God is Good

God is the definition of goodness. How do we define goodness? Goodness is more than the absence of “badness.” Goodness must be not only the absence of badness but also the fulness of positivity or goodness. James Usher described God’s goodness as “an Essential Property in God, whereby he is infinitely Good, and of himself; and likewise beneficial to all his Creatures, Psal. 145:7; Mark 10:18; James 1:17; Matt 5:45; Psal. 34:8, 9, 10.”[1] Usher continued to describe God’s goodness, saying, “For he is always perfectly good; and all that he doth is perfectly good, whatsoever Men judge of it.”[2]

Is Anything Good Like God?

Jesus said, “No one is good but God alone” (Mk 10:18). Goodness in creation originates in God (1 Cor. 4:7; James 1:17). Creation is imperfect, finite, and dependent upon God. God’s goodness, however, is most perfect, infinite, and dependent upon no one. God, then, is goodness itself. 

What Can We Learn from God’s Goodness?

From the knowledge of God as goodness personified and the source of goodness, we can learn that: 

  1. Since God is good, we can trust that everything he does is for the best possible good and uses all things well (Rom 8:28). 
  2. Since God is the definition and source of all goodness, we should be more ashamed of our sin against him. 
  3. Since God is good, we should never attribute any wrong to God and trust him even when we do not understand his will, purposes, or goals. “
  4. Since God is good, we should be good to others. 
  5. Since God is good, we should render good worship and service for him. 

God is good, and we are blessed. Augustine says, “the exquisitely beautiful appearance of all visible things, silently as it were proclaiming both that it was made and could be made only by a God unspeakably and invisibly great, and unspeakably and invisibly beautiful” (City of God 11.4). 

[1] James Usher, A Body of Divinity: Or, the Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, Eighth Edition. (London: R. J.; Jonathan Robinson; A. and J. Churchill; J. Taylor; J. Wyatt, 1702), 113.

[2] Ibid., 115.

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