The Organic Church

Back in November of last year I published an article with the title, ‘Who are the Church?’* My purpose was to emphasise that the church is not a ‘physical’ building of bricks or stones, but a ‘spiritual’ building of God’s people, enlivened by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8; 6:63; Romans 8:11); it is a ‘holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21)’.

The true church of Jesus, the Spirit-powered (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5; Acts 1:8), Christ-centred church, is unlike many churches we find today. Numerous denominations claim they are the true church of Jesus, but they do not follow the pattern set by the early church fathers (2 Thessalonians 3:6-9). The New Testament churches were on the whole, small groups of believers who met together in their homes (Acts 16:40; Philemon 1:2) to break bread, worship and to praise the Lord. They shared things in common (Hebrews 13:16; 1 Timothy 6:18, 19).

They lived distinctively differently to their neighbours by being obedient to Jesus (John 15:14; Galatians 6:2), with the priority of making disciples as He commanded them (Matthew 28:18-20). They did so by taking opportunities of presenting the gospel to friends, family and neighbours, and by living Godly lives (Romans 12:1). I would call them ‘organic’ churches. They were similar, and yet they were composed of different people, and they would take opportunities for starting other similar churches; a bit like daffodil bulbs producing more bulbs every season. As season follows season, more and more daffodils fill the waysides, and the light (Matthew 5:14-16 ) of their loveliness is seen.

By contrast today in the UK, many churches are building-based. Their members meet regularly on Sundays, and for prayer and bible study on set days during the week. Usually there is a single pastor/minister who is assisted by deacons, and between them they lead the church and conduct meetings. These churches are affiliated to, or are members of an association of churches that subscribes to particular statements of faiths, creeds and confessions. Separate to these there are free churches which are usually self-governing, independent bible-based assemblies, but they too, are building-based.

These static, almost entrenched churches in their dogmas, primarily focus on serving one another, but of late an increasing number have become involved in social outreach by setting up food banks and helping those in need, such as the homeless in local communities. They have been opening up their buildings for community functions, things like playgroups, keep fit sessions, art and floral exhibitions etc.. This more outward, less self-centred movement could have a positive outcome, because the churches may re-examine their role to discover they are falling short of what Jesus commanded, i.e., to make disciples who will ‘make disciples of all the nations’.

‘And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).”’

Smaller, less formal, house churches have the advantage of not having to maintain buildings, and between them they can share the duties of instruction in the Word, the breaking of bread, caring for one another and outreach on the streets. They all get to know each other intimately, so as to appreciate individual needs and for the giving of their loving support (John 13:34).

The disadvantages of small churches include not having a full range of skills and gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) that are normally available in larger churches. They may not have knowledgable and able teachers (1 Timothy 3:2) of the Word, and they may depend more heavily on one, or perhaps two of their members for leading and shepherding them (1 Timothy 3:1-14).

If they are to multiply they must have the desire (Romans 10:1; 1 Timothy 2:8) to reach out to the community, perhaps by leaflet distribution, advertising in public places and via the World Wide Web. They must encourage people to sample what is on offer by inviting them to Bible study sessions and their worship meetings. When they grow too large to meet in a house they must split to form new churches.

We then come to a point where some will say they need an umbrella organisation, giving them a hub for linking them together and a structure with terms of reference and guidance. What must be avoided is an authoritative body that approves and sanctions the membership of participating churches. Each church must maintain its independence and operate within the authority of the Bible and be guided by it alone – yes, and with the help of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14, 15). Each church must be independent and accountable to Christ alone, who is its Head.

Could these small ‘organic’ churches be the way forward? Could this be what God has planned for our times? In China, such churches are growing exponentially, and disciples are making disciples as Jesus has commanded. Even in the USA, the Simple Church Movement *** is growing in numbers.

And now in the UK there is a commendable website that tells of the Simple Church ** movement and the making of disciples.****


* Who are the Church?

** Simple Church

*** Simple Church Movement in the USA

**** Making Disciples! by Frederick Serjeant

China’s underground churches head for cover as crackdown closes in

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Email to a Christian Friend

Theologies separate, denominations separate, but the Bible through the Spirit unites Christians in Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6; Colossians 3:11).

I have Christian brothers and sisters who are disposed to different theologies, but we worship together in harmony. We worship together in Christ in whom we are united. He is our Lord, and we love Him, along with His Father and the Spirit.

Our Guide and Companion is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) who opens up the Word. We read it; we meditate; we pray. We seek knowledge and wisdom for applying them to our lives of service. God gives us joy and grace to continue, no matter what setbacks and obstacles may seek to hinder us.

