The Greek (agaywsunh agathosune) is a word that is not easy to define. In the NT, it describes a degree of excellence of character when it is used as an adjective with nouns such as gift, man, tree, slave, ground, hope, works, hope and works.

Jesus made the distinction between “evil” and “good” people (Matthew 5:45). Yet, no one is good but God according to Jesus (Luke 18:19). Thus, the word “good,” in the language of the NT, often denotes “to be like God,” because He alone is good. In the original Anglo-Saxon, the very word “good” carried the same connotation as “God.” It is just as valid to say, “God is good,” as it is to
say, “God is love.”

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and curing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him (Acts 10:38).

Although, “good” is euergetew (euergeteo) another Greek term in this verse, it reflects the outward working of the goodness of the Spirit in Christ.

When applied to a person, agaywsunh (agathosune) denotes uprightness of heart and life, goodness or kindness. Certainly, regeneration introduces a new possibility of knowing good and doing it. Christians must actualize this possibility.

See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all (1 Thessalonians 5:15).

So that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).

The fruit of the Spirit and the task of the new life to do good are kept in tension, and both are fully emphasized in the NT. Goodness is love in action; God’s goodness emerges from our heart, mind and soul in the things we think, say and do. The fruit of goodness, coming from the Spirit, is totally distinct from “good works” done to gain merit, which emerge from the self-centeredness of the one seeking the praise of others. It is any easy thing to take pride in our goodness when in reality we need the fruit of the Spirit. In this day, there is a greater need to measure goodness by the Word of God since “situational ethics” and “relativism” define what is good for the world. What seems good in the eyes of the world often is evil in the eyes of Yahweh.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (Proverbs 14:12).

The Christian’s thinking needs to be influenced by a higher power than himself. That power is the power of Almighty God living in us by His Spirit.

The good work of salvation is still the determinative goal (Romans 8:28) and this good work that God has begun will come to “completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Hence, goodness is a state of well-being, morally and spiritually—righteousness and holiness. When goodness is present in the believer, there is no sense of being bogged down in a swamp of
wrongdoing or polluted by the weeds and worries of wretched behavior.

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