The goodness of God brings us to repentance. God's love accepted us as we were, in spite of our initial reprehensible behavior. God doesn't change us in order to love us, but He loves us in order to change us. We are used to having to measure up to be worthy of being loved. Not so with God.
We are a new creation in Christ, yet we are still plagued with human nature.
1) Our position in Christ never changes, but the challenges before us change as we move forward. Don't lose our base camp in Christ. Today, "understanding our victory in Christ" we have a role -- Ho w can I change my life? The story of the Bible is God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Examples: slave Israel, shepherds to prophets, fishermen to conquerors. 1Cor 1:26 Corinth is nothing compared to Athens -- just ordinary. Why the ordinary? That no flesh should glory (v 29). It's not about us, but what Christ is performing in us. In the island analogy, maybe we've moved just past the beachhead, while others are not there yet. We need to recognize where they are and help them! One shoe does not fit all people. Are we all to enjoy the process?
James 1:2-4 James 1:2-4  My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;
 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
 But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
American King James Version×. How patient is God? All forsook Jesus at His hour of greatest need.
The power of Acts and the New Testament is the story of Christ in the apostles and their changed lives. Why were so many of the letters and epistles written so late? Because of their own life experiences and their changes needed to be related.
Encourage others with our story.
Contrast the gifts of the spirit with the fruit of the spirit. Gifts being tongues, prophecy, etc. (1 Cor 13). Fruit being love, joy, peace, etc.
1 Thessalonians 2:6-11 1 Thessalonians 2:6-11  Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children:
 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted to you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear to us.
 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
 You are witnesses, and God also, how piously and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
 As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father does his children,
American King James Version×Paul gave a measure of his own life (v8) because they were dear to him as a family. Exhort, comfort, (v 11) as a father does.
Colossians 2:10-15 Colossians 2:10-15  And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
American King James Version× My position in Christ. The victory is won!
Romans 5:1-11 Romans 5:1-11  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience;
 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.
 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
American King James Version× My position in Christ, no matter what comes. Christianity is about God's love toward us (v8)
1 John 3:8 1 John 3:8He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
American King James Version×The victory is won, but we have a role.
Romans 2:4 Romans 2:4Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
American King James Version× Goodness of God brings us to repentance. God's love accepted us as we were, in spite of our initial reprehensible behavior.
God doesn't change us in order to love us, but He loves us in order to change us.
We are used to having to measure up to be worthy of being loved. Not so with God.