Are good works a characteristic of God?
Goodness and good works are acts designed specifically to benefit others, which are characteristic of God. We can be good because God is good. And He is in a good mood. Good works are not a “bad thing”. They won’t save us but that isn’t the point.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” ~JesusMatthew 5:17
Jesus requires and enables us to do good, although such is contrary to our human nature. Salvation does not depend on good works, but leads to them. We are called to be like God, as a child of God. We are a new creation, not subject to our old self that missed God’s goal for our lives.
We have the power of the Holy Spirit and His fruit is growing in us. That is some very good news.
In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the “fruit of the Spirit”. “Fruit,” here, means “beneficial results,” the good things that come from the Spirit’s indwelling. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes.
Where we had harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Everything in the list reflects the character of God, and goodness is one that relates directly to morality.
Jesus wants us to love. Jesus wants us to do good. Jesus wants us to not expect anything in return when we do good.
Jesus, however, promises us we will have a reward. We will be a son of God. Now that is some good news. Jesus is all about good news. Our job, as slaves of Jesus, is to obey. Nothing but good will come from that.
All God’s perfect qualities are made freely available to all for the benefit of the whole world. God is good. Jesus alerts us that God alone is good. God is good, kind, thoughtful, compassionate and loving. God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for us. God is good y’all.
Because God is good, God is in a good mood. It is a myth that the old testament (aka covenant) is all about an angry God. As James alerts us “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” God never varies from being good. At all. Ever!
How am I doing with being selfless on behalf of others? It is a pretty telling question if I answer it honestly.
Goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God. Goodness is the quality of being or doing good. In the fruits of the Spirit, I think I have to see them in tandem. Do I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? If so, I probably also have goodness.
God not only is good but more importantly, God does good. God acts on His goodness and demonstrates it to me every day. I may not see it because that is because I am not looking. Jesus has a goal for me. The goal is to see how good God is to me.
Jesus came to bring good news through what He does. That was His mission from His Father. I’ve seen Jesus. He was smiling a lot. I have not always seen Him that way. I think I’ve always confused His directness, particularly with the religious leaders of His day, with grimness and anger.
Jesus demonstrated how good God is by tirelessly healing the sick. Consider this. “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures,and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” (Matthew 4:22-24) Jesus showed God’s goodness every time He could.
How am I doing with being selfless on behalf of others?
It is a pretty telling question if I answer it honestly.
- How am I at giving to the poor?
- Am I visiting the sick?
- How is my prison ministry going?