THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 6-10-07

LESSON TITLE: "WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: KINDNESS AND GOODNESS"

WELCOME

Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. It is always an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to be with us as we commit this time to the things of God. It is our hope and prayer this morning that we may each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!

(Prayer)

This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song which reminds us of the great bond we share together as Christians. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Stepping In The Light."

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

It seems more and more in our society that we are forgetting those who have done so much to bring our country to where it is today. Who am I talking about - the older people in our nation. Consider why we have the freedoms we do today and think about the sacrifice that many have made in past years to see that we could live as we want in this country. Yes, the fact is, many of these individuals are still alive and remember well the price paid to accomplish the joys and privileges that we all share in today in this great country the United States of America.

But why do I bring this up? Well today, many stand strong around this world to enforce our continued liberty. Many have stepped up and committed themselves to pay whatever price is necessary to see that our liberties remain intact. So when you think about all of those making this effort today, we can not forget the many who have made it time and time again in the past to see that this day was even possible. To defend such a great country that is established on the equality and freedom of all mankind.

If we go to God's Word we find it deals a lot with honoring and respecting those who are older in age and who have learned so much through the long and fruitful lives that they have lived. In fact, you might recall what Solomon said in Proverbs 20:29. There we read, "The glory of young men is their strength, And the splendor of old men is their gray head." Here we have addressed both realms of our decision this morning. The young who stand strong today to defend our nation. Also, the older who are now wise, who have taught us so much about why to stand and what to stand for.

This concept of gray hair is used in an honorable way to confirm the wisdom of the one who has experienced the many ups and downs of life. Notice what else Solomon said about this topic in the same book, chapter 16, and verse 16, where he states that wisdom is better than gold.

Let's all remember those around us who have such a vast experience to share with us to make us better people in the lives which we now live. Furthermore, let's show them the respect and the honor they deserve for being willing to stand during their prime of life for those things which are worthy before God.

This morning, we will continue with our series called, "Walking in The Spirit!" Our specific topic today focuses on, "Kindness and Goodness!" So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "The Old Rugged Cross!"

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you for continuing with us this morning, as we now go back to God's Word and find out once more about "The Fruit of the Spirit." As you might notice again there from Galatians chapter 5, we have so far looked at the first two parts of "The Fruit of the Spirit" that include really things that Christians are supposed to bear in order that they be seen not only by God, but also by the world as those who are proper, right and pure in His sight.

Today, we're going to look specifically at "Kindness and Goodness," as we build on the ideas of being those who are peaceful and longsuffering, and also those who are joyful and happy in this life. We're looking again at those things that really must be manifested in our lives and seen and practiced that we are known to be children of God.

So we're going to begin our discussion back in the book of Psalms in Psalm 117 as there David declares, "Praise the Lord all you Gentiles. Laud Him, all you peoples for His merciful kindness is great toward us and truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord." What do we find here in this text besides the adoration, the uplifting and the praise of God? What we find is clarification of who God is. There we read, "God is a kid God." He is a kind Lord. He is one who has loved us and proven that love to us. Now, if God is kind, again in the fact that He has loved us. How? He has created the world. He has created us. He has given us the blessings of His Word, the blessings of knowledge unto salvation. He's given and given and given after He has created us.

But what is it specifically that ultimately then shows the great wonder and kindness of God? If you'll look over in the New Testament in the book of Titus, we find there in Titus chapter 3 a very interesting fact, one that is familiar to all of us but a fact that is confirmed once again that shows the great kindness of God. There in verse 4 of chapter 3, it says, "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man had appeared." Now what is the context? What's he talking about? He's talking about those who will do good works as heirs of God. Then after they have done that, then the kindness and the goodness and loving wonder of God the Savior will be seen through what? Through, as it says there, "Jesus Christ." Verse 5, "Who has saved us." Verse 6, "Who has poured Himself out abundantly for us." And there verse 7, "That we might be heirs according to eternal life." Now notice the kindness of God, that He gave His own son to die on the cross, to live and to do those things that were required in order that you and I, through His kindness, might be saved and have what? Eternal life. Now that's a kind God, a God that demonstrates kindness not only in the physical things, but also in the spiritual things.

Now I want you to notice with me in our text what then the kindness of God demonstrated to us should do. What should it cause us to do? How should it respond in our lives and what should be seen in the fact that we know God is kind and He's demonstrating His kindness and that He has shown the example of kindness? Well, we begin to see there in Colossians 3 what it is that kindness and the kindness of God should do in our lives. There in chapter 3 and verse 12, we read the following, that, "You and I," again as Christians, "must be the," what? "The elect of God, holy and beloved and put on," notice what, "tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering." We could go on and talk about other things that are mentioned as well in the next verse, but notice specifically what it is he says. That we are to, as the elect of God, as Christians, as those who God has been kind to, we must put on certain things, and amongst those is kindness. If God be kind, you and I well know that we are commanded to follow His perfect example. So therefore, we must be kind.

Isn't that exactly well what Peter indicated in his book. He talked of similar kind of things as the "elect of God," which Paul referred to there at Colossi. But there in 2 Peter and chapter 1, notice with me in verse 7 of the Christian virtues where it says that, "There are things that we must add to our godliness," in order to be more of what Christ wants us to be. In verse 7 notice with me what those things are. He says, "We add to godliness, kindness, and to kindness, he speaks of a brotherly love." Now think just for a moment what that means to us. The idea again of God, His kindness, His wonder, His glory, His mercy, His forgiveness, His perfection, and because of His kindness, then you and I demonstrate it as well as a virtue. And we don't just try to be kind, we increase in kindness. We become more kind so that as we become more and more kind in our lives as God is kind, then we become more godly. We become greater lovers of one another and greater carers of not only the spiritual but also the physical things in life that we work toward and we're involved in that we ultimately might someday have the reward in Heaven.

