Summary: Goodness is a fruit that is best given away by the example of our lives.
Introduction (overhead 1)
1.The fragrance test with two men. (Adapted from Tasting The Fruit of the Spirit, Group Publishing, 2003)
2. The college prank played on me with my cologne.
Review of series (overhead 2)
1. We are more than half way through our fall series, The Fruits of the Spirit and so far we have studied the following fruits.
2. I have suggested that we see these fruits both build on and are reinforced by one another. Why? Here are two reasons:
a. Because God is love and because Jesus said that love is a test of obedience, love is the foundation evidence or fruit of the spirit.
i. All that we do as followers of Christ must be motivated by love.
ii. This love is a love that expects nothing in return.
iii. It is a sacrificial love.
b. If we partner with Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to truly live in and lead us then as a kind person:
i. We show love to others
ii. We express a joy that comes from a life centered in God
iii. We experience a peace that helps us focus on the Lord through thick and thin.
iv. We respond in a patient manner because God’s love, joy, and peace operate to help us become more patient people.
3. Where then does goodness come in?
Goodness defined and explained (overhead 3)
1. Goodness is a fruit that is best given away by the example of our lives.
a. Our main text gives several ways in which goodness, as one expression of living for God, is expressed:
i. Starting with 4:25 Paul shares some very important and pointed ways that goodness is a part of our witness:
ii. Goodness is expressed in our attitudes – 4:26,27,30 and 5:1-2
iii. Our attitudes are reflections of the way we look at life.
1. Uncontrolled/uncontained anger makes a statement about our attitudes.
2. Anger is a part of life. (Car repair bill).
3. Uncontained/uncontrolled anger is the problem here.
4. Cross-referenced to Psalm 4:4 “Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.”
5. Goodness can be disabled when anger is left unchecked and dealt with properly. Psalm 4:4, pt 2, “Think about it overnight and remain silent.”
6. Goodness can serve as a corrective to unchecked anger.
7. We bring sorrow to God when anger, not goodness, controls us.
iv. Goodness is also expressed in our actions that reflect what our motives and priorities are in life. – 4:28, 31 and 32 and 5:5-7
1. Goodness is expressed in honest work not stealing.
2. Goodness is expressed in a life that is not controlled by bitterness and other malicious behavior.
3. Goodness is expressed in a life in which kindness, compassion, and forgiveness is the norm.
v. Our speech is another way of expressing either goodness or something else – 4:29,31, 5:4
1. Jesus said in Matthew 15:18, “Evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them.”
2. Our speech reveals a great deal about us.
3. Goodness exists when words of kindness, not words of disrespect and dishonor, are expressed.
4. A heart and life that is committed to God and is being made more and more honoring to God is revealed in speech that reflects the work of the Holy Spirit.