The Fruit of the Spirit is…GOODNESS

26 Jun

yellowvaseThe fruit of the Spirit is…goodness…” Galatians 5:22

Just as is the case with the first 5 fruits we’ve looked at so is the case with “goodness,” we cannot bear this fruit in ourselves! The fact that we are human prevents it! The fact that we are sinful makes “goodness” impossible apart from abiding in Him! The Apostle Paul realized this in Romans 7:18 when he confessed, “for I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing!” He knew it! It was something that was ever evident in his life and will be forever evident in our lives until the day when He “…shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” (Phil. 3:21) But there’s “good” news! The Psalmist tells us in chapter 23 that ” SURELY goodness… shall follow (us) all the days of (our) life,” that is the life that has found life in the Giver of Life, Himself! Through Christ, we can live a life of “goodness!”

The dictionary’s definition of “goodness” is the state or quality of being good. So I began to think about and study the word good. “Good” is probably the most commonly used adjective in the English language. It was also one of the first adjectives used in God’s Word. After creating the light, “God saw the light, that it was good!” (Gen. 1:4) In fact the word “good” is used 685 times in the Bible!

A study of “goodness” could leave you feeling hopelessly far from ever possessing such a quality until you discover that we can find our “goodness” in our God! When reading the Psalms, we find that “good” is used numerous times to describe the character of our God! (Psalm 106:1, 107:1, 118:1, 118:29, 136:1) It is because our God is good that we are called to living a life of “goodness.”

As Christians are we not to be Christ-like? Philippians 1:27 calls us to “only let (our) conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” The word conversation here isn’t referring to our speech (although speech would be included), but it is referring to our conduct, our lifestyle. Conversation in Greek means ‘to behave as a citizen.’ Where is our citizenship? Where do we belong? We are but pilgrims and strangers here! (1 Peter 2:11) We are citizens of Heaven! (Phil. 3:20) As citizens of Heaven, our conduct should be conduct of “goodness.”

So how do we take “goodness” from being just a word on a page to being a part of our daily lives? We make knowing our God better a priority! It’s only through Him that we can make sure our speech and conduct are “good.” It’s natural to respond to ill spoken words with more ill spoken words, but we are called to a higher standard.

“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called that ye should inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Jesus calls us to “love (our) enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

I think the key to “goodness” is realizing that we are not good! As Romans 10:12 tells us, “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” If our Lord could see enough worth in us to love us in spite of ourselves than should we not seek to respond in ways that are good toward others regardless of how we’re treated?

 Oh, that the Lord would make me to know more of His “goodness” so that I can in turn live it out in my life!

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