Summary: The 8th sermon in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit.
1. When was the last time you heard a sermon on gentleness? That’s what I thought. It doesn’t sound like something you would read about in the Bible. In fact, it doesn’t sound like something that important at all. However, it’s a fruit of the Spirit, so it really is a big deal.
2. The fact is that gentleness is more needed today than perhaps ever before because we live in a violent world. Consider these facts that were reported a few years ago in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. (3-31-97)
According to the CDC, One Million people die in the US each year from violence.
3. Here’s another fact that illustrates how violent the world we live in is. . .
The average TV watcher in the US sees about 18,000 violent events on screen each year.
4. I know those for the most part are fictional and meant for entertainment. However, those 50 violent events per day that many of us see on TV without ever thinking too much about them, do affect people as another statistic suggests.
Each year in the US nearly 2 Million men severely batter their wives.
5. Let’s read the passage that I’ve shared with you at the beginning of each sermon on the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (NAS)
6. Each fruit of the Spirit could be put down as strengths on a resume for the most part: loving, joyful, peaceful, patient etc. But that somehow doesn’t seem quite right when it comes to "gentleness."
I. Understanding Gentleness in the Real World
1. It’s hard for us to understand gentleness, because it’s not something we typically think of as being a part of the Christian life. Being faithful, yes. Having love, yes. But being gentle. . . well, that sounds almost wrong doesn’t it? But of course it isn’t. It’s very right the challenge for us is this question. . .
"What does it mean to be Gentle?
2. In our world the word gentle doesn’t mean the same thing as it did when Paul wrote to the church at Galatia. To answer that question you need to know that the Greek word for "gentleness" used here is found a total of nine times in the New Testament. Let’s spend a few minutes looking at exactly how it’s used.
Cell #7-- (prah-ot’-ace)
The Greek word, PRAUTES, is translated Meek in Matthew 5:5
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
3. Circle the word "meek" in your notes. If we don’t like the word, "gentle" we like the word "meek" even less. Many men hear this word & think of someone who’s wimpy at best or effeminate at worst. Let me assure you, women aren’t the only ones who are to have this Spiritual fruit in their lives. Let’s look at another passage.
This same Greek word, PRAUTES, is translated Humility in Titus 3:2.
2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (NIV)