Summary: A sermon describing the fruit of the Spirit called meekness.
pt. 7 - I Will Be Meek
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Introduction: I want to welcome you this morning to part 5 of a new sermon series based on the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. This series is all about life change and what God wants to do in our lives if we will let Him. Make no mistake my friends; the goal of God in salvation is Christlikeness. God wants to change us into the image (icon -- exact replica) of His Son in character, conduct and personality.
Let me also remind you that we can translate the first few words of verse 22, "The fruit of the Spirit..." to read "...the fruit that the Spirit produces..." This morning I want to you to ask yourself this question as we begin; "If I was a better person and displayed more goodness in my life and testimony would it make a difference in my life?" Would it make a difference in my family life? Would it make a difference in my Christian testimony? The answer to all of these is yes it would!
When I started this series I had no idea of the significant effect these messages would have on my own life. The most important lesson that I have learned is that after preaching each of these messages there can be no doubt in my heart or mind about what God expects from his servants. The development of Christlike character and personality in each of us is His ultimate purpose in and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Many people have the mistaken belief that after salvation that an individual never has problems with sin in their lives anymore when quite the opposite is true. Sin is still a problem in the life of every Christian and will continue to be as long as we are in the flesh. Let's begin with what meekness means.
What does the word meekness mean in our text? The Greek word for meekness literally means "strength under control." Meekness describes a wild stallion who was tamed and taught to be ridden. That stallion still has all the strength it had when it was wild but now it is strength under control. It is strength bottled up for the master's use. In our day and time; the word meekness is often used to indicate a certain whimpish or even cowardly type of personality and that just goes to show how much the usage of some of these English words has changed. The Bible definition of this term is radically different. Meekness in Galatians 5 means patience in the reception of injuries. It means bearing up when there are those around us who are bringing hurt into our lives. It means resisting the inclination to strike out in response to the hurt. It's the opposite of anger, malice and striking out in revenge when we've been wronged. Isn't it amazing how often these same things have surfaced since we have been studying the fruits of the Spirit? I think we are coming to see what it really means to be a Christian. It's not who carries the biggest Bible or who has the most bumper stickers or who can talk in religious tones. The real question for us is, "How much am I like Jesus?" That's the bottom line. Am I like Him? Are my responses to the issues of life like His? Meekness then is the opposite of anger, malice, and a desire for revenge.
To start this message I would like us to look at:
I. The Explanation of Meekness
Let's begin by contrasting with what meekness is not:
a. It is not compromise
CLARENCE THOMAS, THE BRILLIANT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WRITES: "AS CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO KNOW THAT BEING A NEIGHBOR IS IN EVERY WAY AN EXERCISE IN MEEKNESS. ON THE ONE HAND WE ARE TO SERVE OUR NEIGHBOR; ALWAYS WILLING TO TOLERATE HIS WEAKNESSES AND IDIOSYNCRASIES. WE MUST EXERCISE THIS TO THE FULLEST, WILLING TO SACRIFICE, EVEN SUFFER IN THAT CAUSE. HOWEVER, WHEN OUR NEIGHBOR IS UNJUST AND THREATENS OFFENSE AGAINST OTHERS, WE CAN'T REMAIN SILENT. AGAIN IN MEEKNESS, WE MUST OPPOSE THEM AND LEAD THEM TO REPENTANCE. WHERE GOD'S HONOR AND COMMAND IS INVOLVED, WE CANNOT NEGLECT JUSTICE, BECAUSE JUSTICE MUST ALWAYS BE SERVED ON THE PLATE OF MERCY, AND WE MUST NEVER FIND SATISFACTION IN THE PENALTY. RATHER, WE MUST GRIEVE WITH THOSE WHO ARE PUNISHED BECAUSE, AS OUR LORD GRIEVES OVER SIN, THIS IS ALSO THE SIGN OF A LOVING CHRISTIAN HEART--POSSESSED ALWAYS OF A SWORD AND A TEAR."
Truth and right cannot, must not be disregarded. That would not be meekness. We are to "...speak the truth in love..." for sure but we are still supposed to speak the truth! There are those who would silence Christians today but where truth is concerned there can be no retreat. Let me give you a couple of situations where this principle is on display. First, in the life of Jesus;