Daily Devotion for Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Ephesians 5:9, “For the fruit of the light results in all goodness…”
The fruit of goodness ripens right alongside the fruit of kindness and compassion. Yet, when we meditate on goodness, or being good, we quickly gravitate toward the general and struggle to truly understand what it means to be good.
When you ask people on the street if they believe they are going to heaven or hell, most will say they believe they are going to heaven. When asked why they believe that, many people say it is because they are a good person.
The Bible, however, tells us a different story. We have all “sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23). Without Christ, we are “dead in our trespasses and sins…and by nature we were children under wrath.” (Eph. 2:1, 3) The human heart is “more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick-who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9)
So, how can a sinner who is foundationally wicked, alienated from God, and hostile in mind against Him, ever be good? (Col. 1:21-22) The answer is, of course, the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Sinless Savior. The full meaning of goodness only comes into view when we view it in light of the Gospel.
Ephesians 5:9 gives us a glimpse of the true meaning and foundation of goodness. Paul states, “for the fruit of the light results in goodness, righteousness, and truth.” True goodness is possible because of the righteousness of God and the truth of God’s Word. For the Bible teaches us, “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) The goodness that pleases God is built upon the faith that we have in Jesus Christ. It is in the gospel of Jesus where, “God made Him (Jesus) who knew know sin, to BECOME sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.”
We can’t be good without the goodness or righteousness of God. We can’t be good without following and trusting in the TRUTH of God’s Word.
That puts Romans 8:28 in a whole new light. That verse states, “We know that all things work together for the GOOD of those love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” When we think of good, a lot of times, we consider that in terms of worldly good, pleasures, or comfort. But understanding the connection of goodness as a fruit of the spirit, we must understand it differently. The GOOD in Romans 8:28 is built upon God’s righteousness and truth.
If you love God and are called according to His purpose, God will work out His righteousness and truth in your life! That is God’s major project in your life.
Remember, good is the opposite of evil. Many people have heard the statement, “Darkness is the absence of light.” Well, evil can be considered the absence of goodness. That is how we conquer evil, we do what is good. What is good? The righteousness, truth, and love of God, lived out in our love of others and our desire to share the good news of Jesus in word and in deed.
Always remember, “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with GOOD.” (Rom. 12:21)