Gentleness – the Fruit of the Spirit

 Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23


I.         Introduction


A.      There are NINE fruits placed in the life of the believer at salvation.


1.        On the very day you got saved, the Holy Spirit indwelt you (1Cor 6:19).

2.        On that day, God put His Holy Spirit in you and there He will remain.

3.        But He doesn’t sit idly by. He does two things


a.       Changes you from the inside out

b.       Exchanges your old works, with something he calls FRUIT! The fruit of the Spirit


B.       These are God’s replacements for the seventeen WORKS of the flesh as listed in Gal 5:19-21.

C.       The fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of my personal walk and relationship with Jesus Christ in His word – it’s not complicated. It just takes effort and focus (Gal 5:25) on your part! God help us ALL to have personal love-life with the God of this Book!

D.      So far, we have studied the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, and Long-suffering

E.       None of these are not natural in our lives – not like anything this world has to offer – but completely supernatural!

F.       This message will focus on the fifth fruit of the Holy Spirit: gentleness!


I.         Message


A.      The Meaning of Gentleness


1.        Definition


a.       Considerate or kindly in attitude; Tender. Mild and soft. Carefulness, Politeness. Mildness of temper, calmness of spirit, an unruffled disposition. This is one of the results of the Spirit’s operations on the heart. Jesus makes no one sour. It sweetens the temper; corrects an irritable disposition; makes the heart kind; motivates us to make all around us as happy as possible. This is true politeness.

b.       Easy to be intreated – doesn’t take much to get a gentle person to care

c.       God is talking about being gentle in our dealings with others


2.        The opposites


a.       Fierce, Unkind, Rough, Harsh or severe

b.       The normal attitude of the natural man is very quick to get angry, or to seek to get even, or to revenge our hurt

c.       The Holy Spirit creates supernatural Gentleness in a Christian to counteract all of those feelings.


B.       The Purpose of Gentleness – two-fold:


1.        To counteract the work of the flesh called “emulations”


a.       The desire for superiority through contest, contention, strife

b.       Trying to emulate – but only because of jealousy

c.       The work of the flesh is to hurt others who have hurt you, or are blocking you from being what you think you need to be

d.       The work of the Holy Spirit is to be like Jesus


2.        To show the life of Christ


a.       Remember, that’s why Jesus left Christians here

b.       To demonstrate what God is like, by our, not normal lives, but changed lives

c.       All of the fruits of the Holy Spirit were present, and always visible in the life of Jesus Christ!


C.       The Greatness of Gentleness (Ps 18:35) – not talking about wimpy-ness!


1.        God could have made David great through any number of ways


a.       God could have just given David incredible magical powers

b.       Like all the emphasis today on Magic, and the Force, and Angels, and Witches, and hocus-pocus

c.       David could have walked around and just zapped his enemies, and conquered all his problems with the wave of his hand

d.       David would have been pretty great in the world’s sight


2.        But David noticed that God’s GENTLENESS was a key factor in David’s greatness – How is God gentle?


a.       In his dealings with man – in the way He puts up with us (Ps 103:13,14; Lam 3:22,23)

b.       In his patience with man


1)       How many years did God wait on Abraham? Started with him at 75!

2)       How many years did God wait on him to finally fully trust God? Another 25 – it was at 100 years old that Abraham got the miracle baby named Isaac!

3)       How long was it that God had to wait on you to humble yourself, and receive Christ – without condition? For me it was 17 years!

4)       How long have you been saved, and yet still are struggling with stuff in your life – the Lord is truly gentle towards us isn’t He?


c.       In the way he gives us what we need (James 3:17) – ask and ye shall receive!

d.       In the way He saves sinners – compares Himself to that of a Shepherd


1)       Leads His flock – doesn’t drive them

2)       Feeds His flock

3)       Goes after the lost sheep – risks His own life for 1 sinner

4)       Protects His flock, and even dies for them


3.        Do you know why we don’t have much Gentleness in our lives?


a.       Simply because we see the need for Strife, Argumentation, Contention as more “efficient”

b.       Politicians know this to be true – they try to be civil, but people want blood!

c.       As do businesses – go head to head with your competition


D.      Examples of Gentleness


1.        God


a.       In Creation – just look around!


