Monday, April 2, 2007

Good

Greek Word Pronunciation: kres-TOS
Strong’s Number: 5543
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5982
Key Verse: “… if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” -- 1 Peter 2:3

Three Greek words in the New Testament are all generally translated as the adjective “good.” The first is kalos, which means something free from defects, and beautiful. The second is agathos, referring to moral excellence, something that is worthy of admiration.

The third is our word chrestos, which means something that is useful, profitable, or serviceable, later broadening to include kindness, goodness of heart. It focuses more on the practical outworking of goodness, being eager to make itself helpful or available for serving others. Luke 5:39 refers to old and new wine, that the “old is good enough.” Jesus is noting the difference between His way and the Pharisees’ way. They thought their old way was better. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns, “Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals.” False teachers are to be avoided because they can damage believers. In Ephesians 4:32, Paul tells the believers to “be kind to one another.” We should act as charitably toward each other as God has done toward us. In Matthew 11:30, Christ says, “For My yoke is easy.” Christ's yoke is not easy in the ordinary sense of that word. It is wholesome, serviceable, kindly.

The final three verses all refer to the kindness of God and Jesus. In its meaning of useful, chrestos lends itself towards God’s active benevolence towards men in spite of their ingratitude. Because God is good, He does what is good or kind when He interacts with people, even those who are His enemies. In Luke 6:35, Jesus says to “love your enemies and do good (agathos) … and you will be sons of the Most High, for He Himself is kind (chrestos) to ungrateful and evil men …” Here, Jesus tells us to show moral excellence to our enemies, because God Himself is benevolent even to them. Romans 2:4 says that “the kindness of God leads you to repentance.” The very kindness and patience of God is to lead us to a change of mind and attitude instead of a complacent self-satisfaction and pride.

Finally, in 1 PETER 2:2-3 says that we are to “long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” The more we taste God’s goodness, the more tasteless other worldly options will become. We must not fill our lives with cheap substitutes so that we lose our craving for the truth contained in God’s Word.

27 comments:

Charlotte Fairchild said...

I would like a word study on the word "Good" from Matthew 19: 17. Some believe this was being used as a title.

Ryan Leonor said...

It helped on my Devotional Study. Great thanks.

Samantha Byler said...

I came here because I was studying 1 Timothy 4:4-5, and the wording intrigued me to inquire if there is more to the word good than I know currently. So thank you for this posting. Very helpful!

Geoffrey vanDyck said...

Thank for this study. I recently dove deep into 2 Peter 1:5-8 and this has helped me. Thank you again.

Peggy Overstreet said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I'm always happy to hear that somebody has been edified.

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