Community Group Study Notes

  1. What was one thing that God was showing you through this message?   

  1. Read Galatians 6:9-10. How can you look to repair what is broken for all? What are some tangible ways that you can “do good to all”?  

  1. In keeping with that same passage in Galatians 6, how can you look to encourage re-created lives in the church? How can we continually move away from a consumer mindset and lean into contributing to the family of believers?  

  1. What is one action step that you can take in light of Sunday’s message and our conversation today? 


Sermon Transcript

Amen. So, good morning to everybody. I'm curious if this ever happens to you. Do you ever get a song or a chorus like stuck in your head to the point of like problem, obsession? Like, you're going to bed at night, you can't get it out of your head. You wake up in the middle of the night, still in your head. Has that ever happened to anybody or is it just me? All right. Isn't it even the worst when you hate the song?

Like that's even the worst, right? I'll even do things along that line where I will plant songs that Edie doesn't like, and I will plant it in her mind by homing it around her just real, real, like on the down low. And then later on, she'll be like, "Why am I humming this song?" And I'll just be going, you know? And it's because something's wrong with me. But I do that. It happens to me every Christmas. So, every single Christmas, same song gets stuck incessantly in my head. Now, the song has been covered by a whole bunch of different artists. It was originally done by Donny Hathaway. You may know the song, "This Christmas." You know that one? ♪ This Christmas ♪ That's me. Thank you very much, I'll be here all day. So, that song, I don't even know the lyrics. All I know is; ♪ This Christmas ♪ And I say that 100 million times the month of December. I'll just walk around the house going; ♪ This Christmas ♪ to the point where like my family has to stage an intervention and say, just stop it, you have to stop it right now. So, I like listening to multiple different kinds of genres of music and that kind of stuff. And so, we'll listen to Pandora and Spotify and a bunch of things, right? And I like different genres of music. And sometimes in my car, I'll kind of skim around to see what I like, what I don't like. Sometimes it just sits on there; maybe I'm talking to somebody in the car. And this one song got stuck in my head. It's by Luke Bryan. It's a country song. I don't listen to that much country music, to be honest with you, but it kind of got stuck in my head. And the song was, I believe most people are good. And so, I find myself kind of singing that a little bit in my head. And the chorus is something like, I believe most people are good, and most mamas oughta qualify for sainthood, I believe most Friday nights look better under neon or stadium lights. Kind of typical country song, right? And it kind of ends at the end of the chorus saying something like, I think most of our world is not half as bad as it looks, I believe most people are good. And so, I find myself singing that song, whatever. And then I kind of paused myself and said, wait a minute, what am I saying here? Or what are they saying here? What are they trying to say with this song exactly. So, I looked it up, and Luke didn't actually write the song. There was a team of songwriters that wrote the song. And so I looked up an interview with them. I read an interview with them about kind of what was the motive behind the song. And it actually came about from the last election, like prior to the last election in 2016, that they wrote that song out of a place of saying, "Hey, I know we've got this narrative that everybody hates one another and all that kind of stuff, but I don't think that it's as bad as what everybody is purporting to show us." And to that extent, I probably think that they're right, that it doesn't look that way in maybe my neighborhood or your neighborhood. But kind of, when we look at it on the news, everything looks like, ah, like this all the time. So they were kind of writing it that way. And I thought, okay, fair enough, that makes decent sense. At least to some degree, it makes decent sense. And so, I thought to myself, well, here's my problem. My problem is the idea that most people are good. Like, I was stuck on that word, good. Like, what makes them good? And so I figured what they were saying was that, I believe most people are good. In other words, they're probably saying, I believe most people aren't jerks. I believe most people can be reasoned with. I believe that most people have some shared interests and probably care about similar things like their family or their kids or their grandkids or their job, or being healthy or whatever. And to that extent, I get it completely, I totally understand it. But when we use term, good, we often are using it in ways that we don't even fully understand, because it means different things depending on how we use the term. We say this idea, we talk about this idea of good, but it means different things at different times. If somebody asks you, how you're doing? You say, I'm good. Well, what does that mean? Well, it means probably you're reasonably healthy and life seems to be going pretty decent for you at that moment. I'm good, right? Or, I have some circumstance that happens maybe at work or elsewhere, and they say, "Well, how did it go?" And you say, "It's all good." What does that mean? Well, it may mean that you worked through a difficult circumstance, or maybe you got out of this without some negative consequences. Maybe it means that, I don't know. You say, she's a good woman, he's a good guy. What do you mean by that? Well, generally I like 'em, we have some shared interests, we get along with one another pretty well, they haven't done anything bad to me, so they seem pretty polite. That's generally what we mean when we say they're a good guy or they're a good woman or whatever we would say there. That's a really good football