"The Power To Prevail Over Your Problems"
Series on the Fruit of the Spirit, Msg. # 6

The Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness and Goodness

"But the fruit of the Spirit is ... gentleness, goodness..." Galatians 5:22

Theme: Believers should demonstrate a kindness of disposition and a goodness of action.


Introduction:

All of us have had another Christian be unkind to us.

All of us have probably been unkind to others.

That is not Spirit filled Christianity, for the fruit of the Spirit is ... "gentleness, goodness...."


I. The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness.

ILLUS. George Bush wanted a "kinder, gentler America."

GENTLENESS is KINDNESS

A. As demonstrated by God.

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared... he saved us..." Titus 3:4-5

"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is KIND unto the unthankful and to the evil." Luke 6:35

1. God is kind to the lost.

cf. Romans 2:4 (above)

2. God is kind to the weak and tempted.

"He knoweth our frame..."

3. God is kind to the fallen and sinful.

"He hath not dealt with us after our infirmities"

B. As demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

ILLUS. Woman of Samaria (John 4:1f) - Jesus was kind

ILLUS. Woman taken in adultery (Luke 7:37-50) - Jesus was kind.

C. Christians have the capacity to be kind.

QUOTE "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

1. It is commanded of us.

"And be ye KIND one to another..." Eph. 4:32

2. It is expected of us.

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be GENTLE unto all men..." 2 Timothy 2:24

"Put them (i.e. other believers) in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but GENTLE, shewing meekness unto all men." Titus 3:1-2

ILLUS. Paul said, "But we were GENTLE among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7

3. It is provided for us! - Galatians 5:22

(And ignore the Holy Spirit in the process!)

QUOTE "Be kind, for nearly everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

"Be KINDLY affectioned one to another with brotherly love." Romans 12:10

"Charity suffereth long, and is KIND..." 1 Cor. 13:4

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, KINDNESS..." Col. 3:12

"And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly KINDNESS..."2 Pet. 1:5-7

II. The fruit of the Spirit is goodness.

A. Refers to action rather than just attitude.

(Contrast definitions of CHRESTOTES (above) and AGATHOSUNE.)

B. Sometimes to be good, we have to be harsh.

ILLUS. Spanking children - it is for their good.

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Prov. 13:24

ILLUS. Reproving wickedness in other Christians:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Eph. 5:11

ILLUS. Jesus cleansing of the temple -

Matthew 21:12-13

ILLUS. Jesus rebuking of the Pharisees -

Matthew 23:13-29

ILLUS. Paul rebuking Peter - Gal. 2:14

QUOTE "Love that seeks to do men good is cowardice when it refuses to prevent them from doing wrong."

C. ALWAYS our goodness should be ACTIVE.

ILLUS. David with Mephibosheth:

"And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2 Samuel 9:1

ILLUS. Good Samaritan:

"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." Luke 10:33-34

QUOTE "There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."

CHINESE PROVERB - "Flowers leave their fragrance on the hand that bestows them."

POEM (About above proverb:)

"This old Chinese proverb, if practiced each day,

Would change the whole world in a wonderful way -

Its truth is so simple, it's so easy to do

And it works every time and successfully, too...

For you can't do a kindness without a reward,

Not in silver nor gold but in joy from the Lord -

You can't light a candle to show others the way

Without feeling the warmth of that bright little ray.

And you can't pluck a rose, all fragrant with dew,

Without part of its fragrance remaining with you."

-- Helen Steiner Rice

POEM

"I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight,

That to somebody's need

Made me blind;

But I never have yet

Felt a twinge of regret,

For being a little too kind."

- Christian Herald

D. Christians have the capacity for active goodness.

1. It is expected of us.

"And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of GOODNESS, filled all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." Romans 15:14

2. It is provided for us! - Galatians 5:22

 

Conclusion:

Christian, the fruit of the Spirit is "gentleness" or kindness.

The fruit of the Spirit is goodness.

The Holy Spirit wants a "kinder and gentler" Christian.

The Holy Spirit has equipped you to be that Christian.

Will you let the "gentleness and goodness" of the Spirit be seen in you?


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1996 William E. Johnson.