The fruit of goodness is placed in the number six spot on the list that gives us the fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22.
That reminds me of what the Bible teaches in the book of Genesis.
The book of Genesis tells us that man was created by God on the sixth day of his creative process.
The Bible also tells us that after God created man… God said that his creation was very good. See Genesis 1:31.
Here’s another thing… The Bible also teaches us that the number of man is six hundred and sixty-six… See Revelation 13:18.
Could it be that the reason we find the character trait of goodness in the sixth position of the fruit of the spirit…
That it’s there to remind us of who and what we were intended to be… before the fall of man? Which should be… very good… Hmmm.
Maybe that’s far from the whole reasoning… But it’s truly something to think about.
And yet we do need to keep in mind that God has a purpose for everything that he does.
God also has a reason and a purpose for all that he will allow to be done as well.
Now let’s take a look at the fruit of goodness from another viewpoint.
But first, let us define what goodness is from a biblical perspective.
The Greek word for goodness in Galatians 5:22 is agathōsunē … and it is pronounced phonetically in this way… agath-o-soo’-nay.
The Thayer definition for agathōsunē . is Uprightness of heart and life…
Goodness and kindness.
We also discover in the Strong’s Concordance that it gets its origin from the Greek word agathos which is defined as such…
Being of good constitution or nature.
Good, pleasant, agreeable… Joyful. Happy…
Upright and honorable.
Simply put goodness is to be of virtue or of moral excellence.
There is None Good But God.
These are some stunning words that the Lord spoke and we find them recorded in three of the gospels… Mathew 19:17, Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19.
This is what he told the wealthy young ruler when he addressed the Lord Jesus as Good Master.
Let me show you what I’m talking about… I believe it’s always better to let the Bible speak for itself whenever possible.
So, let’s look at how it’s recorded in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 19 verses 16 thru 17.
And it reads like this…
Verse 16. And behold…. one came and said unto him. Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life…
Now verse 17. And he said unto him, Why do you call me good?
There is none good… but one…
That is, God…
But if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
The reason I selected these passages of the scriptures from Mathew is because of how the young ruler posed the question to the Lord.
I mean when he asked… what good thing shall I do?
You see we can all do good things… But that doesn’t necessarily make us good people.
Most times when we do something good it is because we want something in return… Even if that something is just a pat on the back for recognition.
Please don’t misunderstand me because there is nothing wrong with receiving recognition for something well done.
As a matter of fact, the word of God admonishes us to give honor when honor is due. Romans 13:7.
The Bible even teaches us that we as believers and followers of Christ will be rewarded in heaven for our deeds on earth as well.
The fruit of goodness is another characteristic that makes us useful.
And as was mentioned in the lecture on the fruit of gentleness… If we wish to be useful we will have to give up something.
Time… talent… or treasure. It doesn’t matter… Whichever is appropriate for the occasion.
Something has to give…
You know, when the young ruler asked the Lord about what good thing that he could do to enter into eternal life…
After the Lord Jesus told him to keep the commandments of God… He boasted that he’d done all of that from his youth.
He must have thought he had the Lord Jesus with his back against the wall.
The bible goes on to tell us that Jesus loved on him… and then told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor.
Well if you are familiar with the scene you know that the young man didn’t like that saying and he walked away grieved in his heart.
He was grieved because he owned a lot of worldly possessions and he didn’t want to part ways with them.
That beloved is because his identity and trust were in his own strength and resources.
That again my beloved is the main thing that he and many folks in today’s society struggle with the most… along with materialism… and selfishness.
I believe with all… that is within me, that God gives us the power to gain wealth so we can do good and be a blessing to those in need.
Before we move forward let me give you a few verses that speak on the subject of doing good to those in need.
Let’s start with Ephesians 4:28 where the scripture reads…
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.
Also in Ephesians 4:29 we find these words…
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
To me, that’s goodness in its essence…
Being able to speak a word or words of encouragement into the lives of those that need hope is among the best acts of goodness that we as humans can achieve.
The next verse is found in the book of Acts 20:35.
