Juicy Fruit Sermon Series // Part 6


Fruit of the Spirit // Goodness

Galatians 5:22 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: …goodness…”


1. It is good of you to be here today. It’s such a good day to be here. You look good. I hope you had a good breakfast before you came, and a good afternoon planned.

And wasn’t the music good today?

And oh, good grief, I almost forgot, thank you for the good offering you just gave. And one more thing, for goodness sake, Happy Memorial Day weekend.

2. Don’t you think we kind of overuse that word a good bit?

Webster’s Dictionary – 17 categories for the word with 3 different uses or illustrations under each category. And in the Bible, the words “good” and “goodness” are used 619 times.

In our study today, the word means “uprightness of heart and life.”


3. In Genesis 1, God is creating the universe and it says when He saw everything He created, He said, “It is good.”

Why? Because it fulfilled the purpose for which He created it. “Goodness” in essence, is fulfilling a purpose. Goodness is being what God meant you to be – a person living a life of an upright heart fulfilling a purpose.


Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) says,
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


4. We are not saved by good works, but we are saved to do good works. The lifestyle of the Christ-follower should be a lifestyle of goodness. In total contrast to the life controlled by the flesh, Paul describes just before the fruit, he says the Holy Spirit will produce in our lives goodness.


Here are some truths to consider:

1. We are not naturally good.

A. It just isn’t our nature to be good. We were all born with a natural inclination to be selfish.

First of all, the Bible says in Isaiah 53:6 (KJV):
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus himself said in Mark 10:18, “Only God is truly good.” All the rest of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Second, it’s just common knowledge from all history that humans are not inherently good. Despite being the most educated, advanced, sophisticated generation ever, we’re still having wars and racism and bigotry and injustice.

And the reason is the root of the problem is still present within us. History simply reflects the results of our, basically, selfish ambitions.

Thirdly, I don’t believe we are basically and inherently good because I am a parent!

If you are a parent, you know the idea that we’re all born good is ridiculous.

No parent has had to teach their child to lie. It just comes natural. I didn’t have to teach my kids to be selfish. Nor did you. We just all have the nature to do what is wrong.

Fourth, the fourth reason why I know we aren’t good is a little embarrassing, but I have firsthand knowledge of my own heart.

The truth is, there are times – a lot of times – I don’t want to be good. In fact, a lot of times it’s easier not to be and just sin.

I’d rather return a smart remark than be gracious. I’d rather be unloving at times than loving. And sometimes I’m just plain selfish. I don’t always like to do what is good even though I know it is the next right thing to do.

And I know some of you can relate. And you know what? We’re in good company! Paul struggled with this in Romans 7.

B. But it’s a good thing (there’s that word again) to know you’re not good because we will never change what we do not acknowledge.

Another truth…

2. Our goodness is a gift from God.

God didn’t save us because we are good. On the contrary, He saved us from our sin to begin a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that develops goodness in us from our heart.

God gives us the power to do good.

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) says:
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Last June, we spent that whole month talking about this verse.

God gives you the power and God gives you the desire to do good. God, by His Spirit and His Word and circumstances that challenge us and people who challenge us, He develops the ability to do good.


5. We need to lose the lame excuses we fall back on.

“Well, I’m just me. I can’t help it that I’m like I am.”

“It’s just my nature and how I was raised.”

All that is just admitting that you haven’t yielded your life to the Spirit of God. He doesn’t leave us like He met us. He doesn’t wink and give a nod at our selfishness and ornery-ness. He’s about change. He’s about changing us to become all He has destined us to be.


How?

1. Admit to God you’re not there yet. Be honest about it.

2. Just do the next right thing.

  • Do it even though you don’t want to.
  • Do it even when it is not natural.
  • Go out of your way to do good to somebody.

I’m telling you, the mere fact that you even want to try to do good is a sign the Holy Spirit is working on you.

And when you do what is good and do again what is good and again what is good – before long, doing good ain’t so hard and it ain’t so bad. And who knows, somebody might just ask you how and why you’re so different. You get to tell them Jesus is working on you and that is what God wants to hear us say! Jesus is working on me.

3. Stay diligent.

There’s just so much more to say about goodness, but I have to stop somewhere.

You’ve got to know that you aren’t going to become just totally good. You have to keep working at it. Fighting for it. Keep your guard up and your eyes open to chances to do good from a clean heart.

Paul writes to the Romans, and in Chapter 12:21 he says,
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

1. There’s so much evil. Evil abounds.

2. We can’t conquer evil by being evil.

  • We can’t conquer evil with weapons and war.
  • We can’t conquer evil by wishing it would leave or hoping it will just end.
  • We won’t conquer evil by hiding ourselves behind the sanctuary doors and the symbols of our faith.

No! We will conquer evil by doing good. When God’s people go out into the overflow of evil and reflect His goodness and do good things and live good lives – we can overcome the evil around us.

Find a place to serve. Find a team here to join. Do what is good. Get outside yourself. See the bigger picture and the greater cause. You are created to be a world changer.

You are created to be a reflection of God’s character. Go and do what is good.




Worship Set

Only King Forever

- Mack Brock, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Verse 1

Our God and firm foundation
Our Rock the only solid ground
The nations rise and fall
Kingdoms once strong now shaken
We trust forever in Your name
The name of Jesus
We trust in the name of Jesus

Chorus 1

You are the only King forever
Almighty God we lift You higher
You are the only King forever
Forevermore You are victorious
(REPEAT)

Verse 2

Unmatched in all Your wisdom
In love and justice You will reign
And ev'ry knee will bow
We bring our expectations
Our hope is anchored in Your name
The name of Jesus
Oh we trust the name of Jesus

Misc 1 (Bridge)

We lift our banner high
We lift the name of Jesus
From age to age You reign
Your kingdom has no end
(REPEAT)



My Victory 

- Darren Mulligan, David Crowder, Ed Cash, and Hank Bentley

Verse 1

You came for criminals
And ev'ry Pharisee
You came for hypocrites
Even one like me
You carried sin and shame
The guilt of ev'ry man
The weight of all I've done
Nailed into Your hands

Chorus 1

Oh Your love bled for me
Oh Your blood in crimson streams
Oh Your death is Hell's defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

Verse 2

Oh Your amazing grace
I've seen and tasted itIt's running through my veins
I can't escape its grip
In You my soul is safe
You cover ev'rything

Misc 1 (Bridge)

Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again
(REPEAT)

Misc 2 (Ending)

Oh a cross meant to kill is my victory


Never Once

- Matt Redman and Tim Wanstall

Verse 1

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for ev'ry step You were with us

Verse 2

Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much You've done
Knowing ev'ry victory was Your pow'r in us

Misc 1 (Pre-Chorus)

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes our hearts can say

Chorus 1

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful God You are faithful
(You are faithful God You are faithful)

Misc 2 (Pre-Chorus)

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say

Chorus 2

Never once did we ever walk alone
Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once no we never walk alone

Chorus 3

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful God You are faithful
Ev’ry step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful God You are faithful

Misc 3 (Ending)

You are faithful God You are faithful (3X)