Summary: As we continue in series on the fruit of the Spirit, we consider fruit of goodness.
1. It is a word that is used much more than it is understood. Parents tell their children to be good and when a daughter behaves a mother will say "Good girl". When things have gone well, we will say - "that was a good day" Perhaps we had a good vacation or saw a good movie. Sometimes we someone will say to me after church "that was a good service".
2. The word "good" takes on different meanings to us. We think of good and evil. In cartoons we see good angel telling us to do good while bad angel tries to make us do the wrong thing. We use good to describe something that is pleasing to us. We describe a person as good who treats us well. We try to be good by obeying our parents.
3. It is a word that is often used flippantly when we can thing of no other word to use. "That’s good, I glad to hear it."
1. In our passage today a rich young man uses the word good with little thought of what he is saying. He says "what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
a. Mark and Luke phrase the question a little differently. (Mark 10:17)
2. In both cases the word good is used but in a different place in the question. Since I believe word not contradict itself, but sometimes not all is said, he must have said "Good teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
3. Regardless of how the question is shown, Jesus responds the same way.
a. His response focusesis on the word "good".
b. Why do you ask me what is good or why do you call me good?"
4. Man is expecting an answer but Jesus says lets first look at the question . Like someone I know. Ask him "How are you today?". I expect to hear fine or OK, but instead he says "Do you really care about how I am? Do you really want to take time to listen to how I’m doing?"
5. Like you asking someone for directions to Detroit? You respond "do you really want to go to Detroit?"
6. Why doesn’t Jesus just answer his question? Jesus knows that the man’s flippant use of the word "good" shows he does not really understand what he is asking.
7. He is making a presumption in his question that is wrong - that by being good he will receive eternal life. And so Jesus stops him to explain not only how to get eternal life, but what good or goodness is and what it means.
8. This evening Paul calls us to seek the fruit of goodness. Seems simple and what is there to talk about? We should be good and do good.
9. But as we consider this "goodness" we find a richness in its source and meaning and application in our lives. We find it in Jesus’ response to the young man.
10. Jesus tells him that there is only One who is good. In Luke He says "No one is good, but God alone". As we said fruit is manifestation of God’s character in our lives.
a. Goodness, true goodness comes from only one source and that is God.
11. Goodness is not only a characteristic of God like patience is but it is a basic attribute of God. Louis Berkhof says "we speak of something as good, when it is ideal in all its parts" and "God is in every way all that He as God should be, and therefor answers perfectly to the ideal expressed in the word ’"God’".
12. His goodness is His absolute perfection. It includes fact there is no sin or bad thing in God.
13. That goodness is exercised by God in His kindness to His creation. (Pss 145:9-16).
14. We could say that all good things come from God and that is true, but we must also say that all that comes from God is good - it cannot be otherwise. Even though hard to understand at times - it allows us to trust in all circumstances.
15. It the exercise of God’s goodness that He shows His character of love and His grace shows that how He treats us is not due to our deserving but out of His goodness. Both His tender mercies and longsuffering patience flow out of His goodness.
16. In summary God’s goodness is who He is and what He does.
17. This ties in very closely to what Jesus tells the young man.
18. First, to be good we first need moral perfection. If you want to enter eternal life, if you want to be good - you must obey the commandments.