Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:16, NIV).
GOD IS GOOD!
It’s a mantra that Christians often proclaim.
But, what do we mean when we say God is good? By good do we mean kind? Like God is a nice guy? Or by good do we mean virtuous? That God has no character flaws? Or maybe by good we mean mighty like God is the most powerful?
The first place the goodness of God is mentioned in the Bible is, consequently, at the first of the Bible. The goodness of God is first declared in the creation story, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31, NIV).
God’s creation was not just good, it was very good! So, it only stands to reason that if God’s creation was good–very good–then God must be good because only good can create good.
Now, in the hands of others good can also regress into evil. Thus, evil is a perversion of good. It’s a corrupted version of the original good, which means good and evil aren’t co-equal forces in the universe.
A primary aspect or characteristic of God’s goodness, then, is its prevalency in the universe. The whole universe is knit together with God’s goodness. And, that’s why Old Testament writers sometimes attributed some evil action to God (see, for example, Judges 9:23;1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Kings 22:23). And, it also explains how God can use evil to accomplish His good plans and purposes (see Romans 8:28).
While human history and the forces of nature may undergo many transitions, progressions and adaptations over time, the goodness of God prevails from creation to apocalypse. Therefore, God’s goodness can’t be stopped or prevented. It’s formidable! It’s relentless! It’s inexorable!
God’s goodness is the fabric of His creation. So, when we say God is good, we’re really saying God Is and that by His very existence He clothes His creation with His goodness. And, it’s this inexorable goodness of God that gives meaning and purpose to His creation.
Jesus reveals the truth and reality of God’s goodness. Jesus not only manifests God’s goodness in His person but also in His declaration: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Because of God”s goodness there is a basis for truth and meaning and life in this world and it can be found by following Jesus.
When you proclaim God is good, you are not so much saying that God is kind or virtuous or mighty (though He may be all of these). Rather, you are declaring that the reality of God gives meaning to the universe and you are, therefore, aligning your way, your truth and your life with God’s inexorable goodness.
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19, NIV)