Summary: This lesson considers how we attain humility and how it is reflected in our daily lives.
Its Attainment And Reflections
1. The aim of every Christian is to be conformed to the image of Christ:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)
2. One of Jesus’ constant characteristics was humility. Conforming to the image of Christ means adopting such an attitude:
" 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)
3. The purpose of this lesson is to…
a. Define ‘humility’.
b. Show how we may attain humility.
c. Consider how humility is reflected in our lives.
I. } Brief Definition Of Humility
A. The word ‘humility’ primarily denotes ‘low-lying’ (Vine’s).
“’Humility’ was a constant characteristic of Jesus, and so it is to be of everyone that has put on Christ. Pride is the opposite of humility. Both terms, humility and pride, are manifestations of what one thinks of one’s self. One who is proud thinks highly of himself. One who is humble thinks meanly of himself.” (Quotes & Things, Definitons, D. Collins).
B. Humility is the root of all other graces and virtues:
“The prominence it gained in Christian thought indicates the new conception of man in relation to God, to himself, and to his fellows, which is due to Christianity. It by no means implies slavishness or servility; nor is it inconsistent with a right estimate of oneself, one’s gifts and calling of God, or with proper self-assertion when called for. But the habitual frame of mind of a child of God is that of one who feels not only that he owes all his natural gifts, etc., to God, but that he has been the object of undeserved redeeming love, and who regards himself as being not his own, but God’s in Christ. He cannot exalt himself, for he knows that he has nothing of himself. The humble mind is thus at the root of all other graces and virtues. Self-exaltation spoils everything. There can be no real love without humility. ‘Love,’ said Paul, ‘vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up’ (1 Corinthians 13:4)” (ISBE).
II. Attaining Humility
A. That humility is essential is evident…
"He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8)
B. Humility comes when we have been enlightened, and this comes through ‘the realization that we are totally dependent upon God’. It is the realization of several things that produce humility:
1. God made us and sustains us…
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:26-27)
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being...." (Acts 17:28)
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;" (2 Corinthians 3:5)
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalms 139:14)
2. We cannot hide anything from God:
"…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
a. Our thoughts…
"…for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts… " (1 Chronicles 28:9)
"…You understand my thought afar off." (Psalms 139:2)
b. Our words (necessarily implied)…
"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matthew 12:36)
c. Our deeds…
"Who will render to every man according to his deeds:" (Romans 2:6)
"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:14)
3. God rules over us (we only think we’re in control)…
"O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23)