team; but what do we mean when we say it's a really good football team? Well, we mean that they find success in scoring more points than the other team scored. And so that makes them good apparently. Right, there's lots of illustrations that I could use. I mean, you could use a phrase and it mean two different things at the same time depending on how you say it. The phrase, oh my goodness, it can either be, oh my goodness! And that's really good. Or it could be, oh my goodness! And that's really bad. So, you get it, right? There's a lot of different ways this terminology is used, so what we have to do when we come to the Apostle Paul's teaching, when we're looking at the idea of the fruit of the Spirit that he's teaching us about, it's probably important when he uses that terminology that we understand it to some degree. Here's what Paul writes in Galatians 5. We've been studying this for the last number of weeks. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance," or patience, "Kindness, goodness." So Paul uses this terminology when he says, the fruit of the Spirit is goodness. Remember Paul is talking about the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the Galatians, right? The fruit of the Spirit is goodness. Now, it definitely gives me some kind of, at least pause, to ask the simple question. If most people are good, or if we just generally believe that people are basically good, then why is Paul saying that we need to access the life of God through the Spirit, and that God will supply to us goodness? If we didn't need it, if we already have it, then wouldn't it seem like this would be sort of redundant? Well, see, when we look at the actual text of the Scripture and we see the term that Paul used in Greek, the term actually means, for goodness means an uprightness of heart or an uprightness of life. Now, it doesn't just mean, 'cause the root word of that word in the Greek language, this won't be a Greek lesson, don't worry, the root word of that word in the Greek language is not so much talking about the action as it is the essence. In other words, goodness has a nature, goodness has an essence, that actually leads to good actions. There was one commentary I was reading. It was kind of an academic scholarly commentary. The author's name was Dr. Ronald Fung. And he called goodness a magnanimous kindliness which issues impractical generosity. Was that helpful? It came from a scholarly commentary, so he wasn't concerned about making that definition super accessible. But what he was saying was this; is that there's a nature that leads to an action, leads to an outcome, right? So, because Paul is writing this talking about the fruit of the Spirit, he's writing this about God. That this is the fruit of the life of God. This is the fruit of God's Spirit. I want us to look at the concept of goodness through that lens, through the lens of the life of God, for a few moments. And then I want us to maybe drill into how this can be more practical for us and how we live out the reality of what goodness actually looks like. All right? So, the first truth that I'd wanna remind us of is this, is that the Father is the source of goodness. You really can't start anywhere else, but here. If you get confused about the idea of goodness and get confused as to the idea that the Father is the source of it, then we really aren't gonna be speaking the same language. Because there's no real definition of goodness that is not inclusive of the idea of God Himself, because He is the source of goodness. In fact, if you started in the Bible and you began to read from page one, you wouldn't have to go past page one to figure this out. Because on page one, what you have is you have the word good used a number of different times, right on page one. So, Genesis 1, right? In Genesis 1, the word good is used seven times just in that chapter. When God makes things, and then at the end of the day, right? He creates this day, create something on that day, and He says, "This is good." And then day two, he said, "This is good." And then he says, this is good after the conclusion of each day. But on day six, of course, when He not only created everything, He said it was good. But then he created humanity, us male and female, right? He created them in the image of God. And He said, "This is very good or exceedingly good." This is like as good, good, good, good, good, right? That is the Hebrew. Good, good, good, good, good, right? I have no idea what I just said. It's exceedingly good, right? He called image bearers, people created in his image, exceedingly good. So seven different times, that terminology is used there. The word in the Hebrew language is the word tov, T-O-V, if you wanted to write it down. And it's basically kind of in the top three or so words in Hebrew, that describe an uprightness of heart or life. And again, I think it aims more at essence than it does just inaction, but it kind of consumes both of them at the same time. Now, as you could imagine, if the Father is creating all of these things that are good, the reason that He's creating good things is because He is in His essence, what? Good, right? He does good because He is good. In fact, when He talked about Himself when He revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 33, it says, "The Lord said, 'I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.'" That's a statement of essence. That's a statement of nature. That's a statement of who God is in His essential being; that He is a demonstration or the fullness of what goodness is. The Psalmist realized this in Psalm 119. Here's what the Psalmist said. "You are good, and what you do is good." Well, that makes perfect sense, right? God is good, and the things that He does are good. In fact, those are the same in those two verses that I just read in Exodus and in Psalm 119; same root word there for good, tov, just like it was in Genesis 1. Now, because goodness has God's nature, listen to this, because goodness is God's nature, God can never be more good