“You who are Spiritual” (part seven)
John D. Telgren

The next fruit of the Spirit is goodness. This is an ambiguous word in English. What is good? What one person considers good, another person might consider not to be good.

In Greek, there are two words for good. One is “kalos.” It can be translated “good” or “beautiful.” The other word is “agathos.” It can be translated, “good” or “upright.” The word used in Galatians 5:22 is the later. So this is talking about an upright person who looks out for the good of others. Paul uses the same word in another verse.

“And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brothers, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another (Rom 15:14).”

In this case, goodness involves admonishing one another. That is the same subject which is being discussed here in Galatians 5. One who is to restore a fallen brother or sister (Gal 6:1) is to be “spiritual.” In this case, he is to be “good.” Filled with all knowledge so he can admonish one another. Not only does a person need to be filled with knowledge of the scriptures, but he should also be filled with knowledge of the human situation.

That is what Jesus did. The Bible tells us that Jesus “became flesh, and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth (John 1:14).”

It also tells us that Jesus became flesh so that he could be a “…merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of His people. For in that He Himself has suffered, having been tempted, He is able to rescue those who are being tempted (Heb 2:17-18).”

Jesus became intimately aquainted with suffering. He understood human struggle and human suffering. He became a merciful and faithful high priest to minister to us and on our behalf.

So Jesus was full of knowledge not only of God, but of humanity. Because of this, he is not merely a high priest, but a merciful and faithful high priest.

Adam Clarke says this of the goodness in Galatians 5:22, “Here the word seems to be used in the sense of beneficence, or a disposition to do good to others.”

If you do not have the disposition to do good, then it could be a dangerous thing to try and restore a fallen brother. One might damage rather than heal.

So our prayer should be that God would fill us with his goodness and that we could share that goodness with others.