How can I become this kind of Christian? If this is to be made evident in my life, how will it happen? We will look at that tomorrow.

 

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