The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Meekness

Posted by on Apr 1, 2007

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

April 1, 2007

Sunday Morning

“The Fruit Of The Spirit Is Meekness”

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:22-23

Scripture Text: Galatians 5:23

Introduction:

 

A.   As many of you know, in my Wednesday night Bible study group, we have been studying some of the heroes and villains of the Old Testament.

1. A few weeks ago we studied about Moses.

2. When I think of Moses, the first thing that comes to mind is not the miraculous way in which his life was spared as an infant.

3. Nor is it the call of God that he received while standing before the burning bush.

4. Nor is it the way that he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and boldly demanded that he let the people go.

5. Nor is it how he parted the waters of the Red Sea, so that the children of Israel could walk across on dry ground.

6. While all of these things were definitely very important events in his life, the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Moses is his meekness.

7. Listen to what the Bible says in Num. 12:3, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”

 

B.   The reason that I’ve brought up the subject of meekness, is because meekness is the one of the nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit that Paul lists in Gal. 5:22-23.

1. In fact, it is the next to the last one in the list.

2. As we consider the subject of meekness this morning, I think we should first of all…

I.       Define Exactly What We Are Talking About.

 

A.   What is “meekness”?

1. I think it would be helpful if we would begin by stating what meekness is NOT.

2. Why? Because “meekness” is definitely one of the most misunderstood of all the manifestations of the Spirit.

 

B.   May I say, first of all, meekness is NOT a natural disposition.

1. You know, as well as I do, that some people are just naturally timid or mild mannered. (They were born that way!)

2. They are just naturally…

-shy,

-quiet,

-passive.

3. Most of the time, you hardly even know that they are around, they are just so inconspicuous.

4. However, this is not meekness!

5. Meekness if not a natural quality with which we are born, but rather it is a spiritual quality that is produced in us by the presence and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

6. (Illus.- I know some unsaved people who are very timid or mild mannered. They were born that way. However, because they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and because meekness is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, they are not meek.)

7. And so, meekness is not a natural disposition.

 

C.   May I also say that meekness is NOT weakness.

1. Some people equate meekness with weakness, but they are not the same thing.

2. Some of the strongest people I have ever met are also very meek.

3. Moses was meek, but he certainly wasn’t weak.

4. Our Lord Jesus was meek, but He certainly wasn’t weak.

5. Stephen, the first Christian martyr was meek, but he certainly wasn’t weak.

6. And so, meekness is not weakness.

7. Someone has defined meekness like this, “strength under control.” (I like that definition.)

 

D.   May I also say that meekness is NOT a spirit of compromise.

1. Some people believe in peace “at any price.”

2. In other words, they will make any compromise and sacrifice any principle they have to for the sake of peace.

3. They would never stand up and fight, no matter how right or how just the cause.

4. And some would call this meekness.

5. Meekness, however, is not a spirit of compromise, especially when principle is involved.

6. Meekness does desire peace, but not if it…

-calls for sacrificing of one’s principles,

-requires compromising one’s convictions.

7. This is not meekness.

 

E.   And so, we see what meekness is NOT.

1. It is not a natural disposition.

2. It is not weakness.

3. It is not a spirit of compromise.

 

F.    What then is meekness?

1. I think that meekness can be defined in at least three ways.

2. First of all, meekness is humility.

3. A meek person is a humble person.

4. He is someone who…

-sees himself as he really is,

-does not think too highly of himself,

-is very much aware of his own imperfections.

5. He is not proud or boastful.

6. This aspect of meekness is brought out very well in Gal. 6:1, where Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

7. What does this verse mean?

8. It simply means that before we…

-look down on someone else,

-sit in judgement of someone else,

-start boasting about how we would never do such and such,

we need to stop and realize that we too…

-are capable of sin,

-have our imperfections,

-could easily be overtaken by immorality.

9. And so, meekness is humility.

 

G.   Meekness can also be defined as non-assertiveness.

1. A meek person is a non-assertive person.

2. He is someone who does not…

-assert himself,

-promote himself,

-push himself into the forefront of things.

3. (Illus.- You know, as well as I do, that the wisdom of the world tells us that if we are ever going to get anywhere in life, if we are ever going to be successful, if we are ever going to get ahead, we must assert ourselves. We must be aggressive. We must be pushy.)

4. Meekness, on the other hand, is just the opposite of that.

5. Meekness causes one to wait quietly and patiently and contently in the background while others rush forward to get to the front of the line.

6. This aspect of meekness is brought out in 1 Pet. 3:4, where Peter wrote, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

H.   Finally, meekness can be defined as a non-demanding spirit.

1. A meek person is a non-demanding person.

2. He is someone who does not demand things for himself, whether it be position, or privileges, or possessions.

3. He does not demand to always have his own way.

4. He does not demand even that which is rightfully his.

5. Instead, he takes what is given to him without whining or complaining.

6. (Illus.- The wisdom of our day tells us that we should stand up for our ourselves, show people that we mean business, demand what is rightfully ours!)

7. Meekness, on the other hand, is just the opposite of that.

8. Meekness is a non-demanding spirit.

9. This aspect of meekness can be seen in Eph. 4:2, where Paul wrote, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;”

10.   Forbearing one another simply means to let others have their way, rather than demanding our own way.

 

I.    Let me point out something here that I think is very important.

1. There is a difference between standing up for yourself and standing up for others.

2. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. I will take a lot of abuse from someone if I am the one being abused. However, if some member of my family is being abused, or some member of my church is being abused, that is different! I absolutely won’t stand for that, and neither should you. While we should feel very uncomfortable demanding our own rights, we should not feel uncomfortable speaking up for the rights of others.

