THE NATURE OF GOODNESS by Bishop Dr. J. Akin Atere

TOPIC: THE NATURE OF GOODNESS

TEXT:                        EXODUS 34:6

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”

The dictionary describes goodness as the state or quality of being good, or moral excellence, virtue, having a kindly feeling, etc.

In the encounter of Moses with God in Ex. 33:18-19,

“And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”

he asked God to show him His glory. As God replied ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you.’

It mean that the manifestation of his glory is inherent in His goodness. When his glory appears you cannot but feel his loving kindness that is His goodness. So when He finally revealed himself to Moses in Ex. 34:6 He proclaimed

“the Lord, the Lord GOD merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding goodness and truth.”

That is He is full of goodness and truth that means it is His nature to be good, that is who He His.

Gen. 1:26-27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: etc.

Prophet Isaiah realizing the weakness of man has this to say in Isaiah 53:6

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

We were no longer in tune with the original nature. Therefore we are not able to exhibit the nature of God, to do good, to show kindness which was the original concept or mind of God.

This people have formed for myself to show forth my praise – you are to demonstrate the goodness of the God to all.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

The sin in us removed or distorted the ability to show or demonstrate the glory of God – as we mentioned earlier, “when you see his glory, you can’t but see His goodness.”

Therefore to return to the original copy

  1. You must be reconciled to the master copy (God) without been reconciled to God through Christ you cannot share in his nature. For you to reconcile with God is to be able to drop the old distorted image for a new one in the image of Christ 2 Cor. 5:17-

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

That is, only when you no longer conform with the world because you would have been transformed, your mind even renewed, then you can move or show what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom.12:2).

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

This is what Jesus referred to when he said in John 17:22

“and the glory which you gave me I have given to them, that they may be one as we one”

We are bearers of God’s glory, and His glory is full of His goodness. It is when you are in Christ you are able to shine in his glory.

  1. You must be enabled by the Holy Spirit. John 15:5 “Jesus said without me you can do nothing.” It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that you are able to share of his nature, to be restored to his image and share in His nature of Goodness.

2 Cor 3:18

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

It is only when we are able to bear fruits that we are of the spirit.

  1. The knowledge of the word of God is also imperative for us to share in the nature of God. Col 3:10

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

CONCLUSION:

(2 Peter 1:3-4)

“According as his divine power hath given unto us things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is the world through lust.”

You are partakers of His divine nature, and if so we are exhibit the traits that are inherent in that nature. God thorough Jesus Christ has give us his Spirit which pollinates with our spirit to bring about the fruits of the Spirit. Are the fruits obvious in your life?

When we do good we share in the nature of God, that is His goodness.