Meekness? Who wants that?


The word meek is not a word that is en vogue today.  Most people don’t know what it means and if they did know what it meant they still wouldn’t be interested in any attempt at being meek.  For the Christian this is an exceptional word and one of the biggest evidences of saving faith we have.  It is so important that Jesus used this in His teaching on the Sermon on the Mount.  It is one of the first qualities that enters into the life of a believer after salvation.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  – Matthew 5:5

Whatever comes to your mind when you think about meekness is probably not what it actually means and the most important thing to understand is that meekness is not weakness.  It does not mean mousy, or shy.  It does not mean cowardly or withdrawn.  It does not indicate a lack of desire to engage people.  Actually quite the opposite.

πραΰς praÿs, apparently a primary word; mild, i.e. (by implication) humble:—meek.

“The term sometimes was used to describe a soothing medicine or a soft breeze.  It was used of colts and other animals whose naturally wild spirits were broken by a trainer so that they could do useful work.” – MacArthur New Testament Commentaries

This is not an admirable quality by an unbelieving world.  In this world we are expected to be aggressive, assertive and take charge kind of men or women.  The only way to get ahead is to attack.  But here Jesus says, “No!”  Be mild, be humble, be meek.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Meekness comes from a lowly heart.  A low moral opinion of oneself.  Not thinking too highly of yourself.  This is the exact opposite of what the world desires in a person.  This is the exact opposite of what we want in ourselves.  We want to be noticed.  We want to be acknowledged for our greatness and our accomplishments.  We desire our fair share of notoriety.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  – Ephesians 4:1-3

I don’t know about you but that is not easy is it?  I mean is that natural for you because it’s not for me…  There is only one way to meekness and that is through the power of the Spirit.

There is also another side to meekness.  Which does not appear weak.  It is a level of boldness that comes through the empowerment of the Spirit as well.  Jesus was lowly and gentle and Jesus was bold.  Jesus was confrontational.  Jesus was sarcastic and sometimes seemingly rude.  Jesus is our perfect model and left us a perfect example to follow.

John MacArthur in his commentary says this:

“Meekness does not connote weakness.  The word was used in much extrabiblical literature to refer to the breaking of an animal.  Meekness means power put under control.  A person without meekness is “like a city that is broke into and without walls” (Prov. 25:28).  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32).  An unbroken colt is useless; medicine that is too strong will harm rather than cure; a wind out of control destroys.  Emotion out of control also destroys, and has no place in God’s kingdom.  Meekness uses its resources appropriately.”  (MacArthur New Testament Commentaries)

Meekness is an essential quality for the Christian.  It doesn’t come naturally and it doesn’t come easily.  It is imparted to the believer in regeneration but it is a skill that requires refinement.  It is a way to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.  We need to develop the qualities that God says He gives us in salvation to bring Him glory.  Let him who stole no longer steal… (Ephesians 4:28)  It is an evidence of saving faith that should grow as the believer grows in holiness.

Put off the old man that grows corrupt and put on the new man, be renewed in the spirit of your mind…  Ephesians 4:22-24

When we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, we develop meekness and are submissive to the call to proclaim His name.  This often takes us to places that require boldness.  It demands a level of confrontation that many are uncomfortable with.  The Christian and the unbeliever can be uncomfortable.  The Lord demands it and it is indicative of saving faith.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  – Matthew 5:11

Most won’t sign up for this.  Most that profess Christ won’t desire persecution.  They won’t seek this type of meekness.   This is hard.  This is narrow and restrictive, this is often viewed as judgmental.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled.  And they realized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13

Can this be said of you?  Can this be said of me?

Will you be accused of being meek and there be enough evidence to convict you?   May the Lord grow us in His grace to be meek and to be bold that His name might receive the glory for which we were saved.



What are you talkin’ about?


Evangelism should be an important part of the life of a Believer.  There is plenty of scripture that leaves no doubt about the truth of this.  The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to “Go” did He not? (Matthew 28:19)

The gospel is “good news”, the word means news, Euaggelion glad tidings of salvation through Christ the proclamation of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ, the gospel, as the messianic rank of Jesus was proved by his words, his deeds, and his death, the narrative of the sayings, deeds, and death of Jesus Christ came to be called the gospel or glad tidings.

