GOD IS GOOD
Goodness is often equated with the benevolence of God. Goodness is ".....the
quality or state of being good....." (By permission. From Webster's Ninth
New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher
of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.) Benevolence is the ".....disposition
to do good.....an act of kindness....." (By permission. From Webster's
Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc.,
publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)
Again the definition is limited, because in God there is not a state
of being good (which holds forth the possibility of not being good), He
is good by nature and is never anything else. He is incapable of anything
else. Within the definition of Benevolence there is also a problem if applied
to God. Disposition gives the idea of maybe good, maybe not good. He is
The use of benevolence, if it is to be understood in light of the Dictionary
definition, is not appropriate for God. God is "GOOD," and there is no
possibility of disposition, because with Him there is no maybe. Ps. 25:8,
"Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way."
(Read also the following texts: Ps. 33:5, Ps. 52:1, Ps. 103, Mk. 10:18,
Rom. 2:4, Rom. 11:22.)
Goodness covers two areas, what God is in and of Himself, and what God
is to His creatures. In other words goodness covers His character and the
expression of His character.
HIS CHARACTER: Holy, True, Love
HIS RELATION TO OTHERS: Righteous, Faithful, Merciful, mercy, tender
mercy, kind, kindness, loving kindness, pity, pitiful, good, goodness,
compassion, grace, gracious, and longsuffering.
There is no opposite for this side of God. He is Good, and He cannot
Some might question this concept in relation to the fact that
He will judge and condemn the lost to hell. There is no divine attribute
of wrath. Wrath is the logical and needed result of the attributes of holiness,
truth, love and justice. The violators of His ways will feel this wrath.
Within all of this is the fact that He is doing good. He is preparing the
creation for eternity. This includes the removal of all evil.
Does this study bring new meaning to the idea that all things work together
for good? He is in the process of doing good in your life, no matter how
bad things seem to get. His work in you can only result in good.
GOD IS HOLY
Before moving on, please read Lev. 10:1-7 and Acts 5:1-11.
He IS to be reverenced. Sin is not allowable.
Oehler observed of God, "Holiness is glory concealed; glory is holiness
revealed." (Quoted in Pardington. Pardington, Rev. George P. Ph.D.; "OUTLINE
STUDIES IN CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE"; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications,
1926, p 79)
The term holy originally comes from the idea of "whole" or complete.
Thus holy is, wholly given to a purpose.
The Hebrew term is "kadesh" which means separateness. The term really
had nothing to do with holiness at first. The term harlot in Gen. 38:21
is "kadesh" - set apart for a purpose.
The Greek term is "hagios" which means set apart. Strong mentions, "Holiness
is self-affirming purity. In virtue of this attribute of His nature, God
eternally wills and maintains His own moral excellence. This definition
contains three elements: first, purity: secondly, purity willing: thirdly,
purity willing itself." (Strong, Augustus H.. "SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY"; Valley
Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907. This same quote is found on p 77 of
Bancroft's CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY.)
There are several areas which relate to God and holy:
God's people are to be holy. Lev. 11:41-45; I Thes. 4:7; I Pet. 1:15,16.
Not sometimes holy, as many believers live today, but all the time holy.
Unholiness is unacceptable. It is easy to talk about the little sins we
allow, but term it as it is, UNHOLY, and it sounds a bit worse.
Things dedicated to Him are holy. Lev. 27:28 If we have given ourselves
to Him, then we should also be holy. That is the standard, whether or not
we like it, accept it, or live by it.
His habitation is holy. Deut. 26:15; Ps. 99:9; Is. 57:15. Think of it,
we will one day share that habitation with Him. A holy habitation with
His throne is holy. Ps. 47:8 Is it any wonder Isaiah said when viewing
the throne that he was undone and of unclean lips?
The Spirit of God is holy. Ps. 51:11 He is resident in you. He is another
reason for us to remain sinless. Our "little sins" offend Him greatly.
Let me just list some other areas of His holiness: God swears by His
holiness Ps. 89: 34-36; His arm is holy Ps. 98:1; God is holy and His name
is holy Ps. 99:1-9; His promise to Abraham was holy Ps. 105:42; His name
is holy Is. 57:15.
In what way is God set apart?
God is absolutely separate from all that is earthly or human. (Ps. 99:1-3,
Is. 57:15) This is seen often in the Old Testament.
God is absolutely separate from all that is unclean. This would be deemed
His moral holiness. (Psa. 99:4-9, Ps. 24:3,4) This thought seems to be
the prevalent thought of the New Testament. Both ideas are found in Is.
6:1-5. He is lifted up and pure.
Is Love, or Holiness more prominent in His listing of attributes? The
social gospel people seem to hold love as the prime attribute. Fundamentalists
tend to hold holiness as the prime attribute. It has been said that Scripture
states "Holy, holy, holy" not "Love, love, love." Dwell on that thought
for a time.
One final point. The thought of God being holy and objects being holy
may be difficult for some to understand. Holy has the idea of set apart,
and in this sense anything can be holy.
1. We will naturally see our own unholiness as we view His holiness.
Is. 6:1ff is a prime example of this concept. Isaiah realized his uncleanness.
Cambron states, "When we think not of god's holiness, we think light of
sin." (Cambron, Mark G. D.D.; "BIBLE DOCTRINES"; Grand Rapids: Zondervan,
1954, pp 48-49)
2. The basis of his covenants is His holiness; they WILL come to pass.
Ps. 89:34-36 (David); Ps. 105:42 (Abraham); Jo. 17:11.
3. The holiness of God demands a similar holiness in the lives of His
people. I Pet. 1:15-16, "But, as he who hath called you is holy, so be
ye holy in all manner of life, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I
am Holy." (see Ps. 99; Heb. 12:10 which tells us that we can partake in
HIS holiness - contemplate that for awhile.)
