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Goodness (Fruit of the Spirit)

This study was taught at our Sunday evening service by Jordan Clague on the 18th October 2020. You can listen to the audio on this web page or save it for later listening.

This is the sixth study in our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, something that should be evident in the life of every Christian, and found in the Bible in Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

As taught in our introduction to this series, we should keep in mind the following foundational items;

  • Grace, not works (We don’t show the fruit of the Spirit in order to be saved, but rather we grow fruit because we have been saved – see Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Fruit, not fruits (Unlike the gifts of the Spirit where different ones are given to different people, we should each demonstrate all the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit – see 2 Peter 1:5-9).
  • Abiding, not striving (We are to abide in Christ. If the branches are not connected, they will not bear fruit. Likewise we must spend time in the Word, and in prayer, or we will not bear fruit – John 15:4).

In this study we specifically looked at Goodness, starting in Palm 103:1-12 that speaks of God’s goodness;

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:1-12

In addition to Galatians 5, the same word is translated as goodness in Romans 15:2, Ephesians 5:9 and 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Ultimately, goodness is always translated as goodness, and good as good – what we need to do is apply it.

As part of this study, we considered the following;

  • Our definition of good is often skewed. We might call something trivial, or mediocre as merely good. But that is not the same as God’s goodness toward us.
  • God by His very nature is good. In fact, we could consider the Fruit of the Spirit as characteristics of God, for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
  • God is sovereign. We don’t always understand how something is good, especially when it is hard to go through, but in light of eternity we’ll see what God was doing.
  • The goodness we show in our lives comes when we align ourselves with how God shows goodness. Another way to look at this is that good is the absence of evil – it is not just what we do, but what we don’t do – like a child is to be good by not misbehaving, so we should not misbehave – we should abstain from all appearance of evil (see 1 Peter 2:11-12, James 4:7)

Throughout this 10-week series we will continue to study one quality of the Fruit of the Spirit each week, with studies available on our website (usually) the same day they are taught. Separately, it is worth listening to our previous study on this chapter here.

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