Pleasant Run Baptist Church
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The Bible says that we are Christians. And we are Christians because we are
Christ-like. So the fruits
of the Spirit
listed in Galatians 5 are characteristics
of Christ -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness and temperance.
This morning I touched on all but the last two -- meekness and temperance.
Tonight I will focus on them.
We confuse meekness,
especially we men because we think men cannot show their feelings. We are
"tough." We have scraggly beards and we strut around being "macho."
That is why men are outnumbered by women in the church; it should not be like
that, but men look at going to church as being feminine. But the Bible
commands the man to be minister of his home. Therefore, if men are
ministers of their homes like they should be, they will not only go to church
every time the doors are open, they would make sure the rest of the family is
there as well. Men don't cry! I used to never cry. I would
laugh at Lisa and Ashley when they cried over the TV program Rescue 911.
How many of you remember that program? William Shatner would be rescuing a
cat or something from a burning building and I would come into the room.
There they sat with tears running down their cheeks and I would say, "Y'all are
so silly." But now, since the Lord has touched my heart, I will cry in a
heartbeat. Once the Lord touches your heart, it becomes soft and tender.
It only take the drop of a hat form the tears to start flowing. I am not
embarrassed to admit that I cry. All I have to do is look in Scripture and
I see where Jesus wept.
What is the harm in showing
someone else Christian compassion? What is the harm in giving your
Christian brothers a hug and telling them you love them? Meekness is the
sign of being connected to the vine, and is a God-honoring virtue.
I have been blessed by having
many mentors in my Christian walk, two of them being Pastors Harley Humfleet and
Don Drake. I have learned through them that it is always best to take the
humble way out. When two or more people are "butting heads", and you can't
reach an agreement, turn and walk away from it. When we voluntarily humble
ourselves, we are demonstrating the characteristics of the Lord. Jesus
humbled himself even to the cross.
Zephaniah 2:3: Seek you the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his
judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the
day of the Lord's anger.
10:1: Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ,
It is an honorable thing to
be humble before God. Not only do people see your humbleness and
compassion, they see Jesus in you. There is a time for righteous anger.
Remember when Jesus went into the temple and turned over the gambling tables?
I have said this time and time again -- just because we are called "meek" does
not mean that we are to be someone's punching bag. Don't let anyone walk
over you. Just know that in most cases it is better to show meekness and
turn and walk away. Use the old, "Turn the other cheek" attitude whenever
We are called to be gentle.
May I tell you when it is hard for me to be gentle? Try driving through
Lexington at 4pm in the afternoon. It is hard for me to have a humble
attitude when somebody cuts in front of me just to turn off right in front of
me. Now someone like Martha Johnson would say, "Bless them, Lord." I
have to admit it is hard to be gentle at a time like that.
So many people are caught up
in the sin of pride and often find it hard to be humble. You ask,
"Preacher, how do we do what you say to do?" The Bible has all the
Micah 6:8: He hath shewed thee , O man, what is good; and
what doeth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to
walk humbly with thy Lord.
How do we humble ourselves? The
answer to that question is simple --By walking with the Lord. May I tell
you that God has a way of making us humble? He will get your attention.
When we show too much pride, He will set us down.
I get a sense of pride in
being your pastor. I get a sense of pride in our being a church. I
get a sense of pride when we see the church doing well. But that type of
pride is to be guarded. It is very easy to cross the line. It's
happened to me. You know what God did? He humbled me down. He
will always bring you back to reality and remind you of who is really in charge.
Romans 12:1 -- I
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable
We must walk with God, and be a living sacrifice to Him
every single day. I think I can truthfully say, "An arrogant Christian can
do more harm in the Christian community than a dozen lost people." You
know the ones I'm talking about. Those who keep their noses stuck up in
the air and think they are doing nothing wrong and are better than their
neighbor. To love God is to be humble. And to be meek and humble is
to get rid of all self pride and walk with God.
Matthew 11:29 --
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me. For I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Learn from Him by reading
from His word, the word of a loving Christ. Life is not about the rat
race. It's not about who wins. It is about humbling ourselves before
God; then we will find rest for our souls.
Temperance: self restraint.
When we become Christians, we are called to restrain ourselves and not to walk
in the old self that we were in the past. One of the saddest things in
being a pastor is to see people say they love Jesus and use no self-restraint.
They are those who go after the flesh. We are to live higher than the
world's standards because we are "Royal Ambassadors" for Christ. Just
because we are born-again ambassadors does not mean the craving for sin stops;
but it does mean that we are to use self-restraint. Where God guides, He
provides. When He leads us out of the "wilderness of sin" through
salvation, He'll give us everything we need to live a victorious life to
overcome the lust of the flesh. It is then that we become a "Living
There are nine fruits of the
Spirit -- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, and temperance. The last few words in Galatians 5:23 -- what
does Paul mean when he says, "Against such there is no law." That's all
tied in together. Let's talk about the law for one second. The Old
Testament law was broken down into three categories: Ceremonial law, Civil law,
and Moral law. There were over 600 laws that the ancient Christians had to
Ceremonial law was Israel's
worship and atonement of sin. If they committed a certain sin, they had to
go to a priest and bring with them a turtle dove or a lamb or an oxen.
What they brought depended upon the severity of the sin. The animal was to
be slaughtered and the blood used for the atonement of their sins. Today
the atonement of our sins is by the blood of Christ. He was nailed to the
cross as an atonement for our sins.
Moral law was how Jewish
people would deal with other Jewish people. A couple of example of these
laws in Deuteronomy 20 are:
1. If a city is conquered and a man sees a beautiful woman he want
to take for his wife, she must have her head shaved and cut her fingernails
2. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his
parents, they can bring him to the elders of the city and he will be stoned to
Civil laws were custom
changes. Principles carried over to moral laws such as the laws of Moses'
We are a New Testament church
and there is a place for laws. Paul brings it to us in
3:24 -- Wherefore the law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.
If we live faithfully the nine attributes, we will have fully kept God's laws.
Bro. JR Fields January 18, 2009