Good/Goodness

<<decent/righteousness>>

That which pleases the senses, gives moral satisfaction, and is honourable.

The Bible declares: God is good – morally perfect and upright, He alone is completely good (Ps 100:5, 118:1; Mk 10:18); what God does is good, His works revealing His wisdom and power (Ps 104:24-31, 119:68; 1 Tim 4:4); the gifts of God are good and they express His generosity and blessing to those who receive them (Mt 7:11; Jas 1:17); men and things are good if they conform to the will of God (Gen 1:31); “Cling to the good and discard what isn’t” (Rom 12:9; 1 Thes 5:21); for in our sinful nature there is nothing good (Rom 7:18).

God’s commands are good, they show the moral perfection of His character and we are called to be holy too (1 Pet 1:16).  The 10 commandments in Exodus 20:3-17 express God’s standards and ideals. Jesus summed them up as loving God with all our being and our neighbour as we love ourselves (Mt 22:37-40). This is the lifestyle He approves and accepts, with everyone profiting from those doing good. These commands show us how to please God as we obey them and they mark out for us the path of blessing (Rom 12:2). Be not overcome by evil, instead overcome evil by good, holding fast to the honourable qualities, not retaliating  but rather doing to others as we would have them do to us (Mt 7:12; Rom 12:9,21, 13:9).

“No good thing will He withhold from those whose walk is blameless…Will not God give us all things?”  (Ps 84:11; Rom 8:32).  The OT blessing and favour of God were focused on the external material level (what was good for the body), and while the NT teaching does not exclude material blessing the emphasis is on the inner spiritual level – what is of benefit to the soul and spirit (Eph 1:3).  The modern prosperity doctrine overlooks the fact that God’s blessing is also evident through hardship and trial, and character qualities can only be developed by them.  When God withdraws outward blessing from us and even disciplines us He is still doing us good; for our subsequent benefit by exercising and strengthening our faith, patience, obedience and love for Him (Ps 119:67,71; Lam 3:33,40; Heb 12:10). Paul wrote, “All things work together for good to them that love God” – so as Christians we should accept willingly every circumstance as God’s gift to us designed to do us good and result in lasting benefit (Rom 8:28; 1 Pet 1:6,7).  Anything that drives us closer to God is for our good and even what causes us temporary distress is being used by God for eternal purposes (2 Cor 4:17).  Thus in all things we should give thanks, for it is God’s will for us (1 Thes 5:18). If you to suffer it should be because you did right and not wrong, so continue to do right (1 Pet 3:17, 4:19).

Once we are saved our lifestyle should reflect the change (Mt 3:8). God wants us to proactively do what is good and right all the time, not just refraining from doing bad. Jesus said, unless our goodness is better than the religious leaders of His day we won’t get to heaven (Mt 5:20).  These religious leaders outwardly appeared faultless.  The problem was their actions were not matched by the inner attitudes of their hearts which is where real allegiance to God should proceed from (1 Sam 16:7; Mt 15:18-20, 23:27,28). Out of the good stored up within comes goodness and good works (Lk 6:43-45). This is shown in the life of Christ, who as God’s anointed went about doing good (Act 10:38).

As Christ was in the world so are we to be – not contaminated by it but challenging it’s concepts through word and action by being salt and light (Mt 5:13-16). We are to be ready to do whatever is good, having turned away from evil (Ps 34:14; 1 Tim 2:3; 2 Tim 2:19; Tit 3:1,8,14). Furthermore, the Bible instructs us to live out the righteousness to which Christ has called us, recognising in our own

Doing good reflects the                     character of God

fleshy nature nothing good resides inside so we don’t have the power to do good in our own ability (Rom 6:12-22, 7:18,19). Paul said, when I want to do good, evil is present – the battle is between the spirit and the flesh (Rom 7:21). Our own righteousness or goodness is as filthy rags in God’s eyes (Isa 64:6).

Paul was convinced those in the church at Rome were full of goodness, because it is a by-product of living in the light and goodness is a fruit of the Spirit (Rom 15:14; Eph 5:9; Gal 5:22). The instruction to Titus was, “In everything set an example by doing what is good” (Tit 2:7). David was confident he would again be a recipient of the Lord’s goodness (Ps 27:13). In a later Psalm he declared, “How great is thy goodness (Ps 31:19). Do we express by our words and actions the Lord’s blessing and hand on our lives?

Add one letter to ‘God’, and it spells good – the source from which all that is good comes. By adding one letter to ‘evil’, it becomes devil – from where all that is bad originates. Don’t imitate evil but good, because whoever does good is from God (3 Jn 1:11).

See also: evil, fruit (of the Spirit), golden rule, good works, righteous/righteousness.

 


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