Sermon quotes on the good

Thomas Aquinas

Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good.

Athanasius of Alexandria

For God is good – or rather, of all goodness He is the Fountainhead.

On the Incarnation

Augustine of Hippo

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.

Augustine of Hippo

God would never permit evil, if He could not bring good out of evil.

Augustine of Hippo

To seek the highest good is to live well.

Karl Barth

Men have never been good, they are not good and they never will be good.

Baylor University Media Communications

In 2006 Baylor University took a national survey to evaluate how people viewed God. They found that only 23 percent of people viewed him as benevolent or loving, while 32 percent saw the Almighty as authoritarian, 16 percent as critical and 24 percent as distant. Five percent claimed to be atheist.

“Losing My Religion? No, Says Baylor Religion Survey,” Baylor University Media Communications, September 11, 2006

Henry Ward Beecher

A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good. Now and then a man should be shaken to the core with indignation over things evil.

Richard Cecil

Every year of my life I grow more convinced that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and the good, and dwell as little as possible on the evil and the false.

G.K. Chesterton

The word “good” has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.

C.S. Lewis

Badness is only spoiled goodness.

C.S. Lewis

If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.

Hannah More

How goodness heightens beauty!

John O’Donohue

The basic human drive is the desire for the Good.

Glen Scrivener

Nothing shows up my badness like a concerted effort at goodness.

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases, Christian Focus Publication

James Bryan Smith

What is goodness? Goodness is that which works for the benefit or betterment of another. If, as Aquinas said, beauty is that which, when seen, pleases, then goodness is that which, when experienced, benefits.

Taken from The Magnificent Story  by James Bryan Smith. Copyright (c) 2018 by James Bryan Smith. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.

Desmond Tutu

God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.

Jerry Walls

No human tears are beyond the reach of God’s infinite goodness.

Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy, Oxford University Press.

Jen Wilkin

God’s goodness is a light that radiates through all his other attributes. It is the reason his omnipotence (possession of all power), omniscience (possession of all knowledge), and sovereignty (possession of all control) are a comfort instead of a terror.

In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character, Crossway.

Dallas Willard

[Beauty] “is goodness made manifest to the senses.

Dallas Willard, chapel talk, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, September 12, 2011, www .youtube.com/watch?v=XzzzH9z0SRE.

Rowan Williams

[T]here is no goodness that is not bodily and realistic and local.

Where God Happens: Discovering Christ in One Another and Other Lessons from the Desert Fathers

Maurice Sendak

I wish you all good things. Live your life, live your life, live your life.

John Calvin

We must be sure of the infinite good that is done to us by our Master, Jesus, the King, in order that we may be ravished in love with our God and inflamed with a right affection to obey Him, and keep ourselves strictly in awe of Him. 

Taken from William J. Bouwsma, John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 103.

Richard Rohr

Good people will mirror goodness in us, which is why we love them so much, Not so mature people will mirror their own unlived and confused life unto us, which is why they confuse and confound us so much…”

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Jossey Bass, 2011.

Source Unknown

Good people don’t go to heaven, forgiven people do.

F.F. Bruce

Where love is the compelling power, there is no sense of strain or conflict or bondage in doing what is right: the man or woman who is compelled by Jesus’ love and empowered by His Spirit does the will of God from the heart.

Brett Hansen

“I’m not a good person” is a shockingly countercultural thing to say. We all want to think we’re “clean” and that we’ve avoided whatever “big sins” are on our own personal lists. But we trust ourselves too much. We are inconsistent. We don’t even live up to our own stated beliefs. (Just think about all the things you’ve faulted others for.

The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are, Baker Publishing Group.

Brett Hansen

Our goodness is our biggest self-delusion, and all of us seem to be living with it.

The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are, Baker Publishing Group.

G.K. Chesterton

Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelley, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness

The Defendant

G.K. Chesterton

[The chief aim of Christianity] was to give room for good things to run wild.


Addison D. Bevere

We were created for goodness and perfection. That’s why we innovate, progress, and change. But if our progress loses its purpose, it cannibalizes our humanity, leaving us distracted and disoriented.

Saints: Becoming More Than “Christians,” Revell, 2020.

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