Are You a Good Person
Café Menu for Thursday, June 18, 2014
Today’s Special is: The Fruit of Goodness
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Carolyn Dale Newell
They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.
Romans 3:12 NKJV
“Do you think you’re a good person?”
That was the way we learned to witness in a program we had at church. Of course, the majority will answer positively. Most people are good, right? That was our cue to ask if they had ever lied, stolen, or hated someone. Jesus said that if you hate someone, it is the same as murder. Now our good person has admitted that they are a liar, thief, and murderer. That’s when we give them the gospel.
If it is so hard to be good, why is goodness listed among the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22? The key phrase there is “of the Spirit”. Our focal verse tells us that no one is good. The only goodness found in us is produced by the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians was that God would “fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness” (2 Thes. 1:11b). Once again, it is God’s goodness, not ours.
Perhaps you know someone who is not a Christian, but they are a good person. They volunteer for every charitable event. They purchase Christmas gifts for several underprivileged children every year. They covered the medical expenses of a family in dire need. They live a clean moral life, but what is their motive for their goodness? Is it to give glory to God? No, and that is why their righteousness – their goodness – is “like filthy rags” (Is. 64:6).
This all comes down to one thing: the doctrine of human depravity. That sounds deep, but basically, it just means that none of us are good, and that is why we need a Savior, Jesus.
We must pray daily to be filled with God’s goodness. Praise Him because anything good in us is proof of His work in our lives.
Paul struggled with goodness. His struggle is the same as ours: our new nature battling the flesh. Read his account in Romans 7:13-25. What is one good deed that God can accomplish through you this week?
Forgive me for the many times that I mistakenly take credit for any goodness within myself. It is all from You. Thank You for saving me, and fulfill Your good pleasure in me through the fruit of the Spirit. Amen.
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© 2015 by Carolyn Dale Newell. All rights reserved.