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Summary: I’ve chosen a pear to represent goodness, because kindness and goodness are a "pair." Kindness and goodness go "hand-in-hand."

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THE PEAR OF GOODNESS

We are studying the FRUIT of the Spirit - The "Christ-like character" which the Holy Spirit produces in us - when we abide in Christ - when we maintain a close personal relationship with Him.

-We’ve been seeking to develop the "INNER FRUIT" first - love, joy, peace.

-Now we’re working on the "OUTWARD FRUIT: - patience, kindness and goodness.

-The PLUM of PATIENCE "a commitment to persevere with difficult people or through adverse circumstances."

-The KIWI of KINDNESS = "Caring enough about other people that we treat them with gentleness, graciousness and generosity."

I hope you’ve done some random acts of kindness this week!

This morning we come to the pear of GOODNESS.

I’ve chosen a pear to represent goodness, because kindness and goodness are a "pair." Kindness and goodness go "hand-in-hand."

Goodness, like kindness, is a word which is difficult to define. Many people believe that these words can be used "interchangeably"- but I don’t believe this is the case. There are many unbelievers who seem to be kind - gentle, gracious and generous - for whatever reason; but there are no unbelievers who are good by nature.

Mt. 19:16&17 "One came and said to Jesus, ’Good master, what good thing shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So He said to him, ’Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.’" He was saying: "You have underestimated who I am - you have overestimated who you are!"

Only GOD is good - i.e. only GOD is perfectly holy, righteous and just - only GOD does what is best for others.

*First observation: GOD is the source of all goodness - it is only possible to be god and do good when we are in a right relationship to Him, through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus for our sin. (2 Cor. 5:21)

I. WHAT IS GOODNESS?

Heb. - tob = "upright"

Ps. 25:8 "Good and upright is the Lord,

therefore He will teach sinners in the way."

Greek: agathos = "Morally pure - pleasig to God, beneficial to others"

Def: Goodness is "holiness of life which expresses itself in always doing what is in the best interest of others."

-Moral Goodness = "Conformity to God’s laws and principles."

-Practical Goodness = "applying those principles in our relationship to others."

So, there is a difference between BEING good and DOING good:

BEING GOOD comes from the new life God plants within us when we are born again into His family, doing good is the natural outworking of that inward change of heart.

Mt. 7:17 "Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but an evil tree brings forth evil fruit."

Once we have come to know Christ, that moral goodness is maintained through the continual study and application of God’s holy Word to our daily circumstances; the yielding of our lives to the control of God’s Holy Spirit; and the confession of any impurity or unholiness immediately after we sin.

II. HOW IS PRACTICAL GOODNESS EXPRESSED?

This is what the Bible refers to as "Good Works or Good Deeds"- doing what is best for others. The world says: "I’ll do what I think is right and what is in my own best interest!"

(GOODNESS is just the opposite!)

EXAMPLES:

-Rom. 12:20, 21 "Therefore ’If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

What is the good? -feeding the hungry, -giving a drink to the thirsty).

-Col. 1:10 "that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

-Eph. 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

-2 Thess. 2:17 "comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work."

-2 Tim. 3:16, 17 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

-James 3:17 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."

-3 John 11 "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God."

In the book of Acts, there are two people - a man and a woman - who are called "good." That is, those who always did what was in the best interest of others:

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