than He is right now. God can never be less good than He is right now. That's a good word for us, by the way. Because when things are working out, right? When you get the front space at the mall and you go shopping and everything's on sale and you finish the day, and you're just like, God is good. Right? Or it's a beautiful day for your golf outing, and everything goes really well, and you're just like, God is good. But when things don't go real well, you're kind of like, I don't know, I am not so sure, 'cause it is overcast and these blouses have been marked up. I mean, I have no idea. But all of a sudden, for some reason, in our heads, we question the goodness of God when things don't go well for us. When things don't go according to the way that we want them to go, we questioned the goodness of God. But questioning the goodness of God is silly. And the reason that it's silly is because it's His essential nature. God can never be more good than He is. God can never be less good than He is. He just is good. This is His very nature. That's why God, the Father, is the source of goodness. And from His essential goodness, He'll do good things. That's how the Psalmist viewed God's goodness. Because the Psalmist, and there's a number of Psalmist, David being the primary one, but there's a number of them, right? The Psalmist actually looked at this and they understood that God is good. And they understood that what God does is good. And they use that phraseology often. Let me just show you real quick kind of... Psalmist says, "But as for me, it is good to be near God." Do you know what he was saying? His presence is good. Notice again, Psalm 86, "You, Lord, are forgiving and good." His forgiveness is good. In Psalm 100, "For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." His enduring love and faithfulness is good. Psalm 107, "For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Your provision is good. And then in Psalm 119, "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees." His trials are good. You see, all through the context of what we read, what we read is this; an assumption that God is good because He's the source of goodness, and what He does is good. Like the Psalmist said, "God is good and does good." The Father is the source of goodness. We have to start there. But in addition to that, we would add that Jesus is the model of goodness. The Father is the source of goodness, and Jesus is the model of goodness. In fact, Jesus did something unique. When He was in His time of ministry, he was approached by someone who was struggling with what it looked like to inherit eternal life, what it looked like to get eternal life. Well, Jesus knew that this man was actually a little concerned with his own goodness. In other words, what can I do to good my way into eternal life? And Jesus said something very, very straightforward to him. It's recorded in Mark's Gospel 10. It says, "As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on His knees before Him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good, except God alone.'" That's a remarkable answer from Jesus, isn't it? Now, what you need to understand first is this; Jesus is not conceding that He's not good. This is not a concession from Jesus to say, I'm not good. What Jesus is doing is He's taking the questioners, thinking away from his own goodness, and placing it where the source is, which is God alone. In fact, when Jesus says that no one is good, except God alone, Jesus is helping us to understand that goodness doesn't just mean self-righteous, moral doings. It can't. Because he's placing this now on God, and he's not just saying, God can do moral things, he's saying, God is actually goodness personified. Now, Jesus was certainly good. Make no mistake. This is the Son of God, who is very God and very man at exactly the same time. Right? But without sin. And so Jesus was good in His essence, and did good because that was His essence. In fact, that was the testimony that the apostles actually wrote of Him anyway. If you read Acts, you find out in Acts 10, it says, "You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached? How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how Jesus went around doing good, and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him." Jesus went around doing good. What does that tell us? Well, here's what it tells us. Listen. It helps us to understand that goodness is outgoing. It's not just contained within and staying within, it actually comes from an essence, Jesus good, good nature, that is reflecting the good, good heart of God. But that that goodness is actually outgoing. In other words, it is looking at for the benefit of others. Jesus went around doing good. Why? Because He was good. Now, this is important for us to be able to grab hold of the idea that goodness is outgoing, that it's focused on the benefit of others. I mean, think about it all the way back to creation. God who is good, created good things. One of those good things He created were people; men and women, male and female, created in His image. To do what? To enjoy and to steward the good creation that He gave to them. So this was an outgoing goodness that God gave. Now, we all know that sin entered the picture, that it marred the image of God in humanity. It didn't eradicate it by the way. The image of God still remains in humanity, but it's like now a smudged thumbprint instead of a perfect representation. And so this marred image of God means that, human beings now, instead of, listen to this, instead of inherently being good in their essence and being able to demonstrate that goodness, are bent in the direction of sin. Every single one bent in the direction of sin. So you know what God does, knowing this, God calls out a people for Himself because He knows that humanity is in this bent toward sin place. And He calls out a people for Himself and He gives to them a law. And this law, He calls good. He says, it's good. The Psalmist, when they refer to the law, they say that it's