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Bible verses about Meekness
(From Forerunner Commentary)

A popular hymn that received much acclaim several generations ago unintentionally derides our Savior as being "gentle Jesus, meek and mild." Meekness is a fruit of the Spirit that seems very much lost in our aggressive, self-centered culture. Because people associate it with weakness, most today do not admire others for being "meek," but as we shall see, it is not what they assume. It is a quality of character very noticeable in the greatest human being ever to grace this earth—and one that all of us sorely need today.

A modern English dictionary or thesaurus makes it clear why meekness is associated with weakness. Notice its synonyms as listed in the Reader's Digest Oxford Complete Word Finder: tame, timid, mild, bland, unambitious, retiring, weak, docile, acquiescent, repressed, suppressed, spiritless, broken, and wimpish. Not a single one of these words applies to Jesus Christ or even to Moses, who the Bible claims "was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (Numbers 12:3, KJV). Do these terms describe the warrior-king David, a man greatly beloved by God? Or Paul, the fearless and tireless apostle, who courageously faced his share and more of dangerous, painful persecutions? No, yet once we understand what biblical meekness is, we can easily see that these men were indeed meek.

Surely our understanding of this remarkable characteristic must be askew! Bible commentators generally agree that modern man, living in our Western, Judeo-Christian cultures, lacks this godly attribute. Meekness, being a fruit of the Spirit, is an attribute of God Almighty Himself and important to our being in His image and a true witness. Indeed, this characteristic will largely determine how much peace and contentment are in our lives and how well we do during trials.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

We do not stand alone in our misperception of the word meekness. The ancient Greeks did not rank it as a virtue either, except in a very narrow circumstance. At best, they used it as we use "condescension" today and by it referred entirely to men's external relations with other men. Jesus, while retaining its reference to men, lifted it from its narrow context and made it refer primarily to our relations with God. In his comments on Galatians 5:22-23, William Barclay adds that meekness is "the most untranslatable of words in the New Testament" (p. 51).

Some have tried to use "humility" as its equivalent, but both Hebrew and Greek have specific words that are synonyms for humility. Besides, humility does not fully catch its meaning. Another word associated with meekness is "gentleness," but the same is as true for gentleness as humility. Both are part of meekness, but it is not really either. Its characteristics and use are much more involved than either of them.

The Hebrew word translated "meekness" is anav or anaw, meaning "depressed (figuratively), in mind (gentle) or circumstances (needy, especially saintly): humble, lowly, meek, poor" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, #6035). The translation depends upon the context in which it appears. The Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon adds, "afflicted, miserable . . . ; commonly with the added notion of a lowly, pious, and modest mind, which prefers to bear injuries rather than return them" (p. 643). The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament indicates why this word is so difficult to express as a single term: "anaw expresses the intended outcome of affliction" (p. 1651).

The Greek word, prautes, the one to which Barclay referred, is no easier. James Strong defines it only as "mildness; i.e., (by implication) humility" (#4240). Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament says that "Plato opposes it to fierceness or cruelty" (vol. 1, p. 37). In The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates writes:

Prautes, according to Aristotle, is the middle standing between two extremes, getting angry without reason, and not getting angry at all. Therefore, prautes is getting angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason. . . . [I]t is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness, not in weakness, but in power. It is a balance born in strength of character. (p. 1209-1210)

We can now begin to see why Barclay considered it the most untranslatable of New Testament words. This is so because Jesus elevated the word's common usage far beyond its normal application. Because men so easily reject the Bible, they have not accepted Jesus' usage of the word into the common languages. To mankind in general, meekness means what its common synonyms illustrate.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Meekness is what results when one's spiritual knowledge, understanding, and passions are in right balance. A carnal or natural meekness exists, but it is born from a person simply not wanting to become involved, from not understanding what is happening or from a lack of firmness. It is usually timid, conforms readily, and is easily deterred from doing good and persuaded to do evil. It sometimes forms the great defect in religious people's character, as in the cases of Eli and Jehoshaphat.

Eli's spirit should have burned with righteous indignation over the abominations his sons flagrantly committed, but he could not bring himself to correct them (I Samuel 3:11-14).

Jehoshaphat's downfall was in his relationship with Ahab, king of Israel, who was one of the most vile kings ever to rule over Israel. He allied himself with Ahab through a marriage. At one point Ahab proposed a military alliance with Judah to defeat the Syrians. Jehoshaphat, Judah's king, was reluctant and requested that they consult a prophet of God. The prophet Micaiah was brought before them, and he made it perfectly clear that the purpose of the alliance was not of God and they would lose the battle. However, Jehoshaphat lacked the will to withdraw his support and went into the battle anyway. Ahab perished, and Jehoshaphat lived only because God intervened.

II Chronicles 19:2-3 shows that this was not the end of the matter:

And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you. Nevertheless good things are found in you, in that you have removed the wooden images from the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God."

Both Eli and Jehoshaphat were what we would call "good men." They were religious, pious men who sought God within the framework of their own interests. God reveals, though, that they also had a serious character weakness that kept them from glorifying God to their highest potential and caused serious punishments and even curses to come upon them.

God desires more of us: "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38). Faith—confidence—is part of meekness, and thus the meek are not timid. Notice Paul's encouragement to Timothy: "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:6-7).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Students appreciate meekness in a teacher, just as customers appreciate a non-threatening, non-pushy sales representative. People do not naturally like to be "taught" or "sold on" anything. Through a meek spirit, a teacher can inspire and facilitate the human natural desire to learn by engaging the student's internal motivation. Alexander Pope in his Essay on Criticism suggests,

Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot.

