The Gospel Observer

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20)
April 8, 1990


1) The Kindness of God (Tom Edwards)
2) The Gospel Plan of Salvation



The Kindness of God
by Tom Edwards

Surely everyone knows the  joy that a little kindness can bring. Sometimes it comes in the form of a thoughtful deed or a timely word fitly spoken that helps us to arise from such a declining disposition. How much harder it would be to even exist in a world totally void of this needed and gentle attribute.

Kindness is a natural offshoot from the individual who has learned to be of a compassionate and sympathetic nature. As one abides in the vine (Jn. 15:1-6), he will bear the fruit of the Spirit which is comprised of many honorable virtues -- kindness being one of  them (Gal. 5:22,23).

Just as the artist who kept a wide range of colorful stones for a reminder as to what different shades he had to choose from, we must ever keep the vision of Jesus within our hearts so that we can continually be mindful of that beautiful life which He lived and strive to be more like  Him. Paul exhorted the Ephesians to "be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Christ for God's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32). How can we not be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving, after realizing the great kindness and mercy which Jesus has extended to us? Undoubtedly, the Savior epitomizes kindness at its best.

According to Acts 14:17, the food and the rain (which helps the crops to grow) are a testimony to the world of God's manifested kindness.  Both the saint and the sinner can reap the bountiful harvest that the Lord has made possible in nature, but let neither of them ever forget the futility of storing up with these blessings while being unconcerned toward the greater blessings in Christ; such was the lamentable outcome of the highly productive, but tragically unprepared farmer in Luke 12:16-21. For even more important than these physical benefits are the blessings that can lead to eternal life -- blessings that make us aware of a more important demonstration of God's kindness.  Note how Paul conveys this in the following passage to Titus: "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:3-7 NIV).

It is God's kindness that leads one to repentance (Rom. 2:4 NAS); and, fortunately, God's goodness does not stop at one's conversion.  For the Lord has an undying love and concern for your  eternal well-being.  Paul, writing to the Ephesians, tells them that God "...raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that IN THE AGES TO COME He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6,7; NKJV; emphasis mine).

If we want to enjoy God's love for all eternity, we must respond to His kindness now. Paul admonished the Roman brethren with these following words: "For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Note then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:21,22 RSV).

Though God's kindness is manifested in various ways, it is the kindness which He shows to the world through His Son Jesus Christ that should be our chief concern. For it is through the Lord, and by our faith and obedience, that we can enjoy the blessings of God and look forward to more of His unending kindness throughout all eternity.


The Gospel Plan of Salvation

God's Part

1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16).

2. He gave Christ as the Savior (Luke 19:10).

3. He sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13).

4. He gave the Gospel as "the power" unto salvation (Rom. 1:16).

5. He provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Rom.  5:9; Col. 1:14).

Man's Part

1. Hear the Gospel (Rom. 10:17; John 8:32).

2. Believe the Gospel (Heb. 11:6; John 20:31).

3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:8; Acts 17:30).

4. Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10; Mat. 10:32).

5. Be Baptized (Gal. 3:27; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).

6. Be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10).

God has done His part. Will you do yours?

First published for the Tri-state church of Christ in Ashland, Kentucky, at 713 13th Street.
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards