The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church

Course:  The Fruit of the Spirit

Lesson Nine (Outline)

Lesson Title: Meekness


Lesson Goal:  …that the student will understand the necessity of walking in meekness and avoid being puffed up with pride.


Text:  'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,' Galatians 5:22.


Theme:  Meekness enables us to bear the burdens of others.


Introduction: Meekness (Greek 'prautes')

Meekness does not assert itself or seek its own interest.

·        Joyful acceptance of the will of the Lord

·        Recognises that all things are working for good in our lives, Romans 8:28.

·        Meekness delights in the plan and purposes of God.

The world regards meekness as weakness, but it is the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.


Meekness is seen when

·        Jesus went to Gethsemane 'Saying, Father, if You be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done.' (Luke 22:42) 

·        Paul wrote to the Ephesians 'I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles' (Ephesians 3:1).


Introductory Story:  Cake appeared to have substance but full of air.

·        One time when my children were young they came to the station to see me off.  I was going up to Scotland.  Josa had given me a packed lunch to eat on the train.  She also gave me a cake to eat.  It was an Apple puff.  At the station when we were waiting for the train, my son Daniel sat on my suitcase.  The Apple puff was in a paper bag at the top of the case.  When I came to eat the Apple puff there was nothing but some crumbs in the bag.  The cake had no substance.  Flaky pastry gave the cake an appearance of substance but once Daniel sat on it the outward façade was completely destroyed.


·        Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) - 'a large venomous African viper that inflates the upper part of its body and hisses when excited'  1 Corinthians 12:4 'Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself (does not proudly boast of itself), is not puffed up,'



1.      Meekness goes hand in hand with humility. Ephesians 4:2  'With all lowliness (humility) and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;'


·        Meekness describes our attitude towards God.  Meekness recognises the Lord's dealings with us as being good.


·        Humility describes our attitude towards one another.  Humility (Greek tapeinophrosune) is lowliness of mind as we esteem ourselves in the knowledge of what the Lord has done for us,  Philippians 2:5. 


·        We are to put on humility and meekness. ‘Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.’ Colossians 3:12-14.  Humility is not considering ourselves to be small when we are really great.  It is recognising the greatness of God and viewing ourselves in the knowledge of who He is.


2.      Meekness seeks to restore a person who has fallen.  Galatians 6:1-2  'Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.'


·        Meekness restores (v1)  It stands in contrast to legalism, which is not a fruit of the Spirit.   Legalism condemns and seeks to punish, but meekness seeks to restore the fallen by carrying the burdens of others.  Meekness is in contrast to self righteousness that pulls others down. 


·        Meekness takes the pressure to relief burdens. (v2)  Bearing burdens requires strong shoulders.   Trials produce strength.                                                         A person who is puffed up cannot do it because there is no substance to his or her character.  Baros (Greek) 'burdens' means 'heaviness, weight, burden, trouble'.   It relates to pressure.  A puffed up person has no substance in character and will not be able to bear the burdens of one who has fallen. 


Story:  Bearing burdens means carrying someone else's burden. This means carrying the difficulties associated with the problem for someone in need. 

If we are not moved by a spirit of meekness then we are likely to blame the person for being in that difficult situation.  The burden may be carried but it is not done in love.  There will be no eternal reward.  1 Corinthians 12:3  'And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.' 


3.      Meekness does not trust in self but trusts in the Lord. 

Jeremiah 17:7-8,  'Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.'


·      Meekness trusts the Lord's goodness and leading. Meekness recognises the Lord's goodness in all situations.  Meekness makes no resistance or dispute concerning daily blessings but rejoices in the dealings of God in our lives.


·        The meek have no trust in their own strength but they rely upon the Lord in all circumstances and situations. 


·        Meekness rejoices in afflictions and trials because the Lord knows the way of His people.  Psalm 1:6  'For the LORD knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.'


·        The Lord delivers the righteous in their trouble. Psalm 41:1-2  'Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and You will not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.'


4.      Meekness is essential for Holy Spirit anointed leadership, Numbers 12:3, (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

·        Moses was ready to lead when he lost his youthful self-confidence keeping sheep in Midian.


·        Meekness in leadership will seek to build up the body of Christ without self interest.  Even Peter did not put himself above the others when he calls himself an elder.  1 Peter 5:1-3 'The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.'


·        There is no need for self exaltation because meekness brings a glorious inheritance. 'Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth' Matthew 5:5.



The fruit of meekness 

1.      …goes hand in hand with humility.  We must be meek in our attitude towards God knowing the Lord is leading and be humble in our attitude towards others.

2.      …will seek to restore a person who has fallen.  We must relieve the pressure of others by meekly carrying the burdens of others.

3.      does not trust in self but trusts in the Lord.  The Lord will deliver the godly from trouble.

4.      …is an essential characteristic of Holy Spirit anointed leadership.  We must not be led by self interest or seek self exaltation but desire to build one another up in the scriptures.



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