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  • Joe Norton

Consider the Severity of God (7/16/2023)

Second of two studies of Romans 11:22


Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you will be cut off ” (Romans 11:22).


God’s nature has two sides, according to this passage: “goodness” and “severity.” And the Gentile Christians who receive this message should consider both of these sides as they contemplate their relationship with Him. “Severity” means God is unchangeable in His execution of justice—He must execute balanced judgement to remain “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”


God, of course, is the ultimate of goodness, but that fact does not negate His expectation that His creation submits to His will to avoid the consequences of His severe side. God’s relationship with the Jews under the Old Testament demonstrates this fact beyond question.


Paul’s point is that those who sin—both Jews and Gentiles—must not remain in sin (Romans 3:23). Since God punished those who sinned under the Old Law, He must act likewise under the New Law to be consistent with His “just” character.


In this verse, Paul has presented a capsule version of who God is and of what He expects from all of us living in the Christian Age. God is not mean nor vengeful, but He does expect us to do what He says in His word if we want to please Him and go to heaven. His system of “justice” demands it.

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