The Goodness of God

The Bible celebrates the fact that God is Good (Psalm 135:3). To state that God is good is to also acknowledge at the same time that God is the summum bonum, the Highest Good. His goodness is absolute in Himself, for He is perfect. His goodness is also towards us, in relation.

  • God is Good in His Being
  • God is Good in His Character
  • God is Good in His Acts
To the rich young ruler, Jesus declared that only God is good (Matt.19:17), i.e. in the sense of being the absolute good and perfect Teacher who alone can absolutely declare the truth that leads to eternal life. Sadly, the rich young ruler could not accept Jesus as the Good Master, refusing to follow Him. In his eyes, the world and its possessions were the more immediate good.
There are at least four crisis-situations in relation to our attitude towards God’s goodness.
1. Doubt Regarding the Selflessness of God’s Goodness
This was the situation that Eve faced in the garden of Eden when the devil deceived her to doubt that God’s goodness is selfless. He tried to make her think that God had some selfishness in keeping the forbidden tree’s fruit from humans; He knew if they ate of it they would become like gods. The devil attempted to severe “goodness” from God’s goodness. As a result, when Eve was deceived and sought the good apart from God, the forbidden fruit and tree appeared to be “good” in relation to her desire.
It is important to trust in God’s goodness as being selfless and impartial. He makes the sun to shine on both the just and the unjust. He is not good because of anything or anyone. He is good in Himself and is the ground of all that is good.
2. Fear Regarding the Surety of God’s Goodness
In Psalm 27, we find David assert that even if he is surrounded by enemies on all sides, he will not fear because God is with him. When we become afraid if God’s goodness would hold towards us and we are terrorized by uncertainty and anxiety about the future, we begin to lose hope. But, David asserts: I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.  “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psa 27:13-14 NKJ). 
The Scripture promises us: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28 NKJ)
3. Vexation Regarding the Significance of God’s Goodness
In Psalm 73, Asaph, a priest in the Temple of Solomon is vexed and frustrated because He knows that God is good (Psalm 73), but fails to see how God’s Goodness has any significance for him. He looks at the wicked and sees them prosper and asks if he has cleansed his heart in vain (Psalm 73:13). This turns him bitter, though he doesn’t show his inner struggle to people. But, then when he enters God’s sanctuary, where he beholds God’s goodness and beauty, he finds the solution to his problem. He has to learn that God’s goodness is not something about things and possessions in this world; God Himself is Good, and the heart that this Summum Bonum needs nothing else. One doesn’t find any true and lasting meaning in life unless one finds satisfaction in God alone. He writes:

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works. (Psa 73:25-28 NKJ)

He has understood that good is not about things, heaven is no heaven without God; for God alone is good and it is good to be near God alone.

4. Confusion Regarding the Sensitiveness of God’s Goodness
Job is a great paragon of patience in the Bible. However, there was a time he was confused too, because he knew that God is good and perfect, He is blessed; but, he was unable to see if God really cared for him. The devil wanted to prove that the just served God, or were just, for material or personal benefits alone. But, Job proved the devil false. That is the difference between true faith and utilitarian faith. Job stood through the test. Yet, Job felt darkness and confusion cover him. He cries out in anguish: “If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice. (Job 19:7 NKJ). But, God answer him from chapters 38-41 and shows how God cares for the universe; how much more for Job. In chapter 42, Job breaks down saying “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”  (Job 42:5-6 NKJ)
God cares for the sparrows of the air and the lilies of the field; how much more for us..
His goodness is selfless, sure, significant, and sensitive. He is all-giving, all-trustworthy, all-satisfying, and all-caring.

Hindrances and Helps to Faith

Jude 1:20 – Building up in your most holy faith….