Now and again, in our friendships and fellowshipping, we may find those who feel rather strongly about their theologies. They would rather worship with those who share the same theology; hence, there is division. They feel strongly that God is calling them to come out from a particular church and to worship elsewhere.

When every effort has been made to discourage their departure, but to no avail, the church has to leave the matter with God. He is Sovereign and He places people where He would have them. Nevertheless, it is always a sadness to those left behind. A member is missing – their talents, their gifts, their service and their love are gone.

I have experienced this loss and I have found myself grieving.

Not so long ago a person who regularly worshipped at the church of which I am a member stopped coming to services. I gather that the Lord was calling him to worship elsewhere. I know he was a staunch subscriber to Dispensational Theology.

Before his departure we had corresponded via email and he explained why he saw the Scriptures as he did. In response to his explanatory email I replied to let him know I used to be a Dispensationalist, but now see the Scriptures from the viewpoint of New Covenant Theology –

( )

Here is a copy of that email, minus personal details which have been redacted and replaced with blanks like this ____ ________ .

Dear ____,

You have a big responsibility and load to carry with your ___ ministry. I pray that many _______ will turn to the Lord, be given life in Him and receive the blessings of His promise. That is my prayer too for friends and family who do not know Him. May the Lord bless you and uphold you in your work.

I really appreciate your views on items posted at my blog. Theological viewpoints are always open to debate.

I used to be a dispensationalist, having been brought up, as it were, under the teaching of John MacArthur. I used his study bible for many years; jolly good it is too, but heavily biased in the way he interprets God’s word……. Having a literal, historical, grammatical approach virtually to all books of the Bible. Hermeneutically, to me that does not hold water. The bible contains many genres, and it seems sensible to examine and interpret them within their modes of presentation, i.e., history, prophesy, symbolism, poetry, narrative, etc..

So much depends on who has been our tutor, and furthermore, has he been constrained by his own upbringing in a particular church, or has he been influenced by a certain seminary, maybe one that holds to the Westminster Confession of Fatih or the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith? Was he brought up to revere doctrines, creeds and confessions of faith?

As far as I’m concerned, sola scriptura, scripture only is the way to go.

We have to trust the Bible and be guided by the Holy Spirit. Today, we are blessed with many translations, all of which can be tested by reference to the original scripts freely available online. If we have the zeal of the Bereans we may come near to finding the truth.

The singular thing of great importance is that whatever our preferred systematic theologies we all love and obey Christ in faith. If we do, we have that bond of unity as brothers and sisters in HIm.

As I write this email ____ ________ is preaching on the subject of ‘unity’. He is using Ephesians 4:1-16 as his text. The passage states ‘There is one body and one Spirit ……. one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ (verses 4, 6)

That just about sums it up.


Why have I published this article? To express the view that unity in Christ is what binds Christians together; not theologies and denominations which tend to separate through highlighting differences of biblical interpretation and practice.

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The Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966

If you are a regular follower of this blog you will know of my conviction that concerning the Christian faith there is only one authority, namely the Bible. It is the infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). What men say about it, including me, needs to be examined by reference to the Bible itself to ensure that what is said conforms to it (Acts 17:10, 11).

Sadly, men in their desire to clarify their beliefs, and for the conduct of Christians and for the running of churches, have written creeds and confessions of faith which do not hold water.

Prior to this I have written about two confessions of faith that do not, in part conform to the Bible. They are:

The Fallibility of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith?  and

The Westminster Confession of Faith .

I wish to draw your attention to another confession of faith which does not entirely conform to the Bible, i.e., The Baptist Affirmation of Faith 1966. A PDF copy of it can be found here:

As with the aforementioned confessions of faith, I’ll select a few instances where the supporting texts do not substantiate what is claimed.

The first discrepancy is found under the heading ‘The doctrine of God’, Section 3, ‘Creation’.

The doctrine of God

Creation (3)

God also created the first human pair, male and female. with intelligent and immortal souls, and made after the image of God, being perfectly righteous and holy, and completely able to fulfil the law of God implanted in their nature.

Gen. 1:1­2; John 1:3; Heb. 11:3; Psa. 19:1; Rom. 1:20; Gen. 1:27; Mat. 19:4; Gen. 9:6; James 3:9; Ecc. 7:29; Job 38 and 39; Psa. 104:24; 33:5, 6; Col. 1 :16; Rom. 11:36; Isa. 43:7; Rev. 4:11

Which of the supporting texts proves that God ‘implanted in their nature’ the law of God? How was that law defined? It certainly couldn’t have be the Torah, otherwise known as the Pentateuch, consisting of the first five books of the Bible. Neither could it have been the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), which some call the Moral Law.

