The Goodness of God!
There’s a saying that states “God is good.” There is also a song that says “God is good all the time.” Even the Bible reveals that God is good [Psalm 118:1]. God’s goodness was revealed from the beginning [Genesis 1:31]. The Fertile Crescent, the birth place of human civilization, the location of the Garden of Eden, was a good place created by God. The goodness of God is part of His character, a part of His personality, so it has continued from ancient times into modern history. We see His goodness as we search secular history, Christian history and our own personal history.
In His goodness God provides for His creation and its creatures. Our basic needs are met [Matthew 6:33] and we are protected [Psalm 121:7-8] by His love and mercy. There are several obvious ways God’s goodness has been revealed to mankind.
First, we see God’s goodness in His provision of salvation to a lost and dying world [Ephesians 4:5]. Jesus, His only son, was born a man [1 Timothy 2:4] and lived a sinless life [Hebrews 4:15]. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the grave to live again [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]. Jesus set aside His innate rights as God [Philippians 2:7] to reconcile mankind to Himself [2 Corinthians 5:19].
Second, we see God’s goodness in His providing the Bible. This book is a revelation of God Himself, His character and personage. It shows His constant working in the lives of men, calling and drawing them to Him. The Bible teaches how God wants us to live and the purpose He has for our lives [Psalm 19:7-10]. The Bible is our guide to knowing God. It is God’s promises which He made to us. It is His word to us which will come to pass.
When a person, through faith, is saved by believing in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, then God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, abides in his life [1 John 3:24]. The Holy Spirit is sent from God to teach [John 14:26], guide [John 16:13], help [John 14:16], remind [John 14:26], convict and call to repentance [John 16:8] those who believe in Jesus’ life and work. He is our down payment [Ephesians 1:13-14] and security [Ephesians 4:30] of our salvation, which will be completed when we enter God’s presence in heaven [Philippians 1:6]. This is the third way God has revealed His goodness to us.
Fourth, we can talk with God. The Creator of the universe wants to converse and communicate with us, His creatures [Genesis 3:9]. He encourages us to come boldly into His presence [Hebrews 4:16] as a little child would come to his father [Galatians 4:6]. We are to praise Him and make our needs known to Him [Matthew 6:9-13].
Our last reference will be God’s challenge to men. God challenges us to prove Him good. He tells us to obey Him and He will provide for our needs [Malachi 3:10]. We are challenged to call out to Him and watch Him work in our lives [Jeremiah 33:3].
God is good. He is good all the time. It’s His nature to be good. In reality He has no choice except to be good and to cover our lives with goodness. All these things are good and are blessings from God. It’s a good thing to be saved and live for God. It’s good to read God’s Word and get to know Him. The benefit of the Holy Spirit is unexplainably good. How good is it to talk person-to-person with God who created us? To be blessed by God with unsearchable blessings is amazingly good. If it is so good to be saved and live with God, then why do people reject Him? All the benefits of a loving, benevolent God are just pushed away. It does not make sense. We are rejecting the goodness of God.
Yet it does not stop there. If the Bible is God revealing Himself to mankind, then it would be a good thing to read it. We need to read it to find out who God is and what He is like [Jeremiah 9:24]. We need to also find out who He says we are and why we were created [Psalm 139:23-24]. We need to know what He is doing with this world in which we live. It would be good to know these things if they are from God and these are things which He wants us to know [James 1:5]. To not read the Bible would be to reject the goodness of God.
If we do read God’s Word we know we can grieve [Ephesians 4:30] and even quench [1 Thessalonians 5:19] the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Since God’s goodness provided the Holy Spirit to guide us in our Christian life, then when we grieve or quench the Holy Spirit we are actually rejecting God’s goodness toward us.
Prayer is our ability to communicate with God. Yet we can go days, months, and even years without speaking with God or listening to Him. Though it’s a good thing to be able to communicate with God, we can reject Him by totally ignoring His voice when He speaks.
As we established earlier, God is good all the time. It’s part of His character which He wishes to reveal to mankind. It would be good for us to accept His challenge to prove His goodness. However, many times we live by sight instead of faith [2 Corinthians 5:7]. We carnally walk in the flesh, not in the Spirit [1 Corinthians 3:1-4]. Therefore we fail to experience God in His goodness.
God is good and continually tries to show us His goodness. It’s our self-centered response that messes up everything. Think about it for a moment. It is good to be reconciled with God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is good to read our Bibles and get to know God. It is good to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives. It is good to pray. It is also good to live daily blessed by God’s goodness. Yet we don’t do these things, or we might do some of them but not all of them. God says that to know what to do and not to do it is sin [James 4:19]. A good definition of sin is anything we think, say or do which displeases God. If it’s good to be saved and I reject that, then I have sinned! If I don’t read my Bible and pray, then I have sinned [1 Samuel 12:23]! When I grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, that’s sin! Doing things my way and rejecting God’s good way is sin [Leviticus 10:1-2]! We are all in trouble for we have all found ourselves knowing to do good and failing to do so, which is sin! Yet God is so good that if we will humbly bow and submit to Him, He will forgive and restore fellowship with Him [James 4:10]. Our motivation is our love for Him because He first loved us [1 John 4:19]. We can experience the goodness of God by doing what is right and good; by faith allowing Him to save us and change us into His image through the work of the Holy Spirit; in faith reading the Bible and living a life of prayer. Through doing these good things we will experience the blessed goodness of our great God. So do good and sin not.
Hugh Folds, Minister of Education and Youth SPBC