Well again, I encourage us as a fruit of the Spirit to know that we are commanded as God to be kind, kind-hearted, to live in the spirit of kindness before all that we come in contact with.

The next idea then of the text is "goodness." Certainly as I might say, "No brainers." I mean obviously God is kind and good, but again just to find out how much the Bible says about these is astonishing. The Bible speaks time and time again about goodness. It begins exactly where it should begin as we might go back in the book of Exodus there about God where Moses spoke of who God was. You might recall there in verse about 11 of chapter 33. This is the time when Moses actually was in the mountain, that is Mt. Sinai, and he says to God, "May I see your glory? May I know who you are and see it because I am your friend and I want to be able to see what you are really like in your wonder and magnificence?" Well, that's an interesting point because after he says that, we notice in the same text there in verse 19 that God responds. But what is interesting is how He responds. What is it that God says about Himself? He says, "I will make all My goodness pass before you." If I were going to describe God, what would be the one word you would think of? I don't know that it would be goodness, but here of all things, God says, "Okay, I'm going to let you see My goodness, not My face and not all of Me, but I will let you see My goodness." That perfection. You know what evil is and what wrong and sin is. Goodness is the opposite. Purity. Holiness. "I will allow you to see My," what? "My goodness as I pass before you." But then as we notice that actually taking place, that He passes before him and then in chapter 34 of the same text, it goes on to say, "As the Lord passed before him," notice what is proclaimed. "The Lord," verse 6, "The Lord God, merciful, gracious, long-suffering, abounding in," what? "Goodness, truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third generation." You see here God. Who is God? Well, God is goodness. God as we find in these actions is kindness.

Therefore again, we begin I think to learn as to why we must be good. Good as God is good. The Psalmist, David, said in Psalm 31:19 that, "Our God is a good God." Isn't that what we just read a moment ago? A kind God. A loving God. A peaceful God. A merciful God. So many words that describe such a wondrous God. But ultimately, God is what? God says, "I am good. I am everything perfect. I am everything that I need to be for your sakes and the sake of all man unto salvation."

We might also notice there in Psalm 33, verse 5 specifically. It says, "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord." The earth. When we look around us, what do we see? God's wonder. His perfection. His completeness and His goodness. Goodness in all that He has made and all that He has provided for us that we might eat and live and breathe and have shelter and all that we have need of. Yes, our God is good. He's a good and mighty, loving, caring and wondrous God that we should turn to for we know that His goodness will endure forever. (Psalm 52, verse 1) You see, we don't have to worry about God being good today and not tomorrow or changing like we often do or the wind or maybe our friends or those we work with. God is continually good. He is goodness all the time, forever. He is the standard of goodness.

Now as we think about then goodness, how did God demonstrate that goodness? He demonstrated it to His people in all ages. What about Israel? We find time and time again such as in Isaiah 63 and verse 7, the Bible saying that, "God has extended His goodness to Israel. Even when they made mistake after mistake and they had fallen, God picked them up to extend His goodness that they might be saved.

What about David? In the Psalms, we read about how David would make mistakes and at times sin and do things such as even with Bathsheba that he should not, but yet he repented and he cried out to God and because of God's goodness, we see that he says, "I know I'll be washed. I know I'll be cleansed whiter than snow." So God cares about His people collectively and individually, and therefore He will show forth His goodness that they and that we all might be saved according to His precious Will.

We might further read the concepts of goodness throughout the New Testament. For instance, Paul said in Romans 15:14 that, "It is because of the fullness of God and His goodness that we again as the church have the right to know His kindness, to know His value, His worth again, and His promises." That's something we haven't talked much about this morning. But again, certainly the goodness of God demonstrates to us those promises and rewards.

2 Thessalonians chapter 1 and verse 11, "It is because of the goodness of God that we know His..." What? The text says there, "His good pleasures." He tells us what He wants. He instructs us with His perfect Word, and the goodness of it and the kindness. So therefore again, as we learn it, then we know what God is. Our God is good.

But what do we further learn? We further learn the same thing that we learned also about kindness. As God is good and we are imitators of God, what must we be? Well, we also must be good.

In Romans chapter 11 and verse 22, the Bible says, "Therefore, consider the goodness of God." But he also says, "Consider the severity of God." He's going to bless those who are good like Him, those who imitate and follow Him, those who strive to do the things found in His Word and He's going to bless those who are kind and who follow that example of kindness. But on the other hand, that same good, kind and loving God is a severe God to those who reject imitating His wondrous qualities, who do not find themselves faithful, but rather find themselves erring according to the things of this world and life and mankind rather than those things that are really again according to God.

So again, we find ourselves back where we began in Galatians 5. And we find ourselves back at "The Fruit of the Spirit," and the concepts that are there in given and those that are such like. "The fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law. So therefore, since we know the spirit and we live in the spirit (verse 25) let us also (he says) walk in the spirit." The title of our series, "Walking in the Spirit" means that we know how God walks and therefore we walk in kindness as He walks. We walk in goodness as He walks. Because of the walk and the demonstration of that walk in our lives as God walks, we will be blessed in this world beyond measure and God will bless us ultimately with the reward of Heaven in the best place, the place that is called good in and of itself where we will live with Him forever and have eternal life.

(SONG # 3 - "The Way Of The Cross!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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May we learn to practice more the spirit of Christ and thus show forth His kindness and goodness in our lives. What better way to show the world that we love Him than to act as He commands.

(Program closing)