Goodness as the Fruit of the Spirit

What is the Fruit of the Spirit? | Study on the Fruit of the Spirit



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Galatians 5:22 and 23 lists the fruit of the Spirit. Goodness as a fruit of walking by the Spirit is a quality which imitates God. When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, they can nurture this goodness of God into a rich expression of their own Christ-like personality. This goodness is similar to kindness, with an emphasis on moral values with a genuineness and excellence worthy of admiration, though not attention-seeking.

In Luke 6:45, Jesus said, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good."Goodness was personified in the life of Jesus, and Christians are to imitate Him. Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (John 14:12)

Christians are exhorted to do good works, such as teaching and preaching the Word of God, encouraging and serving in various ways within the fellowship of believers. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:9, 10)

Romans chapter 12 has specific teaching regarding Christian conduct. "Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality."

All these actions express goodness, the sterling character of someone filled with the Holy Spirit. Verse 17 continues. "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men." Verses 19 and 20 have been often misunderstood. To "heap coals of fire" on someone's head in the times in which the Bible was written refer to someone in a community who carried an earthen vessel on his head with coals to light fires for others. In the cool of the evening, the vessel would keep the person warm. To heap coals of fire on a person's head means to warm them.

That is what goodness and kindness do. Verse 20 states, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." These verses have been often misunderstood. To "heap coals of fire" on someone's head in the times in which the Bible was written refer to someone in a community who carried an earthen vessel on his head with coals to light fires for others. In the cool of the evening, the vessel would keep the person warm. Therefore, to heap coals of fire on a person's head means to warm them.

The closing verse of the chapter speaks volumes. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

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Written by: Pete Miller