4. His holiness is always in the background of all of His judgments.
The following texts picture the scene of God's throne that Isaiah beheld.
(Rev. 4, Rev. 20)
5. Our works, or life style can profane God's holy name. Amos 2:6,7
6. Our salvation is provided by a Holy God. If we remember our previous
destination we will think more highly of His holiness and from what He
has saved us. His holiness demanded that we be separated from Him thus
Christ's righteousness allows us to approach Him.
7. His holiness is the only standard for our life and lifestyle. If
we wonder if something is right, all we need to do is ask if it is holy.
GOD IS TRUE
Another term you may run into in this study is veracity. Veracity is
".....devotion to the truth: TRUTHFULNESS....." (By permission. From Webster's
Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc.,
publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)
God is called the true God. Jo. 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that
they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
God is called the God of truth. Ps. 31:5, "Into thine hand I commit
my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth." Isa. 65:16, "That
he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of
truth, and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth,
because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden
from mine eyes."
Strong tells us, "In virture of His veracity, all His revelations to
creatures consist with His essential being and with each other. In virtue
of His faithfulness, He fulfills all His promises to His people, whether
expressed in words or implied in the constitution He has given them. (Strong's
Ryrie mentions that God is consistent with Himself. This illustrates
truth. We are true to ourselves when we are ourselves.
"True" can be used of the character of an object as well as the
knowledge about the object. A gun barrel can be true or straight. We
can also know about a gun barrel and know of it's true, or straight nature.
A man can be a true scientist by nature, but we may know nothing about
the man except lies that someone has spread about him. We can know him
to be true in nature because of his credentials but not know him truthfully
because we know only of the gossip.
God is the true God for He matches the true God that is revealed in
the Word. We can know there is a true - real - God, yet not know Him, or
know much about Him. We need to understand BOTH!
God is the truthful God, for His knowledge conforms to His nature, or
more exactly IS true knowledge. He is completely accurate, and there can
be no inaccuracy.
All truth extends from Him and all truth conforms to Him. He is the
ultimate standard of truth for He is truth. (Ps. 31:5, Ps. 119:126-128,
God's truth is related to many of His other attributes and characteristics.
I will just list these for your further study.
Truth and light. Ps. 43:3
Truth and kindness. II Sam. 2:6
Truth and goodness. Ex. 34:6
Truth and uprightness. Ps. 111:8
Truth and righteousness. Jer. 4:2
Truth and peace. Jer. 33:6
Truth and grace. Jo. 1:17
Truth and life. Jo. 14:6
You will see that truth is defined in many ways as you live and
learn. For example, Mary Baker Eddy stated that if something was real,
then it was truth. The fallacy of this can be illustrated in the fact that
Hitler was real but he wasn't truth.
1. God is total truth so there is no lie within Him. Every promise and
every Word are truth and to be trusted implicitly.
2. By a bit far off application, we might run along the following lines
for a moment. When we ask the Lord what He wants us to do in a certain
instance and He tells us, there is never any need for us to question His
answer for one split second. We know He wouldn't josh us! He is totally
and completely HONEST, AND HE WILL NEVER LIE OR MISLEAD US!
3. He will respond to us in all that is truth in the manner of our worship
and prayers. Jo. 4:24, Ps. 145:18.
4. His judgments will be entirely based upon truth. No one can trick
Him into letting them into heaven or out of hell. Ps. 54:5, Rom. 2:2.
5. The holiness and truth of God should dictate our ethics as men and
women of God! I fear ethics are out the window in the ministry today. I
would like to illustrate this in a number of ways so you will know what
some good ethics are.
a. I was waiting in the office of a large evangelical church in Oregon.
I could hear the business manager and the church secretary arguing. They
were not heated, though voices were being raised. The high level of volume
forced me to hear that the secretary thought that the church board should
operate with business men of the community, in a manner consistent with
Christian ethics. The business manager stated flatly that they should not
operate with Christian ethics. That business manager knew little of proper
b. I have observed and heard of many pastors that leave a church in
a small town and start another church in the same town. When on deputation,
I had a meeting in a town of four hundred people with two fundamental Baptist
churches. There is no need for two churches, two buildings, two budgets,
two pastors. What a waste of God's money.
c. Most churches have a clause in their doctrinal statements and bylaws
requesting that the pastor leave if he finds himself in a doctrinal difference
with the congregation. There are men who remain, and continue to teach
wrong doctrine. Some actually lead the congregation off into their false
d. I have observed a pastor moving into an area and encouraging disgruntled
people in a church to split, and then assuming the pastorate over their
new church. (There were no doctrinal differences involved.)
e. Accepting a church they know they have differences with in doctrine
and practice without telling them.
f. Candidating in three churches at one time and then choosing the best
one that call's you. I have seen this more and more in the late 80's and
g. Flying to one church to candidate and candidating at another while
you are there on the other people's money.
h. Accepting a church in one fellowship of churches while planning to
take it into another fellowship.
i. Counting churches in your fellowship when the church hasn't had any
association in years. When on deputation I found an address for a church
in a fellowship directory. I was able to set up a meeting with the pastor.
Upon arrival at the church the pastor asked me where I had heard about
his church. I told him of the directory. He stated that the church hadn't
been with that group in more than ten years.
j. Setting up a candidate appointment and calling two days before your
date to speak and telling them you have accepted another church.
I trust that pastors, missionaries, and Christians in general will consider
how they live their lives. I feel confident in saying that I believe God
is embarrassed with His people, in this generation. Many Christians are
less than truthful in their personal lives.
May we strive for the holiness and the truth of God in our personal
and church lives.