What is Good? Part 2

How do we know what is good? The Bible tells us that God is good. In fact, it speaks of His goodness throughout Scripture.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:25-26.

For those who wish to learn more about the meaning of good, it is found in God’s Son Jesus Christ who will lead us into an ever-deeper understanding of what is good.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 4:32-5:2.

The following verses are taken from Romans chapters 1 and 2, they show the opposite of good. Please read both chapters for context if you will.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32.

To show the strong contrast between good and evil we discussed unrighteousness and sexual immorality in the last post, “What is Good? Part 1” posted on 6-10-24. We will now continue with the meaning of wickedness.

“Wickedness”, this is wickedness acting out in a destructive hostile manner, wickedness generally signifies evil practices.

Thieves will steal someone’s purse or wallet and upon finding their debit card they will call their victim representing themselves as their bank manager asking for their pin number to close off the account.

Once they have the number, they then clean out the victim’s bank account. One feels bad enough, but this added act of contempt has the intent of violating the person a second time.

Always contact your bank directly to discuss your account, never answer questions on an unknown phone call. Never open an unknown e-mail or an attachment, never risk opening the door to wicked men!

“Covetousness”, can be used in a good sense as in coveting wisdom, virtue or learning, it is the strong desire for more, and used in a bad way it has the sense of a greedy grasping for more. The apostle Paul calls it idolatry in Colossians 3.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5.

A short definition of idolatry is anything that displaces God in your life. And things can replace Him as well as any of the little gold or stone idols you see in the movies.

It is this form of idolatry that is the downfall of so many Christians who have become enraptured by the glittery things in this world.

Things which are not just RV’s, SUV’s and big screen televisions, it is an addiction to sports, work or computer games. If this is you, you need to do some hard thinking.

There are many folks who are blinded by these idols in their lives, which keep them too busy to seek Jesus Christ and the salvation of their eternal souls.

“Maliciousness”, just turn your computer on, when the sign pops up stating: “Warning threat detected”, you will have the fullest meaning of malice.

So many have had their computers ravaged by viruses invented by individuals who have no other motive than viciousness and the smug satisfaction that they have destroyed millions of dollars in man hours and stored data.

Malice is just deep-seated evil meanness according to the dictionary.

“Full of envy”, this is a discontent or jealousy when one sees or hears of another’s possessions, advantages or promotions. Note they are full of envy.

“Murder”, how appropriate that this would follow envy; have you never murdered anyone? Jesus said this on the Sermon on the Mount.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21-22.

We think of murder as being the ultimate trip to hell, but just calling another a fool can put you there. Do not forget that Adam and Eve fell into sin and were cast out of the Garden of Eden for eating a piece of fruit!

We cannot comprehend God’s holiness, things we call little white lies put us under the same judgment. God loves us, He does not want these things to come between us and Him, this is why the shed blood of Christ is so important, it wipes out all our sins once and for all. Yet it is up to us to apply it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.

“Strife”, this is contention which comes from enmity.

“Deceit”, guile, which has the idea of drawing someone out with a hook, cheat, snare, defraud.

“Evil- mindedness”, an evil mindset that tends to put the worst spin on everything they hear.

“Whisperers”, are those who slander you behind your back, gossips.

“Backbiters”, these are people who speak evil of you openly.

“Haters of God”, this is the hardcore atheist. They call themselves atheists because it gives them an aura of intellectualism.

“Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Richard Dawkins.

This pseudo-intellectual shroud that they wear has enabled them to expunge many of our religious freedoms in this country and replace them with their own bigotry.

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1a.

“Violent”, is characterized by an injurious, excessive force which is destructive.

“Proud”, this is taken in an evil sense of arrogance, a haughty disdainful person.

“Boasters”, this has the idea of empty boasting about things made up, not in real events like winning a race or the like.

“Inventors of evil things”, the makers of violent video games fall into this category.

There are also firms that manufacture torture equipment for sale in communist and third world countries. But sometimes we do pretty well in our own imaginations.

“Disobedient to parents”, this blight is pandemic in the world today and is the cause, not only of much misery but many of the things listed here.

“Undiscerning”, without moral understanding, this is a lack of understanding of Divine things, it is a lack of wisdom which comes from God and the knowledge of moral things.

“Untrustworthy”, this does not need to be defined, we have all met these people, and hopefully never again, this is a disease of politicians, companies, states and nations. The world would be a lot more peaceful if everyone were trustworthy.

“Unloving”, this is the sad word that will become the epitaph of mankind, and it can only be changed by letting God love those around us, through us.

“Unforgiving”, you cannot make peace with these types; they would prefer to hold a grudge than accept your apology.

“Unmerciful”, mercy is defined as, compassion, pity or benevolence, a merciful person is tender-hearted toward others.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

The unmerciful man does none of these things.

These words are not just an accusation against the heathen, but against all mankind.

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23.

“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, ‘who will render to each one according to his deeds’…” Romans 2:1-6.

Here God judges us by our own conscience, whatever judgment we pass on another He will judge us by. Because we do the same things that we judge others for.

Let us say that someone has determined that they will never drive over the speed limit, as a result they shake their fist at everyone who does.

Then one day they are late for an appointment, so they excuse themselves by saying that this is important I need to speed a little just this once. You see, one cannot even keep their own law, how much less God’s law.

“…the goodness of God leads you to repentance” Romans 2:4b.

What is Good? taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 11-7-15, updated on 6-13-24 ck.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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