Summary: The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 8) How does God’s Spirit produce goodness in our lives? [See sermons in Word format at www.praiseag.org]
GOODNESS (FOR GOODNESS SAKE!)
The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 7)
• Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Perhaps you have heard an exasperated parent tell his/her children, “Oh be good for goodness sake!” Unfortunately mom and dad’s idea of goodness may be different from the child’s idea of being good!
Let’s take a quiz on being good or bad. As I call out the following names you tell me if they were good or bad:
Adolf Hitler Mother Teresa
Albert Einstein Osama Bin Laden
Jimmy Carter Saddam Husein
Billy Graham Al Capone President Bush Pastor George Pastor Sue Susie Ebie
Goodness isn’t as clear cut as we may think! What is good for one person may not be good for another person at all, as the old saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
What is goodness?
Paul said, “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . goodness.” What does it mean for you and I to have goodness, to be good?
• Ephesians 5:9 (NIV)
For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness.
• The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness (KJV).
The fruit is made up of goodness. Over the last several weeks I’ve said, “It’s FRUIT, not fruits.” Each of the nine expressions of the fruit of the Spirit are connected to each other; you can’t have one without the others developing as well. Love is the blossom. Through love the fruit develops and matures; without love there is no fruit of the Spirit.
We’ve said goodness is love extending; goodness is love reaching out to others. Here’s another way to think of it. Why does love extend or reach to others? GOODNESS IS OUR MOTIVE.
Look again at what Paul said. “The fruit of light [the fruit of the Spirit] consists or is in all goodness.” Goodness is the motive. When the fruit of the Sprit is fully developed in our lives, then goodness is at the heart of everything you and I do. Unless we let the fruit spoil and go bad people will have no reason to say we have not been good.
Is goodness the motive of everything you do? I wish I could say it was my motive all the time; unfortunately I still need to let the fruit of the Spirit develop in me to full and complete maturity. While goodness may not always be my motive, I desire for goodness to be the reason behind how I live my life; I want goodness drive to drive me to motivate me.
Goodness is not made up of the outward things we do; rather goodness is the inward reality of who we are in Christ Jesus. Goodness is our motive. Jesus teaches us what goodness really is.
• Mark 10:17-18 (NIV)
 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.
What Jesus shows this man, and what we learn about ourselves is that all too often we overestimate who we are, and underestimate who God is. We are guilty of making ourselves too much like God, and God to be too much like us.
Jesus tells this man if he will simply keep the commandments then he would have eternal life. This man responds like many of us would, “I’ve kept all the commandments; I’ve done everything God requires of me.” Jesus simply replies, “One thing you lack;” in other words YOU HAVE MISSED IT!
If you think you can be good enough to satisfy God’s requirements, if you think you can do enough good things to make God happy, then you have missed the most important thing. No one can do anything apart from Jesus (note John 15:5).
The fruit of the SPIRIT is goodness; goodness is not the fruit of the SAINTS. You and I cannot produce goodness; we cannot develop the fruit apart from being connected through Jesus.
Goodness is our motive; goodness is the inward reality of who we are in Christ Jesus, and GOODNES MAKES US GODLY!
God wants us to be just like Jesus. Goodness makes us to be like God. Now be careful not to make the mistake of overstating yourself and understating who God is. You and I can never become God-like or equal to God. He is transcendent and far above anything we can ever become. However, Christ in us can cause the likeness and image of God to be evident and real within us.