Sunday, December 03, 2006

Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Galations 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Who'd like to be considered 'good'? All of us, right? But what exactly does it mean (from a Biblical context)?

According to Strong's Concordance, the word 'goodness' as found in Galations 5:22 means 'virtue'. Virtue itself is defined as 'moral excellence; goodness; righteousness' or 'conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles'1. I like how that sounds. So, in order to develop the fruit of 'goodness', I need to achieve moral excellence and conform myself to the moral principles embodied in the Bible.

It seems so simple when it's put that way. Much harder, however, is the effort to become virtuous. If we could achieve holiness on our own, as my Pastor often says, we wouldn't need God at all. But it's obvious that we do.

So how do we become 'virtuous' or 'good'? A hint can be found in Matthew 19:17, when Jesus was speaking to the rich young man who wanted to know what he had to do to attain eternal life. Jesus said:
.....Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Jesus let him (and us through scripture) know there was none good but God. Therefore, we can conclude that goodness has to be bestowed upon us by God. And that we can only achieve 'moral excellence' by following God and by adhering to His commandments.


1 virtue. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.0.1). Retrieved December 03, 2006, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virtue

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12 comments:

Higher said...

as always a "good" post =) the good news is that the more oandmore we submit our lives to God...and put on the things He tells us to put on and put off those He says put off...the more and more His Goodness become a part of us and begins to shine through us...and that is a real "Good" thing =)

charlescameron said...

I wonder if you might be interested in my Bible Reading Notes, covering the whole of Scripture
www.christinallthescriptures.blogspot.com
www.theologyofgcberkouwer.blogspot.com
http://chascameron.spaces.live.com
Best Wishes.

DaProffessor said...

hey sonya,
just wanted to stop by today and let you know that your blogging is much appreciated and to encourage you to keep up the good work...yours is one of the brighter spots in this blog-o-sphere. Peace & God Bless =)

-one-

Anonymous said...

Someone please help me...I don't understand...doesn't anyone wonder about the favor or God toward people of color? Anytime I get angry it's when I think of God's allowance of the total destruction of so many people of color...drugs, war, famine...why does God favor Europeans so much? Have I missed the mark? Help me please...it is really my desire to love all people...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to ask if anyone wonders about the favor of God not or....

Sonya C. Triggs said...

Anonymous:

Why do you feel that God favors Europeans over other nationalities? It is true that in more recent world history, European nations have taken the land and/or run the government of many countries with minority populations (including the U.S., Africa, India and Hawaii). But most of these countries have begun to rule themselves. And, not to defend them, but during the Roman Empire times, those same Europeans were just as oppressed as any other nationality and were often enslaved. Europeans may be enjoying dominance at this particular moment of time, but that's just in our lifetime. It appears to me that minorities are making a comeback of sorts. Japan and China are becoming world export leaders while many of our technical jobs are being outsourced to India. Africa still suffers the devastation of poverty and famine, but there are regions that are very prosperous and independent of European rule. And African-Americans in the United States, though not in an optimal position, have many more rights and privileges than in the past due to the civil rights fights of our predecessors. Does racism still exist? Absolutely. But are we bound by what others think of us? Absolutely not.

One thing that always comforts me is knowing that God will make everything better in the end. Psalms 37 is particularly relevant to your concerns. It says,
"Psa 37:1 (By David.) Don't be annoyed by anyone who does wrong, and don't envy them.
Psa 37:2 They will soon disappear like grass without rain.
Psa 37:3 Trust the LORD and live right! The land will be yours, and you will be safe.
Psa 37:4 Do what the LORD wants, and he will give you your heart's desire.
Psa 37:5 Let the LORD lead you and trust him to help.
Psa 37:6 Then it will be as clear as the noonday sun that you were right.
Psa 37:7 Be patient and trust the LORD. Don't let it bother you when all goes well for those who do sinful things.
Psa 37:8 Don't be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin. (CEV)"

If you trust in God, He will make it alright in the end. And you will be blessed because of your faith in Him.

I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this subject.

Anonymous said...

anonymous
I most sincerely appreciate your comment Sonya and I do agree with what you are saying. My issue is that I am trying to survive today, I have oppressive issues that I face today and I don't know what end I am supposed to wait for so that my bills can get paid now. "By and by" is not helping me from keep my property from going into foreclosure.

JJ said...

just wanted to add a note to anonymous in regards to surviving today. I can say that I am also just tring to survive today and it is tough not always sure if we are going to have enough mony to keep the house warm enough to get through winter or to keep food on the table but i have learned to put my trust in Jesus Christ. in keeping faith that what is hapining in my life is what is best for Gods will.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous..I just stumbled upon this page while doing research for a Bible Study and was intrigued by your comment. Ironically Im looking to lead a group study on God's Goodness in Uganda (where I just was a few weeks ago). I dont know if this helps or is encouraging at all- but is really doing AMAZING things there. While there is still poverty- war has mostly left northern Uganda and they are beginning to rebuild there. But what I was most touched by is that people that i met have the most intense faith in God (like none i have ever seen in the U.S) Adults and children alike had childlike faith that could move mountains. So while i can deffinitely see how to some people it make look like that God is not as good to them because they are poor- i would have to say the opposite- THe Bible talks non-stop about how Jesus loves the poor. He really has blessed the Ugandans with tremendous faith which is going to matter so much more in the end than all the things we possess here. I relaly beleve God's promise that those who are honored in this life will be humbled in teh next and those who are humbled now will be honored in eternity with him.

I know that you are struggling with getting by- just have faith- God will see you through- I will be praying for you. GOd Bless

mencari kebenaran said...

1 would like to ask you baby..where is the story of jesus when he was at thirteen tiil twentynine years old
in bible??

and the second is when the first time jesus was potreted?
and who was his photograper?
what kind of brand of camera was used?

the third is.. is jesus the GOD OR human being?

did jesus ever give instruction to pray on sunday?

is there in bible if jesus one hundred present human and one hundred present GOD?

is there in bible said if you believe jesus as the GOD you will be entered to the heaven

1 need your answer as fast as possible..ok

standrews said...

Following on from my earlier comment, here are links to Christ in all the Scriptures and The Theology of G C Berkouwer.

standrews said...

Update to my earlier comment (the second one) - The third site is no longer available. the first two can still be found here and here.