Parkview CHURCH of CHRIST

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CHRISTIANS AS BRETHREN:

PERSONAL CHARACTER AND CONDUCT

LESSON THREE


INTRODUCTION:  

1.  Being “poor in spirit” and “mourning” over sin primarily manifest the Christian’s character in his or her personal relationship with God.

2. Being “meek” is no different, but meekness manifests itself in numerous ways in our relationship with others (James 1:21, Titus 3:2).

 


I. BLESSED ARE THE MEEK… (Matthew 5:5)  

A. The Greek word “PRAUS” denotes a spirit of humility, gentleness or meekness.  

1. So translated:

    a. “Meek” (KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, ASV)

    b. “Gentle” (NAS)

    c. “Humble” (CEV - Contemporary English Version)


2. The character of keeping “self” in check that allows one to “absorb” hurtful and unjust things without immediately defending “self” before others.

    a. “Meekness” is “strength under control” – we are quick to react forcefully when defending ourselves.    Like         a wild stallion, the strength of the horse is still present, but as a tamed stallion, the strength is kept under         control.

    b. “Gentleness” comes to mind because an agitated spirit is not allowed to surface

    c. “Humility” comes to mind because one is lowering self and one’s rights before others.

  

3. Bible Examples: Jesus (Matt 11:29, 21:5) and Moses (Num. 12:3)  

    a. Jesus in the garden when captured (Matt. 26:51-56)

       (1). Peter reacted with a sword

       (2). Jesus reacted with healing and teaching

       (3). He could have called for 12 legions (72,000) angels to defend Him.

    b. Jesus before Pilate (Matt. 27:12-14)

       (1). Speaks to his “kingship”

       (2). Silence in defending self before false accusations of others

    c. Moses before accusations of Miriam and Aaron (Num. 12:1-15)

      (1). Silent when accused by others

      (2). Jehovah is listening and reacts

      (3). Moses prays for Miriam

    d. Paul exhorts Timothy to make meekness an urgent pursuit (I Timothy 6:11)

 

II. BLESSED: “…THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.” (Matt. 5:5)

A. When meekness is manifested –an inheritance enjoyed is in the future.

B. The kingdom of heaven already is ruling in the Christian’s life with the promise of eternal life (Matt. 19:29, Matt. 25:34, I Cor. 15:50)

C. Jesus says the meek shall “inherit” the earth as well.

a. One already is empty of self, trusting in God completely and lives “God-sustained,” not “self-sustained” (ex. Phil. 4:12-13)

b. The Meek is absorbing – not quick to fight back in defending self,

while seeking and submitting to God’s rule from heaven

(cf. Matthew 6: 25, 32-33)

c. The world may view the Christian as a fool – but this so-called meek fool possesses “all things” (I Cor. 3:21-22)

     1. Paul… and fellow teachers

     2. the world

     3. life

     4. death

     5. things present

     6. things to come

     7. “all things are yours” – “ye are Christ’s” - “Christ is God’s”


III. MEEKNESS IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS


A. Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23) manifests itself in restoring another who has been overtaken in sin (Gal.6:1).

     1. humility to see self as also being tempted.

     2. reacts with gentleness – not demeaning another

B. God’s servant correcting those who “opposing themselves” – they lack the “knowledge of the truth.”  (2 Tim. 2:24-26)

     1. in “meekness”- “humility” correcting the opposition.

     2. Meekness governing our words can defuse conflict (Prov. 15:1, Eccl. 10:4)

     3. Meekness governing our words can be persuasive (I Pet. 3:15,  Prov. 16:21, 25:15, I Pet. 3:4)

C. Reacting to brethren who upset you (Col. 3:12-13, Eph. 4:2)

1. with “meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another

2. then, forgiving when one repents (cf. Lk. 17:3)

D. Meekness should always be present even when the rod of chastisement in spiritual warfare takes center stage (2 Cor. 10:1-6, I Cor. 4:18-21).

 


QUESTIONS:


1. How is meekness manifested toward God? Is meekness a characteristic that should only be manifested toward our brethren?


2. What “concept” of meekness allows the translation of the Greek word to be accurately “humble” and “gentle?”


3. How did Jesus manifest meekness in the garden when He was captured?


4. How did Jesus manifest meekness before Pilate?


5. What meekness was Moses manifesting when Miriam and Aaron were speaking against him?


6. How urgent was meekness in Paul’s instruction to Titus?


7. How is the meek blessed knowing he or she “shall inherit the earth?”


8. Why does Paul address the “spiritual” to restore a brother who has been overtaken in a sin?  How is meekness manifested in the work of restoration?  


9. What does meekness look like in the servant of the Lord when teaching those who oppose the truth?


10. How does meekness work in our speech to defuse conflict?


11. What should your initial response be when brethren agitate you?


12. Would it be fair to judge Paul as lacking meekness when he is becoming bold against some while engaged in spiritual warfare?