September 11, 2005pm     The Spiritual Fruit of Goodness         Galatians 5:16-26

By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

 

   Recently, third- and fourth-graders at Wheaton (IL) Christian Grammar School were asked to complete the following sentence: "By faith, I know that God is ..."

   --"forgiving, because he forgave in the Bible, and he forgave me when I went in the road on my bike without one of my parents" (Amanda).

   --"providingful, because he dropped manna for Moses and the people, and he gave my dad a job" (Brandon).

   --"caring, because he made the blind man see, and he made me catch a very fast line drive that could have hurt me. He probably sent an angel down" (Paul).

   --"merciful, because my brother has been nice to me for a year" (Jeremy).

   --"faithful, because the school bill came, and my mom didn't know how we were going to pay it. Two minutes later, my dad called, and he just got a bonus check. My mom was in tears" (anonymous).

   --"sweet, because he gave me a dog. God tells me not to do things that are bad. I need someone like that" (Hannah).- Cornerstone newsletter.  Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 3.

 

Agathosune {ag-ath-o-soo'-nay} - goodness -- uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness.   From agathos {ag-ath-os'}

a primary word;  good, good thing, that which is good,

the thing which is good, well, benefit

1) of good constitution or nature   2) useful, salutary  3) good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy  4) excellent, distinguished   5) upright, honourable

Goodness ( agathōsynē ) may be thought of both as an uprightness of soul and as an action reaching out to others to do good even when it is not deserved.[1]                   Goodness is a virtue.  It is integrity.  It is purity.  It is morality.                                                     ďGoodness in man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.Ē  From Eastonís dictionary

 

Scripture Text:  Gal. 5:16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

 

I.  Consider the Goodness of Human Achievement. Matthew 19:17  "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

a.      Human Goodness is not found in the Bible apart from Godís work in Human life.

b.      Human Goodness is not possible  Romans 3:10-12  There is none good. 

c.      Human Goodness has not been achieved and will never be achieved with Technology and enlightenment.

 

II.   Consider the Goodness of God:

Psalm 119:68  You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

Isaiah 63:7  I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us-- yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.

Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,

Psalm 145:9  The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made

God is good.  He is pure, He is generous,  He is loving ,  He is forgiving,  He is honest Jesus is God revealed,  He was tried but not broken.  He was good.   Psalm 25:8  Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

 

II.                  Godís Goodness in man is a product of Godís Spirit working in us.

a.     Return unto the Lord.  Hos. 6:2

b.     Galatians 5:16  Walk in the Spirit not fulfill

c.      Be led by the Spirit .  The Spirit will be good in us.

d.     Walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust. 

e.     V. 17 we do not do what we want to do. 

 

IV.  What is Good?  Micah tells us in 6:8:

Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

 

1.      To do justly: He wants his people to do justly.

God gave to us just what we needed and He gave to Jesus just what we deserved.  What kind of justice do we have to give to others?  The kind of Justice we have is that which we have received.  Have you been treated equally with your fellow humans?  Have you always received exactly what you paid for?  Have you always received what you had coming to you?  Have always been right on time?  Have you always did exactly what you were supposed to do?  Have you always given to others exactly what that were supposed to get?  Have you always been impartial and equal to others?  Have others always been impartial and equal to you?

 

2.       To Love Mercy:

Is saying you're sorry good enough? What about those who don't say they're sorry?  Can we give to them what they don't deserve?  What else can you do?  You can give to others the mercy that God has given you.  Having received his mercy and grace then you have something to give away to others.  I love mercy for myself, but too many times we demand Justice for everyone else. 

Mercy is getting what you donít deserve.  We donít deserve love and forgiveness, but God gives it to us anyway.  Whether or not we accept it or reject it is our choice. 

 

3.      To walk humbly with thy God:

God wants people who will walk with him and talk with him.  To be able to walk and talk with God we have to humble.  That is we have to be on the same road that he is on and walking next to him.  Jesus walked the lonely road that led to Calvary.  Will you walk with him?  He humbled himself to walk with us.  He came as an average person, a carpenter's son.  We all have the opportunity to walk with the Lord, if we will humble ourselves with him. 

            Since no one has seen him walking down the road, I believe that he is speaking about walking with those you see day to day.  Humbling ourselves so that we can walk and talk with one another.  Becoming a friend to all we see even those who don't deserve it or want it. 

 

How can we become good?  We must walk with the Lord.  He alone is Good.  Will We?



[1]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.