How can we, in whose flesh dwells no good thing, partake of God’s goodness?

3 min ·

God’s goodness

By this the Father is glorified, that Jesus’ disciples bear much fruit. (John 15:8.) “[…] for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth […]” Ephesians 5:9. When Moses asked to see God’s glory, God told him: “I will make all My goodness pass before you […]” Exodus 33:19. The bride of Christ adorns herself with this glory. “[…] having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:11. Jesus will fetch those who have become truly, tangibly good, who have received a fullness of God’s goodness in their lives. He will not be fetching those who have ulterior motives or thoughts of grandeur, who gloat, who are ambitious, or who discriminate against people.

The goodness that is in God has no limits. And the fall of man is so great that in us, that is, in our flesh, there dwells no good thing; that is, there dwells only that which is evil. (Romans 7:18.) Only those who see sin in themselves as exceedingly sinful can become truly good. In the day of trouble, God comes to the rescue. When there is always a crying need in our hearts to be good, good through and through, infinitely good, God can work in our hearts what He desires so much. If it is only a matter of pious wishes and figures of speech, help, and thus the real, tangible goodness that is sufficient in all of life’s situations, is lacking.

Goodness in our hearts: our need

To be a true coworker of Christ, you must have goodness in your heart. Goodness that excludes all suspicion, dissatisfaction, ulterior motives, honor-seeking, partiality, etc. You must be good to be able to exhort rightly. You must be good to be able to speak rightly to people. And without goodness you cannot speak rightly about people. You must have goodness to be able to be strict. You must have goodness in your heart to be able to assess people and circumstances correctly.

Carnal people are faithful defenders of themselves and diligent accusers of others. Spiritual people are faithful defenders of others and diligent and faithful judges of themselves.

Carnal people find good reason to be glad that no one can look into their hearts, see what is hidden behind their smiles, behind their jokes, behind their politeness, behind their comments about others, behind their bold statements, behind all their appearance and behavior. Spiritual people want to be transparent to all, because there is goodness behind their smile, behind their jokes, behind their politeness, behind their talk of others, etc.

The consciousness that God dwells in an unapproachable light, and that the fall is so great that only evil dwells in our flesh, must drive us into a serious and deep and abiding realization of our own need. (1 Timothy 6:16; Romans 7:18.) We have a boundless need to be filled with goodness, and all our fellow men have a boundless need to be shown goodness. May God give us all the fullness of His goodness!

Like what you’re reading?

Learn more about ActiveChristianity, or explore our theme pages for more

This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in August 1957.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag | ActiveChristianity

This post is also available in

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.