Living a life worthy of the calling we have received involves being “completely humble and gentle; patient, bearing with one another in love?”
We have been made new in Christ! We are a new humanity! We have a new self, and no longer are the people we used to be before we were baptized into Christ and became part of his holy church. We are saints! Do you believe this! How do you predominantly get your sense of identity? Is it from Christ; or is it from your status, career, socio-economic bracket, race, gender, etc. Anything less than Christ is worldly and misguided.
This is the calling we have received, and which is described in chapters 1-3: to be the predestined, saved people God has always envisioned and for which Jesus died.
It is important to remember that, in calling us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received, Paul is merely calling us back to following Jesus. In following Jesus, we imitate God himself (Eph 5:1, Matt 5:48, Col 1:15, 2 Cor 4:4). We are to be humble because Jesus is humble. We are to be gentle because Jesus is gentle. We are to be patient because Jesus is patient. We are to bear with one another in love because Jesus forever bears with us in love.
What does it mean to be humble like Jesus? Read Philippians 2:3-11.
What does it mean to be patient like Jesus?
What does it mean to bear with one another in love like Jesus? Read Romans 12:9-21 & Galatians 5:13-15, 6:1-2
What does it mean to be GENTLE LIKE JESUS?
*What is gentleness? How do you define it? What image comes to mind when you think of being gentle?
*Gentleness is not soft or weak. Gentleness does not overlook sin or go about simply encouraging with positive words or doing things to reassure people all the time. Gentleness is a confident calmness and emotional self-control that comes from faith and is grounded in godly conviction!
*Gentleness is evident in a person’s demeanor, tone, words, etc.
*Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit and a product of faith in God. In order to sustain a gentle demeanor, one must be gentle in spirit. In order to be gentle in spirit, one must have total trust in the love, goodness, faithfulness, and sovereignty of God.
*Read Galatians 5:22-23 / Jeremiah 11:18-20 / Philippians 4:4-7. Notice the connection between faith and gentleness in Philippians: Faith produces security, which produces peace, which leads to joy, which manifests as a “gentleness evident to all.” One cannot be controlled by fear, anxiety, frustration, a need to control, etc., and yet remain gentle.
*Harshness comes from frustration, fear, anger, etc., and damages relationships, creating division. Gentleness protects relationships, wins hearts, and promotes unity. Read Proverbs 15:1, 25:15 & 1 Peter 3:15-16)
*Gentleness is a quality of Christ and should lead people to “rest for their souls,” not burdensome loads (Matthew 11:28-30). Why, then, do you think Jesus gently insists that we obey his commands and follow him as his disciple?
*We are called to be live, lead, and disciple gently, like Jesus: Titus 3:1-2 > to whom are we supposed to show gentleness? 2 Cor 10:1 > how does Paul appeal to those whom he is calling to follow his leadership? 1 Timothy 3:3 > among other things, gentleness is a characteristic of a capable shepherd.
What does gentleness look like?
*Read 1 Kings 19:9-18
*Gentleness understands and cares when we are in our “cave of despair” (going through something which is hard and challenging to our faith.
*Gentleness patiently listens, lets us vent and pour out our hearts.
*Gentleness “whispers” (faithfully compassionate, calm and resolute) rather than bringing “wind, earthquakes, or fire” (emotional out of anger, fear, or frustration).
*Gentleness answers emotion with truth (Elijah’s feelings did not represent the reality, did they?).
*Gentleness leads us back to truth and a call to faithful action–Go & Do! Trust God enough to obey before the circumstances change (This is the only way out of the cave).
*Gentleness leads to “rest for one’s soul” (Elijah gained a more faithful perspective and a new friend, partner, disciple in Elisha).
Why is it so important that you and the church be gentle like Jesus?