Fruit of the Spirit

(part 9)

 

Greetings precious people. In todayís article we will continue our look at the subject of the Fruit of the Spirit as revealed in Godís Word, the Bible. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." So far we have looked at the first five which are love, joy peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, and faith. If you missed any of these and would like a copy of them, just let me know and Iíll send you a copy free of charge. Today we will examine the fruit Meekness.

Meekness as defined in the dictionary is the quality of showing patience and humility, longsuffering, and submissive. Meekness is often confused with weakness. Meekness is not weakness. Jesus Christ was the meekest person that was ever on the face of this earth and He was anything but weak. He created this universe by merely speaking it into existence. In Colossians 1:19, we read, "For by Him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross."

Though He had all the power in the universe and could have foregone all the suffering that He subjected Himself to, He chose not to. Rather He submitted Himself to the father completely, that He might pay the price that was required for the forgiveness of our sins.

Listen to the description Jesus gives of Himself. In Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

When the religious leaders came to take Jesus away by force, it appeared to some of His disciples that He was helpless. Listen to the account given in Matthew 26:47-54, "And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"

Without doubt, one of the greatest portions of Scriptures that describe Meekness in the Lord Jesus Christ, is found in the Apostles letter to the Philippians. In Philippians 2:5-8, Paul admonishes Christians to follow the example set forth by Jesus Christ. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

This fruit, character trait of Meekness, is not something that is admired or desired in our society today. It is thought to be a sign of inferiority and weakness. Rather, we are taught to be impatient, arrogant, submitted to no one but our own desires and wants. Is it any wonder the reason that our society is in the mess it is today? So much of the Christian life is contrary to the flow and trends of society. It should be no wonder when a person as a Christian tries to follow the example set forth for us in the life of Jesus Christ, that we are looked upon as fools and idiots. This is nothing new and should not be looked upon as being something strange by those that desire to live their lives in a way that pleases the Lord. The early Christians experienced a great deal of mistreatment as they sought to live their lives for the Lord.

Listen to what Paul said to the Christians at Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 4:10-13, "We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now."

Unlike other religions, true Christians seek to influence and win the people of the world not by force, gun, terrorism, or fear, rather we seek to win people by love. Not just any love, but the love of Jesus Christ. One of the characteristics of this love is meekness.

The meekness that we have seen portrayed for us in the previously mentioned Scriptures can never be obtained in ones life by any other means except by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Spirit in a personís life who is submitted to Jesus Christ and thus the Spirit has the freedom to work in that personís life to nurture and manifest the fruit of the Spirit.

This is the kind of life God intends for all His children, a life lived in the Spirit, experiencing and enjoying the Fruit of the Spirit. Is this the kind of life that you are experiencing today? If not it can be, God wants it to be. You must simply humble yourself before the Lord, ask Him to come into your life and be the Lord and Savior of your life, and allow Him to make the changes that He wants to make.

Next time we will conclude our study of the Fruit of the Spirit. Until then, may the Lord richly bless you my beloved.

If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail ccalpine@juno.com

Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine