Summary: We discover in this sermon that to honor one another above ourselves, we must learn to be humble.
A. One day a group of four young friends were talking about what they would like to do with their lives.
1. The first friend said, “I want to be a congressman so I can draft laws to benefit my countrymen.”
2. The second friend said, “I want to be a lawyer so that I can defend my countrymen.”
3. The third said, “I want to be a doctor so that I can cure my countrymen.”
4. The three friends looked to the fourth and waited for his response. The young man said, “I just want to be a countryman.”
B. That silly little story captures the differences and the challenges we face as human beings called to be like Christ.
1. The giving, serving, other-centered nature of some is very strong and well-developed.
2. But on the other hand, the taking, selfish, self-centered nature of others is also very strong and well-developed.
3. If we are going to experience real Christian community here at Wetzel Road, then we are going to have to overcome our selfish nature and become more other oriented.
C. This morning we continue our study of the “One Another” passages of the New Testament.
1. Last week, if you will recall, we explored what it means to be devoted to one another.
a. We concluded that being devoted to one another required a decision to be devoted to one another, a determination to stick with our decision, and the demonstration of our devotion.
b. That demonstration will include being present, being attentive and being expressive.
2. Today we want to learn something about what it means to honor one another.
I. The Instruction – Honor One Another
A. I point your attention again to the banner on the left – Romans 12:10 says: “Honor one another above yourselves.”
1. This sentence in the Greek is only three words.
2. The first word in the sentence is the Greek word time - which is translated “honor” means “to show honor, respect, reverence.” (Arndt, p. 817)
a. Another Greek scholar defined time as “that respect shown another which is measured by one’s evaluation of another.” (Wuest, p. 214)
3. The second Greek word is the one for one another – allelous.
4. The third Greek word is proegeomai - which appears only here in the NT and means “preferring, leading or outdoing.
B. Let’s look at the wording in the different English translations and see how it comes from the Greek.
1. The NIV says, “Honor one another above yourselves.”
2. The New American Standard says, “Give preference to one another in honor.”
3. The King James says, “In honor preferring one another.”
4. Today’s English Version says, “Be eager to show respect for one another.”
5. The English Standard Version says, “Out do one another in showing honor.”
6. Another translation says, “In showing honor to one another take the lead.”
7. The Message says, “Practice playing second fiddle.”
C. To “honor” means to put value to something, to consider it precious, weighty, to respect.
1. As Christians, sons and daughters of the King, we are to outdo one another in honoring others, considering them as precious and of value.
2. One way to show honor to others is to put their needs, wants and desires before our own.
3. That’s what Paul was getting after in Phil. 2:3-4: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
4. I like what William Temple said concerning humility, he said, “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all.”
D. If you are like me, then you have had to struggle with these concepts and principles.
1. Human nature being what it is, most of us are far more concerned about securing honor for ourselves and advancing our own reputations, than we are doing so for others.
2. Backing up Romans 12 to verse 3, we notice that Paul said, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought…”
3. And that’s the tendency for many of us. We think too much of ourselves and too little of others.
4. I’m thankful that God has helped me make a lot of progress in this matter, because it was a real struggle for me in my younger years.
5. Many of us do pretty well with the command, “Mourn with those who mourn” but we struggle with the second part – “Rejoice with those who rejoice.”
E. One of the best - worst examples of this was King Saul.