good, tov, right? That it's good in its essence. Because it was doing something. It was helping them to try and bend back toward the heart of God. But God knew that the law could never solve all of this. The law was actually given like a tutor, like a schoolmaster, to point out to everyone that they actually needed a savior, that they actually needed Jesus. And so even though the law was good and was helping to bend back people in the direction that they ought to go, in demonstrating the kind of recreated image of God in them, that could not fully do the trick. That's why God demonstrated His generosity to us in the gift of Jesus. God demonstrated that through Jesus, we could have salvation and forgiveness and hope, and it demonstrated the essence of God. And Jesus models the heart of God by going to a cross thinking about others, not just Himself; dying to take our sin upon Himself, rising from the dead, conquering our sin, conquering our shame, conquering death and hell and the grave on our behalf, so that by faith in Him, we can be reconciled to God. And this all happened because God is good. It happened because Jesus modeled for us the goodness of God that He poured His heart out on our behalf. This is a beautiful reminder. So maybe you could kind of summarize this by simply saying that God's goodness is His generosity to us in Jesus. That's one way of describing the goodness of God. That God's goodness is His generosity to us in Jesus. Now, why do I say that God's been generous to us? Because we have a goodness problem. Humanity has a goodness problem. And if that's not clear to us all, it should be. We all have a goodness problem. We are all bent in the direction of sin; from our very birth. Nobody had to teach us how to lie, our parents didn't sit us down and go, "Lying 101, here we go, here's how you do it." We were good at it before they even said anything. And the reason for that, the reason that we were selfish without having to be taught to be selfish, the reason that we could lie without having to be taught to be a liar, was because we are born into this bent, this proclivity toward sin. It is a part of the nature of our very being. And we cannot solve those things by ourself. And so, every single one of us, we have a goodness problem. But don't misunderstand. You're thinking to yourself, maybe you're watching this, maybe you're here, maybe you're listening, and you're going, "Wait a minute. Are you saying that if, unless we believe in Jesus that we can't do anything good at all?" That's not what I'm saying. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is this; is that when we come to faith in Christ, we can experience goodness. Apart from faith in Christ, we can occasionally do good things, but we can never experience goodness. See, goodness only comes from a source. And that source is God. And it only comes through the regeneration of His Spirit by our faith in Jesus. You see, Paul recognized this. The same writer who said that the Spirit of God can now share with you, in your life, when you come into his presence, can share with you the life of God, goodness. And this can be a part of your life. But it's coming from a source, not you. It's coming from a different place. It's coming from God. The Spirit shares that with you, right? Why do we need that? Because we have a goodness problem. If I were writing a country song, it would be simple. ♪ I believe most people aren't good ♪ You're going, what? Yeah. Listen to what Paul said. Same writer. Romans 3, "What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? No, not at all." By the way, he's talking about, is there an advantage of being a Jew over a Gentile here? He said, "No, we've already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." What Paul is doing is he's quoting from the Old Testament, and he is making the case that everybody has sinned, everybody has failed. Whether you are Jew or Gentile, everybody is alike. There are none that do good. Do you know why? Because everyone has been infected by a virus called sin. And that's why we need the agency of the Holy Spirit in our lives to produce goodness in us, because we have been marred by sins, power and dominion over our lives. In fact, just a few verses before Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit, when he talks about the fruit of the Spirit is goodness, just a few verses before, he's actually talking about what life in the flesh looks like. In other words, when we don't yield ourselves to the Spirit, what does that life look like? Let me show it to you. Verses 19 through 21 of Galatians 5, says, "The acts of the flesh are obvious: Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." Do you know what's consistent about all those things? They're not good. They're rebellion to the goodness of God. You see, that's why we need the agency of the Spirit. And that would be the third truth that I would give to you. Not only is the Father the source of goodness, and Jesus the model of goodness, but the Spirit is the agent of goodness. That's important for us to remember, that the Spirit is actually the agent of goodness. That's why in verse number 22 that we're looking at in Galatians 5, "The fruit of the Spirit is goodness." This is the work that the Spirit does in our lives. Sometimes we have this feeling like, I'm just gonna make myself gooder. Gooder is not a word by the way. I'm gonna make myself gooder. And you're gonna somehow, by your own willpower, do that. You're not going to be able to do that. This is the agency of the Spirit in our lives. When our hearts are left alone, my friends, my brothers, my sisters, when our hearts are left alone, they are not shaped toward goodness. That is not the bent of a heart that has not been regenerated. That's why we need the agency of the Spirit in our lives. You will only experience, listen to this, you will only experience true goodness when the regeneration of the Spirit happens in your life through faith in Jesus. That is the only way you can experience true goodness.