Now, let’s look at:

The doctrine of the grace of God

The Covenant of Grace (2)

Having regard to man’s helplessness as a sinner, God, being both righteous and gracious, has taken the initiative to save his people by his own act of mercy. He has done this by means of a covenant, known as the Covenant of Grace.

Isa. 42:6; 49:7-­8; Jer. 31 :31-­34; Rom. 4; Titus 1 :2; Rom. 1: 1­2; Heb. 8:6­10; John 17:2, 9, 10, 24; Heb. 7:22.

With whom did God make a ‘Covenant of Grace’, and where is it recorded in the Scriptures?

Let’s examine the texts:

Isaiah 42:6 states that ‘You’ (Jesus) would be given as ‘a light to the Gentiles’. This giving would be ‘as’ a covenant. The eyes of the people would be opened. You might say that God was gracious in doing this, but He did not make a ‘covenant of grace’ with the Israelites or with the Gentiles.

Isaiah 49:7, 8 refers to the Redeemer of Israel, and to the fact He would be ‘a light to the Gentiles’ (v 6), and He would be given ‘as’ a ‘covenant’ to the people (v 8).

God is indeed gracious, but He did not make a Covenant of Grace with Israel or with Jesus. If you can describe the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 19:5,6), it would most certainly not be described as a covenant of grace. It undoubtedly was a ‘covenant of works’. There was only One who could fulfil it, i.e., Jesus, because the keeping of it required a perfect person who was without sin (Hebrews 4:14, 15).

Jeremiah 31:31-34 refers to the New Covenant in the blood of Christ (Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:6). The New Covenant made the Old Covenant [Mosaic Covenant] obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). Both covenants are ‘biblical’ covenants, unlike ‘theological’ covenants which are not God-made, but are constructs of men. The New Covenant is indeed gracious; however, it is not described as such in the Bible.

Romans 4 speaks of salvation and righteousness through faith according to grace (v 16), but within it there is no mention of a Covenant of Grace.

Hebrews 8:6-10 explains how Jesus’ ministry was superior to that of Moses. He was the promised Priest who would be the Mediator of the New Covenant in His blood.

The other texts (Tit 1:2; Rom 1:12; John 17:2, 9, 10, 24; Heb 7:22) provide no substance to God making a Covenant of Grace with anyone.

Moving on to:

The doctrine of the Christian life

The Lord’s Day (2)

We believe that God has set apart one day in seven and its observance is binding upon all men. It is to be kept holy and is designed also for man’s benefit. The Church has a warrant to observe the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day, because it is the day of our Lord’s resurrection. No detailed instructions are given in Scripture as to the way in which this day is to be kept, but ample allowance is made for works of mercy and necessity. The day is to be used for rest from secular labour and worldly recreation, and for the occupation of the whole person in the worship and service of the Lord.

Ex. 20:8­-11; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1­2; Rev 1:10.

Exodus 20:8-11 was a legal requirement for the Israelites. They were to keep the last day of the week holy and do no work on it. This is not so for believers who are in Christ (Romans 6:11), since He instituted the New Covenant in His blood which made the Mosaic Covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).

Luke 4:16 – Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law (Matthew 5:17) on behalf of those who would believe in Him; therefore observing the Sabbath was right and proper for Him until the time of His crucifixion. In fact He was Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8), and He explained how it should be kept, i.e., with ‘mercy and not sacrifice (v 7)’.

The disciples met on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), but no scripture confirms they did it because Jesus rose to life on a Sunday. Even if there was confirmation, other scriptures point out that no day has to be observed or made special. Paul said, “You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have laboured for you in vain (Galatians 4:10).” He also said, “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16, 17).”

1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 has nothing to do with a directive for observance of the Lord’s Day. Paul ordered individual members of the Corinthian church to put aside money on the first day of the week for supporting the saints in Jerusalem (v 3).

Revelation 1:10 tells of John’s account of what happened when he was in the Spirit, which happened to be a Sunday.

Nowhere in the New Testament is there a directive for Christians to observe Sunday as the Israelites were obliged to keep their Sabbath (Exodus 31:16). Neither is there a directive as to how it should be observed by Christians.

Let us skip to the:


Statement of Faith

The doctrinal standards of the Assembly are the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 and We Believe’, the Strict Baptist Affirmation of Faith (second edition 1973).

As mentioned at the beginning, I have previously identified shortcomings of the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. Here’s a link to that article:


Be like the Bereans who diligently searched the Scriptures for the truth (Acts 17:10, 11).

