RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL MANUAL
SUNDAY, 17TH DECEMBER 2017
TOPIC: THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: LONGSUFFERING AND GENTLENESS
MEMORY VERSE: ‘’Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;.” – Colossians 3:12
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2Corinthians 6:3-7
Another set of characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit are longsuffering and gentleness as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Longsuffering is also translated as patience while gentleness is also called kindness. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes. Where we had harboured selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness etc. These fruits reflect the character of God.
1. Longsuffering (Patience)
2. Gentleness (Kindness)
There are two Greek words translated as “patience” in the New Testament. Hupomone means “a remaining under”, as when one bears up under a burden. Makrothumia, as used in Galatians 5:22, is a compound formed by makros (“long”) and thumos (“passion” or “temper”). It literally means “long temper”, in the sense of “the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time”. The KJV translates it “longsuffering”. A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without being physically violent in response. Rather, he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing. Patience comes from a position of power. It brings self-restraint and careful thinking. God is patient with sinners and gives people time to be saved (2Peter 3:15). The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). We are not to avenge ourselves, rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).
The Greek word for “kindness” is chrestotes. It means “compassion, tender concern, uprightness”. It is kindness of heart and act. Gentleness (Kindness) is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8; Matthew 23:37). God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during famine and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow’s only son from the dead (1kings 17:8-24). When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God showed compassion on her by providing water to quench their thrist and give them hope (Genesis 21:9-21). On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34; 7:29; 10:46-52). Gentleness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray (Luke 15:3-7). In gentleness, He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11). When we exhibit the gentleness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others. Every action, every word will have the flavour of grace in it. To maintain gentleness toward all humans especially toward those who are against us requires the help of the Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 6:4-6).
If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of patience and gentleness.
1. What is longsuffering?
2. What is gentleness?