Listen, our sin shaped lives can still do a few good things, but can never experience goodness. Boy, is that a good word for the culture that we live in? Because, man, I run into people all the time that just think they're trying to basically tally their ledger of good stuff, against their ledger of bad stuff, and think that they're gonna be able to somehow adjudicate their case with God, and God's gonna have to go, "Oh man, you had one more good move than you had bad move, so I don't have a choice, I've got to let you in hanging out with me for eternity." That is not how this works. It doesn't even remotely work that way, right? Because when we start acting, listen to this, when we start acting as if our good works can somehow earn our salvation, God says, here's the way that I look at those. I look at those like they're filthy rags. I don't even want to, at this point, describe to you what He means when He says that, but it's filthy. He says, these are like filthy rags in my sight; that you think you could somehow earn your way here. By the way, if you are good all on your own, and you could earn your way to God, what in the world was Jesus doing? What in the world was that all about? Why did God send His Son? Why did His Son come willingly, when we could have done this all by ourselves? I'll just do enough good stuff, and allow way my bad stuff, and then somehow God will have to say, yup, you get to come in. That is the opposite of the way that God has designed the world. Because God has designed the world based on grace. It comes from His good heart. That's where grace comes from. His goodness. God is good, God is gracious. And so, what God does is He initiates when we were yet sinners, Christ still died for us. Why? Because God is good. And He knows that we can't experience goodness, unless He does this on our behalf. In fact, Paul, in another letter that he writes in Ephesians, actually summarizes these ideas in just a couple of verses. Listen to what he says in Ephesians 2. He says, "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." It's all there. In other words, here's what Paul's saying. If you think that you can good work your way to God in salvation, you are sorely mistaken. Because you are only going to be saved by grace; what God has initiated on your behalf in Jesus Christ and through putting your faith in Him, that's it, that's the only way that you can be saved. There's only one name under heaven by which people can be saved, and that is the name of Jesus. Jesus didn't say, I'm the way, the truth, and the life, now try and good work your way to God. He said, "I'm the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through me." You cannot work your way to God. I wanna make sure that that is clear as a bell to everybody listening to me, 'cause the culture that we live in sometimes just has that idea. I don't know where that idea came from. Because it undercuts the efficacy of what Jesus has done on the cross, and it flies in the face of everything that the New Testament teaches us about grace. So, you cannot save yourself based on your works. It is the gift of God, it's not of work, so that nobody can boast. In other words, if you could work your way to God, you can boast about it. Here's how I got here; I'm just better than you. That's not how grace works. The only way that any of us got there was because of Jesus. No one is deserving, no one is good, this all comes from His grace. Every one of us was under condemnation. Every one of us lived in the kingdom of darkness. And then God, in His mercy, rescued us in the person of Christ. This is where we find ourselves. So the testimony of everybody in eternity with Jesus is the same; I got here, like you got here, by His grace alone. I didn't get here because I'm special. I didn't get to hear 'cause I'm smarter than you or better than you. I got to hear because God has shown me His good, good heart in the gift of Jesus. It is by grace we have been saved through faith. And this is not of ourselves, this is gift of God. Not of works so that none of us can boast. But, we were created in Christ Jesus for good works. You see, when His goodness becomes our very life, from that goodness, we do good things, we do good works. But it comes from the nature of God in us that that begins to pour out. So, what is goodness? Well, I've got a definition for you. It's my own, I've made it up. Sorry. I made it up. Here's what it says. Goodness is when recreated people create for other people the opportunity to experience recreation. Goodness is when recreated people create for other people the opportunity to experience recreation. You see, within this definition, there's an outgoing nature of goodness. Within this definition is the understanding that we didn't do it ourselves, we've been recreated because of what God has done in Jesus Christ. And that the role of goodness is to give other people the opportunity to experience recreation. Or maybe you could even simplify that, if you wanted to in your head, and basically say, goodness is the act of putting back together what was broken. That's a way to say it. Goodness is the act of putting back together what was broken. Isn't this what God has done? He