This is a Sunday night sermon that I will be preaching at the church I pastor, Faith United Church, Hempstead Texas.
THE ART OF BEARING FRUIT PART 10
Galatians 5:22-23 TNIV – 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.
INTRO: This is the 10th sermon in our PM sermon series, “The art of bearing fruit.” We are being more practical and devotional in how we are looking at this subject, as opposed to doctrinal.
Tonight, we are going to look at goodness. Goodness is really a very misunderstood word. It comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon language. “Good” was always synomonis with “God”. So when they said, “Goodness,” they were actually always referencing God. I think they knew something that we just don’t know or understand – and that is you can’t have true goodness without God. It is His very nature and character and thereby a fruit which the Holy Spirit produces inside us.
Notice what the Scripture says about Jesus Christ. Acts 10:38 TNIV – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. The words in this passage, “doing good,” is an attribute of His Deity. Even today the goodness of Christ has enormous and far reaching power.
Let’s look at this subject of Goodness tonight.
1. The world’s attitude toward goodness.
The world doesn’t really understand the concept of goodness. Why? Because they are devoid of God. You can’t have true goodness without God.
The world even derides believers who truly try to do good. They call them, “do-gooders,” or “goody – goody two shoes.” The world thinks that true goodness is weak, laughable and to be despised. Even during the time that Jesus walked this earth, the good He did was spoken of or accused as evil.
Matthew 12:24 TNIV – But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
The reason is because the goodness of God and the evil of the world and Satan are diametrically opposed to one another.
But before we despair, there is some good news. Jesus and the goodness of God will triumph over evil. His love overcomes despair. Why? Because He is good. His light overpowers darkness. Why? Because He is good. His death broke the power of sin. Why? Because He is good.
2 Corinthians 5:21 AMP – For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
2. The true nature of goodness.
God’s goodness isn’t soft, spineless, or a passing mood or fad. Neither is it some emotional experience or some mystical event.
God’s goodness is wrapped in the reality of God Himself dealing with the awefulness of sin. God’s goodness shows the greatness of His love that dispels our despair and brings His life out of death. God’s goodness is also displayed in the reality that He sent His Holy Spirit to abide, convict, comfort, help, and empower believers.
3. God’s goodness and His grace.
God’s goodness is so powerful and great, that He without a mediator is unapproachable.
There is only one person that helps us approach Him – His goodness lived out through Jesus Christ. This goodness is Jesus Christ is displayed in His grace toward us. You see, our good Lord is also our gracious Lord. He is gracious to us because He is good and He deeply cares for us.
He doesn’t keep us at arms length when we fail Him. But like the Father with the prodical son, He runs after us with His good, strong arms wide open to forgive, and pour His grace upon us and restore us once we repent. This is what it means, “God is good.”
4. Goodness cost.
God showed us His goodness by giving Himself away through Jesus Christ. He wants us to share His goodness the same way – by giving ourselves away. I personally believe that the Holy Spirit implants God’s goodness as we give ourselves away.
5. The effect of goodness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP – Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
The first effect is new life in Christ. This is a supernatural change. And with that new life comes genuine goodness. Which is a by-product of the Holy Spirit living within us.
6. How do we live good lives in an evil society?
Come to the cross again. Fall in love with Jesus all over again. Focus on His sacrifice for you.
Cry out to Him. Good, old-fashion prayer that touches the heart of God.
Since the Holy Spirit lives in you – keep your lives free from sin and clutter. You do this first by confessing your sins to Him. Ask the Lord to help you rearrange and focus your priorities.
Seek out others who need to be touched by God’s goodness and become a vessel He can use.
CONCL: God is good. He wants us to walk in this fruit of goodness. Surrender to Him and see what He will do. You will be surprised.
Next time we will look at faithfulness.