The Spiritually–Controlled Man
Edited by J E Bradburn
Matthew 5:5 (KJV) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Jesus said that we could live above the chances, changes and circumstances we face in life. It is easy for us to give our full attention to difficulties in life and become bitter, angry and filled with self-pity. If we focus on hurts and disappointments there is a souring of our attitudes and we become bitter, resentful and hostile toward life. It is not circumstances and feelings, but attitudes that determine our life-joy. We have a choice every day regarding the attitudes we will embrace for that day. The third beatitude helps us to focus on the right attitudes toward life.
Who is a "meek" or better "gentle" person? You might be surprised at this principle of the God–controlled person.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE SPIRIT–CONTROLLED PERSON: Meek (enduring injury with patience and without resentment)
The word for "meek" or "gentle" is one of the most beautiful and at the same time one of the most difficult words in the New Testament to translate. Most scholars point out there is little difference between "poor in spirit" in verse three,
Matthew 5:3 (KJV) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm
And "meek" in verse five. The emphasis Jesus makes here is on man's relationship to God and his fellow man. The gentle, meek, humble people in verse five are the same ones viewed from a different perspective in verse three. The word Jesus used in verse 5, praeis (meek), can hardly be distinguished from "poor." It contained echoes of someone who is unimportant. Do not confuse this "meekness" or "gentleness" with weakness. Our modern English word "meek" has negative connotations of someone who is psychologically submissive and easily imposed upon, but not so. Jesus is emphasizing a strength that comes from submission and trust in God. These are people who do not put confidence in their own power. They do not need it because they are trusting in God. He has inner strength because he has a right relationship with God.
Our word stresses humility as opposed to arrogant pride. It is an attitude that causes us to be open to new ideas, to grow in grace, to forgive and be forgiven. But it also includes a humility that accepts truth from others that we acknowledge ourselves. I can accept the fact that I am a sinner and confess it to God, but what is my attitude when you point out sin in my life?
This is the kind of humility that will allow us to become aware of our spiritual needs. It doesn’t reject becoming convicted of our poverty in spirit. It is our only proper attitude toward God.
· The gentle man knows his own ignorance,
· Limitation and needs.
· It is freedom from all self-importance.
Jesus described this attitude in Matt 5:3-4 when He said,
Matthew 5:3-4 (KJV)
3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Numerous scholars bring out various shades of meaning in this word. The adjective praus (A Parable for Winning the War Within); means a gentle, humble, considerate, and courteous person. It describes the proper “balance between too much and too little anger.” There are some things in life that should make us angry. Here is the person who is "always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time" with just the precise amount of anger. The gentle man is the man who can patiently endure. He is proactive instead of aggressive.
The ancient Greek physicians used this word to describe a proper amount of medicine for the sick patient. The appropriate amount of medicine will bring a raging fever under control. Too much of the medication will kill a patient, too little will have no effect.
It can describe a calm gentle soothing breeze on the oceanfront along a beautiful beach as opposed to the raging winds of major hurricanes and typhoons. Our word describes the mild light wind on the ocean during calmer days. It is an awesome power of God under control.
This word for gentle is also the regular word to describe a wild stallion, which has been broken. His furious wild energy has been harnessed to obey the word of command. When I think of this word I think of “Black Beauty” full of wild and furious energy that is harnessed and at the end of the movie we see a child climbing upon this marvellous animal and riding off into a beautiful golden sunset. It is power under control. It is not someone who is "meek and mild," weak and effeminate, but one who is "a gentle spirit." It is a humble and gentle attitude toward God and others, which is determined by a true estimate of us.
The "gentle" man is under the power and control of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit brings every passion and desire into submission to God. It includes self-control, but goes beyond that to give power and inner strength to overcome the most profound evil powers of our old human nature. Without His strength we could never overcome the behaviours in unregenerate nature. This is the principle of the Spirit–controlled man. We can't have true spiritual prosperity without putting into practice this principle.
