Summary: I begin with a show and tell on actual fruits that can teach us spiritual truths about the fruits of the Spirit, and then teach on gentleness.
The Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness
PPT 1 Series Title
We began this series a few weeks ago and in our first message I talked about how God has chosen us to bear much fruit, and that we ought to bear the most fruit with the people we are around the most. Family, friends, coworkers. If you only bear fruit around strangers, that you are in some ways a hypocrit.
Last week we talked about 3 ways of gathering spiritual fruit:
Spontaneous generation - the Spirit came mightily upon
Cooperative consumption - fruit that is gently given but that we much choose to manifest
Storehouse supply - Sowing to ourselves, such as hiding the Word in our heart, that we can expect the fruits of the Spirit to rise up in the hour of need.
This week we are going to talk about one of the fruits in particular, but before we do. I have a little sprirtual fruit show and tell for us today.
Different fruits that can remind us of spiritual truths. I pray that as I show and tell these 6 fruits you will always remember the lesson I have given to them.
The first is a mango.
Mango's don't grow here. (Michigan) I'm using this fruit to remind us that just because you have a temper it is no excuse to not manifest the fruit of patience and longsuffering. While it may not grow naturally in you, if you are a Christian it grows naturally in Christ who is in you. So bear some exotic fruit and surprise everyone.
Next I have a persimmon. A persimmon reminds me of Christians who say, "I love you but I don't have to like you." That is like serving an unripened persimmon to someone. Don't ever serve unripened persimmon to anyone, you will foul them for Christ.
Next I have a prune. Prunes are known for the bodily reactions they cause. This fruit is to remind you that some people (everybody say, "some people") are going to act in very unkind ways when you display a fruit of the Spirit in your life. You nay not get a kind reaction when you show kindness. Paul said it this way: to some people we smell like life, and to others we smell like death. (2 Cor. 2:16 my paraphrase)
Lemon. This fruit is a flavoring. Sometimes God wants us to change the flavor of a conversation. If someone cusses near you just a look can change the conversation. We are to be salt, we are to flavor the atmosphere around us.
Asian pear. Reminder to bear fruit with those outside your culture and ethnicity, and racial group.
Lastly my favorite fruit. Chocolate covered raisons. When I was gathering fruits last night at the supermarket, I was wondering what I was going to say about chocolate covered raisons. My original thought was that they didn't have anything to teach I just was using the sermon as an opportunity to buy myself some of them, and that is the truth. But as I was preparing today...This fruit reminds me that for the most part the fruits and gifts of the Spirit are not for the benefit of personal consumption, but are to be given away. Some people only want the fruits and gifts for personal consumption and that is not what they are for. Though there is always some personal benefit God gives gifts so that ALL may profit. (1 Cor 12:7)
PPT 2 Message Title & text
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith... (NAS)
So today we are going to speak on gentleness.
The greek word translated gentleness (meekness in KJV) is kraystotace and I want to show you how the greeks understood this word, because it is pretty interesting.
The Greeks used this word to describe strong animals that were brought under control. That is a very good description of what the fruit of the Spirit is intended to do: bring the animal in us under control of the Spirit of God.
Xenophon said that horses that work together are more likely to "stand quietly" together.
Aristotle spoke of the "easy-tempered & easily domesticated" elephant.
Plato used this word to describe a mighty & strong beast which could be tamed & fed by a man who learned to handle it.
So the word was used to describe a strong animal, but one who was brought under control by domestication and or training.
- It was used to describe a gentleness of conduct on the part of people who had it in their power and in their animal nature to do otherwise.
That is exactly what the fruits of the Spirit are all about, we act contrary to our animal nature as we are domesticated by the Holy Spirit