What’s the last thing you were excited about?  Something you discovered that you really wanted to tell people, and let them know this is something that should interest them?  I’ve told lots of people how great Dropbox is.  I’ve told plenty of people how cool my new Thinkpad is with a solid state hard drive.  This really excites me and causes me to want to share the news with others.

Yet I forgot to tell them that Jesus offers sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and eternal life to the dead, all spiritually speaking of course.  Ooops, how did I leave that one out?

But I must tell them

I can’t let myself off the hook by saying “use words when necessary”.  Words ARE necessary.  Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?

The preacher is a proclaimer.  Not just your pastor or the professional evangelist.  You and me, Believer are preachers.  We can’t proclaim unless we open our mouths.

So now what?  How do we do this?  The fact we should proclaim is clear.  The most notable verse about this comes from 1 Peter and one most Christians are quite familiar with.

This all begins with the concept that those that proclaim the good news are going to be persecuted for it.  In case I forgot to mention it, you will be despised when you bring God’s word to bear.

It’s not optional.

Isn’t this why the modern church has changed the message to be palatable?  It’s easier to talk about the love of God because that is just easier to swallow for most people, those fire and brimstone sermons are just not much fun.  Everyone likes the god that forgives sin, loves everyone and never expects anything in return, certainly doesn’t require us to pursue righteousness and turn from sin.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meeknesss and fear.

I remember before salvation I really didn’t understand this verse.  I get the always be ready part, but I wasn’t sure about the sanctify business and what does it mean with meekness and fear.  What am I supposed to fear?  It just didn’t come together in my mind.  Of course I couldn’t grasp it because my mind was at enmity with God.

Sanctify – means to make holy, that is (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: – hallow, be holy, sanctify.

The word heart does not mean the muscle beating in your chest; it’s the thoughts and the control center of your being, so when we sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, we are to set Him up in a special place in our minds that He is pure and holy.

Have you sanctified the Lord God in your heart?  This is not something to gloss over; it’s the starting point of this verse.  It’s a directive, not simply a question or a suggestion.  If we desire Him above all things, this should come easy, but it won’t.  It’s not easy; the Christian life is never easy.  This is why the Lord said to strive to enter by the narrow gate.

Charles Spurgeon: Have your doctrinal views, and all your knowledge of Christ, packed away in a handy form, so that, when people want to know what you believe, you can tell them. If they wish to know why you believe that you are saved, have your answer all ready in a few plain, simple sentences; and in the gentlest and most modest spirit make your confession of faith to the praise and glory of God. Who knows but what such good seed will bring forth an abundant harvest? (1 Peter 3 Commentary)

In considering Spurgeon’s exhortation, we must know Scripture.  This doesn’t mean you will be able to give a snappy answer to every non believer that comes along.  This is not the point of this verse it’s a Believer’s responsibility to share their story and offer scriptural truth in a world gone wrong.  The opportunity to point someone to Jesus as the One true hope.

What about the meekness and fear.

The word meek denotes a gentle spirit, or mildness of disposition.  Simply put we don’t need to be aggressive in our approach of presenting the hope we have and as many people will take this as an aggressive stance, we must not offer that in response.

As we take this whole chapter in context Peter is setting us up for the reviling and the suffering that will undoubtedly come our way when we present God to them.  So as a gentle answer turns away wrath, so can we offer our hope with meekness.

What does it mean to fear?

Are we to fear the people we are presenting our hope?  Have you seen the shirt “Fear This”?  Does the wearer of that shirt expect you to be afraid of him or should he be afraid of you?  What he’s trying to let you know is you need to be afraid of him because he’s a tough guy.

Who should we fear?

Proverbs 1:7 Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The word fear means to fear and it also means awe and reverence.  We cannot revere God if we first don’t fear Him as one that has complete power and authority over our lives.  So when we present our hope never forget who we are to fear.  Let’s present a gospel message that will give the listener a healthy dose of fear.

The message Jesus loves you generally won’t cut it.  Unbelievers must know they are headed to hell without the saving work of Jesus Christ, which is something to seriously fear.

There is a delicate balance here to offer the message with a gentle but firm dose of reality.  This is something to enter into with fear and trembling knowing that we represent the God of the universe.  He is worthy to be feared.