OceanSide church of Christ

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The Fruit of the Spirit

Kindness and Goodness

Lesson #2

Victor M. Eskew




A.   Our author for this series of lessons does not take each fruit and deal with each one individually.  Instead, he groups two fruits together.


B.   In this lesson, we will study kindness and goodness.

1.     NOTE:  In the KJV, the word “kindness” is not in the list of the fruit of the Spirit.

2.    The NKJV translates Galatians 5:22-23 as follows:


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.  Against such there is no law.


a.    NOTE:  “Kindness” is put for “gentleness”; and “gentleness” is put for “meekness.”

b.    Definition of “gentleness”

1)     Strong (5544):  usefulness, that is, moral excellence (in character and demeanor)  :- gentleness, good (-ness), kindness

2)    Thayer:  moral goodness, integrity, benignity, kindness

3)     NOTE:  In other passages in the KJV, the word is translated “kindness” (II Cor. 6:6; Eph. 2:7; Col. 3:12; Tit. 3:4).

3.     Our author put these two fruits together because he believes that kindness proceeds forth from goodness.


I.            GOODNESS


A.   Definitions

1.     Strong (19):  goodness, that is, virtue or beneficence

2.    Thayer:  uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness


B.   The Scriptures teach that there is only one who is good.

1.     Mark 10:18


And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? 


a.    The man had approached Jesus with these words:  “Good Master…” (Mark 10:17).

b.    Jesus was not denying that He is good.

c.    Jesus wanted the man to know that by asserting that He was good, he was saying that Jesus was God.

2.    God is good.

a.    Meaning:  Every part of God is good, not just the things He does.  Good-ness is part of His very being.  Goodness flows from who He is.

b.    God is so good, His goodness has a physical presence.  When speaking to Moses in Exodus 33:19, He said:  I will make my goodness pass before thee.

c.    God is not just good because of what He does, God is good because that is his very nature.

1)     Psalm 25:8


Good and upright is the Lord…


2)    Psalm 86:5


For thou, Lord, art good…


3)     Psalm. 100:5


For the Lord is good…


d.    All the goodness God does springs from who God is.

e.    God is the only being who is all good.  Thus, He alone is the only standard of goodness.


C.   We have a high standard to meet.  We are to develop goodness in our lives.

1.     Goodness involves more than just doing good deeds.

a.    We do perform good deeds.

b.    These good deeds, however, come forth from who we are.

2.    How do we become good like God?

a.    We must be converted.

1)     In conversion, the old man of sin is crucified and buried (Rom. 6:6).


Know this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.


2)    In conversion, we arise a new creature in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).  In fact, it is Christ who is to live in us (Gal. 2:20).

b.    We must seek to constantly conform into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29).


For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.


c.    We must mortify our members upon the earth (Col. 3:5-14).


Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordi-nate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry:  for which things sake the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience:  in the which ye also walked in them some time, when ye lived in them.  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free:  but Christ is all, and in all.  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.


d.    We must think on good things (Phil. 4:8).


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


e.    We must keep our motives pure when we do good.

1)     We do good because we are good.

2)    We do good because we love others (I Cor. 13:3).




A.   Kindness and kind deeds stem from those who are good.

1.     God again is our example.

a.    James 1:17


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


b.    Ephesians 2:7


That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward usward, through Christ Jesus.


c.    Titus 3:4


But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared.


2.    Jesus also went about doing good (Acts 10:38).


How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:  who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.


a.    The gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ good deeds.

1)     Jesus’ kindness led him to take care of physical needs (Matt. 14:16-20).


But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat…


2)    Jesus’ kindness dealt with man’s spiritual needs.

a)    John 2:15


And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables.


b)    Some might see this as too stern and too physical.  Kindness, however, let Jesus to correct sinful behavior and point man to salvation. 

c)    “However, we shouldn’t mistake the source and therefore the goal of Jesus’ kindness.  He wasn’t kind just to make people feel happy or to give them what they wanted.  His kindness flowed from His inner goodness, and it carried with it a goal of making people better, making them holy, making them truly good on the inside.  Sometimes this meant meeting their physical needs, which coin-cided with their wants.  Sometimes it meant meeting their spiritual needs, which often was in opposition to their physical wants.  In these cases, many people might say that Jesus was harsh and unkind”(It’s A Blue Ribbon Life, Adult Manual, Josh Hardin, p. 16).


B.   We must practice the fruit of the Spirit called kindness.

1.     Two verses;

a.    I Corinthians 13:4


Charity suffereth long, and is kind…


b.    Ephesians 4:32


And be ye kind one to another…


2.    We must be careful as we practice kindness.

a.    We should not be kind for the wrong reasons.

1)     When it is convenient.

2)    When someone has been kind to us.

3)     When we want something from another person.

b.    We must be willing to be kind as we look out for a person’s spiritual well-being.

1)     Rebuke

a)    I Timothy 5:20


Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


b)    Galatians 2:11


But when Peter was come from Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.


2)    Discipline

a)    II Thessalonians 3:6

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.


b)    Revelation 3:19


As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…




A.   If all the world had hearts filled with goodness that manifested that goodness in acts of kindness, the world would be a different place.


B.   The church should be that haven wherein goodness and kindness are manifested.

1.     Be good.

2.    Be nice.