1)       This universe is built by God pretty strong, and sturdy

2)       Notice the delicateness of God’s creation

3)       EX: This earth is filled with boiling lava, covered by hard rock, yet the top few feet is soft, brown, rich, moist dirt!


b.       In Conversion


1)       The Lord should only give us one chance, but He gives us loads

2)       The Lord should make us crawl on our knees backwards up Mt Everest to get born again, but He doesn’t – Thank God

3)       He is Gentle – He takes us as we are, right where we are!


c.       In Correction


1)       The Lord could clobber us every time we sin – He needs to

2)       In Love, the Lord (not punishes), but corrects us

3)       I don’t care how hard you think your life is, it is GENTLE compared to what you OUGHT to get!


d.       In Communication


1)       The Lord could communicate to us in a very complicated and hard way

2)       But instead He put all we need to know in a Book!

3)       And His Holy Spirit speaks through a very still, small, voice – the word “still” is the quiet voice, or the gentle voice of God


e.       Now, don’t think that this is the ONLY way that God reacts towards us – He does have His limit – thank God – as Gentle as he is, there comes a time when Gentleness must give way to Justice (Ex 34:4-7)


1)       We think God should ONLY be kind towards us

2)       But we don’t want God to have to be just

3)       All I can say is, you had better accept His Gentleness (Jesus), before you have to face His Justice (hell) – that’s salvation!


2.        Jesus (Isa 40:11)


a.       He was gentle with the Woman at the Well (John 4) – five husbands

b.       He was also gentle with Nicodemas – took the time to explain, and try to get His “born again”

c.       How about the encounter with the woman caught in Adultery (Jn 8:3-11)?


1)       According to the law of God, she SHOULD have died

2)       But she didn’t HAVE to be punished at that time

3)       She needed Jesus – that’s why he is called SAVIOUR!

4)       She is instead, forgiven, but charged with not doing it again!

5)       THAT is GENTLENESS!


3.        David with his son Absolom (2Sam 18:1-5)


a.       Absolom had taken over David’s kingdom, and run him out of town

b.       Absolom had raised an army against his father David, to crush them

c.       David prepares to defend himself against the attack, and orders his men to not seek revenge – to be gentle with Absolom

d.       How could he decide such a course?


1)       Because David knew how to leave revenge into the hands of the Lord

2)       You had better learn that too

3)       There is nothing wrong with defending yourself

4)       There is something wrong with seeking revenge (Rom 12)


4.        Contrast with Rehoboam (1Kings 12:1-13)


a.       Could have been so loved

b.       If only had been more gentle

c.       You don’t have to be a wimp! But you ought to be gentle!


E.       The Need of All Christians (Titus 3:1-6)


1.        Gentleness toward each other (2Cor 10:1,2; 1Thes 2:7)

2.        Gentleness towards your home and family (

3.        Gentleness towards our conflicts (2Cor 10:3-5)

4.        Gentleness towards your enemy (Mt 5,6; Pr 15:1)

5.        Gentleness towards the lost (2Tim 2:24-26)

6.        Gentleness towards your need (Pr 25:15)

7.        Gentleness towards God – quit hammering God about all your problems, and all your needs – calm down, and just take the time to pour out your heart – so that God can pour in His Holy Spirit!


 II.       Conclusion


A.      Most people do not realize just how GENTLE God has been with this filthy and wicked world

B.       People take advantage of the gentleness of God and abuse it – just as they do almost ALL of God’s gifts

C.       Take a moment and consider how kind, and gentle God has been to you in your life, and ask yourself,


1.        Am I just living on “borrowed time?” Will the gentleness end one day son, and I go and spend eternity in hell – simply because I have neglected the free gift of eternal life?

2.        Have I ever sought for the attitude/disposition of gentleness to be developed in my life – or do I take pride in my strife and ability to argue and fight others?


D.      If you are not born again, the Saviour gently calls you to come to Him, and receive Him all by simple child-like faith

E.       If you are saved, there is a kind of church that Jesus wants to mould us into – one where we are


1.        Firm in our stand, and our beliefs

2.        But gentle in the expression and persuasion of those beliefs


F.       Do you know the most humbling way to find out how gentle you are? Ask somebody – maybe ask your enemy. And then ask God to begin the production of the fruit of gentleness in a big way in your life!