by Dennis Marquardt

This content is part of a series.

Goodness Is Love's Character (6 of 9)
Series: Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Dennis Marquardt
Galatians 5:22; Proverbs 11:23-25; Matthew 19:16-22; Genesis 1 (selected verses)

INTRO: The idea of being "Spirit-filled" is that we are no longer "fleshly filled!" While our natural character is selfish or self directed our new nature in Christ should be other directed and giving. Christians MUST be different from the world!

The fruit of the Spirit produces in us the characteristic of "goodness" - but this must not be understood in the sense of natural "goodness" -- it is rather supernatural "goodness."

People can do "good things" for many reasons other than truly spiritual ones:
a. they may do good things in the hopes that it will buy them favors later.
b. they may do good things to manipulate others
c. they may do good things to enhance their own image
d. they may do good things to gain tax credits or other personal benefits

The "goodness" that is love's character as a quality of the fruit of the Holy Spirit however does not do "good things" for any other reason than that it is now their nature to do good because they are motivated by God's unselfish love rather than self love.

What the world does not understand is that often some of the people who have done much good in this world are NOT motivated by a desire to get credit as much as they are motivated by God's presence in their life.

ILLUS: Fortune magazine (1/13/97) reports that the nation's top twenty-five philanthropists gave away more than $1.5 billion in 1996. Of the top twenty-five philanthropists, only four inherited fortunes. Most attributed their generosity in part to religious backgrounds. And most were donors even before they became wealthy. -- Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 3

PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God's love produces a "goodness" in our life that is driven by God's Spirit in and through us. This "goodness" is an outflowing of God's love in our life toward o ...

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