 

J.    And so, what is meekness?

1. Meekness is NOT a natural disposition.

2. Meekness is NOT weakness.

3. Meekness is NOT a spirit of compromise.

4. Meekness IS humility.

5. Meekness IS non-assertiveness.

6. Meekness IS a non-demanding spirit.

 

K.   Now let’s look at some…

 

II.      Bible Examples Of Meekness.

 

A.   First of all, let’s look at Moses.

1. As we saw earlier, the Bible says that “Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Num. 12:3)

2. A good example of the meekness of Moses can be seen in an incident recorded in Num. 12.

3. If you will remember, Miriam and Aaron, Moses sister and brother, were speaking against him, challenging the authority that God had given to him as leader of the children of Israel.

4. What did Moses do about this?

5. The answer is, “Moses did nothing!”

6. He did not speak up for himself.

7. He did not assert his God given authority.

8. He did not pull rank on Miriam and Aaron, putting them in their proper places.

9. Instead, he did nothing.

10.   Actually, he did do something, he referred the matter to the Lord.

11.   Did God do something Miriam and Aaron’s sin?

12.   He most certainly did, and when God got through with them, never again did they challenge Moses’s authority.

 

B.   There is a valuable lesson to be learned here.

1. (Illus.- I’ve heard some say, “I can’t afford to be meek. If I don’t stand up for myself, no one will.”)

2. Well, that’s not true.

3. Just like the Lord stood up for Moses, as long as we are in His will for our lives, He will stand up for us and plead our case before our enemies.

C.   While Moses was certainly the meekest man of his day, the meekest man of all time was our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Do you remember what Jesus said in Mat. 11:28-29?

2. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest….Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:”

3. Paul wrote these words in 2 Cor. 10:1, “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,”

4. The very best example that we have of meekness is none other than our Lord Jesus Himself.

 

D.   The meekness of Christ, I think, can best be seen in the final days of His life before He was crucified.

1. Remember when He stood before Pontus Pilate?

2. Pilate was angry with Jesus, or perhaps we should say frustrated.

3. Do you remember why Pilate was frustrated?

4. He was frustrated because Jesus would not stand up for Himself, nor would He say anything in His own defense.

5. This is what Isaiah the prophet was referred to in when he wrote, “…as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” (Isa. 53:7)

6. That is meekness.

 

E.   Even when they nailed our Lord Jesus to the cross, He did not protest.

1. He did not ask for an appeal.

2. He did not demand a new trial.

3. But rather, He willingly submitted Himself to the very ones who drove the nails through His hands and His feet.

4. This is what Peter was referring to in 1 Pet. 2:23, listen to what he wrote concerning our Lord Jesus, “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”

5. That’s meekness.

 

F.    Now this raises a question,…

 

III.    Why Is Meekness Something To Be Desired?

 

A.   In Zeph. 2:3, we read, “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness:”

1. Here we are actually commanded to “seek meekness.”

2. But why?

 

B.   There are several reasons why we should seek meekness.

1. First of all, we should seek meekness because the more meek we are, the more teachable we are.

2. Listen to Psa. 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.”

3. (Illus. As a pastor, I have discovered this to be true as I have tried to teach people the ways of the Lord. I’ve discovered that people who are…

-proud,

-assertive,

-very demanding,

are also very difficult to teach. On the other hand, I have found people who are meek to be much more teachable and willing to learn.)

4. And the Lord knows that we all need to be more teachable!

 

C.   Secondly, we should seek meekness because the more meek we are, the happier we are.

1. Listen to Isa. 29:19, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”

2. (Illus.- As a pastor, I have also found that people who are proud, and assertive, and very demanding are not very happy people)

3. Do you know why this is true?

 

4. It’s true, I believe, because these people are never satisfied.

5. They are never satisfied with their possessions or with their position (station) in life, they always want more or something else.

6. Those who are meek, on the other hand, are usually very content, and the reason that is true is because meekness and contentment go hand in hand.

7. A content person is a happy person.

 

D.   A third reason we should seek meekness is because the more meek we are, the more we will be a peace with others.

1. Listen to Psa. 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

2. (Illus.- Let me tell you something else about people who are proud and assertive and demanding. Not only are the hard to teach, not only are they basically unhappy, but they are also usually involved in some sort of squabble or conflict with another person.)

3. Do you know why this is true?

4. It’s true because they are always making demands.

5. They are always demanding this or demanding that, and eventually they are going to come across someone who won’t give them what they demand.

6. (Illus.- It’s kind of like children. What happens when you put two assertive children together? There’s going to be a conflict because each one will demand their own way. Adults are really no different.)

 

E.   There is one more reason why we should seek meekness, and that is because the more meek we are, the more God will exalt us one day.

1. Listen to what Jesus said in Mat. 5:5, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

2. This is a blessed promise indeed.

 

3. What Jesus is promising here is that those who…

-humble themselves now,

-do not assert themselves now,

-do not demand their rights now,

will be rewarded one day for their meekness.

4. How will they be rewarded?

5. According to this verse, they will inherit the earth.

6. In other words, one day they will be…

-exalted by the Lord,

-promoted by the Lord,

-given what is rightfully theirs by the Lord.

7. This promise is stated like this in Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Conclusion:

 

A.   Let me ask you a personal question.

1. Do you exhibit the spiritual quality of meekness in your life?

2. Remember what meekness is.

3. Meekness is…

-humility,

-non-assertiveness,

-a non-demanding spirit.

4. Are you a meek person?

5. Remember that those who exhibit meekness in their life will be…

-more teachable,

-happier and more content,

-more at peace with others,

-rewarded by the Lord one day!

 

B.   If you are not a meek person, one of two things is wrong.

1. Either you do not have the Holy Spirit within you, or you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life?

2. Which is it???