But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)
Beloved, you might have heard about goodness as a fruit of the spirit but do we have understanding as to what goodness is? As human beings, we are naturally depraved (Psalm 51:5) and do not desire to do good naturally. However, God had an incredible plan for mankind which was fulfilled through His son Jesus Christ to transform our hearts and by His Spirit to produce the character to do good in us.
However, the desire to do good or ability to do good can only be achieved through an intimate relationship with Him. With reference to 3 John 1:11, the Apostle John explained that, he who does good or lives a life of goodness is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God, and that person does not know God.
The goodness of God very often points to His gracious generosity in providing abundantly for our needs. It can also refer to God’s generous mercy and patience that leads sinners to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. However, God’s goodness is much more than those things we have highlighted above. It is the very essence of God’s nature. He is a good God!
God is good and by the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us, He produces His goodness in us. This goodness that is being produced in us by the Holy Spirit empowers us to live our lives characterised with the desire to live righteously for God and for the practical benefit of others.
As Christians, we are encouraged to do good works. As seen in Ephesians 2:10, we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do. We are to do good works such as teaching and preaching the Word of God, encouraging and serving in various ways within the fellowship of believers. According to Galatians 6:9-10, we should not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, if the opportunity arises to do good, let us do it, especially to our fellow believers.
Beloved, you need to understand that goodness is not a fruit we can produce by our own efforts. It is of the Spirit and thus of God as seen in James 1:17 which says that, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” This definitely includes a life characterised by goodness. In letting the Holy Spirit lead us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness and as others see our good works, they will praise our Father in heaven.
Brethren, it is my prayer we ask God to help us bear this fruit of goodness and that we overcome evil with good. Amen!