David F. Maas
Servant Leadership: Practical Meekness


 

Meekness seems to come about as the result of intense trials and tests. Moses, trained in the arts and sciences of Egypt, did not attain his meek disposition until he spent forty years tending sheep with the Midianites. From this experience, besides his other humbling trials, he learned to "lead" rather than "drive."

Meekness in a shepherd and meekness in a teacher is just as needful as in the flock or in students. The servant-leader Moses learned meekness and obedience from what he suffered just as Jesus Christ learned obedience through what He suffered so that He could empathize with His brethren (Hebrews 5:8-9). This humiliating experience served a significant purpose:

. . . that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18)

The meekness that accrues from sore trials and life experiences equips people with the sympathy, empathy, and sensitivity to help others enduring similar difficulties.

In this vein, the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson expresses grave reservations about the young novice ministerial student, who may be long on homiletic training, but short on experience, especially those refining, fiery trials that develop quality character traits in a person (I Peter 1:6-7). He complains:

He had not one word intimating that he had laughed or wept, was married or in love, had been commended, or cheated, or chagrined. If he had ever lived and acted, we were none the wiser for it. The capital secret of his profession, namely, to convert life into truth, he had not learned. Not one fact in all his experience, had he yet imported into his doctrine. . . . [T]here not a surmise, a hint, in all the discourse, that he had ever lived at all. Not a line did he draw out of real history. The true preacher can be known by this, that he deals out to the people his life—life passed through the fire of thought.

David F. Maas
Servant Leadership: Practical Meekness


 

Meekness is an elusive virtue that few can accurately define. Most definitions are vague on its meaning, and many people equate it to weakness. God praises Moses for being the meekest man of his time (Numbers 12:3, KJV). Though one of the greatest leaders in human history, he thought of himself as a servant in relationship to God, so he quietly and gently submitted to God's will. He refused to elevate his own importance over that of God, exercising his authority in humility.

The focus of true meekness is not in our outward behavior only or in our relationships to other human beings. Neither is the focus on our natural disposition. Rather, it is an inwardly developed tender-heartedness, and the performing of it is first and chiefly toward God. It is the attitude in which we accept God's will toward us as good, and thus without disputing or resisting. Since true meekness is before God, we realize He permits and uses the insults and injuries that the world or others in the church may inflict for our chastening and purification.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Numbers 27:1-11   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Numbers 27 is the appeal of Zelophehad's five daughters to Moses in regard to their inheritance. Their father had died without any sons, and under the law of the time, his daughters were left without an inheritance. The commentators who go into this say that such an appeal was virtually unheard of because at that time a woman's station in society was only slightly higher than a child's. The child was always on the lowest social level, which is one reason why Jesus said we have to become as a child. All of society revolved around men.

Moses does two very interesting things. He not only hears the appeal of these ladies, he humbly admits that he did not know the answer. He takes it to God, and God not only hears it, He gives the ladies more than what they asked for, as all they had asked for was the land. God says, in effect, "Not only can you have the land, but you have the right to pass it on just as if you were Zelophehad's sons." It came under their power completely.

The point is that no leader under God can afford not to listen with fullest attention to the appeals of the lowly or to their counsel. He cannot afford to be in an attitude in which he will not listen to the people that he is supposed to be leading. It is a very important lesson and principle of law that comes out of Moses' humility, meekness, and willingness to hear, whereas other leaders of his day would likely have not even allowed those women to come into their presence.

There are only two cases in the life of Moses in which a woman came before him for either a judgment or in accusation. This was one of them, and the other one was his sister, Miriam. We know what happened to Miriam. It makes for an interesting contrast.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith (Part 6)


 

Psalm 37:11   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The Holy Spirit enables us to produce meekness, a necessary attitude for understanding God's Word. An added benefit to the meek is that God promises them the enjoyment of peace. A meek and quiet spirit is so very precious to God that he calls it an imperishable ornament, and He rewards the meek with inheritance of the earth.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Isaiah 53:4-9   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus shows us that meekness is not a mere contemplative virtue; it is maintaining peace and patience in the midst of pelting provocations. In II Corinthians Paul realizes that the meek and gentle approach can easily appear as weakness to those unfamiliar with Jesus' example, so he calls it "the meekness . . . of Christ." True meekness is always measured by Christ's meekness. His humility, patience, and total submission of His own will to the will of the Father exemplifies meekness.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Zephaniah 2:3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Meekness is rooted in God, and therefore we must pursue it. Because it is a quality of God's character, we must exert effort to make it part of our character. Although we may be experiencing adversity, as the meek we should still appreciate God's good and gracious will.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Matthew 5:3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Arthur W. Pink, in his commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, writes, "Poverty of spirit may be termed the negative side of faith" (p. 17). Similarly, Charles H. Spurgeon, a Protestant preacher of the nineteenth century, comments, "The way to rise in the kingdom is to sink in ourselves" (The Gospel of the Kingdom, p. 21). It is this realization of our utter unworthiness, a sense of spiritual need and destitution, that drives us to seek Christ to lift it. The economically poor gravitate to where they can have their needs met. Recognizing one's spiritual poverty parallels this, motivating us to seek to have that need supplied through a relationship with God. Poor in spirit, therefore, describes a fundamental trait found in every son of God who earnestly seeks Him.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:29, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." This is how to cultivate this God-honoring attitude. We must do this because, while merely feeling lowly before God is insufficient, it nevertheless opens the doors to the awesome beneficence only God can give and indeed yearns to give. He says in Isaiah 66:2: "'For all these things [in creation] My hand has made, and all those things exist,' says the LORD. 'But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.'"

Poor in spirit is one thing, contrition is another, and humility is yet a third quality. They are all related, but they are not specifically the same attitude. To be contrite is to be sorry or remorseful because of guilt, equating to "Blessed are those who mourn" in Matthew 5:4. Humility is more active than either of the other two, involving consciously choosing submission in obedience. It equates more with "Blessed are the meek" in Matthew 5:5. Poverty of spirit, then, precedes contrition, remorse, humility, and meekness because it is a major factor involved in producing them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beatitudes, Part Two: Poor in Spirit


 

Matthew 5:5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Meekness (gentleness, NKJV) is so important that it is the third characteristic Jesus mentions in His foundational teaching, the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). Obviously, the world's ideal of the perfect man is very different from His. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus' inheritance of the earth.

He was not the first to state the importance of meekness, but He was the first to collect, in what we call the Beatitudes, a God-authored, organized list of the characteristics of the perfect man. Others have made lists of outstanding virtues, but Jesus' list is unique in that He relates them to the Kingdom of God and in the depth and breadth of what He meant.

How can this be, though? Given how modern man considers those who are meek, His statement about meekness is almost incomprehensible. The world would word this, "Blessed are the strong, who can hold their own." The world favors more conspicuous and so-called heroic virtues. Those who are strongly—almost fiercely—competitive, aggressive, and assertive are the ones who receive recognition, admiration, and reward. Do they not seem to end up on top of the pile, possessing the most and best despite other obvious and perhaps even offensive flaws in their character?

On the surface, this beatitude seems to have little meaning, and what there is seems to contradict the plain facts of everyday life. No sensible person, looking about the world or studying history, could sincerely accept it at face value. Unfortunately, many Christians have ignored it in practice, perhaps regretting that no doubt it should be true, but that it certainly is not so in the real world. Rather than taking God at His Word, they remain conformed to the world's standard of practice, missing the benefits meekness will produce in their lives. Remember, Jesus Himself says this: Blessed—happy, favored—are the meek.

So we must decide. Jesus either meant what he said, or He did not; He either knew what He was talking about, or He did not. Jesus is either a reliable guide, or He is not. We must either take Jesus seriously or not, and if we do not, we should drop His teaching altogether. If we decide to straddle the fence and strive for some characteristics but not others, we become hypocrites. Of course, the true Christian will accept it, learn from it and grow in it.

What Jesus says is a very practical doctrine. It may at first seem impractical, foolish, and even wild, but He was no sentimental dreamer who dealt in empty platitudes. He was an unflinching realist who has given us a great key to prosperity and dominion under God's purpose. One commentator, Emmet Fox, author of an entire book on the Sermon on the Mount, states that this beatitude "is among the half dozen most important verses in the Bible."

"The meek shall inherit the earth," and when they do, they will proceed to govern it. Meekness is a virtue God has determined those who will have dominion in His Family must possess. Without it, will we even be there?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Matthew 5:5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We should recognize that, when Jesus presents meekness in Matthew 5:5 as a highly desirable quality, He prefaces it with "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (verse 3) and "Blessed are those who mourn" (verse 4). He places it within a context that contains qualities that are similar to meekness. Alexander MacLaren writes in his comments on verse 5, "[Meekness] is the conduct and disposition towards God and man which follows from the inward experience described in the two former Beatitudes, which had relation only to ourselves" (Expositions of Holy Scriptures, vol. 6, "St. Matthew," p. 130). In other words, meekness is the active fruit of the other two, but whereas being poor in spirit and mourning are both internal in operation, meekness is both internal and external in its execution in one's life. Though this is not a complete description, it lays a good foundation.

Godly meekness is impossible unless we first learn a just and lowly estimate of ourselves. We must become poor in spirit. We do this by coming before God in deep penitence and with a clear knowledge of the vast difference between ourselves and what He is and what He means us to be. Paul says in Romans 12:3, "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." While pride destroys self and others, humility serves and builds.

Mourning springs from a sense of sin, from a tender conscience, from a broken heart. It is a godly sorrow over our rebellion against God and hostility to His will. It is the agonizing realization that it was not just sin in general but our own sins that nailed Christ to the stake. Notice that Matthew 5:4 is in the present tense, meaning that mourning is not confined to our initial repentance—it is a continuous experience. The Christian has much to mourn. If his conscience is kept tender by an ever-deepening discovery of human nature's depravity, his sins—both of omission and commission—are a sense of daily grief. Paul writes in Romans 8:23, "[W]e ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." He adds in Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

At the same time, this does not mean a Christian lives his life with a hang-dog expression and attitude, or that he lives his life feeling that he is a dirtbag or sleazeball who is still mucking around in a moral septic tank. A Christian is also forgiven, cleansed, and justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. He has access to God the Father, is the apple of His eye and has an awesome hope before him. He has the Holy Spirit in him. He is a child of the great Creator and looks forward to being resurrected and inheriting God's Kingdom. Christ died for him, and this creation exists for his perfection. A Christian has many reasons to feel a sense of exultation for what has been provided for him. An awareness of sin—as long as it is not allowed to become obsessive—will help him continue in a humble frame of mind by keeping pride in check, tempering his judgments, and allowing him to accept the events of life in a spirit that produces great contentment.

These qualities are produced when, with God's help, we rightly measure ourselves against the right standards—God and His law—rather than each other, and discover how much we owe to God's merciful grace. Anyone thus convicted and then forgiven and cleansed by Christ's blood is in the position to produce godly meekness.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Matthew 5:5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus' words paraphrase the words of David in Psalm 37:11: "But the meek shall inherit the earth." Notice that neither Jesus nor David says anything about inheriting some mystical place in the heavens.

Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Basic Doctrines: The Reward of the Saved


 

Matthew 11:29   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus links meekness with lowliness: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek, KJV] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Ephesians 4:1-3 states:

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 [meekness, KJV], with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The King James version is correct, as the Greek text uses prautes. "Gentle" and "gentleness" are incorrect because in this context they are only an aspect of the meekness we should express in our dealings with others.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus is explaining why we should embrace His way of life. As our Lord and Master, He is not harsh, overbearing, and oppressive, but gentle in His government. His laws are also reasonable and easy to obey; neither He nor they enslave. He emphasizes the gentle aspect of meekness toward others. From this, we begin to see why meekness must be a virtue of those who will receive the Kingdom and govern. Because God governs in meekness, His children must also.

Ephesians 4 teaches how to build and maintain unity within a more social context, and here, prautes appears with humility, patience, forbearance, and love. Paul demands that, for unity to be built and maintained, we should receive offenses without retaliation, bearing them patiently without a desire for revenge. We are, in short, to have a forgiving spirit. Without it, we will surely promote divisiveness.

The association of humility and meekness is natural, and is yet another facet of meekness. Whereas humility deals with a correct assessment of his merits, meekness covers a correct assessment of personal rights. This does not in any way mean a lowering of the standards of justice or of right and wrong. Meekness can be accompanied by a war to the death against evil, but the meek Christian directs this warfare first against the evil in his own heart. He is a repentant sinner, and his recognition of this state radically alters his relations with fellow man. A sinner forgiven must have a forgiving attitude.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Matthew 11:29   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Both "lowly" and "gentle" imply nonresistance, suggesting someone who is submissive, yielding, and long-suffering in contrast to an assertive, aggressive, arrogant, obstinate, and haughty person.

He goes even further, however, to describe His approach to God. David, a type of Christ, writes in Psalm 22:6, "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." God uses animals and insects to describe human traits. A worm is not only lowly but it also has no power to resist anything. Because Jesus never resisted God, He could honestly say, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me" (John 4:34). Those who, without murmuring, subject themselves to the will of God benefit from His almighty rule over all.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sovereignty and Its Fruit: Part Ten


 

Matthew 17:24   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The Greek word behind "tax" (NKJV) or "tribute" (KJV) in verse 24 is didrachma, equivalent to the Jewish "half-shekel," the Temple rate paid by every male Israelite above age twenty. Those responsible for collecting these half-shekels came to Peter. Unlike tolls, which were duties on goods, the Temple tax was levied on individual Israelites. The collected money, paid into the Temple treasury, defrayed the cost of Temple services. The Jews were much more willing to accept this collection than to pay the despised publicans who extracted taxes for Rome.

The miracle's preciseness is seen in the coin found in the fish's mouth, a full shekel (two didrachmas)—half a shekel each for Christ and Peter ("for Me and you"; verse 27)—the exact amount to satisfy the requirement. In this way, Jesus puts Himself alongside Peter as sharing His position and relationship as a son of the Kingdom. All true Christians fill this amazing position: They are no longer servants, but sons in Christ (Galatians 3:26). With His brethren Jesus shares His family relationship to His Father (John 20:17).

This account contains two principles. The first is doctrinal, teaching Jesus' place in God's Kingdom as the rightful Son. The second is moral, showing that greatness in the Kingdom derives from service and humility. Jesus' phrase, "lest we offend them," should motivate us to employ meekness and wisdom.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Coin in the Fish's Mouth


 

Matthew 20:25-28   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Meekness, a tolerant, yielding spirit, represents having the right of way but not insisting on it. Jesus Christ sets the tone of this approach in His discussion with the sons of Zebedee and the other disciples. Many have looked upon meekness, lowliness of spirit, or the willingness to yield, with suspicion and perhaps even loathing. Meekness—or its common perception—may seem too much like weakness, wimpiness, or timidity.

Some have taken Matthew 7:29 out of context to sanction a pompous, brittle, authoritarian approach, stating Jesus "taught . . . as one who had authority, and not as the scribes." Such people assume that this gives license to higher decibels and dogmatic manhandling of the audience, but they seriously misunderstand its intended meaning. Jesus could speak with authority because He possessed an unlimited reservoir of experience. He personified the Word of God, while the scribes and Pharisees could only quibble about the bits and pieces they had studied. Even though Jesus spoke with authority, the Gospels show His manner to be peaceable and yielding in most situations.

David F. Maas
Servant Leadership: Practical Meekness


 

Luke 22:42   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We can learn much of Jesus' submission to the Father from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His crucifixion. This comes from the heart of a man described as meek and lowly of heart. His words paint a vivid picture of what was going through His mind. Sometime during His life, He had likely witnessed a crucifixion, but even if He had not, He certainly had heard one described. As quick of mind as He was, He could clearly envision what lay before Him. Undoubtedly, He anticipated great bodily pain, understanding Isaiah 52:14 to predict He would suffer pain as nobody else ever had. In addition, He had to bear the pressure of resisting the urge to break faith and sin under the burden of the guilt of all mankind's sins that would come upon Him.

He also knew He would have the embarrassment of all the indignities heaped upon Him, knowing full well He was innocent. He had to battle demons throughout His ordeal. Perhaps the most dreaded burden of all was knowing that He would be cut off from God and have to bear everything alone. Yet He did it! Jesus—by faith—consciously chose to submit to the Father based on His knowledge of the Most High.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Sovereignty and Its Fruit: Part Ten


 

John 2:5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

On behalf of the newlyweds and their families, Mary prudently goes to Jesus to solve their wine problem, emphasizing the value of friends and brethren praying for the marriages of others. The strength of Mary's faith is exhibited when she orders the servants to follow Jesus' instructions, confirming her acceptance of what He had said to her in verse 4. She demonstrates both meekness and faith by expressing a humble attitude. This is what service to Christ is all about, living in obedience to His every word.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Water Into Wine (Part One)


 

Romans 13:7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

According to the thesaurus, honor has these synonyms: "esteem, respect, pay homage to, assign value to." The Greek word translated "honor" in our English Bibles, timao, means "to prize, i.e. fix a valuation upon; by implication, to revere" (Strong's Concordance). Showing honor, then, means treating another respectfully because we value them highly.

