In this sermon, Pastor Neil looks at the eighth fruit of the spirit– meekness. He sheds light on what meekness really means for believers in Christ. Here are some excerpts:

… Jesus says: “Blessed are the meek….” Either we believe Him when He says that meekness is a desirable, even blessed quality, or we don’t.

Meekness Does Not Mean Weakness

The problem is not with meekness. The problem is with us. The problem is with our understanding or, more to the point, our misunderstanding of meekness. The problem is in thinking that gentleness or meekness equals weakness. The problem is in thinking that anyone who is meek must be a wimp. But that is not what meekness is about. It is not what Paul means when he encourages us to cultivate the fruit of gentleness.

Meekness Does not Mean Wimpy

In addition to calling the meek blessed (Matthew 5:5), Jesus spoke of Himself as being “meek and lowly” (Matthew 11:29, KJV) or “gentle and humble in heart” (NIV). Jesus may be meek, but He sure isn’t weak! Gentle and humble in heart – yes; but definitely not a wimp! It is true that when Jesus was attacked, He didn’t retaliate. When He was mocked and spit upon, when they said cruel and hateful things about Him, He didn’t fight back, as we saw two weeks ago when we dissected the spiritual fruit of self-control. Not because He was weak, but because He was strong. Not because He was impotent, but because He kept His strength under control.

Was Jesus weak when:

  • He calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, causing His disciples to ask: “Who is this that even the winds and waves obey Him?” (Mark 4:41)?
  • When the devil took his best shots at Him in the desert, trying to get Jesus to give in to temptation? (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13)
  • He exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and refused to be intimidated by their threats against Him? (Matthew 23)
  • Using a whip, He crashed the party of the moneychangers in the temple and threw them out? (Mark 11:15-17)
  • When He went to the cross and endured the literal hell of it for sinners like you and me?

The answer is intuitively obvious. Jesus was meek (gentle), but He certainly was not weak. Meekness does not equal weakness. It is anything but weakness. It does not mean cowardice or spinelessness. Jesus never said: “Blessed are the wimps.”

Though the word Jesus uses in the Sermon on the Mount and later in Matthew 11 of Himself is not easy to translate into English, the word that best conveys its meaning, as I have already suggested, is “gentle” or “gentleness.” Paul says it is one of the varieties of the fruit of the Holy Spirit – the fruit of a Christ-like character – that God desires us to cultivate with the help of the Holy Spirit

Meekness or Gentleness: Strength Within

The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. It is a spirit of humility that treats others with respect. It is meekness not weakness. It is as strong as steel and as soft as velvet. It takes strength on the inside to be gentle on the outside. This kind of gentle strength under control – strength under the control of the Holy Spirit – reflects the character of Jesus and brings joy to the heart of God, to whom be honor and glory forever.

Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.

 

January 30, 2022

1 Timothy 6: 11-16

Dr. Neil Smith

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