Fruits of the Holy Spirit – Goodness

90/365 days of blogging.

Pt. 6 The Fruit of the Spirit is “Goodness”

Introduction: A few years ago, while in seminary, I heard a speaker talk about the time after you end your schooling. In general, I liked being in school – especially college. It was fun to learn. It was great to be in charge of your own schedule. When grades came out you had feedback on the quality of your work. What happens after that? The speaker asked us to imagine that after college we were actually expected to do something with what we learned! Imagine that! Our study this week is about actually doing something about what we learn from the Bible.

  1.          God is Good, All the Time.
    1. Read Mark 10:17-18. Our Lord says that only God is good. Should we forget the rest of this study about goodness and go turn on the television?
      1. Wait a minute, I thought we agreed that Jesus is God? Is Jesus saying He is not God?
      2. Does the question of whether Jesus is God have anything to do with the question of going to heaven?
    2. Read Mark 10:19-20. Our Lord now tells us that keeping the commandments (works) is the path to heaven. Does this man keep the commandments?
    3. Read Mark 10:21. Where is this found in the Ten Commandments?
      1. 1.        Is Jesus one of those guys you don’t want to play games with because He changes the rules whenever you are winning?
    4. Read Mark 10:22-26. The disciples were amazed to hear that those who had been blessed by God with earthly wealth somehow were less likely to be blessed by God with eternal life. How does anything that Jesus has said make any sense? Let’s go through Jesus’ statements.
      1. What do the Ten Commandments have to do with taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not?
      2. Is Jesus telling us that we must keep the Ten Commandments to go to heaven? Is giving up all of our stuff part of the Ten Commandments?
        1. When Jesus said (Mark 10:21) “one thing you lack,” He apparently meant the rich man lacked the first thing when it came to keeping the Ten Commandments! What kind of score do you think you have in keeping the Ten Commandments?
    5. Read Mark 10:27. What does this teach us about goodness?
      1. Is effort not involved at all? Would it not take the most determined effort for this man to give away his money?
        1. What if God asked you to give away your best car? Not everything, just your car. How difficult a decision would that be?
    6. Read Romans 3:19-20. Paul and the rich man who questioned Jesus seem to have two different views of the Ten Commandments. After the rich man spoke with Jesus, would he agree with Paul?
      1. Must we, like the rich man who came to Jesus, come to God to more clearly understand the vast gulf between our actions and true goodness?
      2. 2.        What do Jesus and Paul teach us about the nature of goodness?
  2. People are Good, All the Time?
    1. Read Romans 7:7-9. If sin is dead apart from the law, then it would be important to get rid of the law, right?
      1. There are many Christians who do not think the law has any relationship to their new covenant life today. Are they right? Or, are they like the rich man who came to Jesus to find out what he needed to do to enter heaven?
    2. Read Romans 7:14-20. Are good works, is goodness, just impossible for us?
      1. Is Paul sounding like your children – “he made me do it?”
    3. Read Romans 7:24-25 and Romans 8:1-4. It appears that goodness is possible after all. What is the key to it?
    4. Read Romans 8:5. What does this text tell us is goodness?
    5. Read Romans 8:12-14. Will our goodness increase? Can our “goodness rating” improve?
    6. How can we set our mind on what the Spirit desires? Is this just a declaration on our part? A gritting of our teeth? Concentrating?
    7. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. What is the reason for our creation?
      1. What percentage of your time is used to do good works? If that is the reason for your creation, how are you living up to your purpose?
        1. If the last question staggered you, and you want to increase your good works time, how would you do it?
    8. Read Titus 2:11-14. In case my last suggestion seemed a little vague, what are the concrete points of action that we find here?
      1. What kind of attitude can the Spirit give us when it comes to goodness?
    9. Read Titus 2:15. Will you teach that the life of the Christian is not just enjoying grace, but having a desire to live through the Spirit a life of goodness. Unlike the rich man, will you decide to depend upon God, set your mind on what the Spirit desires and live a life of goodness?

 

III.  Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Faithfulness.

 

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