Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
In fact in Sunday school class he talked about it last week and then also today that the number one goal generally speaking of a parent is to make sure that they get out of the House of Thankfully or really to prepare them for adulthood and I was thinking.
You know that that's kind of what discipleship is about parents to raise their kids so that they and maybe a better way maybe another way to say your number one goal is this parent's number one goal is to raise their children well so that they will raise their grandchildren Well right they're always worried about grandchildren sometimes but I'm sure you know one focus that a parent must have on their children is ultimately to teach the children to do what is right to teach them to know the right thing and to do what is right and that's actually one of the best ways to define our next Pruett of the spirit we're going right now is through a series on the fruit of the Spirit and so far we've looked at love joy peace patience and last week we talked about kindness and just kind of as a refresher kindness a good definition for kindnesses being thoughtful of others more so than yourself in any given particular situation and that's I guess maybe another great definition of motherhood right to be more thoughtful of others in any given situation well now we're going to talk about goodness this morning and so how would you describe someone who is good you know some of these qualities that we're looking at between love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness self-control there's a lot of similarities between some of them the quality between goodness and kindness last week there's some similarities between those especially the both definitely have this idea of generosity included in both but what I wanted to do this morning is let's talk about how the Bible describes goodness let's look at a couple examples of goodness and then. We need to obviously apply this to our life and see how God is calling us to be devoted to being good in all aspects of our lives I want to begin as we're starting to describe goodness with the parables I found in mass you Chapter twenty so I have each year into a few of these passages this morning I have a couple up on the board of a Matthew chapter twenty and let's begin with this parable.
And here in this parable I know obviously it has some deeper meaning but here is a parable and this is a great way to describe someone who is good the way that the Bible is talking about goodness in the first of the Spirit so let's read Matthew chapter twenty beginning in verse one.
Jesus says for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day he sent them into his vineyard and going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace and said to them you go into the vineyard too and whatever is right I will give you so they went and going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour he did the same and about the eleventh hour when he went out and found other standing those would be the teenagers they were so they were sleeping in the right and he said to them Why do you stand here idle all day they said to him because no one has hired us and so he said to them you go into the vineyard too and when evening came the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman Call the laborers and pay them their wages beginning with the last up to the first and when those hired about the eleventh hour came each of them received a denarius Now when those hired first came they thought they would receive more but each of them also received a denarius and on receiving it the grumbled at the master of the House saying these last worked only one hour and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day in the scorching heat but he replied to one of the. Friend I am doing you no wrong did you not agree with me for it in areas.
Take what belongs to you and go I choose to give you give to this last worker as I give to you am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me or do you begrudge my and this word actually is the Greek word for good August US Do you regret my generosity or my goodness so the last will be first and the first of the last an alternative translation for verse fifteen in some of your translations your so your Bibles might say or is your I bad because I am good and so this parable of the worker or the owner of the vineyard he is a good man and so Jesus telling us that a person who is good isn't always on very concerned with being strictly fair they're concerned with being generous and rich and kind as well they go beyond just the duty and so that's what goodness me is sometimes we use a word the word good to describe someone who does their job we can use the word good by county of you needed a reference for someone to do some service for you and you say Hey is anyone know a good painter or a good mechanic or a good doctor usually when we're talking about that we're talking about someone who has proficiency at fulfilling the job description right there feel they're just fulfilling their duties however when we're looking at goodness in the bible it's a quality of the fruit of the spirit that goes beyond just performing your functions that are required it really involves engaging the heart to the point where someone becomes generous and gracious and aid they do the right thing all want to look at a couple of great examples of goodness and obviously as we're going to the fruit of the Spirit because these are all actual buttes they God has are qualities that God has we need to start obviously with God and there's a passage in Deuteronomy thirty two I think we have this one I'll just put this up on the. Screen so you can just read this but in Deuteronomy thirty two verse four just a couple sentences