Test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

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When we were children we questioned our parents asking them why we couldn’t do this or that. They had experience of life and wished to prepare us for it. They knew what we didn’t know or appreciate; therefore they disciplined us for our good.

It isn’t until we are older and gain experience of life that we realise the value of what our parents taught us. Without being disciplined to accept and comply with rules and regulations we would be hopelessly lost. We would not be able to cope from day to day.

As we mature we understand the value of being self-disciplined; for without self-discipline we collapse into a state of dissolution. We fall apart, not knowing which course to take, or what to do, or where to go.

We fail to look after ourselves – our bodies and our minds. Then we are no good for anything, and we become liabilities to others.

Now, Paul the Apostle, in his biblical writings, often referred to ‘self-control’, which is practically the same as ‘self-discipline’. He spoke of it in 1 Corinthians 9:26, 27: ‘Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.’

Paul recognised the need for controlling his body and his mind, and he wanted others to be like him (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1). He wrote, ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).’

His reason was clear. His desire was for the Roman Christians to be a ‘living’ sacrifice. Their bodies were temples of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) set apart to God, unlike those of the unconverted. Christians were distinctly different.

Paul’s mind was renewed to ‘prove’ God’s will (Romans 12:2). His course of action was clear.

To be an example to others and to please God, Paul exercised self-control. Thus, when advising Titus about the appointment of bishops he told him a bishop must be ‘self-controlled (Titus 1:7, 8)’.

All around us on a daily basis there are many who lack self-control. We only need watch the news on TV to see and hear of men and women  who fall into disgrace because of their lack of self-control. They are the sort of people Paul wrote about in his second letter to Timothy, Chapter 3, verses 2 and 3: ‘For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without self-control, ……’

Their distorted morality reveals their lack of self-control. By contrast, believers through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13) display the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ as presented in Galatians 5:22, of which the ultimate fruit is ‘self-control’.

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We know when someone is being gentle with us, and we can see gentleness where a person cares for another. This could well be a nurse who has empathy and tenderness for the sick under her care. A mother is instinctively gentle with her baby, and I’ve often thought about Mary, the mother of Jesus, how she may have cared for her special and unique Son (Luke 1:46-55; 2:19). I’m convinced she would have adored Him and been very gentle with Him. Placing Him in an animal’s feeding trough was a tender and caring act. There He would have been secure in His swaddling cloths (Luke 2:7), warm and protected from the elements, and perhaps from animals that may have been present.

What is gentleness? My dictionary offers: ‘genteel behaviour; softness of manners; mildness of temper; sweetness of disposition; meekness; kindness, tenderness and mild treatment.’

As the eighth fruit of the Spirit set out in Galatians 5:22 ‘gentleness’ fits very nicely with the other fruit; particularly ‘love’, ‘patience’, ‘goodness’ and ‘kindness’, because a gentle person would most likely have those characteristics. A person who is heavy-handed, unthoughtful, and uncaring is unlikely to be gentle.

When we observe Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament, we find Him being compassionate (Matthew 14:14; 15:32; Mark 1:41) and gentle (Matthew 11:29; 2 Corinthians 10:1), and yet He is not gentle when He admonishes the Scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 23:23, 31, 32). He uses a whip to cleanse the temple of vendors of animals and money changers (John 2:14, 15), and He tells lawyers they load others with rules and regulations, and at the same time they do not lift a finger to help them (Luke 11:46).

Following Jesus’ example, we should be gentle (2 Timothy 2:24; Titus 3:2; Galatians 6:1; Philippians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:7) when comforting, supporting and encouraging people, but we should be forthright when it comes to admonishing people for their sake and for the sake others who suffer at their hands. Paul said to the Galatians, “What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and in a spirit of gentleness (1 Corinthians 4:21)

Gentleness, then, is a quality to be pursued (1 Timothy 6:11), along with other attributes of the Spirit. It is pursued while walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) on our journey of sanctification, i.e., that is to ‘press on’ for the things ahead, ‘the prize of the upward call of God, in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14)’.

Jesus says of Himself, He is gentle and lowly in heart and He implores us to take upon ourselves His yoke of gentleness for finding rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). He wants us to be gentle like Him, and He gives us these words of comfort: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

Right in the centre of His being, i.e., His heart, is the wonderful quality of gentleness. Ought not we to desire Him to dwell in our hearts (Romans 8:9, 10)?


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Faithfulness (Truth and Sin)

Faithfulness, loyalty and allegiance – Today these are almost obsolete, antiquated words that the younger generation would not include in their vocabulary. They certainly would not entertain them as having the possibility of being the basis for principles of living to be put into practice. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule.

