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GENTLENESS

(56)

Sermon shared by D. Greg Ebie

June 2005
Summary: The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 10) How is gentleness developed in our lives? Sometimes we learn gentleness through God’s tender touch, and at other times we learn gentleness through difficult situations. (See sermons in Word format at www.praiseag.org)
Denomination: Assembly of God
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
GENTLENESS
The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 10)
Galatians 5:22-23

• Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

INTRODUCTION:
Fragile: Handle with Care – How often have these words been put on a shipment to protect the contents of a package. In an ideal perfect world such boxes would be gently moved from place to place and nothing would ever be damaged. However, in the real world “Fragile: Handle with Care” means nothing. These words are overlooked on packages. Boxes are thrown together and carelessly dropped. Packages are opened to reveal broken and damaged contents everyday.
I wonder if God were to have placed a “Handle with Care” label on people if it would likewise be ignored? How often is the heart of an individual crushed or the spirit of a child broken? Words and actions damage and wound everyday. Healing and restoration to the human heart can be a slow difficult process; sometimes only God can make the wounded new again.

The fruit of the Spirit is GENTLENESS. What is gentleness? How is gentleness developed? What is the purpose of gentleness?

 What is gentleness?

Paul said the fruit of the Spirit is “” (prah-ot’-ace). What is that? It’s defiantly Greek to me! This word has been translated as gentleness and meekness; however, sometimes it’s difficult to find just the right word to use when you are translating form one language to another.

For instance, how would you translate the word “pineapple” to an Eskimo who has never seen or tasted one before? An Eskimo would have no understanding of what a pineapple is or what the word means. Perhaps the best you could do for an Eskimo is call a pineapple “prickly sweet eatable blubber!” The same is true for “” (prah-ot’-ace); gentleness and meekness just don’t fully communicate what it really means!

Aristotle described “” (prah-ot’-ace) –gentleness/meekness- as a center between two extremes. For Aristotle gentleness meant finding the proper balance in life. Gentleness or meekness maintains a good equilibrium; it is to have a steadiness and stability that will not waver or be moved to extremes.

The Greek language is a precise and expressive language. When the Greeks developed a word, they not only gave it a careful definition, but they almost always illustrated it. “” (prah-ot’-ace) –gentleness/meekness was best illustrated by an animal that had been tamed; the wild spirit and nature of an animal is brought under the control of its owner. A tamed horse has yielded or submitted it’s strength; the strength of the animal is no longer wasted wildly, but has been focused in order to fulfill a purpose. Gentleness then is power under control, submitted strength.

o Illustration: The power and force of water can be focused and brought under control to turn a waterwheel and grind wheat, or the water can flow through a dam turning large turbines to produce electricity to give power to an entire city. However, the force and power of water can also be out of control bringing
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