Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


November 3, 2011

"However," "Therefore," "but," these are words that are not to be passed over, or treated lightly.  In fact, they often carry great freight.

Consider the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness.  Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
                                                  --Romans 11:22 TNIV
At this point Paul is speaking primarily to Gentiles, people adopted into the family of God by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.  To which he introduces this word "kindness."  But God's kindness showered upon us is toward an end: our faithfulness, our obedience, our service of Jesus Christ.  And this is where the word explodes on the page.
"Provided that..."  God's kindness toward his people, toward you and me, is not so we can go on in sin, self-indulgence, but toward faithfulness.  God is both stern and kind.  God is kind, "provided that..."  Get it?
Dale Patterson