“Gentleness” forces us to take inventory of our attitudes and behaviours. It expresses itself in our attitudes toward God ourselves, and how we treat others. A humble attitude toward God and others makes us gentle, humble, sensitive and patient in our dealings with others.
The Holy Spirit enables us to overcome carnal behaviours.
"Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
· Sexual immorality, Colossians 3:5 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry."
· Impurity, that which is, or which renders anything, impure; foul matter, action, language, etc.; a foreign ingredient
· Depravity, Moral corruption or degradation
· Idolatry is a term used by many religions to describe the worship of a false deity, which is an affront to their understanding of divinity.
· Sorcery, Use of supernatural power over others through the assistance of spirits; witchcraft.
· Hostilities, The state of being hostile; antagonism or enmity
· Strife, vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism: to be at strife
· Jealousy, a jealous disposition, attitude, or feeling
· Outbursts of anger, is an automatic response to ill treatment. It is the way a person indicates he or she will not tolerate certain types of behavior.
· Selfish rivalries, engrossed in their own selfish ambitions and rivalries
· Dissensions, strong disagreement; a contention or quarrel;
· Factions, a group or clique within a larger group, party, government, and organization
· Envying, A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another
· Murder, The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.
· Drunkenness,, in its most common usage, is the state of being intoxicated with alcohol
· Carousing, To engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking.
· Male Homosexuality, Sex with a man "as with a woman" forbidden, punishable by death for both participating men.
Leviticus 18:22 (KJV) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 (KJV) If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
I am giving you fair warning here, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!" http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm
Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)
19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20. Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21. Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
To overcome these passions and behaviours we need more than self-control. We need God’s help!
This beatitude (In Christianity, the Beatitudes are a set of teachings by Jesus that appear in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/olivetdiscourse.htm
is describing the blessing of the man who is completely Spirit–controlled. It is strength under God's control. Only the Spirit of God can give perfect mastery of a person's desires. What Jesus is emphasizing is the Spirit–controlled life. This gentleness is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said, “the fruit of the Spirit is;
· Longsuffering, Patience.
· Gentleness, Kindness.
“Against such things there is no law”
22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
There is our word again; "gentleness." is a value and quality in one's character. Being gentle has a long history in many, but not all cultures. Gentleness can be viewed as a refinement of character;
The meek or gentle person is walking in the Spirit.
Galatians 16-18 (KJV)
16. This I say then, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Matthew 22:30 (KJV) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
18. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
The opposite of gentleness is the work of the flesh. Who is in control of my life? Is it self or is it the Holy Spirit? If everything is centred on I, me, and mine, the sinful nature will dominate and produce its fruit. However, when the Holy Spirit is in control the radiance of Jesus Christ is seen in our lives.
How do you handle pride, self-glory, aggression, manipulation, and the tendency to withdraw and give the old silent treatment, the demand for position, power, privilege, and status? These are manifestations of the flesh or our sinful human nature.
Let's take a quick inventory. How do we measure up to God's view of gentleness?
· What is my attitude toward the circumstances in my life?
· How do I act when I have the power to control a person or situation?
· What is my attitude toward God’s Word?
· What is my attitude toward a division in the Body of Christ?
· How do I handle rejection? How do I relate to others?
· How do I use my emotional, political, personal power?
The gentle person accepts God's dealings as for his good without disputing with Him. He will not fight God. He looks at life and sees God’s hand in all his circumstances. With deep conviction he can say with the apostle Paul,
Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Someone expressed that conviction in these words of faith.
· “God is too kind to do anything cruel,
· Too wise to make a mistake,
· Too deep to explain Himself.
· When we know WHO, we can stop asking, 'Why?'"
· That is your gentle person who is under the control of the Holy Spirit.
