Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The long-suffering of God

I regularly recall the marrow of lesson that Wayne Grudem taught on the common grace of God in which he vividly describes God's great mercy and patience in how he deals with mankind. To paraphrase his point, God's common grace-his mercy and long-suffering with sinful humanity-is evident every time we look outside and see something other than flames, every time we smell something other than smoke and burning sulfur, every time we feel something other than excruciating burns, every time we hear something other than screams of pain and suffering. God is patient with mankind; he does not immediately give us what we deserve.

This idea that originally came from the teachings of Grudem came to mind when I read the following quote by Jonathan Edwards from his book of lectures called Charity and Its Fruits:

If we consider the wickedness that there is in the world, and then consider how God continues the world in existence, and does not destroy it, but showers upon it innumerable mercies, the bounties of his daily providence and grace, causing his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sending rain alike on the just and on the unjust, and offering his spiritual blessings ceaselessly and to all, we shall perceive how abundant is his long-suffering toward us.

God's abundant and merciful patience is remarkable in light of all our sin. His gracious care is magnified when the transgressions and evil in this world is considered.

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