But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: … goodness. (Galatians 5:22)
A part of the fruit that the Holy Spirit bears in a believer’s life is ‘goodness.’ In Acts 9, we find a woman by the name of Dorcas, whom scripture says was ‘full of good works.’ In Acts 11, we find another disciple named Barnabas, whom was said to be a ‘good man.’ In Ephesians 2:10, Paul writes, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” Scripture is very clear concerning the need for Christians to be good people.
Some people seem to have a natural inclination towards goodness. Either they live very moral lives, or they always seem to care about others. Yet at the same time, the Bible tells us that none of us are perfectly good. We read also from the book of Romans, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12) Though we may desire to be good, there is something inside of us that contaminates our goodness. It is sin. If we could carefully scrutinize the life of every good person, we would find that there are moments when they are angry, jealous, and perhaps even spiteful. Though God created us to be good people and though many of us desire to be good, our sin nature often keeps us from being so.
Even as believers we sometimes struggle with being good. The Apostle Paul wrote these words concerning himself, ‘And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” (Romans 7:18-19, 21)
Goodness can be obtained only as we live our lives under the control of the Holy Spirit. As we saw in our opening passage, Paul tells us that goodness is a part of the Spirit’s fruit. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, God is able produce the good works He has already prepared for us to. (see Ephesians 2:1) Therefore, let’s make it our ambition this day to walk in the Spirit so that ‘men may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.’ (Mathew 5:16)