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Character Attribute #11 or ‘God is Love by showing Forbearance –’

Notes from Bible Study Sources

‘Forbearance’ found in NKJV in these Scripture passages:

OT: Pr 25:15 By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, And a gentle tongue breaks a bone.

NT Rom 2:4 <context> [3] And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who "will render to each one according to his deeds":

Rom 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Definition and Notes:

The Greek word is defined in English as ...1) toleration, forbearance, and the root, ‘forebear’ is, in the AV-suffer 7, bear with 4, forbear 2, endure 2; 15 – 1) to hold up 2) to hold one's self erect and firm 3) to sustain, to bear, to endure

It is really a part of God’s mercy, and means that God ‘puts up with’ man’s rebellion while He patiently waits to work salvation for mankind in a way that will most glorify Himself, plus He saves all He has chosen to save, and yet He also makes salvation available to ‘whosoever will’ come unto Him. (Romans 10:13)

Some Examples of God’s Forbearance:

1. Noah, 120 years Gen 7-10;

Mt 24:38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

Lu 17:27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

1 Pe 3:20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

2 Pe 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;


2. God counted 10 tests by Israel’s in Sinai with Moses without destroying them utterly:

Nu 14:22 "because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice...

Ac 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

3. Book of Judges; but God had said their disobedience would reap awful judgment. Deut 28.

4. David and Bathsheba 2 Sam 11-12. God did not take his kingdom away from him.

5. Jonah and Nineveh. Jonah had no ‘forbearance’ for Nineveh, but God showed GREAT forbearance.

6. Jesus. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death– even the death of the Cross. How could forbearance be illustrated any better than this?


  • 1. Show longsuffering (forbearance). 1 Cor 13: 4-5.
  • 2. Be patient with one another Eph 4:31-32
  • 3. Expect forbearance to be repaid in heaven (Romans 12:19) Vengeance is the sole responsibility of God Himself, alone.

Give some of your own illustrations of Forbearance, both that you find in scripture, and examples you have shown in your past life:


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