Fruit of the Spirit
Greetings precious people. In todayís article we will continue our look at the subject of the Fruit of the Spirit as revealed in Godís Word, the Bible. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." So far we have looked at the first five which are love, joy peace, longsuffering (patience), and kindness. If you missed any of these and would like a copy of them just let me know and Iíll send you a copy free of charge. Today we will examine the fruit Goodness.
The word goodness comes from the Greek word Ďagathosuneí which has the meaning of virtue, beneficence, good, and goodness. As with all the other fruit that has already been mentioned, the best example of goodness can be seen in the life of Jesus Christ the Lord. There is no one else that exemplifies the traits of goodness more than Jesus. It is because of His goodness that we are not consumed. In Romans 2:1-4, "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
In the above section of Scripture the Apostle Paul was addressing a group of people that were very "religious" and had their own idea of what constituted Goodness. Like most of us, the sin that we find inexcusable in others, we are quick to justify and excuse in ourselves. After King David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and conspired to murder her husband Uriah, as an apparent act of goodness, he invited the now pregnant Bathsheba into his home to be his wife. The people of his kingdom admired David for they thought he had done a virtuous thing. He even began to believe his own press. But God did not buy it at all, He knew the motives behind Davidís actions.
Listen to what the Bible, Godís Word, has to say concerning the goodness of man. In Romans 3:9-18, "What then? Are we better than they are? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one." "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
This may be a pretty bitter pill to swallow and a real blow to our ego, but this is Godís assessment of all mankind. We might argue with this, thinking that we are not that bad. We do good "things" when we have the opportunity. But it must be understood that doing an occasional "good deed" does not make one good no more than going to Winchillís Donut makes one a police officer. I can say this because I used to be a cop.
The reason that we are incapable of doing that which is good and acceptable in the sight of God is because apart from God we lack that which is necessary, namely the Holy Spirit. For it is the Holy Spirit that brings forth the Fruit of the Spirit in the Believers life. When we look to ourselves to bring forth good and acceptable fruit we will always fall short. This is made clear in the following verses. In Matt 7:15-24
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: