Goodness

God is good (Lk 18:19). God created everything, and at Creation, everything was very good (Gen 1:31; 1 Tim 4:4). When Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, sin entered the world (Gen 3). Humanity lost its status as good. From that point, there was no one righteous (Rom 3:10), no not one. There was no one who did good (Rom 3:11).

This void of goodness allowed evil to flourish, so that the intentions of every human heart were only evil all the time (Gen 6:5). Evil would have prevailed if the Righteous One, Jesus Christ, had not come into the world to perform His good works for our salvation. With Christ, the goodness of God was enfleshed (Jn 1:14), for He went about doing good wherever He went (Acts 10:38).

If God is good (Mk 10:18), then everything about Him is good. God works everything together for good (Rom 8:28), to accomplish His good will (Phil 2:13). This is revealed in His good Word, which contains the Law, which is good (Rom 7:12, 16). The Law was given to show us the extent of God’s goodness, contrasted with humanity, which thinks and does what is not good.

People think they are good, but they are deceived. People think they do good, but their motives are evil, so how can what they do be good? The Pharisee thanked God that he was not like the Publican, and he was not, for the Publican repented of his sin and made his plea for God’s mercy (Lk 18:9–14). God has mercy upon who He wills to have mercy (Rom 9:15, 18). If one receives mercy from God, this is good. These are called, “vessels of mercy” (Rom 9:23).

God is good to Israel (Ps 73:1), His chosen people of mercy (Gal 6:16). Jethro rejoiced as he inventoried all the goodness God had bestowed on Israel, when delivering them out of Egypt (Ex 18:9). Yahweh made all His goodness pass before Moses on the Holy Mount (Ex 33:19).

At the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, Israel was filled with great joy because of the goodness God had issued to His people and to David their king (1 Kgs 8:66). When Ezra was bringing a remnant of exiles back to Jerusalem from Babylon, he acknowledged the good hand of God was with them (Ezra 8:18, 31).

Isaiah called Yahweh’s compassion and lovingkindness; a “great goodness” shown to Israel (Is 63:7). Nehemiah also recounted Israel’s history, and called God’s gracious provision of the Promised Land, a “great goodness,” but Israel had not been grateful to Yahweh for what He had done for them (Neh 9:25, 35). In the last days, the sons of Israel will seek Yahweh, and David their King, and they will come to His goodness (Hos 3:5). These are the last days, and people from every nation, tribe, and tongue are coming to Jesus. Have you heard Him calling you to come to Him, to His goodness?

The Lord is good to all (Ps 145:9) but being deprived of God’s goodness is not good. The psalmist lamented the thought of being forgotten by Yahweh, so he argued for God to remove the sin that separated him, for the sake of God’s goodness (Ps 25:7). He despaired his thoughts of not seeing God’s goodness in the land of the living (Ps 27:13). In contrast, He rejoiced in how great the store of the goodness of God was for His people (Ps 31:19). God’s goodness is for the poor (Ps 68:10), who are blessed of God (Lk 6:20).

Goodness (Gk. agathosune) is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and fruit of Light (Eph 5:9). As we have noted, it is an attribute of God in the order of: God is love; God is light; God is Spirit; and yes, God is good. As with other fruit of the Spirit, goodness is manifested in and through the life of the Spirit-filled believer in Jesus Christ. The one who does good is of God (3 Jn 1:11) because he is full of goodness (Rom 15:14).

God’s house is a place of goodness. One who is born again of God’s Spirit meditates on David’s words, “Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Ps 23:6).” These words take on an even richer meaning than David knew in his day because Christians are the house of the Lord (Eph 2:19–22). The goodness of God’s house, His temple, is something He chooses to share with those He brings near to Himself (Ps 65:4). David wrote, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good (Ps 73:28).” God is good, and He is in His house. We are His house, and we are filled with His goodness, when we are filled with His Spirit.

Yahweh is to be praised in psalm for His goodness (Ps 81; 92; 111; 118; 136; 145). His goodness is abundant (Ps 145:7). Christians should have the desire for goodness (2 Thess 1:11), for God promises, “My people will be satisfied with My goodness (Jer 31:14).”

It should not be a mystery that just as God chose us for salvation (2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10), He has also prepared good works for us to walk in as Christians (Eph 2:10). Goodness surely produces good works, which requires us to be good servants of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 4:6). Jesus did many good works (Jn 10:32), and Christians are His good soldiers (2 Tim 2:3). God has begun a good work in us (Phil 1:6), and this should be seen by people (Mt 5:16).

Jesus had a good confession before Pilate; therefore, with a good conscience (1 Pet 3:21), we should bear witness of the good news regarding Him (Acts 1:8). All of this gives us a good hope by grace (2 Thess 2:16). If God has graced us with His goodness here (Phlm 1:6), then surely, we have good things to come (Heb 9:11; 10:1).

So, we have learned that God is good; therefore, He is the source of goodness, which He makes manifest through His indwelling Holy Spirit in the Christian. A satisfying goodness is found at the house of God, which is the church of Jesus Christ. Separation from God’s goodness is undesirable, but having it is cause for praise to Yahweh. It is good for us to praise Him for His goodness. God’s goodness is great in every way and abundant, too.

In conclusion, this is our good news: Jesus is God, and God is good. If God is good, you must draw near to Him for goodness. Fortunately, His drawing power is irresistible, for it is all grace. He drags you to His goodness, like a fisherman drags his catch to himself. Only your sins hinder you from receiving His fullness. Therefore, yield to God’s goodness at the Cross, where sins are washed away by His blood. There, you will see God’s goodness in the face of Jesus Christ. The more you see of Him, the more you will become like Him. Like Thomas, you will have your own exclamation, “My God and my goodness!”

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

April 8, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher