Summary: Paul struggled with the postive quality of goodness that only God possesses and so do we. It is necessary for us to learn to be good. So, welcome to the classroom.
As I came in this morning and heard people greeting each other, I heard a word being spoken quite a bit. “You’re looking good this morning.” “I feel good this morning.” “Everything is going good.” “I am doing good.” There seems to be a lot of good going around. But really, there isn’t. Jesus stated that only God is truly good (Mark 10:18)
I had an English teacher who would ask, “How are you?”
If I replied, “I am doing good.” she would ask, “What are you doing that’s good?” Or “I am feeling good.” would get the response “What does good feel like?”
Her point was that I was misusing the word “good” when I should have been using the word “well.” “I am feeling well.” or “I am doing well”
If you went to the dictionary, you would find 41 uses of the word “good” as an adjective and 6 uses as a noun. The Bible uses the words good and goodness over 600 times but they have three basic meanings in the Greek.
One meaning is “possessing a positive quality.” This word was used when Jesus said, “Only God is truly good.” Only God is able to possess the pure, positive quality of goodness.
Allow me to demonstrate what the pure, positive quality of goodness looks like. In my right hand, I hold a bottle of water, in my left a bottle of Coke. Let’s imagine that the bottle of water represents the goodness of God. The bottle of Coke represents the goodness of man.
On a hot day, we remember the commercials with polar bears and construction workers finding relief from the heat by drinking a Coke. We may find ourselves desiring a Coke when we know that water is better for us.
Goodness works the same way. We would rather walk in our own goodness as decided by us rather than the goodness of God. We make statements like “I might not be perfect but at least I am better than----.”
When you try to peer through a bottle of Coke, you find it impossible. Things are added to Coke to make it dark. But water is pure and can be seen through. Coke contains carbonated purified water, cane sugar, caramel, food acid, flavour, and caffeine.
Water is natural. It contains two hydrogen atoms to every oxygen atom. Life is dependent on water. Coke is dependent on water. Without water, there is no Coke.
God positive quality of goodness is pure. It’s not complex but simple. Man’s goodness is muddled with good deeds to bring recognition and self-advancement. It’s darkened by the sin in our lives. Like Coke has water included in the ingredients, we have the goodness of God within us. The goodness that we do possess is dependent on God. Without God, there is no goodness in us at all.
Coke cannot be found everywhere we go. We must go to an outlet for Coke products to obtain it. However, water is found everywhere. We find it underground, above ground, and falling from the sky. We can cleanse ourselves in water. Water causes things to grow. Water will pour down from the skies on us whether we deserve it or not. Cleaning with Coke will leave you sticky.