Summary: God is good and we need to respond to His goodness.
Responding to God’s Goodness
Galatians chapter 5:22
Romans chapter 2:4-11
We have been looking at the Fruit of the Spirit for several weeks.
The text is Galatians chapter 5:22.
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy. Peace, patience. Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Today, we will look at goodness and if we can mix a little gentleness in also.
A little girl was reading this passage in her Sunday School class. She was reading it fast because she was scared to speak. She began, but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kind of goodness. Now of course, she meant kindness and goodness.
Really, don’t we all think that we are kinda good?
Does our culture think goodness and kindness is good?
We know from this scripture it is a God thing to be kind and good. It is one of God’s characteristics and He desires it to be in our lives.
What does the world think about it?
Suppose two NFL coaches faced each other one Sunday afternoon.
Do you suppose that the locker room pep talk would be how kind and good you ought to be to the other team?
I think society still wants kindness and goodness, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their life-style. There not the one making the changes.
We expect people to be polite when you are at the check-out counter.
We expect people not to take advantage of us.
Society also expects that they should be able to tell a person off when they do not agree with them.
We feel angry when it is done to us.
We feel vindicated when we give it to someone else. (who of course needs it)
We appreciate someone going the extra mile.
1st question to ask yourself:
So where does God weight-in on this?
How does God create goodness in us?
The key word being create, because it does not come easily for us, and it does not come naturally.
Julian of Norwhich-
“Every act of kindness and compassion done by any man for his fellow Christian is done by Christ working within him.”
God has to create in us goodness and kindness.
2nd question to ask yourself:
How does God measure goodness?
By what Standard ?
There is only one measure. God measures goodness against Himself.
We then realize that we do not measure up.
“The goodness of God endureth continually.”
“The goodness of God respects the perfection of His Nature.”
God is Good- (Wait for someone to finish phrase) All the time…(God is good)
His essence is good.
Everything He created was good.
His decrees, His creation, His laws, His judgments are all good!
“Thou art good, and doest good.”
The goodness of God is seen throughout history.
Especially when a good and perfect God in advance provides a way for mankind who fell below God’s goodness and provided them a way of redemption.
It is the goodness of God that believers put their trust in.
“O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.” Psalm 107.8
It is the same goodness that is despised when it is not used as a means of repentance.
“The Lord is good, a strong hold in a day of trouble and He knoweth them that trust Him.”
Melvin Newland is a Nazarene preacher who was preaching on the goodness of God and said,
Everyone expects me to be good, I am the preacher.
He says that you all are good for nothing, but I’m paid to be good.” (let that sink in)
W.H. Auden said-
“Goodness is easier to recognize than to define.” I would agree.
What is at the heart of goodness? Only God knows.
Because people can fake goodness because of agenda or motive to work you over.
It can be faked.
I dealt with a women one time on the phone that I thought was an elderly women. I came to her house to meet a need that she had, and to my surprise, this women was younger than I was. She had faked being elderly so that I would show goodness and help her.
Good works can be faked. Only God knows.
But true goodness is a Godly characteristic of the heart.
It is powered by the Holy Spirit of God alive in our heart and we are actively living and molding Jesus likeness.
Goodness is when the Holy Spirit takes the old out, and makes us new.!
John Wesley understood God’s transformation 250 years ago when he said,
Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you ca,
at all times you can,