The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23)
The sixth evidence of saving faith in the life of a believer is goodness. Here is a word that really needs to be defined and explained. This is because we live in a world where almost everyone is good. We are surrounded by good people on all sides (sarcasm intended). I say this because of the number of times I have asked an unbeliever where he thought he would go when he dies, to which he replies, “Heaven.” When I asked why he thinks that? He replies, “I’m a good person.” Never mind the fact that he just finished telling me he's been recently released from prison for drug charges or for committing a violent crime. Bottom line: most people in the world think they are “good people.” This is because for most people, good is a relative term. People define what it means to be good by comparing themselves to someone else. The drug trafficker just released from prison is a good person because he’s never murdered anyone, and so on and so forth. Thus, what does the Bible mean when it says goodness is an evidence of true saving faith? The Greek word, agathosune, carries the meaning of ‘a quality of moral excellence, uprightness, and as a quality of relationship with others, a willingness to give or share, to do good for others.’ Thus, Jerry Bridges in his wonderful little book, The Practice of Godliness, says, “Kindness and goodness are so closely related that they are often used interchangeably…Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness…Goodness is kindness in action—words and deeds.” Thus, an evidence of saving faith is the desire and willingness to do good for others, a desire and willingness to strive to make the lives of others just a little easier.
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