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Sermon on Goodness

  1. Introduction
    1. Gal 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
  1. What is Goodness? 
    1. Greek Definitions
    1. Thayer - uprightness of heart and life
    2. Strongs – Virtue
    1. Cultural Definitions
    1. Philosophical question. Those who study philosophy are always asking, answering, and arguing the answers to life’s most basic questions.
    2. Basic Question: What is Goodness? 
      1. What is good? What makes actions or people good? There are different measures.
      1. Sports
      • In Basketball, winning 6 championships makes you good.
      • In football, a quarterback who throws touchdowns without interceptions is good!
      • In Golf, when the channel is turned off, we see good.
      1. Food
      • In New York, if your restaurant receives rave reviews.
      • In time of Nehemiah, if your cupbearer didn’t die, the food was good!
      • In Germany, if you belch during the meal, it’s good!
      • In my house if the kids will eat it, it’s good!
      1. What makes a person good?
      • If your not in Jail.
      • If you don’t beat your wife or husband.
      • If you graduate high school.
      • “” college.
      • If you don’t do drugs or stay out late.
      • If you call your mother on her birthday.
      • Good Boy – “Means stayed clean before church”
      • Good is the morality you show when no one is looking
      1. What are we being taught as a society?  What are many of our schools teaching?
      • There is no good or evil.
      • You determine what is good for you.
      • Goodness is relative, it depends on the circumstance.
        • Ex. Is it good to lie?
        • What if wife asks you if you can tell she has lost weight?  Good Now?
    1. Scriptural Definitions?  The Word Goodness “agatho»sune»” Occurs 4 Times in the Bible:
    1. Gal. 5:22 (read above)
      1. Goodness is a fruit or work of the spirit.
      2. Fruit of the spirit is a promise.  You can achieve it.
      3. Goodness given by the spirit, can describe you.
    1. Rom 15:14 - And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
      1. Christians can be identified via their goodness.
      2. Christians can be full of Goodness.
    1. Eph 5:8-10 - For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord;
      1. Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
      1. His fruit is goodness. Thus, His works are good.
    1. 2Th 1:11-12 - To which end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfil every desire of goodness and every work of faith, with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      1. Goodness is something for which we can pray.
      1. Goodness can be achieved or fulfilled.
      2. Goodness glorifies God.
      3. As Christians, when He is glorified, we are glorified (honored, dignified).
    1. Conclusions From Four Scriptures About Goodness
    1. We see the fruit, works, deeds, of the Holy Spirit and Jesus are goodness or good. 
    2. We also see that we can pray to God for goodness. 
    3. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the source of Goodness in our lives.
  1. Who is Good?
    1. Scriptures Regarding “Who is Good?”
    1. Psa 31:19 - Oh how great is thy goodness, Which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, Which thou hast wrought for them that take refuge in thee, Before the sons of men! - David speaks of the goodness of God.
    2. Psa 136:1 - Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.
    3. Psalm 52:1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.
    4. Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
    5. 1 Chronicles 16:34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
    6. Mark 10:17-18 – God is Good.  Only God is Good! WHO?
      1. God is so good he can be judge, jury, prosecutor and defense and you still get a fair trial!
    1. Biblical Consequences of Good and Bad
    1. Matt. 12:33-37 – Evil?  Condemned!
    1. Mark 11:13, 20.
      1. Vines Expository Dictionary, "A "fig tree" with leaves must have young fruits already, or it will be barren for the season. The first figs ripen in late May or early June. The tree in Mark 11:13 should have had fruit, unripe indeed, but existing. In some lands "fig trees" bear the early fruit under the leaves and the later fruit above the leaves. In that case the leaves were a sign that there should have been fruit, unseen from a distance, underneath the leaves. The condemnation of this fig tree lay in the absence of any sign of fruit.”
      1. The tree was not Good.  It was a hypocrite tree.  It was pretending to be good!
      2. Jesus Destroyed the bad tree!
    1. Luke 13:6-9
      1. The Man is God the Father.
      1. Vinedresser is Christ
      2. Fig Tree – Children of God.
      3. Three years
      • 3 Years of Ministry of Jesus
      • Patriarchal Age – Sinful! 
      • Mosaic Age – Sinful! 
      • Beg. Christian Dispensation – Sinful!
      • Christ to aid mankind.
      • Return, will see its destruction.  Why?  Bad Fruit!!
  1. The Dillema of Mankind
    1. Salvation
    1. Who is Good? – God!
    2. What happens to those who are bad?  Destroyed!
    3. What is the state that we are in, if there is only one who is good?
    1. Revisiting the Rich Young Man from Mark 10:17-18
    1. He asked what he could do to inherit eternal life.
    2. Jesus answered him with: No one is good but God!
      1. Why?  Man was trying to buy his way into heaven by his “good deeds”.
      1. There is not enough “good” we can do to get into heaven.
    1. Jesus then mentions that it is difficult for rich men to enter into heaven.
      1. Why?  They believe that through their actions they can achieve as they do with riches.
      2. Mar 10:26  And they were astonished exceedingly, saying unto him, Then who can be saved?
  1. Mankind Often Misunderstands Biblical Goodness
    1. Many Non – Christians Believe…
    1. Christianity is about the action of doing good.
    2. “I don’t need to go to church to be a good person.”
    3. That by doing good things, God will be completely pleased.
    4. They examine themselves by a worldly standard and judge themselves OK.
    5. As we saw with the Rich Young Ruler, that was not the case.
    1. Many Christians Believe…
    1. They cannot be good enough to please God.
    2. They will not be good enough to inherit eternal life.
    3. They are imposters who God won’t accept.
    4. After all, Jesus words to the rich man said, “none is good, save God”.
      • Thus, we are less than good.
      • The prize for perfection has already been given.
    1. They examine themselves by a spiritual standard and judge themselves failures.
  1. Goodness is a Blessing From God
    1. Although we are not the definition of good, it does not mean:
    1. We cannot be characterized by goodness.
    1. Our efforts at being good are unimportant.
    2. We cannot be pleasing to God because we have sin in our lives.
    1. God has blessed us all with Goodness
    1. God Created us in His image – We were characterized by Goodness in the Beginning.
      1. Gen. 1:26-27
      2. Gen. 1:31
    1. The Holy Spirit Gave us the tools of Goodness.
      1. Gal. 5:22 – Fruit is goodness.
      1. 2 Tim 3:16-17 - "All scriptures is inspired by God, and it is useful or teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work."
    1. We are to engage the tools of Goodness.
      1. Eph 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.
      1. Gal 6:9-10 - And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.
      2. Rom 12:9 - "Hate what is evil and hold onto what is good"
      3. 2Co 5:9 - Wherefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well-pleasing unto him.

