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Gentleness (Fruit of the Spirit)

This study was taught at our Sunday evening service by Jon Gunne on the 1st November 2020. You can listen to the audio on this web page or save it for later listening.

This is the eighth study in our series on the Fruit of the Spirit, something that should be evident in the life of every Christian, and found in the Bible in Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

As taught in our introduction to this series, we should keep in mind the following foundational items;

  • Grace, not works (We don’t show the fruit of the Spirit in order to be saved, but rather we grow fruit because we have been saved – see Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Fruit, not fruits (Unlike the gifts of the Spirit where different ones are given to different people, we should each demonstrate all the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit – see 2 Peter 1:5-9).
  • Abiding, not striving (We are to abide in Christ. If the branches are not connected, they will not bear fruit. Likewise we must spend time in the Word, and in prayer, or we will not bear fruit – John 15:4).

In this study we specifically looked at Gentleness, the quality of benignity, kindness; having a kindly disposition, showing or expressive of gentleness of kindness.

There are some expectations of how we behave as a Christian, and we sometimes think gentleness isn’t manly, or even professional; we’re taught to be tough, look out for ourselves, to tell it like it is, to be aggressive, to push yourself forward. But gentleness is not the same as weakness; it is controlled strength, not lack of strength.

During this study, we considered the following approach to gentleness;

  • Head, not heart – we should not be driven by feelings and emotion
  • Take time – gentle people are nor reactionary
  • Care – gentle people take time to care for others, they are not selfish
  • Remember – remember whose child you are, and what God has done for you
  • Decide – it’s a Spirit filled decision to be gentle
  • Walk and Pray – pray for those who oppose you, and gentleness will then be a natural reaction
  • Reflect – a gentle person is concerned with how they behaved in a tough conversation

Scriptures referenced throughout this study include;

  • 1 Timothy 3:2-4
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • Philippians 4:5
  • Proverbs 16:32
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • James 1:27
  • Matthew 19:14
  • James 1:19
  • Romans 8:14-17
  • Joshua 24:15
  • Matthew 5:44
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22
  • Romans 14:13

Throughout this 10-week series we will continue to study one quality of the Fruit of the Spirit each week, with studies available on our website (usually) the same day they are taught. Separately, it is worth listening to our previous study on this chapter here.

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