Pilgrim’s Keyboard

February 5, 2015

Attributes of God – The Goodness of God

Filed under: Providence BC — pilgrimskeyboard @ 9:17 pm

The Goodness of God


NT –– Good / Goodness


Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 | … No one is good but One, that is, God. … Cf. Matthew 19:17


  • Gk. agathos – Describes that which, being “good” in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect [and] pertains to meeting a high standard of worth and merit. Syntax: nominative masculine singular noun. Translated: good.[1]


OT –– Good


Psalm 100:5 | For the LORD is good …

Psalm 106:1 | Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!


  • He. tobeAs a noun means: good, prosperity / adjective means good or well; it describes goodness, beauty, and moral uprightness … God himself is good, as is testified numerous times in Scripture … (Ps. 86:5; 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1 …).[2]  




Kregel Dictionary of the Bible and Theology[3]

The state of being characterized by ethical righteousness in conformity to God’s established moral order.

The Creator defines the moral parameters of what He has made, and He is by definition good, because He exists eternally and acts consistently with that order. Other things are good to the degree that their state approaches the absolute standard that God has set (cf. 2:17). For this reason, nothing except God can absolutely be identified as good (Mk 10:17-18; cf. Ps 16:2). … Because God does not change, he standard of goodness is constant.


Milburn Cockrell[4]

The whole character of God I summed up in the word “good.” Goodness in Him is not an accessory quality or a superadded gift, it is His nature and essence. God is an ocean of goodness without banks or bottom. He is positively and innately good; He is infinitely good. The original Saxon [West Germany origin] meaning of our English word “God” is “The Good.” … The goodness of God is the eternal principle of God’s nature which causes Him to be benevolent with His creation.


A. W. Pink[5]

The “goodness” of God refers to the perfection of His nature … There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better.

Quoting: Thomas Manton –

  1. He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God.
  2. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence.
  3. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good.
  4. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.

Wayne Grudem[6]

The goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. … That is to say, there is no higher standard of goodness than God’s own character and his approval of whatever is consistent with that character.


Stephen Lawson[7]

Goodness  …


Psalm 119:68 | You [God] are good, and do good …

His name in our English language – “God” – comes from the derivative of the German [Saxon] word for “The Good”.


God’s Good/Goodness is displayed in Scripture in two ways:

1. In His nature.

2. Because of His nature.



1. God is GOOD in His nature –

Psalm 34:8 | Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.

Romans 2:4 | … do you despise the riches of His goodness … not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?


2. God does GOOD because of His nature –

A. Good to All of His creation –

  • Psalm 33:5 | … The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
  • Matthew 6:26 | Look at the birds of the air … your heavenly Father feeds them …

B. Good to the unbelievers –

  • Psalm 25:8 | Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
  • Matthew 5:45 | … your Father in heaven … makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust.

C. Good to believers –

  • Psalm 84:11 | For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
  • Matthew 7:7-11 | Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

D. Good to Us in His Providence –

  • Deuteronomy 8:10-16 | Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God … who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the rock of flint; who fed you with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test  you, to do good in the end … | Cf. Genesis 50:19-20.
  • Romans 8:28 | And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called, according to His purpose.

E. Good to Us in His Sovereignty –

  • Exodus 33: 19 | Then He [the LORD to Moses] 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.
  • James 1:17-18 | Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought forth us by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruit of His creatures.


Closing Thot:

A. W. Pink[8]

The goodness of God is the life of the believer’s trust. It is this excellency in God which most appeals to our hearts. Because His goodness endureth [sic] forever, we ought never to be discouraged: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon –

“When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that he is god. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His nature is always the same.”

[1] Gk. agaqoV – Syntax: here a nominative masculine singular noun, Friberg, 30; meaning: pertaining to meeting a high standard of worth and merit – [translated:] good, BDAG, 3;  Vine, 273.

[2] Mounce, Dict., 300.

[3] Holloman, Krekel Dictionary, 179.

[4] Cockrell, 58.

[5] Pink, Attributes, 57.

[6] Grudem, 197.

[7] Lawson, “The Goodness of God”.

[8] Pink, “Attributes”, 60.


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