Summary: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Theme: Humility brings exaltation
Text: Pr. 25:6-7; Heb. 13:1-8; Lk. 14:7-14
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4) There is also a time for retirement and there is a time to say thank you. This morning is a time to be thankful for the abundant blessings of the Lord. I see these blessings in each one of you. I see them in your smiles and in the answers to your prayers. I see them in your love, concern and care. I also see these blessings in the way you opened your homes to us and accepted us as members of your families. Thank you all for being such a blessing and making us feel at home among you. The Lord richly bless you and meet all your needs.
Our theme for today’s service is humility brings exaltation
It is a humbling experience to preach on humility as you cannot do so without first examining your own life. The focus of true humility is always God and a truly humble person is someone who has been emptied of self and pride and is filled with Christ. Humility is all about doing what God wants and not what you want. If God wants you to wash dirty feet then go ahead and do so even when you are the leader. The apostle Paul understood this and did what God called him to do. He grew in humility till he could confidently say “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. (Gal. 2:20) In examining my own life I can only say I am still growing in humility and still hopeful. “Not that I have already obtained or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Phil. 3:12) The best thing that can ever happen to us is to be freed from pride and arrogance and filled with Christ. God expects every believer to glorify Him by living a life of humility, a life that He controls and directs to accomplish His Word. A life without God is filled with pride and selfishness, opposes God and contradicts His Word. It was pride that led Satan to oppose God and declare “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High”. (Isaiah 14:14)
Step One: Humility believes God
a) We are sinners
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. (James 54:6) It takes the grace of God for us to believe and trust Him. It is the grace of God that left fallen man with the ability to hear His call. A person who hears and responds to the call of God receives a revelation of His glory and majesty and this is a most humbling experience. Many people believe a person must humble himself to come to God. The truth, however, is that a person must come to God to be humbled. In the presence of God’s glory and majesty you cannot help but see your true self. It takes a humble person to believe that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Rom 3:23) And it takes a humble person to admit his need for a Saviour. A proud person will have difficulty believing he is a sinner and needs a Saviour.
b) We are saved by grace
It takes a humble person to believe that “we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8) Only a humble person will believe that he is not capable of doing anything to deserve God’s forgiveness.
c) We are justified
It also takes a humble person to believe that we are justified, just-as-if- we –had never sinned because of the sacrifice of Christ and not because of anything we have done. It takes a humble person to believe the Word of God that “As by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous”. (Rom. 5:19)
A humble person has his focus on God and believes what He says. It takes a humble person to believe and accept that Christ took our place on the cross and paid the full penalty for sin on our behalf. It takes a humble person to believe that only Christ was qualified to bear the full judgement of God on sin for the forgiveness of sinners. And it takes a humble person to believe that when Christ cried out “It is finished” He had absorbed and exhausted all the judgement of God on sin and there was no longer any need for a sacrifice. It also takes a humble person to believe that there is nothing more that can be done to add to what Christ had done.