I have shown you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Okay, beloved, there’s one more scene I wish to share with you and it is also found in the book of Acts 4:34 thru 35 and also in Acts 2:44 thru 45.
Let us look at the one found in Acts chapter 4.
We will begin reading in verse 34 and read through verse 35.
It reads as such…
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold…
And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
These are acts of goodness that are motivated by love and energized by the Holy Spirit.
Here is something that probably sticks out to you as well as for me in Acts 2:44 where the word of God reads…
And all that believed were together… and had all things common.
I imagine that whenever this verse is heard it causes people to want the same things for their societies and communities.
We as a people are a long ways from having all things in common.
Not only in secular society are there huge gaps between the haves and the have nots… but it is also prevalent in today’s church as well.
But, don’t get me wrong beloved… Because there are many people in the Church that are philanthropic.
And the Church as a whole is doing some great works in this world also… that can’t be denied.
Yet there is still much to be done.
We Must Be Prepared for Goodness.
I’m not sure if you noticed or not… But one of the words that define goodness is the word useful.
So how do we take part in preparing ourselves for goodness or to be useful for God’s use?
I’m really glad that you asked…
Well, beloved, I’m reminded again of a verse that we find in 2 Timothy 2:21.
Let’s read it together and see what it says.
If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
So what’s this business if a man purge himself from these… what’s it all about…
Well, my friend the purging that the Apostle Paul is referring to is the purging oneself from the things of this world.
Here’s a list of a few of those things that he’s talking about.
Profanity and vain speaking that leads to more ungodliness.
Avoid foolish and ignorant questions that only gender strife or senseless arguments.
Abstain from doctrines that cause unbelief.
Departing from youthful lust… Such as fornication… sensuality, envy, jealousy, covetousness and unhealthy competitions.
The apostle Paul tells us that if we avoid these things then we can be a vessel unto honor, sanctified… fit for the master’s use… and prepared unto every good work.
Jesus said that we should let our light shine that our good deeds can be seen among men… that our Father in Heaven will be glorified. Mathew 5:16.
Our goodness Comes From God.
There is nothing good in us outside of God.
Sure we can do good deeds and display acts of kindness… but as I mentioned earlier that does not make us good people.
I always have to keep in the forefront of my mind the words that the Lord spoke to us found in the Gospel of John 15:2.
Without me, you can do nothing.
It amazes me how we take for granted the things that we are allowed to achieve.
And how we as human beings think and believe that what we do… we do in our own strength and ability.
Here’s something to ponder…
The Bible says that it is in God that we live and move and have our existence.
So I say again that without God causing us to be in the right place at the right time and giving us the right tools and the right heart to-do good… we can not do anything.
Now with that being said let’s look at the ultimate in goodness.
The Ultimate in Goodness is Found in God.
Have you ever heard the saying… God is good and all the time God is good?
That’s a saying that is true today… And will always be true.
Though some may dispute the goodness of God because of all the evil that is in the world that we live in.
Some may even deny the existence of God because of the evil in which he allows to take place on the earth as well.
But that still doesn’t change the everlasting truth about the God of the universe.
God is good and God is good unto all.
We may not understand why God allows a lot of the things that happen on earth to take place.
But there is one truth that God has spoken through the Apostle Paul that I have lived to witness personally on several occasions and under numerous circumstances and situations.
This truth is probably one of the most quoted Bible verses in the word of God… and rightly so.
You have probably guessed what verse I am referring to… And if so… I’m glad because that only means that you have also seen and experienced this truth in your life as well.
The truth that I am talking about is none other than the verse we find in the Epistle to the Church at Rome chapter 8 verse 28.
It reads as such…
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Amen and… Amen again.
Here is another verse that I’m always reminded of and it’s found in Isaiah 54:17.
No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper… and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD.
These are two promises that truly express the goodness of God.
Though these verses are only applicable to the saved or to the people and/or children of God… His goodness still reaches the unjust and the wicked as well.
Listen, just because bad things happen that does not mean that God is not good.
We live in a broken world because the first man and woman decided to disobey God… therefore sin has to run its course before things are back to the way God originally intended.
