What is biblical “goodness”?
Greek origin – Agathosune
Root word is Agathos.
“Goodness is that virtue opposed to all that is mean and evil and includes uprightness, kindness and beneficence, of heart and life.” ~John Murray~
1. GOODNESS REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF GOD.
AGATHOS = intrinsically good
Comes from character of God.
Hates anything that is bad.
Strives for good for others.
Mark 10:17-23 No one is good (Agathos) except God Himself.
Ps 34:8 Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Gen 15:16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.”
Eccl 7:20 (No one is righteous) Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.
Proof of God’s goodness: He gave chances for repentance.
2 Pet 3:8-9 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Gen 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Ps 145:9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
God is a consistent God.
Ps 119:68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
James 1:16-17 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
God does not change.
Rom 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Matt 5:44-45 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
2. GOODNESS REQUIRES DEPENDENCE ON GOD.
Mark 10:20-22 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (Habitual dependence on his wealth)
True GOODNESS is not equitable to following commands, and cannot be found in the human heart.
Rom 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
Isa 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Rom 12:17,21 (can we pass this standard for goodness)
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone[outstanding, commendable, not expected by people]. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When compare to God’s standard, our “goodness” is not up to par.
“Goodness is doing the right thing for the right reason.” ~Melvin Newland~
Sometime we do good thing with wrong reasons. Being scolded, stomp etc…
Rom 7:18-20 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
We have no power to be good. We need to depend on God.
Rom 7:24-25 (Solution) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
2 Thess 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God can gives us a NEW nature, if we allow Him to work in us. We can’t gain goodness by doing good deeds. (The bear is still a bear. External actions changed, but inner nature is not changed. LOVE.)
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Do we see goodness coming out of us?
Eph 5:6-10 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
The goodness should be EVIDENT, must be seen.
Mark 10:22-23 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Mark 10:24-27 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
In God’s goodness, everyone has hope.
THE GREATEST GOOD
Rom 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
THE GREATEST EVIDENCE OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD
2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Goodness cannot get us to heaven; goodness is the byproduct of heaven in us.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:8 NIV