JESUS IS OUR BEST EXAMPLE OF GENTLENESS.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of Him: "This fulfilled what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet:”
17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18. “Behold My Servant, Whom I have chosen; My Beloved, In Whom My soul is well pleased: I will put My spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgement to the Gentiles.”
19. “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets.”
20. “A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgement unto victory. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
21. “And in His name shall the Gentiles trust.”
Jesus said to His disciples:
Matthew 11:29-30 (KJV)
29. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
30. “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Imagine the Roman soldiers casting their dice and the rabble in front of the stake shouting, “Crucify Him, and crucify Him!” At the stake we see Jesus bearing no resentment, no grudges. He committed His way entirely to the Father. He could have called down ten thousand angels, but He chose to pray, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." There is infinite power under control!
King Saul who threatened to kill him was hunting down David. When David had the chance to slit his throat he refused. Here was power under control. He refused to touch God’s anointed.
The patriarch Joseph chose to forgive his foolish brothers who sold him as a slave when they arrived in Egypt to purchase grain. He was forgotten among men but remembered by God. It was a man under God's control who could say to them, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm
Genesis 45:5-9 (KJV)
5. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold Me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Preserve life: i.e. to preserve you posterity in the earth (v7), and hence, to ensure the birth of the true Joseph (Christ) and all who have life eternal in Him.
6. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. (Earing means ploughing; Anglo Saxon)
7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all His house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
A father to Pharaoh: This is not the Hebrew Ab, “father”; but Ab en Perao is an Egyptian title of high office of state. = First minister of Pharaoh’s household.
9. Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, “Thus saith the son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not.”
God chose Joseph to deliver them and "the best of all the land of Egypt is yours" http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Lineage4.htm
Genesis 45:20 (KJV) Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
How can we possibly forget the apostle Paul singing praises to God while in prison in Philippi? Paul and Silas were "dragged into the marketplace before the authorities." They were "beaten with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners was listening to them.
19. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them unto the marketplace unto the rulers.
20. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, “These men being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,”
Magistrates: These were Romans, showing Luke’s accuracy. The magistrates of this colony bore the same title as at Rome, prætors, for which stratēgos is the Greek rendering, though before this it is applied to the captain of the Temple guard.
21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.”
22. And the multitude rode up together against them: and the magistrate rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
Beat them: = Beat them with rods, Greek rabdizō the lictors who attended on the prætors carried rods or staves (rabdos) for this purpose, and were called rod-bearers.
23. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24. Who, having received such a charge, thrust them in the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
25. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
Sang praises unto God: Matt 26:30, Mark 14:26, Heb 2:12 The first two passages refer to the great Hallel (Psalms 113-118, most commonly referred to as "Hallel." For Psalms 145-150, also sometimes referred to as "Hallel," see Hallel (Pesukei Dezimra). Psalm 136 is sometimes referred to as "The Great Hallel.")
Hallel (http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm הלל, "Praise") is a Jewish prayer—a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113–118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving that is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays.
Psalm 136 (KJV)
01 O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.
02 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for His mercy endureth for ever.
03 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for His mercy endureth for ever.
04 To Him who alone doeth great wonders: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27sword.htm
05 To Him that by wisdom made the heavens: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/booksofenoch.htm
06 To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/timewewereheard.htm
07 To Him that made great lights: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/perfection.htm
08 The sun to rule by day: for His mercy endureth for ever:
09 The moon and stars to rule by night: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/gathering.htm
10 To Him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Lineage1.htm
11 And brought out Israel from among them: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Lineage5.htm
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for His mercy endureth for ever.
13 To Him which divided the Red sea into parts: for His mercy endureth for ever:
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and His host in the Red sea: for His mercy endureth for ever.
16 To Him which led His people through the wilderness: for His mercy endureth for ever.
17 To Him which smote great kings: for His mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings: for His mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for His mercy endureth for ever:
20 And Og the king of Bashan: for His mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/dispensationalplan.htm
22 Even an heritage unto Israel His servant: for His mercy endureth for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for His mercy endureth for ever: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/perfection.htm
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for His mercy endureth for ever.
