Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness


This is an active and energetic principle. The Greek word, agathosune, is found only in biblical and ecclesiastical writers. The quality in its full force was apparently so lacking to heathen observation as not even to call for coining such a word. Pagans knew good deeds but a consistent quality of goodness was beyond the works of humanity. It had to be a fruit of the Spirit. It is uprightness of heart and life, activated goodness, beneficence.

The word “goodness” is closely allied with kindness. If there is a difference, “goodness” is the more all-embracing quality, describing one’s character. The adjective (“good”) from which this noun is formed is a primary word to describe God’s character in the Old Testament. Also, believers may be described as “full of goodness” (Romans 15:14), when put into practice it takes the form of “doing good.” Be assured that, goodness does not exist apart from its active, concrete expression. Goodness is love in action. It is always ready to do good for another.

This is the quality of Christian grace, produced in the life of the believer by the Spirit, that Paul picks up on at the end to conclude the present argument: “let us do good to all people” (Galatians 6:9-10). As with the preceding words, (sowing to the flesh) its appearance here presupposes the present context. Those who sow to the Spirit are antonym to those works of the flesh that have found a measure of existence among the Galatians.

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