So is honor due anyone? Should we put value on any man or woman, or should we honor God alone? What does the Bible say? A study with a concordance reveals just how much God has to say about honoring others. He does not limit it to honoring our parents.

This verse tells us clearly honor is due certain ones, but it begs the questions: To whom is honor due besides God? And how do we honor others?

The truth is that we will never sincerely respect, prize, value, or honor anyone until and unless we start with an attitude of meekness. Honoring and respecting others will not happen when a superior or holier-than-thou attitude is present. Paul tells us to "esteem others better than" ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

When we truly repent of what we are, and how we regularly fall short of God's holiness, we cannot remain in a pompous mood. Perhaps we can learn from some of those who have lived God's way before us. John the Baptist says of himself: "He [Christ] must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). Paul considers himself "the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle" (I Corinthians 15:9). He also writes that he is "less than the least of all the saints" (Ephesians 3:8). History will conclude otherwise, but it opens a window into Paul's thinking. When we dishonor others, it is a sure sign we are thinking of ourselves or others wrongly. We are to love others as ourselves, honoring them.

Honoring from a pure motive is possible only when we have a proper perspective of who God is, what we are, and who others are in relation to us and God. It begins with deep honor and respect for God—and thus for all He says. The first four commandments lay the foundation for doing this.

Staff
A Matter of Honor


 

1 Corinthians 8:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is almost axiomatic that the one with the least reservoir of experience will appear as the most cocky and unyielding, while the one with a vast reservoir of experience - who has concluded that there are even vaster funds of knowledge yet to be learned - will appear as the more provisional and tolerant. In Speech 101, my professor referred to this process as "small pot soon hot." A reason why peer-group instruction sometimes fizzles is the cocky attitude displayed by the person who first "catches on" to some elementary step, lording it over the later bloomers. In the beginning stages of learning, knowledge has the tendency to "puff up", but as one continues to grow in it, a quality of meekness replaces intolerant rigidity.

David F. Maas
Servant Leadership: Practical Meekness


 

2 Corinthians 10:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Godly meekness cannot be divorced from its association with gentleness. However, this gentleness is not usually seen in the situations where the Bible's writers use meekness. Here, meekness appears with gentleness, as though a similarity exists alongside a specific difference.

The reason for this is that Paul is dealing with conflict. In II Corinthians 10, Paul begins a defense of his apostolic authority, showing that he had a right to regard himself as sent from God. He begins his argument by appealing to the gentleness and meekness of Christ to vindicate his own evenhanded approach, entreating them not to give him occasion to display the boldness and severity that he could also use. He had no wish to be so bold and severe in his discipline of them. The contrast between meekness and severity shows starkly here. Meekness is a specific virtue, tool, way or fruit that is excellent in dealing with conflict or potential conflict within relationships.

Some, who had invaded the congregation and claimed to be apostles, accused Paul of being courageous and bold when writing letters from a distance, but timid and weak-kneed when personally present. They were, in effect, accusing him of being all bark and no bite. They had badly misjudged him through a combination of his gentle and reasoned approach when founding the congregation and, apparently, what they considered his weak physical appearance and plain, uncultured speaking. But Paul, though he may have appeared weak to them, was in reality meek, not weak. He was prepared to fight this poisonous, destructive evil within the congregation with all his spiritual power—which was, as the Bible shows, considerable.

Paul did not seek to show himself to the congregation as a flamboyant, charismatic personality. He was not there to showcase himself. He and his presentation were not the centerpiece and spiritual strength of the church. The Father, Jesus Christ, and the gospel of the Kingdom were Paul's focus, and he wanted the people to focus their lives there as well. Thus, he presented them in the manner he did.

He is a sterling example of a truly meek Christian. The meek person has ceased to think or care about himself. His pride and self-will have been crucified. He does not measure the importance of events by their relation to his personal comfort or what he will gain from them. He sees everything from God's perspective, seeking only to serve His purpose in the situations life imposes.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

2 Corinthians 10:1-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Now I am going to appeal to you personally, by the gentleness and kindness of Christ Himself. Yes, I, Paul, the one who is "humble enough in our presence, but outspoken when away from us," am begging you to make it unnecessary for me to be outspoken and stern in your presence. For I am afraid otherwise that I shall have to do some plain speaking to those of you who will persist in reckoning that our activities are on the purely human level. (Phillips)

John W. Ritenbaugh
Endure as a Good Soldier


 

Galatians 5:23   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Contrary to popular belief, the meek (gentle, NKJV) do not take everything "lying down." Notice Moses, who was the meekest man of his time. He did not hesitate to order the execution of about three thousand of the idolaters who worshipped the Golden Calf while he was with God on the mountain (Exodus 32:25-28). Against evil this meek man was as stern as steel. How a meek man reacts depends upon what he discerns God's will is for him within the circumstance. Because the meek man sets his mind on God's purpose and not his own comfort, ambition, or reputation, he will offer implacable resistance to evil in defense of God yet react with patience, kindness, and gentleness when others attack him.

