Summary: A sermon to illustrate the importance of the fruit of goodness.
pt. 6 - I Will Be Good
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Introduction: I want to welcome you this morning to part 5 of a new sermon series based on the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. This series is all about life change and what God wants to do in our lives if we will let Him. Make no mistake my friends; the goal of God in salvation is Christlikeness. God wants to change us into the image (icon -- exact replica) of His Son in character, conduct and personality.
Let me also remind you that we can translate the first few words of verse 22, "The fruit of the Spirit..." to read "...the fruit that the Spirit produces..." This morning I want to you to ask yourself this question as we begin; "If I was a better person and displayed more goodness in my life and testimony would it make a difference in my life?" Would it make a difference in my family life? Would it make a difference in my Christian testimony? The answer to all of these is yes it would!
First let's consider:
What is goodness? Now I want you to know that I have studied this word long and hard and consulted no less than ten different translations and including the Greek text and I have come to the conclusion that the goodness is translated.........you guessed it, are you ready? Drum roll please, it means goodness! Now on the surface this word is a whole lot like the word gentleness which we studied last week, in that it isn't a word that we would normally associate with life change but take my word for it dear friend, being a good person in the biblical sense of the term results in a radical life change. This word is an active not a passive word. God wants us to develop the capacity for well-doing. The Holy Spirit is working in and through us to do good things for God and for others.
Next, I would like us to look at:
I. Goodness and the Truth
a. The misconception about good works
I want to deal with an issue right out of the gate this morning that is tremendously important. Now hear this: We do not do good works in order to go to heaven! That is what Hindu's believe and that is what Muslim's believe and that is what Jehovah's witnesses believe and that is what Buddhist's believe but that is not what Jesus taught and not a single one of the NT writers taught that your good works will get you to heaven. Jesus met a young man in Matthew 19 and made it perfectly clear than good works don't get you to heaven.
Mat 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
The Apostle makes it plain in Ephesians also that our good works get us to heaven.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
b. The manifestation of good works
The second important truth about works is that if we have been genuinely saved we will do good works.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In the book of James we have a greatest treatise on the relationship between faith and works found anywhere in the Bible.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
c. The mandate for good works