A Meek and Quiet Spirit
16 December 2018 AM – 1 Peter 3:4 – Our Spirit – Scott Childs
Introduction: God called Moses to lead about 3 million Jews out of slavery in Egypt, through the wilderness for 40 years and to the border of the Promised Land of Israel. During that time, many people rebelled against his leadership including, on one occasion, his own brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam. When that happened, he stayed calm and God said he was the meekest man on the whole earth. (Nu 12:3) He had a meek and quiet spirit. That is what we need!
Transition: This morning as we study 1 Peter 3:4, I want us to answer three questions about a meek and quiet spirit that will help us develop such a spirit.
1. When do we need a meek and quiet spirit?
a. The context describes a married woman.
1) In (1Pe 3:1) God tells wives to arrange themselves under the leadership of their husbands.
a) No marriage will ever be happy with two heads. God has ordained that the husband lovingly lead and that the wife submissively complete.
b) God, who is all-wise, planned this from the very beginning.
2) Even if her husband is not obeying God’s word (i.e., he may not be a Christian or he may not be a godly Christian), God can use her conversation or submissive way of life to soften her husband’s heart. Her husband (v.2) must see her chaste (i.e., holy and pure) way of life that shows fear or respect to him.
3) The Christian woman’s adorning or decoration must not focus on external beauty but on internal beauty. A married woman who is a beauty on the outside but a beast on the inside will have a miserable husband. That is why God tells every wife to focus mostly on developing inner beauty.
4) Every Christian wife needs to be clothed with a meek and quiet spirit deep within her heart to enable her to submit respectfully to her husband. It is such a spirit that God says is priceless.
b. The verse applies generally to submission to authority.
1) We each need a meek and quiet spirit. Submission to authority is not a natural part of our human character. At the same time, life without authorities is anarchy. We need leaders, and submission to leaders is necessary.
2) External submission may be nothing more than unhappy compliance. This is typical in the workplace, in schools, in marriages, and in homes.
3) Internal submission is genuine submission that comes from a submissive heart. This is the meek and quiet spirit that God wants each of us to have toward authority.
2. What is a meek and quiet spirit?
a. What is a meek spirit?
1) The word translated “meek” means mildness of disposition or gentleness of spirit.
a) This word means a. “mild” of things, b. “tame” of animals, c. “gentle” or “pleasant” of persons, d. “kindly” or “lenient” of such things as activities or punishments. (TDNT)
b) Meekness is closely linked with humility, gentleness and kindness.
c) Meekness is the opposite of all that is self-centred. (Bridgeway) It is a temper of mind not easily provoked to resentment. (Buck). It is a calm temper of mind (Easton). It is the absence of self-assertion (Cambridge). Bearing tranquilly the disturbances caused by others (JFB). Willing to be governed (Berg).
2) Though Moses was a powerful leader, God tells us that he was meek. (Numbers 12:3) “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”
3) Jesus described Himself as meek. (Matthew 11:29) “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.”
O A meek spirit is not a weak spirit, nor is it a self-centred spirit. It is a humble, gentle, kind, mild, calm spirit that is not easily provoked.
b. What is a quiet spirit?
1) The word translated “quiet” means quiet or tranquil.
2) Strong’s Concordance states that the word properly means keeping one’s seat and thus undisturbed.
3) JFB Commentary – not creating disturbances
4) Cambridge says that “quietness,” is the calm tranquillity which is not only not an element of disturbance, but checks the action of such elements in others.
5) A quiet spirit stays calm, does not argue or create disturbances and is a peacemaker.
6) We are to be meek in feelings; quiet in words, countenance, actions (Bengel)
O Therefore, a meek and quiet spirit is humble, gentle spirit, not easily provoked, that remains calm and is a peacemaker. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to have an argument with a person who has a meek and quiet spirit?
3. How can we get a meek and quiet spirit?
a. We must have a new heart
1) The incorruptible hidden man of the heart is talking about the new nature that God gives to a person when he trust Christ as his Saviour.
2) While some unbelievers may display a little of a meek and quiet spirit, they cannot possess these qualities to the fullest without being a Christian.
3) Some people naturally have a gentle and quiet personality, but this meek and quiet spirit is not just a personality that some people are born with. It is a quality that God wants to develop in true Christians.
4) It is a quality that only the “new man” or “new nature” of a true Christian can fully develop.
a) (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
b) (Ephesians 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
b. You must have a yielded heart
1) A meek and quiet spirit is one that you must work at by yielding to God’s Word. Peter told us (v.3) that it is not a developed outward beauty. Rather, it is (v.2) a reflection of a holy life that shows fear and respect. It is (v.4) an inward developed beauty that is developed by submissively living by the Bible.
2) Meekness is a fruit that the Holy Spirit will produce in the lives of Christians who yield to His will (Gal 5:22-23).
3) Having right beliefs about God will help us develop a meek and quiet spirit. If we believe that God always loves us, is all-wise, always knows what is best and that He is all that we need, we will humbly trust Him when we feel vulnerable and respond calmly to life’s trials.
4) When we humbly yield to God’s sovereignty, He will produce in us a meek and quiet spirit towards our human authorities. God highlights the fact that this kind of spirit is of great price or priceless. Repeatedly, God promises to honour those who are humble. (James 4:10) “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
5) The devil wants you to think that if you submit to those over you with a meek and quiet spirit, you will be walked on and mistreated. While that is not usually the case, if it happens God will settle the score on Judgment Day. (2 Peter 2:9) “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”
Conclusion: Though Peter was specifically addressing wives when he wrote about a meek and quiet spirit, wives are not the only ones who need a meek and quiet spirit. I need these qualities and so do you. If you lack a meek and quiet spirit, ask God to open your eyes to His greatness and help you to humbly yield to His will.
If you are not a Christian, that is where you must begin.
Song: Jesus Never Fails 274