Jesus set a clear example of this pattern of reaction too. He made a whip of rope, and with stern and vehement energy, overturned the tables and drove the livestock, their sellers, and moneychangers from the Temple compound because they had turned God's house into a common bazaar by their sacrilege. With simple, forthright, firm, instructive answers and incisive questions, He met the twisted, intellectual, carnal reasoning of the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Yet as Matthew 12:19-20 reads, "He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench." Peter adds:

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. (I Peter 2:21-23)

A meek person will feel the wrong done against him and feel it bitterly. But because he is not thinking of himself, his meekness does not allow his spirit to give vent to a hateful, savage, and vindictive anger that seeks to "get even." He will instead be full of pity for the damaged character, attitudes, and blindness of the perpetrator. From the stake Jesus uttered, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34). This virtue is a strong bulwark against self-righteousness and intolerant and critical judgment of others. Yet neither does it excuse or condone sin. Rather, a meek person understands it more clearly, thus his judgment is tempered, avoiding reacting more harshly than is necessary.

Paul writes in Titus 3:1-2, "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility [meekness, KJV] to all men." The possibility of conflict is inherent where the subject includes our relationship with governments; it is quite easy to have conflict with those in authority over us. Some in positions of authority take pleasure in wielding their power, as Jesus notes in Matthew 20:25: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them."

On the flip side are those under authority, and this is where Paul's main emphasis is in Titus 3. Humans, by nature, tend to be very sensitive, critical, and harsh in their judgments of those over them. It frequently results in slanderous attacks and quarrels against those in authority—sometimes even in revolutions. Paul advises us to be non-belligerent, considerate, unassertive, and meek. If the fruit of meekness has been produced in either or both parties, peace and unity are more possible because a major tool is in place to allow both to perform their responsibilities within the relationship correctly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Galatians 5:23   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Meekness (gentleness, NKJV) is the by-product of a number of elements, not the least of which are deep, thorough humility and an awareness of the seriousness of what our past conduct produced, especially toward Jesus Christ. These things have tamed the beast, broken our self-will, and made our minds receptive to the pure influences of God's Spirit. This is not natural but supernatural, the product of God's grace toward us and His Spirit working and growing in us. It very deeply, sometimes radically, alters our perspective of God, His purpose, the trials of life, the self, and other people.

This is very important regarding trials because meekness is the opposite of self-will toward God and of ill-will toward men. In his commentary on Matthew 5:5, Matthew Henry writes, "The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to his word and to his rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle towards all men" (p. 1629).

Meekness is the fruit of God by His Spirit working in us. Godly sorrow softens our stiff-necked rebellion and our hearts so that we are made receptive to the workings of the Creator to produce His image in us. Therefore meekness, along with the qualities already mentioned, also includes our becoming pliable, malleable, submissive, and teachable. A New Testament term for this condition might be "childlike."

God disciplines every son He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and sometimes His disciplines are very difficult to bear. We have passionate drives within us to flee from them, or at the very least, to grumble and murmur under their burden. But the meek will not do this. They will endure the privation, embarrassment, pain, loss, ignorance, or persecution with quiet patience because they know that God is sovereign over all and He is working in their lives.

Aaron's response to God's execution of his two sons is an example:

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: 'By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.'" So Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:1-3)

This was a shocking, bitter pill to swallow, but Aaron took it properly, meekly. He was growing. In Psalm 39:9, David refers to a difficult situation he was experiencing, leaving us this example: "I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it."

The supreme example of this is Jesus Christ, who endured horrific trials though He was the Son of God's love. John 18:11 says, "Then Jesus said to Peter, 'Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?'" Acts 8:32 contains more insight on Christ's meek reaction: "He was led [not dragged] as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so He opened not His mouth." He was the very King of meekness.

Meekness enables a person to bear patiently those insults and injuries he receives at the hand of others. It makes him ready to accept instruction from the least of the saints. It allows him to endure provocation without being inflamed by it. He remains cool when others become heated. Meek people seek no private revenge; they leave that to God's sense of justice while they seek to remain true in their calling and meet God's standards.

The spirit of meekness enables its possessor to squeeze great enjoyment from his earthly portion, be it small or great. Delivered from a greedy and grasping disposition, he is satisfied with what he has. Contentment of mind is one of the fruits of meekness. The haughty and covetous do not inherit the earth. As Psalm 37:16 says, "A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness


 

Galatians 5:23   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The NKJV translates the Greek word prautes as "gentleness," while the KJV uses "meekness." II Corinthians 10:1 refers to Christ's meekness (prautes) and gentleness (epieikeia) as separate virtues. Prautes describes a condition of mind and heart—an internal attitude—whereas gentleness (mildness combined with tenderness) refers to actions—an external behavior. Although English has no direct equivalent words to prautes, "meekness" comes closest. The drawback to this is that in modern English "meekness" carries the stigma of weakness and cowardliness. In contrast, the meekness manifested by God and given to the saints is the fruit of power. It is enduring injury with patience and without resentment.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Galatians 6:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We should have a meek attitude to all others regardless of our relationship with them. Even when someone is antagonistic, meek correction and teaching will assist God in leading them to repentance. For prautes, the NKJV uses "gentleness" in Galatians and "humility" in II Timothy and Titus. Both of these are qualities of meekness. Meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness and self-interest. It is evenness of mind—neither elated nor cast down—because a truly meek person is not occupied with self at all.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness


 

Galatians 6:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Paul writes this to people who were probably spiritually stronger than the Corinthians were. He instructs the stronger ones within the congregation how to react to another who has not come quite up to their level of Christ-like behavior.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Is God in All Our Thoughts?


 

Ephesians 4:1-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Notice carefully what Paul names as the reason for making unity and peace: the value we place on our calling. If, in our heart of hearts, we consider it of small value, our conduct, especially toward our brethren, will reveal it and work to produce contention and disunity. Thus John writes, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (I John 4:20).

