Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 6 PART 1 – Goodness (Matthew 5:16)
LESSON: GOODNESS – Shining for Jesus
Memory Verse: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
“Scripture interprets scripture.” We believe that the BIBLE is the Word of God and that it is true. When we read a verse or story from the Bible, we seek to learn its “message” or “interpretation.” A correct interpretation of the Bible will always be consistent with the rest of the Scriptures; the Bible will not contradict itself. Let’s practice interpreting scripture by using other verses in the Bible to help us understand the meaning of this Matthew 5:16:
- “In the same way, let your light shine before others” – Where does this light come from?
In the book of John chapter 1, we find the following verses that tell us about the ‘’LIGHT:”
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
Who is the true light? (Jesus – He is the Word that became flesh and he is the true light that gives light to everyone else)
Light comes from Jesus, and so to “let our light shine” means we need to have the light of Jesus in us first. When we have this light, we can then also “shine for Jesus” by spreading this light to others
- “that they may see your good deeds” – What are good deeds?
Galatians 5: 19-23 shows us the difference between good and bad deeds:
Bad deeds – Galatians 5:19-21 (Easy-to-Read Version)
Good deeds – Galatians 5:22-23
|19 The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, 20 worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, 21 being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this.||22 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.|
- “and glorify your Father in heaven.” – How do we glorify our Father in heaven?
In John 15:8, Jesus tells us what brings glory to the Father:
8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
What brings glory to the Father is seeing his children bear the fruits of being followers of Jesus. We shine for Jesus when we reflect His character and do acts and deeds that show how the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are working in our lives – and these bring glory to our Father and heaven and lead others to praise God.
In the book “Mere Christianity,” author and theologian C.S. Lewis describes the idea of how we can shine for Jesus. He explained how we know that “the moon does not make its own light. It simply reflects the light of the sun. The moon appears to shine not because of what it is by itself, but only because it is able to reflect the rays of the sun.
In the same way, we who are Christians or followers of Jesus do not have our own light. There is only one true source of light – God. God has made His light available for us through His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive this light and our purpose is revealed to us; we are to reflect Christ in our lives.”
Sometimes, a person can appear to do good deeds such as acts of kindness and or generosity for another person but it is not out of a heart aligned to God. They may actually do such things because they want others to notice them and give them praise, or maybe they want something in return such as a reward or returned favor. Acts that are from a selfish heart rarely ever leads people to praise God. Instead of the glory being for God, the glory becomes for the person who did the kind gesture. This is not what Matthew 5:16 talks about.
Good deeds are deeds that flow out of a heart that is aligned to the heart of Jesus. Jesus demonstrated to us perfect love, perfect joy, perfect peace and all the other fruits of the spirit in their own perfection. As children of God, we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us and leads us to becoming more and more like Jesus. Therefore, as we pray and listen to God’s voice, read His Word and seek to obey His commands, we cannot help but also demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Slowly, but surely, as we learn to yield ourselves to God more and more each day, change is taking place in our lives and we become more and more like Jesus everyday.
Almighty Father, be glorified! All praise belongs to You our God! Truly Lord, you are the source of all that is good. Fill us with Your light through the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that we may always be able to shine for Jesus. May all that we say, think or do bring glory and praise to You our God! In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen!