ESSENTIAL TRUTHS - THE GOODNESS OF GOD
James 1:17 states that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (NKJV)
God has no “dark side”, He has no “shadow”. Light is often used to refer to spiritual goodness and holiness while darkness or shadow is used to refer to evil. From the Scriptures we understand that God is good. God cannot be anything but good. God is consistently good and perfect. There is nothing lacking in Him. Goodness is His character and being, and all actions and behavior that flow out from His character are only good. God is goodness itself, and the ultimate source of all goodness.
God’s goodness is shown to us in many ways. We see God’s goodness in the beauty of creation, God calling creation “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The law of God also reflects His goodness, giving us a glimpse of His moral perfection. God is not good because He follows rules or laws outside of Himself perfectly, but rather that He is a law unto Himself. He is the source of moral law, which flows out of His perfect character. For more information on the law of God see: https://www.faithtofilm.ca/et-thelawofgod.
We also see the goodness of God in His providence, which is His day-to-day governing of the universe. Everything works out for the ultimate good of God’s people. Everything that God does is good, because He is good. The greatest example of God’s goodness is Jesus’ death on the cross. It is a perfect example of God’s justice, love, mercy and goodness.
As the source of goodness, we realize that we cannot do any good without God. Our natural tendency is towards all evil and wickedness. In His kindness, God restrains sin in humanity. Even unbelievers are capable of civic good. However, we are unable to perform any spiritual good until we are born again by the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit gives us a new heart and unites us to Christ by faith, we begin to have the ability to do good that is pleasing to God and reflective of His character. Although in this life we may begin to perform good works that are pleasing to God, our goodness is microscopically small compared to the vast goodness of our Holy God.
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For more information also see our video on human depravity.