In our fast-moving times we are intimately affected by advances in technology and the Internet which facilitate global communications and connectivity at the push of a button, and the publishing of many books (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Because of this there have been rapid changes within societies, noticeably destabilising them. With the ease of travel between continents and countries, we have become exposed to cultures and religions of which we previously had little knowledge.

With these unparalleled rapid changes and consequential challenges there is a need for constant reassessment (1 Thessalonians 5:17) of what we believe and value to ensure they are not eroded or destroyed. Satan must be rubbing his hands as he relishes the destruction and devastation apparent in many parts of the world – the Arab spring, for example. Demonic principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12) are at work intent upon changing our values. A prevailing world view is that truth is no longer truth and the new morality trumpets loudly things of which God abhors (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1: 26, 27) declaring them to be good and worthy of being practised.

For the Christian there is only one Truth (John 18:37, 38) and that is God. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). His Word is the truth (John 17:17), and He is the Word (John 1:1). His disciples adhere and cling to Him because they love the Truth. The only true morality is found in Him. The only valid way of life is living in Him by His Spirit, which is impossible unless one has been born of the Spirit (John 3:5, 6). Only then can a person know the Truth (John 7:28, 29).

Christ was faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9; Revelation 1:5). He was faithful to His Father and perfectly did all His Father sent Him to earth to do (John 5:49, 50; 14:31). He came to sacrifice Himself for His people and to be raised to life for them, so that they too would be raised from the dead in His likeness.

The original man Adam was formed in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26), but He was unfaithful. He did not honour the command of God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16; 3:6, 7). Consequentially he had to die spiritually and physically. His fallen nature was, and is inherited by all of his offspring; therefore they are incapable of being faithful to God. Only when man’s spirit is enlivened by the Holy Spirit can he have the propensity for being faithful to God. Hence we find many instances in the Scriptures where the Prophets of both the Old and New Testaments exhort those they address to be faithful to God (Colossians 1:7) and to one another.

All sin is punishable by death, but there are degrees of sin (Luke 12:47-48; John 19:11; James 2:10) and degrees of punishment (Mark 3:29; 12:38-40; Matthew 11:23, 24). Unfaithfulness is a treacherous offence of which Judas Iscariot was guilty. The severity of the offence and the punishment for it must be horrendous (Hebrews 10:26, 27). Iscariot himself was remorseful (Matthew 27:3), but with no real repentance. He felt guilty and sorry for himself and took his own life (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18).

His treacherous act (John 18:2, 5; 19:11) was the epitome of unfaithfulness; whereas the obedience of Christ was the pinnacle of faithfulness (Revelation 1:5; 3:14; 19:11).

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Exodus 33:19 ‘Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Moses was seeking reassurance from the LORD that he would be able to carry out the commission he had been given by Him to lead the people to the land flowing with milk and honey (v 3). The LORD was gracious toward him and promised His Presence would go before him (vs 14, 17).

As a foretaste of His grace and goodness, the LORD showed Himself to Moses (vs 18-23).

In Exodus 34:6 The LORD proclaimed of Himself that He was ‘merciful and gracious’ and that He abounded in ‘goodness and truth’.

So we see this quality of ‘goodness’ is present in the LORD, and of that same ‘goodness’ King David wrote, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:6)’. Goodness, then, emanates from the LORD.

The Old Testament is full of instances where the goodness of the LORD is showered upon His people. Here are three more examples:

“And now, O LORD God, and Your words are true, and you have promised this goodness to Your servant (2 Samuel 7:28).”

‘Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgression; according to Your mercy remember me for Your goodness sake (Psalm 25:7)’.

‘Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before all nations of the earth, who shall hear the good that I shall do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it (Jeremiah 35:9).’

Only one writer of the New Testament i.e., Paul the Apostle, referred to God’s goodness, and he wrote of the need for believers to do preordained good works: ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).’

The actual noun ‘goodness’ is only mentioned nine times in the New King James version of the Bible, and three of them are in the same passage, i.e., Romans 11:22, which goes as follows: ‘Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.’

Elsewhere in Romans 15:14, Paul wrote: ‘Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.’

In Ephesians 5:9 he explained that ‘the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.’  And of course, there is the all embracing Galatians 5:22 which includes ‘goodness’ as a fruit of the Spirit.

Finally in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12 he talks of fulfilling ‘the good pleasure’ of God’s ‘goodness’:

‘Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.’

And, so, we can appreciate there is only One who is good (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19), but those in Him by His Spirit (Romans 8:2) are able to reflect His goodness by doing good works.

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