In our journey of faith, it is essential to understand the inseparable connection between faith and goodness. While faith serves as the foundation of our spiritual walk, goodness reflects the practical expression of our faith in our daily lives. We will explore practical ways to infuse our faith with goodness, cultivating a life that is pleasing to God and impactful to others. Learn more in the message “How to add Goodness to Faith”

How to add Goodness to Faith – The Message

Have you ever known someone who say they believe in God, but act like it doesn’t make a difference in their life? 

If we look at the last 700 years of human history,  after the black death in Europe where 90% of the clergy died. We see a church that taught faith was good enough. Good works were good enough, if it supported the church. The rest of doing good, didn’t really matter. 

But we don’t have to look back 700 years. I suppose in all our lifetimes we’ve known people who were part of the church, who never wanted to let their light shine. 

I think it’s still true after Covid…Sundays are the worst experiences for servers because Christians who go out after church are demanding and lousy tippers. 

They will know we are Christians by our love?

Faith is only as good was what you have faith in. 

Faith is only as real as you add to it. 

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

You don’t want to be ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of God. 

You believe in God? 

Great. You have knowledge of God. So do demons. 

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.  

James 2:19


Faith needs to lead to good action… We need to add to our faith goodness.  

They had this problem back in the start of Christianity and so James addressed it in the early church… quite harshly. Let’s read the context of the verse we just read.

Before we do, can I pray?


My dear brothers and sisters,  how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting  dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.  If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well,  doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?  Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?  But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?  Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.  For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.  So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.  There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing,  and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?  So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.  How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.  And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.

 James 2:1-26 NLT

Does this really matter?

You are the only Jesus some people may ever see.  You need to add goodness to faith.

Takeaway Truth

“Faith without goodness is like a fruit tree without fruit.”

Faith and Goodness are part of the fruit Holy Spirit grows in us. We shouldn’t have one without the other. 

It’s only by his power at work within us that we can add anything to faith. We have a role to play, but its not to take on a heavy yoke, it’s to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.

Imagine what it would be like to:

Imagine what it would be like if every believer added goodness to their faith. If we all lived out our faith by showing kindness, compassion, and love to those around us. The impact would be immeasurable. Lives would be transformed, hearts would be touched, and communities would be changed. We have the opportunity to be agents of God’s goodness in this world.

How do we add goodness to faith?

That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked. 

How to add Goodness to Faith Tool

This comes from the what Jesus taught us in the sermon on the mount Matthew 5


B – Be good because God is good. 

L – Let them see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

O – Opt to be more like Jesus. 

O – Operate in honesty.

M – Maintain your peace.

B – Be good because God is good.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbours and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Matthew 5:44-45

The problem with doing good is that it can make us look good. Then we need to discern if we’re doing good, just because it makes us look good, or we’re doing it because it makes God look good. 

Jesus doesn’t leave that ambiguous. He tells us to do the counter-intuitive. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. You don’t do that naturally – no one does that naturally. We do that as Holy Spirit prompts and empowers us to do that. And that means he looks good and we don’t. 

We’re good like our father in heaven is good because he sends sun on the evil and good and sends rain on the just and unjust. 

Am I good to look good or because God is good?

L – Let them see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:16 

It’s in the same message that Jesus tells us that when we give to the needy we shouldn’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. (Matthew 6:3-4). We first hear him say, “Let them see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 

What’s going on there?

When we’re giving, we need to have before we can give, so when we give, it’s us that has it. You can’t give what you don’t have. You can’t be a blessing without first being blessed. 

That’s why we give in secret. 

But he calls us the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”.

Wait a minute I thought he said HE was the light of the world? (John 8:12)

Yes he did. 

We’re salt and light because of Christ in us. 

It’s not us that needs to be seen, it’s Christ in us, the hope of glory. 

You’re the only Jesus many people see. 

Your life as a Christian should make non-believers question their disbelief in God 

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Does my life make non-believers question their disbelief in God?

O – Opt to be more like Jesus. 

 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,  leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.  And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.

Mathew 5:21-26

The truth of the matter is we’ll all go through stuff where we can be offended.  A lot of it is no fault of our own. Some of it we bring on ourselves. Jesus in these verses makes it clear we need to, as long as it depends on us, live at peace with everyone. 

When the people who are closest to us – who we love and who love us – see that how we handled stuff before is not how we handle stuff now – they see Jesus and his goodness in us.  That’s the transformation that those closest to us see. 

Am I growing better or growing bitter?

O – Operate in honesty.

“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:33-37

Are you known as an honest person? Are you known as a kind and honest person? No use being honest if you can’t be kind about it. 

Paul tells us in

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church 

Ephesians 4:15 NLT

To shine bright, like the moon – who reflects the light of the sun to the side of the world away from the sun – we need to be honest and authentic to who God made us to be. And always speak the truth in love.

Do other people say I’m honest? 

M – Maintain your peace.

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.  If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

Matthew 5:38-42

Your peace is too expensive to ever give up. 

Peace comes from trusting God. (Romans 15:13) When we trust God is working all things together for good, we tend to do good to others. 

I don’t know if we can add goodness to faith without peace that comes from trust. 

Trust is so connected with faith. Our measure of faith is our measure of trust. The more we trust in God and his goodness, the more faith we have and the more goodness we can add to our faith. 

The is no exaggerating this connection. We’re not good so we can look good, we’re good because we trust Him to be good and work all things together for the good. 

The goodness in us that people need to see is the goodness of God reflected in us. You only reflect to the level at which you trust the source. 

The bonus we get from trusting God is we have peace and hope and joy (Romans 15:13)

What are people drawn to in us? Peace, joy and hope.

Do people ask me about my peace, or joy or hope? 


B – Be good because God is good. 

Am I good to look good or because God is good?

L – Let them see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Does my life make non-believers question their disbelief in God?

O – Opt to be more like Jesus. 

Am I growing better or growing bitter?

O – Operate in honesty.

Do other people say I’m honest? 

M – Maintain your peace.

Do people ask me about my peace, or hope or joy? 


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