“… in a spirit of gentleness”
There is little, and maybe no “gentleness” in today’s godless world! We saw, as we completed reading Paul’s letter to the Galatians, that, after listing “the works of the flesh” (5:19-21) and warning that all who continued to practice any of them “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (verse 21), that Paul lists, in place of these “works”, writing to the largely Gentile believers in Galatia, “the fruit of the Spirit” (verse 22). These were vitally necessary as a replacement – our minds cannot operate in a vacuum.
These “fruits” are all aspects of a Christ-like character. Let us highlight the word “fruit”. Real “fruit” of this nature is only genuinely developed by those whose hearts fully desire a Christ-like character. In seeking to do so, their consciences readily recognise anything that falls short of genuine “fruit”.
“Love” gets mentioned first, it is the sum total of all the aspects of such fruit which are “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness” and “self-control”. Paul then observes that
“against such things there is no law”.
This means, there is no need for “laws” when all this fruit is produced – and surely this will be the case with the “saints” in the kingdom! This is a wonderful experience – in prospect – let us take time to meditate upon this! Then we will feel even more ‘inspired’ – if that is possible – to desire the kingdom to come! This year?
When we come to chapter 6 Paul directs our thoughts on the way “anyone (who) is caught in any transgression” that
“you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness” (verse 1).
‘Natural’ human nature would not use “a spirit of gentleness” – and the failure to do so, often demonstrates that the person “thinks he is something, when he is nothing” and therefore “he deceives himself” (verse 3).
We are only “something” when “the God of peace”, as we read in Hebrews, is
“working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (13:21).
May we all feel that the “God of peace” is “working in us” today to produce “a spirit of gentleness” that “is pleasing in his sight”.