“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…”
“Goodness” is a quality of a Spirit filled believer that does good to another person although in doing so, it might cause them pain. The idea is that a good person orients himself toward the benefit of others. It is possible to be moral but not good, a willingness to give oneself sacrificially for others.
This word can carry the idea of “stern” goodness but always with the idea that that kind of goodness benefits the person receiving it.
Goodness is moral excellence – a generosity of soul that benefits others.
Goodness is an act of grace toward someone else. This stems from being oriented to God’s grace. This is latent in a grace-motivated person who is so because he has no illusions about himself. Therefore, he does not deal with other on the basis of merit. He knows that he cannot make deals with God by meriting His favor so he does not let others make deals with him to receive his blessing. He gives to others without any strings attached.
Christians should be good in character and constitution – upright in soul and action. A Christian with a high capacity for goodness can reach out to others even when they do not deserve it. He can be good to someone without liking his or her personality or attractiveness.
Many Christians try to humanly bend out something that looks like goodness. These people are not motivated by grace but by self-righteousness. In this case, people are motivated by what benefits themselves rather than others. The grace Christian does not twist himself like a pretzel to look like goodness.
Barnabas was a “good man.” He was not as brilliant or as gifted as Paul but he was a “good man.” He did not make himself good. God did that. God changed him so that he was benign in his attitude toward others and generous in material and spiritual matters. The Spirit of God always moves the child of God to live out the Word of God. He always moves Spirit-filled Christians toward generosity. Also, a Spirit-filled believer does not believe anything contrary to the Bible.
“For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord” (Acts 11:24).
God is in the business of making bad people good but no one is good in himself or herself. God does this judicially. After He forensically declares us right with Himself, He then begins to change the character of those who own Him as God and Savior.
“Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness…” (Romans 15:14).
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).