I wonder what springs to mind when you think about the word 'good'?
People often say 'God is good' and this can mean one of two things: firstly, God is good, pure, correct in character, good as opposed to bad. When creation was originally established God declared it good, good by nature, it was pure, it worked well, it fulfilled it's purpose. Unfortunately we quickly spoilt that so that everything became tainted and sent into a bondage to decay as a fruit of the humans sinful decisions.
You might think of Matt 19 where Jesus speaks to the Rich young Ruler and discusses what goodness is and declares. 'no one is good but God alone'.
Secondly, 'God is good' can point us to kind, generous acts. This second sense of goodness is seen in something like the story of the Good Samaritan. Here he does the right and good thing in the situation. God is seen as benevolent and generous to all his creation
Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Today this is greatly challenged in a world of such suffering. True to say we
very often make our own mess through greed, war etc but we have to be honest and say we can't explain it all, at best we can say that the disasters of the world are a cry that all is not right and we should turn to God in repentance and dependence rather than decide that he doesn't exist. If it wasn't for his goodness and benevolence holding it all together and restraining evil, where would we be?
These two senses, nature and behaviour, are closely related as a 'Good tree bears good fruit' Matt 7:17
W Tyndale: 'God's goodness is the root of all goodness, and our goodness if we have any, springs out of his goodness'.
In Rom 15:14 Paul says : I am confident concerning you, that you are also full of goodness
conversely, jesus says it is not what goes in that makes you unclean but what comes out!
God's cleanness, purity- goodness, begins and continues to be ingrained into ours as we live by faith.
Good deeds are not the way to life but they are the evidence that life exists
Luther 'we no more earn heaven by good works than babies earn their food and drink by crying and howling'. We are saved by his goodness not ours but the result of this is seen in
Eph 2:10, 'we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works'.
At conversion we enter into a partnership with God so 2 thess 1:11, 'we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling and that by his power he may fulfil every good purpose of yours'
so what does the fruit of our life suggest?