Three Dimensions of Gentleness

Apostle Aje Pelser, 2018/01/28
Preached at a Sunday Morning service

3 Dimensions of Gentleness
Preached by Apostle Aje Pelser
Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town. 28 Jan 2018

There are three dimensions of gentleness that will reveal more of Christ’s nature.
1. Inward
2. Outward
3. Divine – Spirit of Gentleness of God
1. INWARD Gentleness – towards yourself.
Mat 19:19 ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER,’ and, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ ”

The Bible tells us to love one another as we love ourselves. It is apparent that in modern times there is a tendency to punish ourselves and treat ourselves harshly in order to succeed. While self-discipline is a characteristic of a believer in Jesus, there is no need to tend towards self-destruction and harsh treatment of the body of soul. This stems from a pagan tendency prevalent in Greek and Roman Times that deprived the body, with harsh treatment of self. This was supposedly the way to elevate self.

Gnostic Sects: John wrote letters to counter the heresies of two Gnostic sects:
Docetic Gnostics

Cerinthians Gnostics
Both groups believed that all matter was essentially evil, including our physical bodies

Both groups believed that all matter was essentially evil, including our physical bodies

Docetic Gnostics denied the actual humanity

Cerinthians distinguished between the human Jesus and the divine Christ.

Docetic comes from ‘dokeo’ that means ‘to seem’ or appear as real. They say that our Lord seemed to have a physical body but it just seemed so to others.

The Cerinthians maintained that the divine part came upon Jesus when he was baptized and left him on the Cross.

the one practices asceticism

the other gave themselves license to sin as much as they wanted to because the body was evil and would eventually just become dust

Notes from MBC Subject Manual: Colossians and John. Enrol for the full correspondence course with aje@harvesterchurch.net

The word ‘Gnostic’ comes from the Greek word ‘gino?sko?’ (Strongs # G1097: to “know” (absolutely)
The two extreme teachings, an aspect of the Gnostics,
• either lead the human body of Christ to asceticism or confirm to licentiousness.
• They believed that all matter including his readers that he actually knew the flesh was evil.
• Therefore you either had nothing to do with anything material or fleshly and lived in an isolated state in a monastery or you gave yourself license to sin because according to them it could not contaminate your spirit that is untouchable.
• Paul refutes the latter doctrine in his second epistle to the Corinthian believers that had all sorts of perversions amongst them.

Colossian Heresies
Paul wrote this epistle to combat false doctrines (heresy) which crept into the church at Colosse. Paul combated ‘Gnosticism and corrected those who trust in the works of the Law such as circumcision and keeping the Sabbath to please God. Paul turned their attention to the Person of Christ the only safeguard is to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ. Epaphras showed them how to live pleasing unto God.
The two major points of false doctrine centred on the keeping of the Law (Judaistic observances of the law) and Gnosticism (in superior intellectual wisdom of a few who indulge in a specific teaching). It was necessary for Paul to write to the church to remind them of the person of Jesus Christ, to keep their eyes on Him and not to get caught up in man made doctrines.

Essene Judaistic Sect
• The Judaist element came into the Christian Church through the Essene sect, who worshipped angels and revered the Name of Moses after God.
• After God, Moses was the most important person to them.
• This Jewish religious sect kept to the Law of Moses to such an extent, that they began to deny themselves any contact with the world.
• They forbade marriage and rather adopted children to regenerate their religious order and kept it from drying out.
• All things material and all practices in the material world were evil to them and needed to be avoided.
• Strict bodily discipline was maintained.
• Circumcision to them was all important as well as keeping the Sabbath.
• Some of these Essenes were saved, became Christians and brought their teaching into the Christian Church.
• Paul combated this false teaching by contending for the universality of the
• Gospel message (Chapter 1:1).

Gnostics
• On the other hand the Gnostics also infiltrated their doctrines into the Christian Church.
• Gnosticism worships knowledge.
• They say only they had the superior knowledge and wisdom which made them perfect and intellectually superior to all other sects.
• This intellectual exclusiveness made other Christians feel like they had to join them and learn their teachings before they would become perfect.
• The obvious end result of this teaching was PRIDE.
• The Gnostics taught that angels participated in creation and allowed evil to creep into God’s original creation.
• Paul combated their intellectual superiority by stressing the mineralogy and simplicity of the Gospel message. “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that’ we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col 1:28).

Scriptures that will cultivate INWARD Gentleness:
1Co 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1Co 3:17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones

To Summarize concerning inward gentleness:
We are free from the law of sin and death and the fleshly ordinances imposed by the Old Testament Laws. These could not cleanse our conscience of sin and is therefore obsolete through the reformation of Jesus Christ as we read in Hebrews 9.
Neither imposing harsh disciplines, nor giving ourselves license ot sin produces righteousness but faith in Jesus Christ and allowing His Hoy Spirit to cultivate the fruit of gentleness within first and then towards others and finally revealing the gentleness of God through us as a fruit that will benefit humanity.

2. OUTWARD Gentleness towards Others
1Pe 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
A note for the behaviour of the Bride of Christ – if this applies to women in marriage!

Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Christians become harsh with each other when they try to impress or make a show I the flesh. This is quite common and needs to be discerned through this Word of God.

Restore those who sin in a spirit of gentleness.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Gal 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

3. DIVINE Gentleness from God
David understood that it was God’s gentleness and mercy that allowed him to become great.
2Sa 22:33 God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.
2Sa 22:34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
2Sa 22:35 He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
2Sa 22:36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.

Cultivate the fruit of gentleness by abiding in Christ and allowing the Spirit to lead and guide your behaviour.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will convict you and lead you into all truth regarding gentleness if you ask Him for help! As we sow through taking the opportunities to be gentle the process begins…