creates a good creation, and it all gets busted up because of sin. And do you know what He's going to do? He's going to recreate. He's going to usher in new creation in and through King Jesus. What about our lives? Our lives exceedingly good, created in His image. Now that image has been marred, now what? In Jesus, we can begin the process of recreation, and then we'll be assured through His resurrection of a brand new way of existence. This is what God does. And when God's goodness begins to permeate our own hearts, do you know what we look to do as people? We're recreated people who are trying to create for other people, an opportunity to experience recreation. What would that look like? Let me give you just a couple of things real quick before we're done. What would that look like? Well, first thing that I would share with you is that, it would look like we would repair what is broken for all. We try and be about the business of repairing what's broken for everyone. Now, here's why I'm saying these words, here's why I'm using the language that I'm using. It's because what the Apostle Paul does, after he writes Galatians 5, he's not done. There's still one more chapter in the Book of Galatians. So when he says the fruit of the Spirit is goodness, he actually comes back to the idea of what doing good looks like in the sixth chapter. I want you to see what he says in chapter six, verses nine and 10. He says, "Let us not become weary in doing good." He's talking to believers, right? Recreated people here. "For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity," listen to this, "Let us do good to all people." Let me pause there. You will know that the life of God's goodness is permeating your own life when you can be good to all people, and not just those you like. Not just the ones that are similar to you, not just the ones that hold your same political feelings, not just the ones that live like you do, not just the ones who share the same allegiance to particular sports teams that you do. If this patriots, there's an exception, right? Nope. No exceptions, no exceptions. Right? You start realizing, listen, you start realizing the goodness of God inside of you when you come into God's presence and the Spirit of God and his agency begins to allow you to be good to those who aren't like you, who maybe don't like you, and you can still be good to them. I mean, you remember Jesus' words in Luke 6, right? He said, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies. Do good to them. And lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High because He is kind or good to the ungrateful and the wicked." You see, we start showing the good heart of God when we can be good to people who may consider us an enemy, or don't like us, or they're not like us, or whatever. So, what can you do about that? What if you surprised your opponent, or surprised someone who may categorize you as an enemy because of maybe whatever, right? Your political persuasions or this or that. What if you surprised them with love? What if you surprised them with compassion? What if you surprise them with grace? All of that would be an expression of goodness. You and I need to ask ourselves those questions. Because people in this day and age, they're doing silly things at this point. They're saying silly things. You are not a Christian if you; blank. If you vote for this person, you're not as a Christian. Boy, I would caution you. I love you folks. I would caution you. That is unwise and untrue. You haven't thought very deeply about your posture at all. I'm not suggesting that particular platforms may be more consistent with the things of God than other may be. That's absolutely true. And we need to be people who are willing to call out goodness and badness, wherever it is, no matter where it comes from, we need to be able to be those kinds of people. But to start posturing yourself, to start getting in bed with a particular political candidate, is offensive to the kingship of Jesus. Few of you clapped. Few of you didn't, and that's okay. Listen, I love you. I'm not running for anything. I'm a preacher of the gospel. That's what I do. That's what I'm gonna continue to do. Because the gospel will help you begin to unpack. I'm on record on just about every issue that's of some big, you know, I'm on record for all of those things, by the way. All you gotta do is just go back and look. Do I talk about 'em every week? No. But am I on record or not? Sure, absolutely. But are you gonna see me up here campaigning for a particular candidate? Nope. You're not. And call it whatever you wanna call it. Some people would say, well, you're not very courageous because, you won't get up and tell us which candidate to vote for. I want you to follow Jesus. That's what I want you to do. Candidates are gonna come and go, my friends. They're going to be here and then they're not going to be here. My concern is your soul. My concern is whether you walk with Jesus. Now, do I want you to vote based on those things? Sure, I do. Am I gonna say some more about that next week? Yes, I am. Yes, I am. 