Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

My photo
Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adding GOODNESS to Your Faith

The first quality that the Apostle Peter said that we should add to our faith is “goodness.” What exactly is “goodness”? The NIV Study Bible defines “goodness” as “excellence expressed in deeds – virtue in action.” God’s goodness is connected in Scripture with his glory: “Our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). When Moses requested, “Show me your glory,” the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass by in front of you, and I will proclaim my name… I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:18-19). God’s glory and his goodness is shown to us by his acts of mercy. People also demonstrate their goodness through acts of love. How would you know if a person were good unless it were shown through deeds. “Goodness” really is virtue in action. Mother Teresa’s work with the poor and needy in India was an excellent example of what goodness consists of.

Secondly, who possesses this quality? The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesians, stated, “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)” (Eph 5:8-9). The contrast is drawn by Paul between the “light” and “darkness.” Children of light used to be part of the darkness (sin) but now are to demonstrate the fruit of light which is “goodness.” Instead of “being as bad as we can be” (i.e., Dennis Rodman), Believers are to shine as children of light by depicting “goodness.” Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Thirdly, we might ask, where does the goodness come from that people of faith are supposed to share? Paul answers this by saying that goodness is a fruit or by-product of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galations 5:22-23). Christian character and these virtues are produced by the Holy Spirit. People cannot make these virtues part of their lives without the Spirit being present. If we “live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit,” (verse 25) goodness will be part of our faith.

Fourthly, how much “goodness” is enough? Paul wrote of the Christians in Rome, “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another” (Romans 15:14). Can others say of us that we are full of goodness, or do we have some room to grow? Remember that Peter said that we should possess this quality “in increasing measure” (2 Peter 1:8). Jesus Christ was and is known for his goodness. He showed this through his many acts of love to those who were sick and afflicted, hungry and needy. His death on the cross for the sins of the world provided the way for forgiveness of sins. As his followers we should portray goodness – “virtue in action” – along with our spoken witness.

No comments:

Post a Comment