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Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Kindness At Work

Galatians 5:22, 23

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

There is a lot of phoniness in the world today and when I think of goodness, I think of the word “real,” something that is genuinely good.  Our perfect example is the Lord Jesus.  Scripture tells us that He went about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed, for God was with Him.”

Acts 10:38

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:  who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 

The fruit “goodness” is another aspect of the fruit that we can put under “kindness.”  I’d like to say just a word about the relationship of kindness to goodness.  Kindness is a quality of the heart and of the emotion.  Goodness is a quality of conduct in action.

Someone has said that goodness is kindness at work, kindness doing its thing.  The word goodness is often found in relationship to the word righteousness and the word goodness also has to do with justice, equality and right action.  You can see those words together, the justice and goodness of God or the righteousness and goodness of God.

The word “good” is an overworked word today:  It looks good; it tastes good; you’ve done a good job; feels good.

Micah 6:8

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?

I am going to share about the

(1) inward reason,

(2) the outward reason and

(3) the upward reason.

Let’s think about the reasons to be good.  You might think that the people who aren’t living good are the ones that are getting ahead, but the Bible tells us that goodness pays off in more ways than one.

Let’s think about the inward reason. You’ll never have inward peace, inward tranquility until you have inward goodness.  We cannot run away from ourselves.  We have to live with the person in the mirror.

We take ourselves everywhere we go.  Paul had been taken into Court.  He wasn’t doing anything except preaching the Gospel, but they were accusing him of lots of things.  Let’s see what Paul says:

Acts 23:1

And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Paul was saying that when he looked into his heart, he had a good conscience.

Acts 24:16

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Paul was saying that he diligently exercised himself to have always a conscience that would not offend God or man.  There’s something about a clear conscience that liberates.  The conscience that God has put within us is an inner judge that accuses us or excuses us.  When our conscience is clear, there is freedom.

Another reason to be good is the outward reason because our lives influence others.  As the song goes, “I would be true, for there are those who trust me.  I would be pure for there are those who care.  I would be strong for there is much to suffer.  I would be brave for there is much to dare.  I would befriend all the foe, the friendless.  I would be giving and forget the gift.  I would be humble for I know my weakness.  I would look up and laugh and love and lift.  I would be prayerful through each busy moment.  I would be constantly in touch with God.  I would be tuned to hear the slightest whisper.  I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.”

You’re the only Bible some people read: another reason to be good.  There is a God.  There is an upward reason.  God is looking down and what a joy to know that you are special to Him.  He cares for you.

Matthew 6:26 (Jesus speaking)

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 

You might say you don’t mistreat anyone and you don’t cheat or steal, but God is wanting us to realize that we can live the Christian life only by being redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb.  He was/is our Sacrifice.  The Lamb is Jesus Christ and He made possible salvation for all.  It is a personal choice made by each individual.

The song continues:  “I have to live with myself and so I want to be fit for myself to know.  I want to be able as the days go by to look myself straight in the eye.  I don’t want to stand with the setting sun and hate myself for the things that I have done.”

I Caught Your Faith

I saw you stand steadfast in grief

but saw no trace of unbelief.

I saw you stand unmoved by stress,

but saw no trace of bitterness.

I saw you stand bravely for years,

but saw no trace of senseless fears.

Though you spoke not of faith’s firm law,

I caught your faith by the things I saw.

God put us here, not to see through people, but to see people through.

Romans 3:12

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

The apostle Paul said, “In my flesh there is no good thing.”  The Bible teaches that and history proves it!  Just read the newspaper or watch the news.

When little children come into the world, we don’t have to teach them to lie before they can talk.  They will shake their heads: No, I didn’t do it.

Psalm 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

You don’t have to teach little children to be selfish.  You have to teach them to be unselfish and not to bite and not to fight.

Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Until we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and ask His forgiveness, we will continue in our sins, but “thanks” be to Calvary:  We can be changed and our lives will be different.  Others will see the fruit.  The Bible says in

Isaiah 64:6

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. You and I are no exception!

How do I ask God’s forgiveness for the sin in my life and accept Jesus as my Savior, asking for God’s forgiveness of my sin through Jesus Christ?

Here’s how:  Sincerely pray this prayer and believe that God answered, because He will have answered.

“God, forgive me for the sin in my life. I ask in the name of Jesus.”

If you prayed that prayer sincerely, you are NOW a child of God and heaven is your destination! Rejoice!  More “fruit”!

Luke 10:20

…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Jeremiah 13:23

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

You know, we can no more will to be good and be good, than you could will to change the color of our skin or the leopard his spots.

The 7th Chapter of the Book of Romans shows us how the fruit of the Spirit will work in our lives and become that “goodness” that gives us that conscience that will be void of offense toward God and toward man.

When we got up this morning we chose what we wanted to wear.  When we wake up each morning, we can also choose our attitude.  We can put on kindness because Jesus Christ is in us to live His life through us for the fruit of the Spirit is Goodness.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)


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