but everything that it describes God as this is a great way for us to understand what it means to be good in the sense of the fruit of the Spirit so Deuteronomy thirty two for it says this is God describing himself. The rock his work is perfect for all His ways are justice a god of faithfulness and without iniquity just and upright is he and so when we're talking about God being a good God this is a great brief description talking about his ways are perfect in other words all the ways of God they work and they're beneficial to all mankind all those ways are perfect all of his ways are just meaning they're based on truth that he is faithful meaning that he's committed and he's loyal to his children there's no iniquity in God and this is important that we know that God is holy but there's no sin or anything unrighteous found in him and that he is just an upright in who he is this is what it means when we say that God is good a great definition I got from the book that I'm using on God's goodness is this God is generous and trustworthy without any deception or crookedness and he is like that always through and through like a solid rock in his own character and all his actions and maybe the best thing about that verse or that that definition is when it describes God's goodness and it says that he is like that always that God is always good all the time God is good do you believe that I mean do you truly believe that I ask that question I don't ask it flippantly because there's going to be times when everyone is going to think you know is God truly a good God back in my first church back in Michigan it was on a busy. Road in the one now we're in I'm in the neighborhood which is actually kind of nice but it was on a busy road on Chicago drive in Jenison Michigan and we had a sign that was right on the street in every now and then someone would change a sign and we put these church things out there and one time we just put out a simple sign on the sign it just said God is good it was very simple and basic God is good it was up there for a while and one day I was at the church and someone told in and I heard the door open and there was this man kind of standing in the foyer and I go out and I and he's he's obviously very upset and he's troubled about something goes I read your sign and I just want to come in and talked about this OK and he and I can't remember exactly the conversation because I was a little scared at the moment but um and this is a man he was a he was a professor at Grand Valley State University and he told me who he was and he was actually one of the the football coaches of Grand Valley State and they want to couple national championships so this is kind of this impressive guy and he won on to describe to me why he felt that God was not good and all he did was describe all the evil and all the things that are wrong in this world I thought this is really interesting he's viewing the sin in the world and he's equating that to evidence that God is not good. And you know who would love for us as mankind to believe that God is no good because the sin in the world obviously say it with love for us to believe that unfortunately or fortunately there's another way to view this sometimes we can look at the evil in the world as God's opportunity to work his power and to shine goodness and to promote goodness in the midst of an evil world you know God is good and he can make any situation turn out for what is best and if you think about all the examples in the Bible there's one there definitely stands out because someone says that God is good and that's Remember the story of Joseph somebody might be familiar with the story of Joseph Joseph had some older brothers. And they sold him into slavery some initialise who were traveling by in these. Through my opinion brought him out of the Pitney sold of and eventually he made his way to Egypt and Pharaoh saw how good Joseph was in managing so eventually put him in charge of the entire nation right or the time when there was this great famine and Joseph was able to interpret a dream that God gave to Pharaoh and finally his brothers come down from Egypt and he has this confrontation between them and he reveals himself to his brothers and if you've never read the story it's a really powerful story and in Genesis Chapter fifty verse twenty Joseph is talking to his brothers and he says to them. As for you you meant evil against me but God meant it for good. To bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today.
In God's goodness he put Joseph in a position through the evil of other people to benefit literally hundreds of thousands of millions of people during that great famine.
So we can see it in some of the examples in the Bible and you know I hope that everyone here this morning can say you know what I I see God's goodness in my life as well look at the examples in my life where God is good again I want to read that definition of God's goodness God is generous and trustworthy without any deception or crookedness and he is like that always through and through like a solid rock in his own character and in all his action where God is wanting us to reflect his goodness so let's take a look at a couple human examples of God's goodness and if you look at them in the Bible there's all these examples you some god the you men and some godly women but if you were to think of maybe one person who really demises God's goodness maybe more than anyone else I think Daniel would definitely have to be up near the top of that list right Daniel was brought out of exile in Jerusalem to Babylon and he was just good his entire life other people would see his goodness and I want you to turn your Bibles to Daniel Chapter six if you can find it can be read about in the middle of your Bibles. Daniel Chapter six beginning in verse one.
