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  • Keith Harris

The Fruit of the Spirit

Goodness is defined as, “the quality of being morally good or virtuous,” “the quality or state of being good,” and, “excellence of morals and behavior.” And my favorite, “the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.” There are many synonyms of “goodness,” words like character, decency, honesty, integrity, morality, righteousness, and virtuousness. Equally predictable are the antonyms: badness, evil, evildoing, immorality, iniquity, sin, villainy, and wickedness.

So, what does the Bible say about goodness? At the very foundation of goodness is the character and nature of God. God is goodness. In Exodus 33:12-23, we see a clear picture of the goodness of God. God connects his glory with his goodness. God connects his grace and mercy with his goodness. In 1 Kings 8, we see Solomon and all the Israelites offering great sacrifices to God because of who God is. Following these offering of these sacrifices, the Bible says, “On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people” (1 Kings 8:66). Solomon had built the temple. Solomon had furnished the temple. Solomon, and all Israel with him, had made sacrifices, dedicating the temple. The people were filled with joy. They were glad in their hearts. Why? Because of God’s goodness that he had shown Israel. At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed to God, “Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place. And now arise, O Lord God, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in your goodness. O Lord God, do not turn away the face of your anointed one! Remember your steadfast love for David your servant” (2 Chronicles 6:40-42). David said to God, “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…” (Psalm 31:19). Jeremiah said, “They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord…” (Jeremiah 31:12). Perhaps God’s goodness is most clearly seen in the gift of His Son. Paul wrote to Titus, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us…” (Titus 3:4-5).

With the goodness of God in clear view, we come to understand the call we have been given to practice goodness in our own lives. Paul offers a great challenge for us as we seek to live a life of goodness. In Galatians 6:9-10, Paul wrote, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” And to the church in Ephesus, he wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). “Walk as children of light, for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true, and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10). The call is clear. We ought to live lives of goodness, letting God’s goodness be seen in us. The Fruit of the Spirit is goodness!


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