Paul next counsels us to choose to conduct ourselves humbly. Humility is pride's opposite. If pride only produces contention, it follows that humility will work to soothe, calm, heal, and unify. He advises us to cultivate meekness or gentleness, the opposite of the self-assertiveness that our contemporary culture promotes so strongly. Self-assertiveness is competitive determination to press one's will at all costs. This approach may indeed "win" battles over other brethren, but it might be helpful to remember God's counsel in Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." James declares that godly wisdom is "gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy" (James 3:17).

Then Paul counsels that we be patient; likewise, James counsels us to "let patience have its perfect work" (James 1:4). We often want quick resolutions to the irritations between us, which is certainly understandable since we want to get rid of the burden those differences impose. But we must understand that speedy solutions are not always possible. Interestingly, in Paul's letter to the Philippians, he does not use his apostolic authority to drive the two feuding women into a forced solution (Philippians 4:1). Some problems are deeply buried within both sides of the contention, so finally Paul admonishes us to forbear with each other in love. Essentially, he says to "put up with it" or endure it, doing nothing to bring the other party down in the eyes of others and vainly elevate the self. This is peacemaking through living by godly character.

Yet another aspect to the Christian duty of peacemaking is our privilege by prayer to invoke God's mercy upon the world, the church, and individuals we know are having difficulties or whom we perceive God may be punishing. This is one of the sacrifices of righteousness mentioned in relation to Psalm 4:5. The Bible provides many examples of godly people doing this. Abraham prayed for Sodom, Gomorrah, and probably Lot too, when the division between them and God was so great that He had to destroy the cities (Genesis 18:16-33). Moses interceded for Israel before God following the Golden Calf incident (Exodus 33:11-14). Aaron ran through the camp of Israel with a smoking censer (a symbol of the prayers of the saints) following another of Israel's rebellions that greatly disturbed the peace between them and God (Numbers 16:44-50). In each case, God relented to some degree. We will probably never know in this life how much our prayers affect the course of division or how much others—even the wicked—gained as a result of our intercession, but we should find comfort knowing that we have done at least this much toward making peace.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beatitudes, Part 7: Blessed Are the Peacemakers


 

Ephesians 4:2-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

With admonitions like these, we step into the intimate personal relationships within a congregation or family. They show that unity depends more upon the exercise of the members' moral qualities than the structure of the institution. Paul shows in Ephesians that the life we are called to live is characterized by five qualities: humility, meekness, patience, forbearance, and love, the last of which embraces the preceding four and is the crown of all virtues. Each of these qualities enables us to act in mercy and live at peace. God's Spirit empowers us to use these qualities to overcome the ill will and the bitter, passionate rages that lead to clamorous slander, destroying reputations.

Such ill will and rage hardly promote kindness, compassion, and acting in grace toward each other. "Acting in grace" is an acceptable translation of the Greek word, charizomai, rendered "forgiving" in Ephesians 4:32. Acting in grace catches the essence of how God has acted toward us and our sin against Him. And because He has forgiven us, we are commanded to forgive each other (Colossians 3:13).

Mercy begins with the way we feel about or toward each other and moves toward merciful acts. God loves us and has an outgoing concern for us. If God so loves us, then we ought to love each other (I John 4:11). Thus, we are bound to forbear with one another and act kindly, in mercy. Anybody focused on himself as the center of the universe will have a difficult time thinking kindly of others, and unity will be difficult, if not impossible. It is no wonder, then, why so much divorce occurs, as well as division in other areas of life. A focus on the self does not allow much room for humble, kind, and compassionate thoughts of service for others.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Beatitudes, Part 5: Blessed Are the Merciful


 

Ephesians 4:2   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The overall instruction here has to do with keeping the unity of the faith. Paul names four characteristics of conduct that are "attractively adorning" in two sets of two. The first two go together closely like bread and butter, and the second two go together. All four of them are linked, but the traits within the two pairs are most closely related to each other.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)


 

Ephesians 4:2   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

With all means "with every possible lowliness," "with every kind of lowliness," or "in all situations," or "at all times." In other words, always wear the apron of humility wherever one is, whatever one is doing, whoever one is dealing with, whatever the time happens to be. We should never be without it because it will serve us and God and unity well. It will never divide; it will always cement and hold the group, the family, the community together.

This is to be a fundamental element of our character. We may feel we have something to be proud of. For some, it might be money or ancestry or family. It might be brains, looks, athletic ability, or in the church, our understanding of doctrine. We have to be careful because human nature is always looking for a way to assert what it is proud of and to display it, and this causes division.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 7): Ephesians 4 (D)


 

1 Timothy 2:3-4   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

If it is God's will that we be saved and grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, why is it so hard? If God is working with us, should this not be easy? Our first response to this is very likely, "Well, I guess it's just that I am so evil"; "It must be human nature"; or "I'm so bad God must not be hearing my prayers." Some get so weary with the difficulty that they say, "God will just have to take me as I am."

All these justifications may indeed be factors, but they are not precisely correct because most of us have some besetting sin or sins that we fail miserably to overcome time after time. Why, if it is God's will, do we not overcome them more easily?

The sin need not be easily recognizable by others, as Paul writes to Timothy that "some men's sins are clearly evident" (I Timothy 5:24). It can be a hidden sin, though we are well aware of it, know it is evil, and feel constant guilt and self-condemnation because of our weakness before it.

It can be a sin of omission and not a sin of commission, in which one is directly guilty of bringing loss or pain upon another. Perhaps the failing concerns acts of kindness or mercy that we have frequently and consistently failed to do to relieve another's burden, but we know of it and are convicted of its seriousness.

This is the key to understanding why spiritual growth is so hard. Consider one's original conversion. Why did this even occur? Romans 2:4 says, "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance." This happened only because God was revealing Himself and making us conscious of factors of life we had never before felt with that force. It moved us to repent and throw ourselves on His mercy. In reality, it was the only option He held open to us because we felt powerless to go in any other direction. Can we overcome death? The key is our awareness of powerlessness as the first essential element to spiritual growth.