'Cause we're gonna talk about the fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. And I'll have some things to say next week. What you won't walk out of here saying is, he told us to vote in a certain direction. I'm not gonna tell you that. I'm not gonna mess with your agency under God. That's not what my job is. My job is to bring you to Jesus. Let Jesus shape your heart. Let Jesus shape your mind and shape your thinking. Let Him shape your values. And then allow you to go do what you do. And if you got it right, or if you got it wrong, okay, just don't get Jesus wrong. That's my biggest concern. Don't get that wrong. But my concern is whether or not we're people of goodness who are looking to repair what is broken in everyone. And you know what's broken in everyone? Listen to me. Everyone sinned; everybody, everywhere. Put ourselves at the front of line, we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God, everyone. And the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What everyone needs is being face-to-face with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's what everyone needs. They need to experience the good heart of God that He's demonstrated through His Son. And that we now can be reconciled to God, not, listen, having not our sins held against us, but actually being forgiven because of what Jesus has done. You wanna wait to experience that goodness? You wanna be a person, a recreated person, who creates for other people an opportunity to experience recreation. Maybe you could take a challenge. You know that website we talked to you earlier about? Right? You can put it up on the screen if you want, There's some stories on there of life change. You'll recognize few of them, maybe. There's a presentation of the gospel on there. It's not by me, but it's done very, very well. You know what you could do? You could take 30 Seconds on your social media profile, and share a brief 30 seconds, right? Nobody wants to listen for three hours. That's why there's time limits on these things, and they'll cut you off anyway. Take 30 seconds, share how Jesus changed your life. Briefly, 30 seconds. And then attach this website to it and say, you know what? I'm not the only one. There's other people who found another way to live. I'm convinced that social media is going to be reasonably active over the next number of days, and the next number of weeks. I don't know why. But I'm imagining it's going to be reasonably active. Why don't we put people's testimony of lives transformed by the gospel in that, because you know why? That looks to repair what's broken in everyone. Let me give you a second thing very quickly. I'm almost done. You guys have been super patient. Not only look to repair what's broken for all, but look to encourage recreated lives in the church. Let me explain. What Paul ends up saying in that same verse in Galatians 6, is he says this. Galatians 6:10. "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." If you want to see goodness played out, we've gotta be able to be people who do good to all, but we also have to encourage recreation in the lives of those in the body of Christ. So I'd ask you this question: Are you in meaningful community with anybody, in any way? Maybe in places that you're serving, maybe in a community group that you're involved in? Because I need you to understand something. If you're watching me online, or if you're watching on television, or if you're listening by way of radio, or if you're here live, at any of our campuses, listen, what we're doing right now is not a consumer transaction, where I provide spiritual goods and services for your consumption. This is about us together in the body of Christ, living out the life of God with one another, being transformed by God's own Spirit. We need to be connected to one another so that we can learn of the goodness of God, we can show the goodness of God, we can demonstrate the life of God to people that are around us, to all people, but especially, Paul says, to those in the body of Christ. So, if you're not involved, go to, and you can get plugged into a community group. We would love for you to be able to do that. Recreated people create for other people the opportunity to experience recreation. I don't know fully about Luke Bryan song, but what I do know is this, I believe God's people can be good, because God has given us His Spirit to live inside of us, to share with us the life of God's own goodness. And God is good and does good. And as a result, His people can also be made good, to do good. The fruit of the Spirit is goodness. Let's bow our heads together. In a moment, you'll hear how, if you have a need of trusting Jesus, you'll hear how you can connect with us to be able to do that very thing. But Father, I would pray right now for each of us, in our own hearts that we would just evaluate them as you see fit. And that your Spirit would search us and know us, and help us to understand God if there are things in our heart where you need to purify, that we would be quick to be in your presence, quick to let your Words saturate our hearts, because we wanna be a people of goodness, we wanna be a people who live filled with the Spirit. So Father, we trust you to do that in Jesus name. Amen.

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