January 19, 2023 Pastor Luther Walker

Good (ἀγαθός)

Good (ἀγαθός)

Good is a word that describes activity that is beneficial, wholesome, and sufficient to be acceptable for its purpose. It is used to describe humans, trees, treasures, speaking, and most of all God.  

Although humans can do good, only God is good (Luke 18:19), for goodness is an aspect of His nature. However, even though humans are not good by nature, we do know the difference between good and evil and can choose to produce good things in our lives rather than malignantly wicked things (Romans 2:15). The heart is the center of a human, where the person resides. It is within here that we will store up good treasures to use later, or malignantly evil ones to use against others (Matthew 12:35). What we allow to remain in our minds and within our hearts directly impacts our actions; therefore, our weapons are not fleshly, but are mighty in God for the pulling down of those strongholds within us that raise themselves up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-6), by which we destroy the evil treasures, so our storehouse is filled with good.

Although the law is good, we do not live by it because through it is the full experiential knowledge of the sin nature (Romans 7:12-13) and rather than giving us victory over it, it becomes the sin natures strength against us (1 Corinthians 15:56). Trying to do good by law leads us into frustration and the realization that within our flesh no good dwells, for as soon as we desire to do good, we find that we lack the ability to do it through our flesh (Romans 7:18-19), and we end up doing things that lack in character, which we do not want to do. However, we are to do good in every aspect of our lives (1 Peter 2:15-16). This is done by getting our minds in the right place and seeking to fulfill the desires from the Spirit resulting in rejecting a worldly view and the desires from the flesh (Colossians 3:1-2) so our actions are beneficial, not by using law, but by living out from faith.

Because God is the only one that is good by nature, to manifest true goodness we need to mimic God (Ephesians 5:1; 3 John 11). To imitate God, we have to use the fruit of the Spirit, for we are not able to produce a character that has God’s quality of life apart from who we are in Christ through the filling of the Spirit which makes it possible for us to manifest the life of Christ in us (John 15:4; Colossians 1:27).

We are not to allow wrong (that which lacks in character) to overcome good by repaying wrong for wrong, but rather we are to give thought to what is proper and whenever possible live peaceably (Romans 12:17-18), while abhorring evil and clinging to what is good (Romans 12:9). We will be rewarded for what good or bad we do in this life (2 Corinthians 5:10); therefore, we should be careful what we allow within our lives to influence us. This includes what we speak, for nothing rotten should come out of our mouths, but only that which is beneficial and gives grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).

When it comes to good works, God has not only prepared them beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:1), but also supplies what we need to perform them (2 Corinthians 9:8); therefore, let us take every opportunity to do good, especially to those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10), for our commandment is to love other Christians as Christ loved us (John 13:34) and by this love for each other all will know that we are disciples of Christ (John 13:35). How we treat other saints is important,  especially those who are weak in the faith regarding food or drink. For we do not want our good to be blasphemed because of eating and drinking (Romans 14:16-17). Love is kind, seeks the best for the one loved, rejoices in truth, and never falls, therefore love will only produce that which is good.

Good is doing that which is beneficial. It is not actions that are focused on making a person feel good, but ones that are sufficient to be beneficial according to the situation. Therefore, let us be wise in how we do good so that we overcome that which is wrong, being fruitful in every good work while increasing in the full experiential knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10).