Saturday, July 11, 2009

GOODNESS ~ THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

“For the Kingdom of God
is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life
of goodness
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 14:17 NLT
~~~~~~
What does it mean for something to be good? The word is used in all sorts of ways – good car– a good reason – good eyesight – good deal – good fortune – good person, etc., etc. From the way we commonly use the word, there seem to be three aspects to it.

First, something is called good when it fulfills its intended purpose or meets expectations. The first use of the word in scripture is concerning creation. At the end of each day’s work, God concluded that what he had done “was good.” At the end of the sixth day he “looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” Creation fulfilled God’s intended purpose for the natural world; it met his expectations, and that’s why he called it good.

A second kind of goodness is called morality. God created heaven and earth and everything that exists. He has all knowledge, power and authority, and so he is the one who determined what is morally right or wrong. Everything he says and does is governed by his own eternal moral law. He is absolutely righteous and just. He is the personification of love, mercy and grace. He is eternal truth and He never changes. Everything he does is good. The scripture bears abundant witness to that reality. Over and over it admonishes us to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Goodness is his nature and the heart of his character - he always does what is right. Through man’s disobedience the seed of death entered the human race, ruining man’s moral goodness. But God in infinite goodness made a way for us to become “a new creation” through Christ. Now as born again children of God, his Holy Spirit is able to cause his moral goodness to grow in our lives.

Thirdly, we call something good when it brings some sort of benefit. While salvation is by God’s grace alone, “living a life of goodness” as revealed in his Word definitely brings benefits. It makes God’s goodness visible to people around us and gives them a desire to know him. It makes us better marriage partners, better parents, better employers, employees or citizens. Above all, it makes us more Christ-like and so brings glory to God. As a bonus, it brings us “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Let’s Pray –
Father we thank you for being so good and giving us your Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of goodness in our lives. Help us to repent of anything that hinders the growth of that fruit in us.
Amen

1 comment:

Pastor Dan said...

Thanks so much for your encouraging series of posts on the fruit of the spirit. The more spiritual fruit we manifest, the more we will be like Jesus and accomplish his purpose for our lives.