VII.  But what about the Consequences for those who are not Good?

    1. God understands none of us are perfect.
    1. I Jn. 1:8
    1. What God desires is for us to Worship Him.
    1. Mat 22:37 - And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    1. Mat. 9:10-13 – Christ wasn’t seeking perfection or Superficial Goodness.  He wanted service from the soul.  The appearance was not what he desired.  Sinners can be saved!
    1. God gave us Christ to redeem us from a lack of perfect Goodness.
    1. Romans 7:18-20,24-25We are rescued by Christ and are Servants of Him.
    1. 1Pe 3:18 - Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
    2. Acts 20-28Christ purchased us, in our imperfection.
    1. So How are we saved if we are not Good as God is?
    1. Mk. 10:27.
  1. Conclusion
    1. The world has many views and measures about what is Good.
    2. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the Biblical Definition of Good.
    3. God is the source from which all Good comes.
    4. God has:
    1. Created mankind in the image of his Goodness.
    1. Given us the blessings of the fruit of Goodness.
    2. Given us the tools to engage in Goodness.
    3. Given us command to do goodness.
    4. Stated that our purpose is to do good.
    1. We can choose not to bear good fruit.
    1. Those who do not bear fruit of Goodness will face eternal consequences.
    1. God accepts us with the capacity of Goodness what we have.
    1. God understands we are imperfect
    2. He desires us to worship Him.
    3. He has purchased us in our imprefection
    4. And because nothing is impossible in Him, we can have eternal life!