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thisworld.htm
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for His mercy endureth for ever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/benefitofchrist.htm
God used the circumstances to add to His kingdom. Here was the Spirit–controlled man yielding himself to God for strength to overcome the chances, the changes, and the circumstances in his life.
Each of these great saints accepted God’s manner of dealing with them as His good and perfect will. It was for God’s glory and their good. God always gives His very best to those who humble themselves before Him.
The gentle man will not fight against God or struggle and contend with Him.
But how do we treat those who mistreat us? How do we respond to those who stab us in the back? Romans 12:19 (KJV) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
The gentle person leaves everything in the hands of a loving God. The condition upon which we enter our spiritual inheritance in Christ is not might, but meekness. Everything is ours if we are Christ's. Therefore, to those who are willing to yield their lives to the work of the Holy Spirit there is the promise "they shall inherit the earth."
THE PROMISE TO THE SPIRIT–CONTROLLED PERSON
"Blessed are the gentle for they shall inherit the earth."
The verb "inherit" here means, "To receive by lot, and then inherit, possess." It signifies to take possession of your inheritance. It is yours; here take possession and enjoy it.
It is not the inheritance given upon the death of a testator that Jesus has in mind here. The thought is eschatological. (A belief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the Last Judgment):
Jesus is looking forward to the coming of His Messianic kingdom. http://godsplan.org.uk/messianicage.htm When He returns in glory the meek will inherit the earth. In the end it is the gentle, not the self-assertive who will have a place in God's kingdom http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm "If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us"
2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him He will also deny us.
Luke. 22:29-30 (KJV)
29. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me;
30. That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matt. 20:28 (KJV) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Matt 25:31-34 (KJV)
31. When the son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/stars.htm
32. And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. (Wheat and Tares) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/parables.htm
33. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, “Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
Revelation 3:21 (KJV) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with My Father in His Throne. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/christianrace.htm
Revelation 20:4 (KJV) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The promise Jesus gave looks forward to the kingdom of God whereby He rules all over the earth. There is coming a day when the LORD God will reign upon the earth and His people will enjoy their inheritance.
What is God going to give? "God will give them what He has promised" or "God will give them all the blessings (or, good things) He has promised."
I believe that the fullest realization of man's redemption finds its fulfilment only in the person of Jesus Christ. Man was originally created sinless. But Eve and Adam disobeyed God and thrust all his descendants into an expulsion from God, and the Garden of Eden, a horrible fallen earth, where Satan is prince, and depravity and sin abound. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm
Therefore, redeemed humanity has been elevated by means of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the highest rank of all created beings. Angels peek in to see what God is doing with His elect.
God in His grace and redemption through Jesus Christ has elevated His chosen ones to the most sublime heights possible short of becoming members of the Godhead.
Now let us not make the foolish mistake of the cults that teach that we become gods and will one day go off into the universe and populate our own planets. That is sheer error and nonsense. However, the salvation that we receive by believing in Christ is more than a restoration of what God fully intended when He made man in His image because man has been redeemed. The believer is “in Christ.” When we look into the face of Christ we see how far we have fallen and what God fully intended us to be. God sees us “complete in Christ.” The apostle Paul wrote,
The Holy Spirit is at work in the believer conforming us to the likeness of Christ. His goal is to present us finished, complete, mature, full grown and perfect to the Father. The mature believer belongs to the fullness of Christ. Jesus Christ is the pattern for normal Christianity. There can be no greater exaltation of the redeemed. http://godsplan.org.uk/christtheredeemer.htm This is what He has accomplished for us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Because of what Christ has done I want to be the person God fully intended me to be in Christ Jesus.
Let us claim our inheritance. God has something wonderful waiting for us. "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/hebrew.htm
1 John 3:1-3
1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.
2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it do not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm
3. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself even as He is pure.