The Beatitudes (Part 6): Blessed are the Meek (Part 2)


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Hymn - Only by grace can we enter (785)

Psalm Reading

Psalm 51:13–17 ESV
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
contrite - remorse


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Matthew 5:1–12 ESV
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Meekness / Gentleness / Humility
Power under Control
Opposite of Pride / Arrogance
Rooted in an understanding of God and of ourselves
Making a standard against Sin
Examples: Stephen


Meekness is the only personal quality Jesus draws attention to himself as having.
Matthew 11:29 ESV
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.
Picture of perfect meekness...
Philippians 2:6–7 ESV
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Accussed of being a drunkard
Matthew 11:19 ESV
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Accussed of Demon Possesion: Jesus said...
Matthew 12:26 ESV
And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Accussed of Blasphemy
Mark 2:5 ESV
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Breaking the Sabbeth
John 5:17 ESV
But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Before Pilot
Luke 23:9 ESV
So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer.
1 Peter 2:23 ESV
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
Jesus Affirms his Meekness (example of Power under Control)
Matthew 26:52–53 ESV
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
Legion = 6,000
Total - 72,000 angels
2 Kings 19:35 ESV
And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
Revelation 5:11 ESV
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
Strength in Obedience and unqualified acceptance of God’s divine will
John 12:27–28 ESV
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
Luke 23:46 ESV
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.


Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus’ example is not meerly for admiration but for imitation
Matthew 11:29 ESV
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.
Meekness in reading of Scripture - unqualified acceptance of God’s divine Word
James 1:21 ESV
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
The Beatitudes for Today Learning the Lesson

J I Packer reminds us, ‘To defer to God’s Word is an act of faith; any querying and editing of it on our own initiative is an exhibition of unbelief.’

Jesus provides example of Meekness in teaching us to pray
Matthew 6:10 ESV
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Meekness in Adversity
Satan attacks Jobs health
Job 2:9–10 ESV
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Lamentations 3:38 ESV
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?
Meekness takes the rough with the smooth - sees God’s hand in both
The Beatitudes for Today Learning the Lesson

When the Bohemian Reformer Jan Hus lay in prison shortly before his execution in 1415 he wrote to a friend, ‘God deigns kindly to look upon us and to endow us with wondrous gifts; a narrow prison, hard bed, plain food, cruel boards, toothache, vomiting and fever.’

Meekness in Action

Meekness Commits its cause into God’s Hands
2 Timothy 1:12 ESV
which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.
Meekness - is a continuous state

the nineteenth-century Christian philanthropist George Múller replied, ‘There was a day when I died, utterly died; died to George Múller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will—died to the world, its approval or censure—died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends—and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.’

Meekness remains unprovoked by criticism

Hebrews 12:3 ESV
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Not weakness! - Do you have the inner strength to follow His example?
Our natural tendency is to defend ourselvews against every attack ...

John Stott makes the point perfectly: ‘I myself am quite happy to recite the General Confession in church and call myself a “miserable sinner”. It causes me no great problem. I can take it in my stride. But let somebody else come up to me after church and call me a miserable sinner, and I want to punch him on the nose!’

Martyn Lloyd-Jones hits the nail on the head when he says, ‘To be truly meek means that we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending.’

We must be able to take criticism and correction through the appropriate use of the Word of God

we must resist the temptation to be proved right in everything we say or to insist that our view of things is the only right one, whether it be an issue of doctrine, morality, ethics, the church, business, politics or anything else.

South African preacher Frank Retief points us in the right direction: ‘Take the opportunity of restoring broken relationships. Make whatever apologies are necessary. Be willing to eat humble pie and don’t be caught up in the pettiness of who said what and when and who was wrong or right. I have often made the observation that five minutes before I die, it will not matter one whit to me who won the last argument. I will have other things of far greater importance on my mind.’

NB: This does not speak against the appropriate and proper correction of others with the Word of God, but rather our resistence to such correction.

Meekness accepts personal injury without resentment

Paul faced opposition from those who denied his Apostolic authority, and they suggested that he was bold enough to write to them but a coward when he met them face to face.
Paul replied ...
2 Corinthians 10:1 ESV
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—
reworded: “by the friendship and example of Christ - I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!”

Meekness in the face of personal injury runs counter to our natural inclination, which is to retaliate—sometimes with interest!—but it is just as much a Christian’s duty to avoid taking offence as it is to avoid giving offence.

NB: We must not so desire to avoid offence that we fail to be bold in rebuking our Brother or Sister in Christ.

Meekness bears patiently with the unfaithfulness of friends

Paul experienced the failure of “fair weather” believers from standing with him.
2 Timothy 4:16 ESV
At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
The weakness of friends can sometimes cause more pain than the power of enemies
Paul handled the situation without resentment
2 Timothy 4:17 ESV
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
NB: He also wrote to Timothy about them so that others would have fair warning indicating them as those who made false profession of faith

Meekness deals lovingly but firmly with the lost

Paul taught Timothy against being dragged into quarrels by those who made false profession of faith (unbelievers)
2 Timothy 2:23–26 ESV
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Faced with an argumentative unbeliever, we can quickly find ourselves adopting the same hostile spirit and getting involved in a verbal brawl, forgetting that even if we won every round and convinced the other person at every point, we might do so in such a way as to leave him even more determined to have nothing to do with a religion that produces people like us.

Paul also reminds Timothy of their danger
2 Timothy 3:2–7 ESV
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Meekness deals lovingly but firmly with the sin of believers

Also to the Galatians deal lovingly with the transgressions of a believer
Galatians 6:1 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Spirit of Gentlesness - as a Friend
Opposite of Harshly - unpleasantly rough, cruel or severe

Defining Meekness

The Beatitudes for Today The Measure of Meekness

Meekness is a defining grace, produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian, which characterizes that person’s response towards God and man.

The Beatitudes for Today The Measure of Meekness

Meekness towards God is a spirit of submission to all of God’s dealings with us, especially those which cause us sorrow or pain, in the settled conviction that in all of these he is graciously, wisely and sovereignly working ‘for the good of those who love him’ (Romans 8:28).

The Beatitudes for Today The Measure of Meekness

Meekness towards man means bearing patiently with the hurtful actions of others and dealing gently with their failures, not only in the assurance that all of these are under God’s providential control, but in the knowledge that, left to ourselves, we have no claim to be any stronger than the weakest of our friends or any better than the worst of our enemies.

They Shall inherit the Earth

Matthew 5:5 ESV
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Christians have no greater economic wealth
Earth / Land - dwelling place of man
David puzzled by the prosperity of the wicked, accepts calm and patient faith in the over-ruling providence of God.
Psalm 37:11 ESV
But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
Paul learned to be content
first reward of meekness - Contentment
Philippians 4:11–13 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Meekness does get ulcers worrying about economic woes - e.g. not dominated by it
Ecclesiastes 4:6 ESV
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.
The Beatitudes for Today The Inheritance

As A W Pink neatly puts it, ‘The humble Christian is far happier in a cottage than the wicked in a palace.’

True riches in Christ
1 Corinthians 3:21–23 ESV
So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Liberated by the truth
You are Christ’s & Christ is God’s
Creator of the world
Giver of life
Conqueror of death
ruler of the present
Lord of the Future
The Beatitudes for Today The Inheritance

Meekness is not looking back and seeing this in retrospect. It is approaching each day, each new set of circumstances, in the settled conviction that, in David’s famous phrase, ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever’ (Psalm 23:6, NKJV)

Eternal Perspective
Inheritance lost by Adam but regained by Christ
2 Peter 3:13 ESV
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Romans 8:17 ESV
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:21 ESV
that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Revelation 21:4 ESV
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Closing Prayer


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