Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. Jesus calls on me to radically change how I think and do good. This is essential to being a disciple of King Jesus. It isn’t optional. It requires radical change.
Goodness results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as “uprightness of heart and life.”
Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Good works — Is there evidence of a radical change of thinking (aka repentance)?
I must believe. I must also act on my belief. I don’t get to say “Jesus has saved me” and then that be it. Jesus calls on me to be a disciple. Jesus calls on me to learn and grow. Jesus calls on me to act on my faith.
- Psalm 34:14 — Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
- Psalm 37:27 — Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever.
- 2 Timothy 2:20–21 — Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
- James 2:14–21 — What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
- James 2:26 — For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
- James 3:13 — Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
- 1 Peter 3:10–12 — For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. “He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. “For the eyes of the Master are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Master is against those who do evil.”