If you recall when God finished the creation process… He pronounced it to be very good.
So, if you are reading or listening to this lecture… This means you are a living and breathing person.
Therefore you are now experiencing the goodness of God Almighty.
Gods Goodness is Infinite.
I’m sure you have heard that God is infinite in all of his ways.
Every attribute of God is everlasting and infinite.
As we continue to explore the depths of the fruit of the spirit let us keep in mind that every one of these characteristics or attributes of God has no end.
Gods love, his joy, his peace… patience, gentleness… His goodness, his faithfulness… meekness and self-control is boundless.
Nevertheless, in Gods goodness, we are not or should I say the world is not exempt from evil and suffering?
In many places in the bible, we learn of suffering and how we will have to endure some type of suffering in our own lives.
The apostle Peter tells us not to think it strange concerning the fiery trials which are to try us… As though some strange thing is happening to us. See 1 Peter 4:12-19.
The apostle Paul admonishes us in Romans 8:17 that if we are to share in Christ’s glory that we will also have to enter into the fellowship of his suffering as well.
During the days of Jobe, God declared him to be the most upright man alive.
He lost everything but his wife and life… Jobe lost everything that was of any earthly value to him except his wife. But she even told him to curse God and die.
When we study through the bible we don’t read a book that attempts to disguise or hide the truth about evil.
God puts it out there the good… the bad… and the ugly. That’s one of the reasons that the bible is called the book of life.
Because life comes with the good, the bad and the ugly in everyone’s existence.
We See The Goodness of God At The Cross.
The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus depicts the epitome of goodness.
John 10:10 teaches us this.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.
These are the words of our Lord Jesus.
The only way that the Lord could fulfill that promise was to sacrifice himself on the cross.
The just… for the unjust.
The Lord Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of the whole world and for all of mankind.
The bible says… For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
John 10:10 and John 3:16 speaks of eternal love and of eternal goodness.
Why do I say that?
Well, I say that because the Lord Jesus spoke these words before he was crucified.
The bible also tells us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.
We learn from the bible that this was planned before the foundation of the world.
As a matter of fact let’s look at a couple of extraordinary verses that speak on this wisdom found in 2 Timothy 1:9.
Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
And also in Ephesians 1:4 we read these words…
According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
You see, God had a plan of redemption before the fall of man.
God knows all… and he’s not learning any new things.
Beloved, it’s only we that need to learn… new things.
As the scriptures say in Romans 11:33.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
The next few verses that I want to share with you are found in Hebrews 10:5-7.
They also speak of the great wisdom and foreplanning of our God and redeemer.
They are read as such…
Verse 5. Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, Sacrifice and offering you desired not, but a body have you prepared me.
Verse 6. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, you have had no pleasure.
And verse 7. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do your will, O God.
How can anyone in their right mind say that God is not good?
I’ll answer that for you…
You can not be in your right mind and have a personal relationship with God and say that he is not a good God and a gracious heavenly Father.
If those verses don’t express the great goodness of our God enough for you… there are plenty of more where those came from.
I believe the verses that I just shared with you really speak to Gods infinite goodness… Not to mention his wisdom, his knowledge, and his understanding as well.
As we draw to the closing of this lecture let us take a look at some more verses on the fruit of goodness that we can meditate on…
And that the Holy Spirit can use to cultivate the fruit of goodness in us.
Galatians 6:10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Romans 12:21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Psalm 37:3. Trust in the Lord, and do good…
so shall you dwell in the land… and verily you shall be fed.
2 Corinthians 9:8. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you… that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
Psalm 34:14. Depart from evil, and do good… seek peace, and pursue it.
Titus 2:14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
And the last one… but by no means the least of them… because every word of God is pure and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
And as the scripture says… It is profitable for doctrine… for reproof… for correction and for instruction in righteousness.
That the man or woman of God may be perfect… thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 2 verses 16 and 17.
Well, beloved, that’s going to wrap it up for this part of Character Building Fruit… The Fruit of Goodness.
So, until the next time…
Keep up the good practice…
and experience the power of God…
working to give you a new life…