In what way is goodness a fruit of the Holy Spirit?
The "fruit of the Spirit" describes characteristics we could never have without the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Goodness is certainly one of them. The Greek word agathosune doesn't just refer to an attitude or a motivation, but a lifestyle characterized by virtue and helpfulness.
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To be filled with goodness is to live a life of doing good things for others (Matthew 7:17-18; Luke 6:45). "Good" here has the taste of righteousness in it. To do a good deed is to treat others justly and also to endorse virtue.
Luke 10:42: It is righteous and beneficial to spend time with Jesus and learn from Him. When Mary chose to sit and listen to Jesus instead of helping Martha in the kitchen, she was commended for doing something good.
Luke 19:17: It is good to be faithful with the blessings God has given us. Being a faithful steward is called "good."
Luke 6:27: When wronged, we still do good to those who wrong us; we do not seek revenge or return in kind. Just as a cup of water will spill water when bumped, a believer who is filled with the Spirit will spill goodness when jostled.
We cannot be good on our own. Goodness is defined by God, and, as Jesus said, "No one is good except God alone" (Mark 10:18b).
Romans 7:18-19: Goodness cannot come from human effort. Even Paul, a Pharisee of the strictest order, could not force every part of his person to embody goodness.
Romans 12:21: Goodness will overcome evil. Our expressions of goodness can diminish or negate the effects of evil in the world. As the Spirit produces the fruit of goodness in us, we become "salt" and "light" (Matthew 5:13-14).
Ephesians 2:10: Our good works were ordained by God. The natural extension of faith in Christ is good works in Christ's name.
Philippians 1:6: God grows goodness in us, and He will not stop until we are good through and through. When we see Jesus, we will be "like Him," fully characterized by goodness (1 John 3:2).
2 Timothy 3:16-17: Studying Scripture promotes goodness within us. God inspired the Scriptures so that we can be completely equipped "for every good work."
God is good. Through the work of the Holy Spirit in us, God reproduces His goodness in our hearts, and it shows in our lives. This goodness empowers us to live lives characterized by the desire to act righteously and for the practical benefit of others. As others see the work of God in us, they will "give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
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