Avoiding Presumption (Romans 2:45)

Romans 2:4-5 – 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? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Presumption is one of the easiest sins to fall into. Why? Simply put, this is such an easy sin because it requires nothing of us. To presume on God’s grace is simply to assume that everything is as it ought to be. It is to say, “Of course God has been good to me,” and to think in your heart that you deserve it. Presumption is championed by a world that calls us to live for ourselves and to feed our self-esteem.

With this thought in mind, Romans 2:4 ought to cause us to pause and think very hard about how we think. Paul, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, makes us aware that the kindness of God is intended to lead us to repentance. God’s kindness is not simply there for us to enjoy. God does not give us his kindness so that we can merely sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride he gives us through an easy life—not at all! God wants us to see in his kindness our great need to respond to him with love, faith, and obedience. He wants his kindness toward us to make us see that we are sinners who do not deserve that kindness. He wants that kindness to stand out like a blazing beacon against the dark backdrop of our hearts’ own selfishness and malice. God is kind toward us in order to help us see how great he is in comparison to our own selfishness and sinfulness.

Do not hear me calling us to think that God is not genuinely kind to us. In fact, a kindness intended to lead us to repentance is the greatest kindness of all. God’s kindness is intended to lead us to our hearts’ greatest possible joy, the joy of glorifying our God. He is overwhelmingly kind. But let us learn not to presume on his kindness. Let us not receive his kindness without understanding that it is truly grace, unmerited favor from God. Let us not let kindness happen without it spurring in our hearts a desire to be more like God, to turn from our sin, and to experience his glory. Let us learn to let God’s kindness lead us to repentance.