Once there was a husband and wife with a 3-year-old child. They lived in a nice home; the husband’s favorite place was his den where he had decorated it with many expensive models, which was his favorite, yet costly hobby. He always kept the door closed so his 3 year old could not get in. His wife loved him, yet desired that he would see how important it was to be a “model” to his son. His models seemed more important than the family, and he continued to carry habits that were quite immature that can badly influence his little boy. Spit, belch, and yawn loudly in church. She would lovingly ask him to change, but he would only respond with “ I’m just doin what comes natural!” She loved him, so she continued to pray that he would learn. One Saturday she went shopping, he was left to watch his son in the family room. He fell asleep on the couch watching football; unbeknownst to him his son had learned to open doors. When his wife returned she found her husband asleep and saw the door to his den open.
There…all over the room were pieces of model planes, trains, boats, and cars. Her son had been having a GREAT time playing! She laughed, which woke her husband up; he saw his den and was in shock! He said “how could he do this to my den?” She just smiled and said, “He's just doin what comes natural!”
The fruit of goodness, if we are willing, is something that can become natural. The Holy Spirit is willing to make it a part of our new nature.
Be careful not to cheapen the meaning of the word.
In Aristotle’s "ETHICS" he defines the goal of all action as the attainment of some form of Good.
In Hellenistic thought God is "the good" That may sound right, but it is subtle in the way it removes the person of God.
The Bible shows that God is the one Who is good, not just "the good".
Scripture makes it clear that the concept of good & evil between men and men, does exist, however, when speaking of Goodness on the level of God vs. man there is no comparison. God is never evil and man is never good:
Mark 10:17-18 And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
The level of goodness Jesus is talking about is not simply absence of outward evil; this goodness goes to the core! God is the only One good like this. As the Holy Spirit begins to produce this fruit, it will be seen, but it comes from within. Goodness is just not doing evil…it is proactive. If all we do is cease doing wrong, but do not activly do good it is like putting the car in neutral and think because we are not rolling backwards that progress is being made!
All fruit is expressed:
Love is not equal to never saying you hate someone, it is shown.
Longsuffering is not equal to just putting up with, it is overcoming the circumstance.
When we hear "He was a good man" what do we mean; he didn't smoke, drink, beat his wife, cuss, etc.? Goodness is much more than that. Do we seek God, serve our spouse, invest in our children, and forgive all…I could go on. As God produces this fruit in us we begin to think like God thinks.
Goodness, (moral excellence) is not easy to hide. Goodness is tied to Holiness and that is what God desires from His people.
Importance of this fruit:
1. That is the way people will know Who you belong to.
Matthew 7:15-20 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "So then, you will know them by their fruits.
2. It leads us in the direction that will please God.
Eph. 5:9-10 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
3. It is the bases for our Judgment for rewards.
2 Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
4. It is what we were saved for (Purpose)
Ephes. 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
5. Key to victory
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So how do I know if this is becoming part of my nature?
Questions to ask:
Is what I am doing benefiting the Kingdom of God? Would Jesus be involved in this? Am I doing what I am doing the way Jesus would do it?
If it is from God it will benefit the kingdom – how you work, play, parent, etc. Everything we do, when we do it toward Him benefits the Kingdom. It testifies to those around us Who we belong to. Remember Christ was a carpenter for many years, during that time He always glorified God.
It should become “natural” that everything you do in your life is toward God!