Commited to Being Good

Openers

1.      What does it mean to be good?

2.      Can you think of someone that you would label “good” and describe them?

3.      “People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil. I don’t know why. No, I do indeed know why. Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”  Anne Rice

Do you think that it is easier to be evil than good?  Why?

 

Main Points (Choose ONE)

1.       Without goodness we are ineffective and spiritually dead.

2.      With goodness we are effective and memorable.

 

Foundations

1.       Without goodness we are ineffective, and spiritually dead.

Ask some of the following questions:

Is this statement true?

If you do not have goodness, are you ineffective?

If you do not have goodness, are you spiritually dead?

Do you think this is an extreme statement?

(Allow for open honest answers-meaning don’t necessarily give your opinion.)

a.      Without goodness we are ineffective:

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.  2 Peter 1:5

What are the results of the lack of goodness and the other things listed?

A.     Ineffectiveness

“Not producing an intended effect”

  • What is the intended effect of your faith?
  • Do you believe that these things can come about without goodness?

B.     Unproductiveness

“Not yielding results benefits or profits”

  • What are the benefits of your faith in Jesus?
  • Do you believe that these benefits can come about without goodness?

C.    Nearsightedness and Blindness

“Unable to see what is in front of you”

  • What things would you not see if you did not practice goodness?

D.    Forgetfulness (of the fact that you have been cleansed from your past sins)

“Characterized by negligent failure to remember”

  • Think of some of your past sins?

What do you think forgetting God’s forgiveness of them would result in?

b.      Without goodness we are spiritually dead.

A.    Without goodness our faith is dead.

“Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds.”  James 2:26

“Deprived of life, no longer alive”

  • Can you describe how you can have faith in Jesus without goodness?
  • Why would Paul describe faith without goodness as dead?

B.     Without goodness our faith is useless.

“Fool!  When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?”  James 2:20

  • Paul describes this lack of faith in a second way-useless.  Is uselessness the same as death?
  • How would you describe uselessness?

 

2.      With Goodness we are effective and memorable!

a.       With Goodness we are effective

“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:16

  • What is the result of people seeing our good deeds?
  • Would you call this being effective?

b.      With Goodness we are memorable!

“Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”  Psalm 112:3

  • Do you think that it is important to most people to leave a lasting legacy? Why?
  • If people do remember your goodness, how will it benefit them?

 

Human Struggles

1.       Sometimes we believe in Jesus as “insurance” against hell, how does committing to goodness change this?

2.      We often commit to being good and forget that we must have God’s help.  Does committing to being good require will-power or faith?

3.      Often we think the way to be remembered is to produce and acquire at whatever cost.  We are saying the opposite of this, that to be remembered you must be good.  Would this really work?

 

Application Helps

1.      Goodness should be a natural progression from faith in Jesus.  As you spend time with the Lord this week, ask God to help you to commit to goodness and to show you practical ways of being good.

2.      This week look at Christians around you – do you think their goodness flows out of a relationship with Jesus?  Do you think that you can truly be good without Jesus in your life?  Ponder these questions and bring back the answers next week.

 

 

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