Daniel Chapter six beginning in verse one and Daniel was such a good person good meaning he was gracious and he was beneficial and he always did the right thing that the entire nation knew about it so again a Chapter six beginning in verse one will just read the first few verses here and this is kind of towards the end of Daniel's life and he was once again promoted to another high position in this government and so says again in chapter six verse one says it pleased areas to set over the kingdom hundred six twenty satraps to be throughout the whole kingdom and over them three high officials of whom Daniel was one to whom the satrap should give account so that the king might suffer no loss then Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps because of an excellent spirit was in him and the king plan to set him over the whole kingdom in the high officials in the satrap sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom but they could find no ground for complaint or any faults because he was face full and no error or faults was found in Him In other words Daniel was a good man he was a good man then these men said We shall find no ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God And Daniel is a great example of a man who was good and teaches us that a person who is good is committed to doing the right thing even when it hurts the consequence for Daniel worshipping God and not the King of King Derry this for the next thirty days when he was thrown into a lion's den and yet it would face with this consequence Daniel said you know what am I going to do my going to do exactly what I've always been doing praying to God three times a day or my going to create a situation where I can say well I'm not going to be consistent faithful in my life and Daniel decided to be good even when it was. About to cost him something you know there's another term in the Bible that is used to describe people who are good and it is righteousness and sometimes we're obviously no one is completely righteous but sometimes we can act with that righteousness that God wants us to Psalm fifteen hopefully we have this out and we have this verse up there or chapter chapter fifteen of Psalm you can just read along with it it's a very short chapter but this is a great description of a person who is good some fifteen.
Old Lord who shall so journey in your tent who shall dwell on your holy hill he who walks a blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart who does not slander with his tongue and does not does no evil to his neighbor nor takes up a reproach against his friend in whose eyes a violent person is despised but who honors those who fear the Lord who swears to his own hurt and does not change who does not put out his money at interest and does not.
All right well I like Psalm fifteen I think it's a great description of of someone who is good Daniel in his situation he definitely could have reason and said you know what there's a lot at stake I'm going to be thrown into the lion's den if I don't if I if I do what I'm supposed to do and he said I'm not going to change and that is a definition of someone who is good someone who says I'm not going to change I'm going to do the right thing even if it possibly cost me something well what is God's goodness is God's goodness that he gives to us and the thing about all these for the spirit with love joy peace patience kindness and goodness all of these are qualities that God has in him self and he's wanting these qualities that are in him to manifest in our lives and so now we have to ask ourselves the question if God wants us to be good what does it look like for us and I want you to churn over in your Bibles to the book of Titus there's a lot of great examples in the book of Titus and will started Titus chapter three but as you're turning there on this kind of reminds me we're talking about fruit and how we want to produce the fruit of God and when Jesus said to His disciples in John fifteen he said I am the vine and you are the branches whoever abides in me and I in him he it is that bears much fruit but apart from me you can do nothing and so as we're talking about God's goodness we will only be as good as we are connected with God the Father but here in in Titus chapter three in fact the entire book of Titus is a great chapter great book where Paul is basically telling us you are saved you have a relationship with God and part of being saved is you become devoted to being good so let's read some of these passages out of Titus Titus chapter three and will begin in verse four.
Titus Chapter Three beginning in verse four and here Polish talking about the point of salvation at our life basically after conversion before eternity begins for each of us Titus Chapter Three beginning in verse four.