In II Corinthians 12:10, Paul makes this point. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." In chapter 13:4, he adds emphasis to this by saying, "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you." Just as a prerequisite to conversion is recognizing and acknowledging our utter failure in the face of sin and death, so also is a deep consciousness of our frailty required in the face of overcoming and growth in following God's way and glorifying Him.

Without this overriding sense of dependence, we will never turn to God in the first place. Without this sense of need, we will not continuously turn to Him because our passivity in this will declare that in reality, like the Laodiceans, we think we need nothing and are sufficient unto ourselves. We will be like the confident Peter, who, boasting that unlike others he would never desert Christ, immediately fell flat on his face in spiritual failure. The secret of growth in Christian character largely lies in realizing our powerlessness and acknowledging it before God.

Perhaps John 15:5 will now have more meaning. Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." It does not mean that without Him we could never design an automobile or send a rocket to the moon. It means that we could produce nothing of a true, godly, spiritual nature within the calling of God that truly glorifies Him.

Just in case we think He is saying more than He really means, think about the following commands. Jesus says in Matthew 5:44, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." He adds in Matthew 6:31, "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'" If these are challenging, try I Corinthians 15:34: "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame."

We have a long way to go. It is time to stop playing church—realizing that judgment is now on us—and turn to God with all our heart. He promises that, if we do this, He will hear from heaven and respond. We must constantly keep in mind that God is the Potter with the power to mold and shape as He wills. As the clay, our job is to yield, realizing even the power to submit comes from Him.

To understand this from an even broader perspective, we must consider how mankind has acted in its relationship with God beginning with Adam and Eve. They said, "God, stay out of our lives. We don't need you. We will do this ourselves." Therefore, rather than choosing from the Tree of Life, they chose from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. All mankind has copied this approach down to the Laodiceans, who say they are rich and increased with goods and need nothing. It will continue even to those who will curse and blaspheme God during the final plagues in the Day of the Lord (Revelation 16:21).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility: Part Eleven


 

Titus 3:1-2   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The Phillips translation renders these two verses as:

Remind your people to recognize the power of those who rule and bear authority. They must obey them and be prepared to render whatever good service they can. They are not to speak evil of any man, they must not be quarrelsome but reasonable, showing every consideration to all men.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 8): Ephesians 4 (E)


 

James 3:13-18   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

One way to begin taming our tongues is to speak in meekness. Meekness is not weakness. It is knowing at all times where we stand with God, fully realizing who He is and the nature of His power in contrast to ourselves, His creation. Joshua cried out in confidence for the army of Israel to go forward; His confidence was not in himself or his leadership but totally in his awareness of God's purpose in his life, God's law to live by, and God's sovereignty over him. He was, after all, clay in the Potter's hands. If we keep this in mind, we will never have cause to feel better, more righteous, more successful, or more honorable than another.

Meekness is the ability to esteem others better than ourselves and to allow God to use us as He wills. II Timothy 2:20 shows us that God will honor whom He will. To seek honor for ourselves or to feel worthy of honor is a dead end, and it will taint how we communicate to others. We will naturally look down on them, disrespect them, overlook them, and criticize them.

Test: If we have experienced dishonor, perhaps we need to look closely to see where we have dishonored others. We all stand guilty as charged.

Staff
Are You Sharp-Tongued? (Part Two)


 

1 Peter 2:18   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We may feel our boss takes advantage of us. He may not pay us what we are worth. He may make us work longer hours than we feel that we should. He may put the pressure on regarding the Sabbath, the holy days, or the Feast of Tabernacles. He may give us work that is beneath our dignity or for which we are overqualified, and we may not feel challenged. There all kinds of ways we can feel pressure from employers.

In these kinds of situations, Peter is not saying we should not compromise at all. He is saying for the Lord's sake, that is, out of regard for Him, we are to control ourselves so we do not rebel. To allow our emotions to have free reign to the point of rebellion is the same as calling God into account—that is, we are (at least indirectly) telling Him that He does not know how to run His creation.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 4)


 

1 Peter 3:18   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Peter shows us how far the model, Jesus, went in suffering unjustly. It is a high standard, but He went all the way to the death without giving in to His emotions and without allowing Satan to get a hold of Him. Jesus never thought that God was being unfair or unjust in what He was causing or allowing Him to go through.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Satan (Part 4)


 

1 John 5:16-17   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

"A sin which does not lead to death" is one that is genuinely repented of and for which forgiveness is available because the attitude of the sinner is meek and truly sorrowful. A person may have this attitude, yet still sin on occasion out of weakness, ignorance, bad judgment, or even inadvertently. Both greater and lesser sins can fall under this category. Earlier in the book, the same apostle writes:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8-9)

Our genuine confession admits to God that we are guilty of breaking His law and seek to be cleared of it by Christ's sacrifice. This true repentance leads to a fierce desire not to sin and to building righteous character. God thus lifts the penalty of the second death, and once again, we, by His grace, are back on the road to salvation.

The sin that John calls a "sin leading to death" is what others know as "the unpardonable sin." Again, both greater and lesser sins can lead to the attitude that causes someone to commit an unforgivable sin. Such a sin is deeply reinforced by the attitude of the sinner—an attitude that denies Jesus Christ as Savior, that flagrantly hates his brother, and refuses to obey God's laws and statutes. Rebellion and defiance set this sin apart from others!

Martin G. Collins
Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?


 

Find more Bible verses about Meekness:
Meekness {Nave's}
Meekness {Torrey's}
 




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