April 15, 2018
Imitating Christ’s Humility
Christian Means like Christ
Philippians 2 New International Version (NIV)
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
James 4:6 “But He gives all the more grace. And so he says, God opposes the Proud (arrogant) but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
Romans 8:19-22 says, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
The word grace comes from the Greek word Charis meaning: the divine influence upon the heart or God’s ability.
How were we saved? – Not through works but by His grace. We cannot do anything to get His approval, it is only by His grace that we were saved.
What do we do when we struggle with our weakness? –
Jesus became human and therefore sympathizes with us in trials and encourages us to come to the throne of grace in time of need.
Our need for grace is too desperate to overlook a scripture like this. We need help every moment of the day and I believe the Lord really gives us an important key here and that is to be humble.
“God opposes the proud (arrogant) – but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
The Greek word for humility is Tapeinos meaning: humiliation of mind, that is, modesty: – humbleness of mind, humility (of mind), lowliness (of mind).
Galatians 2:20 “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins.”
The “I” must step aside. My father always has the saying, “I have given up the right to have an opinion!”
Therefore I cannot think of myself more highly than I ought to. The opposite is also true, in that I should not think less of myself.
Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
This is a perfect example of pride.
The story is told of a father who went to see the teacher of his son at school. The teacher told the father that the son excels at math, is very diligent and is liked at school. The father felt very proud and answered that all those traits he got from him. But then the teacher said that although the son was so brilliant, he is very proud, cannot accept advice and is very rebellious. The father didn’t know what to say and eventually answered, “That trait he got from his mother”.
Matthew 23:12 (NIV)”For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
We should always remember where we’ve come from. It is prideful to boast in ourselves and to run after exaltation.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
It is humility to place Father God’s ways over mine, trusting Him (His loyalty, faithfulness and kindness) and depending on Him!
2 Corinthians 3:4 “And we have such trust through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;”
To be humble is to be clothed with Christ. Christ has set us an example of humility
Philippians 2:5 “For 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 Himself 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 Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a name which is above every name,”
Humility is the very nature of Jesus Christ. He is the King of the Universe yet, he became a man. He laid down His life for us! If we are to be humble then we are to be like Jesus. Humility requires sacrifice, suffering and to put it bluntly, sometimes even humiliation. This is something that is very difficult for many of us to grasp. As soon as we proclaim that we are humble, then we’re not being very humble. How can we avoid being like the Pharisee in scripture?
First of all we must let go of our pride.
Pride is the opposite of humility and is the antidote to humility. The very foundation of pride has its roots in sin. The fall of Lucifer (Satan) was due to pride. Pride can become a stumbling block for all of us.
The word pride in the Greek is huperēphanos which means : appearing above others (conspicuous), that is, (figuratively) haughty: – proud.
Pride says, “This is the way I see it.” It is believing your own opinion above God’s Word, which is a conceited superiority (self-righteousness.)
It is a part of our mind that tells us we are better than, greater than, more important than, more deserving than or more qualified than anyone else.
Such a person easily gets upset. He expects to be treated better and when he doesn’t receive the treatment he thinks he deserves, he gets upset. Often prideful behavior is irritability, anger and usually destroys unity amongst the brethren.
Pride leaves you restricted to your own abilities. Trusting in your own strength. It is an arrogance that deceives us and tries to make us believe that we don’t need God or others, we only need ourselves. This kind of attitude keeps us from intimate relationship.
Jeremiah 17:5, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD.”
The very nature of pride says, “I don’t need you.” This drives people and God away, leaving the proud alone and lonely. Not just humanly lonely, but spiritually lonely, too. This cripples the spirit and drives it deeper into pride.
A proud spirit is crying out desperately for us to notice him and that he is special!
What is that thing that drives us to need to feel better than others? I suspect it is an obsessive need to be loved. It’s the owner of the proud spirit that doesn’t know and can’t seem to understand that indeed he is special, but not better than the rest of us.
Before we all get a little puffed up with the idea that ‘we’re not like that!’
Let’s remember that we all are like that to a certain extent. No human has driven pride completely out. Many of us have our own little hidden prides. Hidden prides can be the most dangerous kinds of all because they are often disguised as what we believe to be virtues.
It is easy to recognize the big prides, the ones that say, “I’m bigger than, better than, more than, smarter than, wiser than anyone else”.
However, “Inverted pride” is a hidden pride that says, “I’m less than, worse than, uglier than, more useless than anyone else.”
This kind of pride is disguised as the virtue of humility, however this is not humility at all. It is a deflated self-worth that says, “God made me the wrong way”. God doesn’t do anything wrong. There are many kinds of pride and our job is to sniff them out and be rid of them.
Pride is unbelief, which is questioning God’s honesty.
God says, “We can!” however we say, “We can’t!”
All of us want to be valuable and loved, however when we become so desperate for these things, we often develop an unhealthy pride to mask our desperation.
What we really must understand is, that no matter what anyone thinks of us, God loves us and made us just right.
We are not perfect by any means, however we are all gifted. He knows it; we must learn it and get beyond the need to let everyone know about it. Focus instead on thanking God for the great job He did.
Pride comes before a fall. It cannot be separated from a fall. When pride enters that person is sure to fall and it will be accompanied with a lot of disgrace.
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fallIng.”
You will only receive mercy and grace from God to overcome sin if you humble yourself under His mighty hand.
God’s hand is mighty and great. The Bible says that God measures the universe (with its billions of galaxies each containing millions of stars, many of which are much brighter and bigger than our sun), in the span of His hand (Is 40:12). Just imagine how strong and mighty and able that Hand must be! It is prideful to think that we can do anything without Him!
If you have humbled yourself under God’s mighty hand and received grace, then you can live a life without care, because you cast all your cares upon Him.
He cares for you. There are so many cares in this world. The one person will worry about his debts at the end of the month and the next about his child that is ill. All our cares must be cast on Him.
It is a shame and a sin to worry.
If you worry you show that you don’t believe God cares for you; neither do you believe that He is Lord Almighty. Then you are your own boss and your own god.
Humility is submitting MY view, MY will and MY plan to HIS Will, View and Plan.
Humility depends on God and gives Him all the glory.