HINDRANCES TO FAITH
1. Not hearing God’s Word (Luk 8:12; Rom. 10:17; Matt.13:15)
2. Forgetting the Word (James 1:23; Psa.119:16)
3. Doubting God’s Word (Matt.14:31; Matt.21:21)
4. Worldly and Carnal Distractions (Matt. 13:22)
5. Not Seeking Pure Conscience (1Tim.1:5,19; 3:9; Tit.1:15; Heb.10:22)
6. Not Fighting the Good Fight of Faith – Being Slothful (1Tim.6:12; 2Tim.4:7; Heb.6:12)
7. Lack of Prayer (Jude 1:20)

HELPS TO FAITH
1. Listening to God’s Word (Rom.10:17; Acts 4:4)
2. Speaking to each other Words of Faith (2Cor. 4:13; Eph.4:15; 5:19; Mark 11:23)
3. Acting according to Faith. Matching faith with actions (James 2:17-20)
4. Trusting God with all our heart and not relying on our own understanding (Pro.3:5,6)
5. Having constant communion with God (Ps.42:8; 130:5-6; 1Jn.1:3-9)
6. Having regular fellowship with saints (Heb.10:23,24; Matt.18:20; 1Thess.5:11; 1Cor.12:20-26)
7. Loving God above all (Eph.3:17; Gal.5:6; Philem 1:5; James 2:5)

Pleasing God

Pleasing God (1 Thess.4:1)

Everyone is trying to please someone or the other. Christians are called above all to please God.

MODELS
1. Please God as a Servant pleases his Master (Gal.1:10; Matt.6:24)
2. Please God as a Son pleases his Father (Matt.3:17; Heb.3:6; Mal.1:6,8)
3. Please God as a Friend pleases his Friend (James 2:23; 4:4; Prov.16:7; Ps.41:11)
4. Please God as a Wife pleases her husband or vice versa (1Cor.7:32-34)

MEANS
1. Please God by a Pure and Holy Offering (Mal.1:18; Gen.8:21; Rom.12:1)
2. Please God by Walking in the Spirit (Rom.8:8,14)
3. Please God by Obeying the Commands of Jesus (1Thess.4:1,2)
4. Please God by Focusing on the Calling and Not being Distracted by the Affairs of the World (2Tim.2:4)

Stewardship

“It is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1Cor.4:2)

Tit.1:7 – Steward of God

Luke 12:42 – Faithful Steward

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luk 12:48 NKJ)

Steward:

1. The things in his possession don’t belong to him.

2. He must protect what he has been given.

3. He must strive to increase and make better what has been entrusted.

4. He must keep a record of all things.

5. He must give an account of his stewardship at the end.

6. He will be rewarded for good work and punished for failure.

Stewards of:

1. The Mysteries of God (1Cor.4:2)

Matt.5:18-20; Rev.22:18-19.

Ex. Peter.. Obey God or man. Acts4:20; 5:29

Paul. Woe to me if I don’t preach the Gospel. 1 Cor.9:16

Acts 20:26-27 – whole counsel of God

Watchman. Eze.33:7,8

2. The Manifold Grace of God (1Pet.4:10ff)

Lying

  1. A lying tongue is one of the seven things God hates. The others are, a proud look, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren (Prov.6:16-19; 12:22)
  2. It is not becoming to a prince to have lying lips (Prov.17:7)
  3. Those who wish to become rich by speaking lies are on the path of death (Prov.21:6)
  4. The one who conceals hatred has lying lips (Prov.10:18)
  5. Those who speak lies hate those who are victims of their lies (Prov.26:28)
  6. A lying tongue will not last long (Prov.12:19)
  7. Those who love and practice lying will by no means enter into the City of God (Rev.21:27; 22:15).

Also,

  1. The devil is called the father of lie (John 8:44)
  2. The anti-Christ will come with lying wonders (2Thess.2:9)

In contrast,

  1. No lie is of the truth (1John 2:21)
  2. God cannot lie (Tit.1:2)
  3. Jesus came to bear witness of the Truth (John 18:37). He often used the words, “Truly, truly I say unto you…”
  4. The Holy Spirit is called true, and not a lie (1John 2:27). He is called the Spirit of Truth who will guide the disciples into all truth (John 16:13)
  5. Paul stressed several times, “I am not lying” (Rom.9:1; 2Cor.11:31; Gal.1:20; 1Tim.2:7)
  6. The Bible commands Christians to put away lying and speak truth with their neighbors (Col.3:9; Eph.4:25).