Summary: The fruit of the Spirit is goodness. You don’t produce this fruit. You bear it. He produces it, as you abide in Jesus.
Take God’s Word, and find Galatians chapter 5 and verse 22. We’re in a series, speaking about the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians chapter 5, verse 22, says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness” (Galatians 5:22). And then, we come to that quality of the Christ life that the Bible calls goodness. And, I want to speak to you on this subject: “What is the Good Life?” Now, the word good is an overworked word today. Something feels good, tastes good, and looks good. You’ve done a good job, or whatever. We just throw the word good all around. And, people, today, are interested in living the good life. And, for some people, what is the good life?
Well, for some people, the good life is feeling good. That means, it’s having a hot tub and a back rub. That’s the good life. For other people, the good life is not feeling good, but it’s looking good. I mean, everybody today wants to look good. And, the cosmetics industry is a very big industry today. Billions of dollars are spent on looking good. There are many here today that look as good as you ever did. It just takes you longer to get that way. And, some don’t look as good as you used to. For other people, the good life
is not just feeling good, and looking good, but it’s having the goods. I mean, you know, just accumulating. They call that the good life. If you have enough money to have enough power to do what you want to do.
I saw a red Ferrari the other day. It had a bumper sticker on it. And, it said, “The one who wins has the most toys at the end of life.” And, you know, they say, “The only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys.” And so, that guy had a big red one. And, to him, that was the good life.
Well, there’s the good life. What is the good life? Well, in all of these things that I’ve mentioned, none of these things has a moral quality to it. But, the good that the Bible is talking about has a moral characteristic. You see, the fruit of the Spirit is goodness.
Now, what is goodness? Well, number one, it is being good. And, therefore, because you are good, it is doing good. Now, I want to give you a verse of Scripture to put in your margin. And, it is Micah 6 and verse 8. If you want, in one verse, a definition of goodness, here it is, my dear friend. Here is what goodness is. Just put it in the margin, and listen to me. Don’t try to look it up now, because the sermon will be over, and some of you will not have found Micah yet. Some don’t even know Micah’s in the Bible. You will get to Heaven, and you meet Micah, and he’ll say, “Did you read my book?” And, you’ll say, “Oh, you wrote a book?” Micah chapter 6, verse 8—now, listen to it: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). Isn’t that good? Isn’t that beautiful? “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Now, having said that, real goodness—the good life—has a moral quality to it. It is to be good, and, therefore, to do good. And, because it is the fruit of the Spirit, our message is organized around three simple thoughts.
I. The Reasons for Goodness
First of all, I want us to think about the reasons for goodness. Why should we be good?
I mean, if you look around you, it doesn’t seem, sometimes, like we should. The young ladies, sometimes, say to me, “Pastor, you know, it just seems like we can’t get a date, unless we are less than pure. It seems like the other girls—the girls that don’t have the highest standards—they’re the ones who are getting the phone calls. They are the ones who are being carried out.” Businessmen say, “You know, Pastor, I’d like to run my business according to certain principles. But, it seems like that where I am, if you don’t hedge a little, bend a little, trim a little, politic a little, then you’re not going to make the big bucks. The big bucks are made by the guys who don’t necessarily do it the right way—that is, according to the Word of God.” And, the kids at school say, “If you want to be popular, the most popular kids at school are not always the best kids.” Does it pay to be good? You better believe it pays to be good, my dear friend.