Humility: The state of being humble or free from pride
see 1 Peter 5:5
If someone invited you to come to their house/church to meet a visiting Christian and told you that this visitor was the most Christ-like person that they ever met.
What do you think he/she would be like?
Quiet or talkative?
Friendly or distant?
Overwhelming or withdraw?
Powerful or powerless?
Proud or humble?
What picture do you have in your mind?
In some modern church circles the man of ‘faith and power’ is a tele-evangelist with a million-dollar lifestyle. He usually has had several visions of being taken into heaven and in his latest vision God has shown him a pair of shoes. He tries them on, a perfect fit. He must be God’s man for the moment. He is the Lord`s anointed and reminds everyone of this by saying ‘watch you do not touch the Lord`s anointed’.
Is that Christlikeness?
Was that how Jesus behaved?
Compare this with the apostle Paul who was a man who suffered greatly for the sake of the gospel. Paul was stoned to the point of death. He was caught up to the third heaven, where he heard words that he did not dare to repeat and mentioned it to no one for 14 years.
Yet Paul would only boast of his weakness and asked that people would just take him for what they could hear and see.
All through God`s word we find that a clear hallmark of men and women of God is their humility and is this grace of humility that we are studying today.
Humility definition: The state of being humble or free from pride. Dictionary definitions tend to define humility in negative terms. This often happens when describing God`s character, holiness (freedom from sin), but humility (like holiness) is a very positive thing.
It is just we find it so hard to accurately define humility.
Humility alternative definition: a state of being full of power and authority but not full of pride in that state. The world always associates power with pride.
True Humility: This is best illustrated in the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
M11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Verse 27; Note all things, power, and authority given to Jesus by our Father.
Verse 28; Be set free from the drudgery of sin and enter his rest.
Verse 29; Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart
We must learn of Christ, who is God in the flesh. Although Jesus is Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, yet Jesus associates his power and authority with lowliness.
We need to renew our thinking.
Philippians 2:5-11: Christian (means a Christlike one)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Verse 5; Let this mind be in you, be like our Lord Jesus and value what Jesus values.
Verse 6; Jesus was equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit but was not
defrauding or underestimating the Godhead in any way when Jesus said that he was
the Son of God.
Verse 7; But (Jesus) put on flesh and came as a servant.
Almighty God became a man of sorrows, a man of no reputation.
Verse 8; He who exalts himself shall be humbled but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
Pride comes before a fall, Crucifixion was the most humiliating death for a Jew.
Verse 9; Jesus is now the name above every name, yet he suffered the ultimate humiliation of the cross.
Verse 10; Every knee shall bow in Heaven, earth, and under the earth
Verse 11; Every tongue shall confess that Jesus is God to the glory to the Father
1 Peter 5:5-6;
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Verse 5 Likewise, you that are younger (and of lesser rank) be subject to the elders, the ministers and spiritual guides of the church, giving due respect and yielding to their counsel, clothe (apron) yourself, all of you, with humility. Wear the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, wear the humble garb with freedom from pride or arrogance toward one another. For God sets himself against the proud, the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful but rather opposes, frustrates, and defeats them.
But God gives grace to the humble therefore humble yourselves. When we put on clothes, they go everywhere our bodies go! Humility is a lifestyle. Our clothes can often make an outward statement of the type of person we are on the inside.
What, would you guess unbelievers would think of a Christian clothed in humility.
Verse 6 Yes, you say, but how, do I put on the garment of humility. Here is how, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into his glorious face and his sinless character and then begin to compare yourself with him!
His life – your life
His love – your love
His holiness – your holiness
His power – your power
His forgiveness – your forgiveness
His strength – your strength
His humility – your humility
Then you are beginning to put on the garment of humility.
This whole area of pride vs humility is rooted in the ‘act of comparing’.
Pride arises when we compare others unfavourably with ourselves.
We speak like a Pharisee ‘I thank you Lord I am not like him or her’!
Such pride can destroy fellowships.
What would happen if a church leader says to their team, you are just not in my league?
If you must make comparisons
Start with yourself and Jesus
Consider others more worthy than yourself
Form an honest opinion of your life in the light of Jesus and God`s word.
Remember also that it is the very pride in our own hearts that gets annoyed at pride in others!
I am beginning to slowly learn this lesson.
Watch out for tell-tale signs of pride in everyday life.
Are you too busy to speak to someone?
Are you always late for a meeting because your time is more important than theirs?
False Humility (spiritual pride)
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind
Note that ‘voluntary humility’, is not commanded and is based in pride.
Cling to your head, the Lord Jesus and do only what he has commanded.
We should be of this mind, like Christ Jesus, who although equal to God, yet made himself of no reputation and humbled himself to the point of the death.
Death on the cross was the ultimate humiliation which lead to the ultimate exaltation when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.
In an orchard, it is the branch which bears the most fruit that bows the lowest. Amen