The Kindness of God

Goff Hope uit Norwich (UK) gaf een beeld van de vriendelijkheid van God.

Goff Hope spoke about the kindness of God.

De gebruikte presentatie kun je hier downloaden.

Intro:There’s profound joy in being loved, on receiving end of loving, kind gesture / action 
motivated solely out of someone’s love, kindness to you – Special moment! Examples. Even more 
profound to belong, to live in family, community.. We all yearn for it because we were made for it. 
But we don’t live in a generation that is marked by kindness…by belonging. Tear Fund…60m 
displaced people, population of UK (Netherlands 16m), 3000 drowned 2015..

What hope is there for our generation? To fulfil heart cry of every individual to be loved, have a home, 
place where they are accepted& safe?

Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you 
followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now 
at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the 
cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature 
deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us 
alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 
in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in 
his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and 
brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one
and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law
of commandments expressed in ordinances, that  he might create in himself one new man in place of the
two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross,
thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace
to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit  to the Father. 19 So 
then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members
of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ 
Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together,
grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a
dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

A world of ungrace
• Dutch not so different to Brits? Not always marked by kindness; driving, supermarkets, phone..
• Ours is insecure world, suspicious, defensive
• Fear often drives people to put up their defenses to keep safe, look after no1
• Yancey What’s So Amazing about Grace?
PY Grace is indeed amazing – truly our last best word, contains essence of Gospel as a drop of 

water can contain the image of the sun. The world thirsts for grace in ways it does not even 

recognise
• Amazingly, even christians need to discover Grace
Counselor David Seamands summed up his career this way: Many yrs ago I was driven to the conclusion 

that the 2 major causes of most emotional problems among evangelical Xns are these: the failure to 

understand, receive & live out God’s unconditional grace & forgiveness; and the failure to give out 

that unconditional love, forgiveness & grace to other people… The good news of the Gospel of 

Grace has not penetrated the level of our emotions
Dear church in world of alienation & ungrace, Jesus answer is a people ruined by amazing grace, 
overflowing with lavish grace..
.

Kindness
• I want to add another word to Grace, often used together, as in v7 ‘kindness’ 
Defenition of Kindness : Love in action
• Kindness is dominant attribute of God & sums up His attitude towards us 
Is 54:8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I 
will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

Jer 31:3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I 
have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Titus 3:4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
• Jesus is the kindness of God towards us, He is love in action!

Look what He has done – Passage
V1 But as for you, you were dead, V4 But God
• V5 Made us alive with Christ…
• V6 Raised us up with Christ…
• Seated us with Him in heavenly realm… WHY has He done all this? What was His motivation? 2 
reasons:
• V4 Because of His great love for us
• V7 In order that in ages to come…
Think about it for moment, it’s overwhelming

God’s demonstration
• God is graciously disposed towards us & intends to show us lavish, extravagant kindness & has 
planned to coming ages for this purpose
• Amount of kindness involved is described with words like incomparable, immeasurable
• This kindness isnt locked away beyond reach
• God intends to demonstrate it to us, show us
• It will take ages to accomplish. The scope & variety of God’s kindness towards us is so great it 
will never be exhausted
• And it has already begun
Titus 3:3–7 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. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior 

appeared, 5 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, 6 whom he poured out on us 

generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might 

become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

God will never run out of fresh ways for us to discover His kindness & experience the profound joy 
of being loved by Him.

• Do you know God like that?
• Is that your understanding of your heavenly Father?
• Or are you still living in world of ungrace?
• You see, God not only wants you to know & enjoy His kindness, He wants you to be a channel of His 
kindness in a harsh world.
I said at start there’s profound joy in experienc- ing a momentary act of kindness, there’s even 
greater joy in belonging, having a home, place where you’re constantly loved & accepted That’s what 
He wants to demonstrate through us!

V11, 12 Therefore….
• Remember, you were outsiders.. alienated… Strangers.. Having no hope.. Far off…
The grand theme of Eph 2 is that Jesus Christ has destroyed separation / alienations
Alongside his d’n of these 2 enemies on cross, Jesus is now creating, building something new, He 
has a plan coming together!
A people coming together, where alienation has given way to 
reconciliation, & hostility to peace
• So what is result of Christ’s achievement? You are no longer what you used to be.
• Your status has dramatically changed.
Now you belong in a way you never did before to God & his people. You used to be alone, alienated, 
refugees; now you have a home.

• To draw out the richness of this changed sitn Paul uses 3 familiar pics of the church, God’s 
city, God’s family and God’s temple.


God’s City fellow citizens v19
• If you’ve travelled a lot / lived abroad, there’s something nice about coming home. Mexico, 
traveling alone, Mexico City, Passport, BA!
• We’ve been given citizenship in God’s Km, City, with huge privileges!
• Paul is writing while the Roman Empire is at height of its splendour, Citizenship mattered
• Lots of foreigners, aliens, non Romans, 2nd class. Now they belonged, were accepted,
• God’s kingdom is better than even Rome!
• Its citizens are free & secure.
• We really do belong.YOU are God’s citizens
& this passport guarantees you a gold-plated future

God’s family members of God’s household The metaphor 
change becomes more intimate:
• You are members of the household of God. A city is one thing; a family is another. Byron
• Fatherless gen. Satan orphan maker
• In Christ we are more than fellow citizens under his rule; we’re in his family. We really belong!
• We have privileged access to the Father v18
• It changed way Paul prayed see ch3:14–15
• ‘Father’ is christian name for God
• ‘Brethren’ (meaning ‘brothers and sisters’) is the commonest word for christians in the NT
• YOU are God’s family. Mal4v6
Malachi 4:6 (ESV)
And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their
fathers,

God’s temple v20-22
• Paul comes now to his 3rd picture. The community of the church is like a building.
• Temple – background. Tent of Meeting
• Tent..Cloud.God’s presence really was there Alter… Table, bread of presence.. God invites us to 
table.Alter of incense Ark. His presence went with them,
• Solomon’s Temple. Glory of Lord filled it!
2Chron 5:14 the priests could not stand to
minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the
Lord filled the house of God.

• Glory departed, Temple destroyed, Neb, 587
• Ezekiel prophesied, ch40-44
Ezekiel 43:1–5 (ESV)
1 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. 2
And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his  coming 
was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. 3 And the vision I saw was 
just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision 
that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. 4 As the glory of the Lord entered the 
temple by the gate facing east, 5 the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and
behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

• 2nd Temple, Ezra, Nehemiah 50yrs later, older folk cried.. No glory. Des Pompey 60BC
• Herod’s Temple,40yr later, no glory, d 70AD
• But there’s a new temple being built, right now. Not in Jerusalem, but right here! v20
• It’s a temple not made with hands, it’s people
• And the thing about temples is that they are designed to be full of God’s presence, glory And the 
glory of God has come! Jesus Christ
Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and
the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

2Cor 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of
Jesus Christ.

• Do you get it? You’re not just a bunch of people in this city, You’re God’s people, City God’s 
family, God’s temple – designed to be full of God’s presence, to help lost alienated people find 
God, get to know Him as Father.
• That’s why God said through Isaiah
Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may depart and
the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace 
shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and 
not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 
I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your wall of precious 
stones.

• Because we’re to carry God’s presence …
• Because the family is to get bigger
Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched 

out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad 

to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the 

desolate cities.

I’ve heard it said that if you catch a small shark
it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium you put it in. Sharks can be 6ins long yet fully 
matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean they grow to their normal length of 8 ft. As God’s 
family, His temple, carrying His presence, we mustn’t live in a goldfish bowl, just serving 
ourselves & having a nice time, we’re to throw open the doors and bring the presence of Jesus to 
lost people through our words & lives

Greg Beale: The mark of the true church is always to be outward-looking and expanding God’s 
presence and not obsessively introspective..
Our task as the covenant community, the church is to be God’s temple, so filled with His glorious 
presence that we expand & fill the earth with that presence until God finally accomplishes the goal 
completely at the end of time

We are not at our leisure. Rather, we are under the mandate of the grace of God—grace that found 
us, restored us, redeemed us, breathed life back into our dormant lungs, and brought us back from 
the grave for a purpose. And that purpose is that we would, with everything in us, become an 
amplifier of the beauty of Jesus
among all the peoples on this planet

• The church is special – and you’re part of it!

God’s plan is for his presence, his glory to be accessible to lost people
• This plan has been in the making since eternity and pointed towards in Tabernacle & Temples, it’s 
coming together in our day.
Our calling is to be citizens of God’s Kingdom belonging to Him, secure in His love, amazed, 
overwhelmed by his Kindness & grace
Our calling is to be His Family, enjoying the Father & accepting one another, loving the stranger, 
welcoming people home
Our calling is to be His Temple, carrying His presence, revealing His glory, which is Jesus to the 
world & this new temple is expanding
• Paul goes on in ch4 to urge us to walk worthy of this calling, humbly, gently, making every 
effort to maintain unity of Sp in the bond of peace.
• Do you want to be a channel of God’s grace, an expression of His kindness? That’s what HS desires 
& seeks to do through you

• Finish the Mission quote,
• Come HS so that the kindness of God may emonstrated, felt, seen, experienced here!