So when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared he saved us not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior so that having been justified by His grace we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life and so this is what God's done for us he sent his Son so that we can have the hope of eternal life and then it says this is a trustworthy saying and I want you to stress these things so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good that consistent faithful gracious benevolence these things are excellent and profitable for everyone I mean this is significant there's a lot of things that we do in our life there's lots of good things that we do and we get involved in different things but how many of us can say that we are devoted in our life to simply doing what is good to being a good person and doing the good things that God is prepared in advance for us to do I have a a shameless plug for our church and the importance of the local church right now and every now and then as a pastor every now and then this little light will go on and all and I will realize that's why that's another reason why God has created a local church and I reason for us to come together there's many reasons why God has established the local church but one of them is because the local church creates opportunities for you and for me to be devoted to doing what is good there's opportunities for us to do good you know last week Sarah Kincaid our director of children's ministries came up here and she talked about an opportunity that we have here in our church for you to do good and we had three kids up here and then we have you know all these little kids that are up here that… close up in this mess is you know because we are having so many kids we have needs in our children's ministries and so Sara was up her last week talking about how. I need some people to help step up an opportunity to do good and help in some of these children's ministries and so if you're serious sitting here saying you know how do I put my face into practice there are opportunities even here at this church and so talk to Sarah if you want to be good to talk to Sarah. And go back and Titus go back to chapter two It's amazing how often we see this phrase repeated over and over again in the book of Titus It's like a Paul is trying to teach them to do good on Titus Chapter Two beginning in verse three or just three it says likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine but to teach what is good not just things that are true but to teach and to demonstrate with their life to the younger women what is good to always do the right thing and to be consistent in that look at verses six and seven a chapter should. Titus two six and seven says similarly encourage the young men to be self-control and everything set them in example by doing what is good. Go to chapter two verse eleven verse eleven to fourteen says for the grace of God has appeared that offer salvation to all people it teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for the blessid hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are is very own eager to do what is good. You know we don't know when Christ is coming back and maybe it's going to be within our lifetime but we don't know but all we know is as he Terry's as he waits the return it gives us an opportunity to learn to devote ourselves to doing what is good going to Chapter three there's just a couple more of these verses. In the E.S.P. I carried out of the inner version the chapter heading for Chapter three is saved in order to do good that's one of the reasons why God saved us but the verses one into Titus chapter three verses one into remind the people to be subject to rulers in authorities to be obedient to be ready to do whatever is good. In verse two is kind of touching on some of the other fruits of the spirit to slander no one to be peaceable and considerate and always to be gentle towards everyone in the last one US one here in Titus look at verse fourteen. It's our people Titus three fourteen our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
You know we just had three parents up here this morning with their three beautiful little boys and like all parents I'm sure that I hope that these parents are probably hoping that someday if someone asked them to describe their children describe their son I'm sure that all three of these couples are hoping that someday they'll be able to say my son he's a good boy he's a good boy and then some day they'll be able to say he's a good man and by saying he's a good boy and is a good man we don't mean that he's he's able to avoid getting in trouble right sometimes has only think about someone who is good they're able to avoid being in trouble but by saying that they are good it means that I've raised someone who is devoted to doing the right thing even if it costs them something that their hearts reflect the goodness of God and they are devoted to doing that and I think every parent longs to be able to say that about their children right.
And our Father in heaven longs to say that about us that because he is a good God who always does what is right and he always does it. He is hoping that his goodness will be manifest in our lives while I hope that each week as we look at each of these qualities of the fruit of the spirit that I am each of them will I guess consider To what extent these are are evident and manifest in our own lives so how about you when it comes to the goodness of God Can you say this is something that describes you and of course in all the military will also you know no I'm not a good person but but this is God's goodness and he wants it to make it bear fruit in your life and so to what extent can you see this happening in your life and that's obviously something that we need to devote ourselves to doing what is good while as we close this message I do want everyone here to consider maybe there are some opportunities in your life even right now that will afford you the chance to do good and for you to devote yourself to that because until Christ calls us home that is what we are here to do and so just like the Christmas song says be good for goodness sake.
Let's close in prayer.
Dear Lord I thank you for being a good God and even this morning I just feel like you are so inadequate there's no way we can truly comprehend or recognize your goodness but Lord you reveal it to us in so many small ways and so Father My prayer is that we will recognize your goodness and not only as something that is far off in a loft and something that we can attain the Lord you tell us that these are the fruit of the Spirit this is these are the qualities that exist in you and you want to instill them into us and so Lord as we look at men like Daniel and other people in the Bible even men like Barnabas who really represent someone who is good I pray that we all sometimes we just need to give up our own selfishness our own self centeredness our own ambitions and just say My God is a good God and He wants me to display this goodness in the world around me and so Lord help us as Paul is imploring us help us to be devoted to doing what is good that is our per this morning and praising Christ. Amen.