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Wondering What to Believe?

  1. Does Nature Give Proof of God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  2. Can I Hear God's Voice?
    8 Digging Deeper
  3. Who is God?
    8 Digging Deeper
  4. Who Wrote the Bible?
    8 Digging Deeper
  5. Can I Trust the Bible?
    7 Digging Deeper
  6. Is there a Right and Wrong?
    7 Digging Deeper
  7. Why Does God Allow Evil?
    9 Digging Deeper
  8. Who Am I?
    7 Digging Deeper
  9. What is the Meaning of Life?
    7 Digging Deeper
  10. Does God Love Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 3, Digging Deeper 6
In Progress

God is a loving, caring, beneficent God.

The goodness of God means that the Supreme Being who created everything is a loving, caring, beneficent God. When the Apostle Paul preached to the Gentiles (the non-Jews) he pointed to the goodness of God that should motivate them to turn to God and praise him. Paul said that God had given them testimony about himself because “he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Paul proclaimed the goodness of God when he preached to the Gentiles at Athens:

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25. nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27. that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:24-27)

God can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities and he is good to us. David sang of God’s goodness in Psalm 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
3. who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
4. who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5. who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6. The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.

8. The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 103:1-8)

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the goodness and mercy of God for us because he would provide the suffering servant of the Lord who would take upon himself the punishment for our sins:

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
5. But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
6. All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

There are thirty-five references and quotations to Isaiah 53 in the New Testament. The early Christians saw Jesus as the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy (as in Acts 8:30-35).

The goodness of God inspires our worship because of who he is and what he has done on our behalf. He has richly provided everything that we need. God is good, all the time. The Apostle Paul wrote of God and his “great love for us,” that he “is rich in mercy,” that he saves us “by grace” and that we are “his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:4, 5, 8, 10). No wonder that in the heavenly world, God is constantly being praised for his goodness:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
    who was and is and is to come!”

11. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:8, 11)

Jesus is likewise praised by the heavenly hosts in the next scene in heaven.

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-11)

A hundred million angels then sing,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!” (5:12)

Then the whole creation joins in the praise of Jesus,

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (5:13)

The goodness, grace, mercy and love of God is the theme of the Bible. For example, look at the little letter of Jude, the 26th book of the New Testament. It is addressed “to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.” Jude pronounces this blessing from God on them: “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you” (Jude 1-2). He closes his short letter with one of the most beautiful benedictions in the Bible:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (24-25)

The above Scriptures show us that all creation should praise God for his grace and goodness. When we think about the greatness and the goodness of God, we feel compelled to love and worship him. His grace produces our gratitude. If we do not praise him, have we become ungrateful, self-centered egotists? Jesus healed ten men of leprosy and only one of them returned to thank him (Luke 17:11-19). He asked the questions, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine?” They were so busy enjoying their healing and renewed lives that they did not praise the Lord who gave it to them. Wouldn’t we be the same if we do not praise God for all his goodness and grace toward us?