On Humility

On Humility I. Definitions. A. humility: The quality of being humble or having a lowly opinion of oneself, meekness, lowliness, humbleness: the opposite of pride or haughtiness. B. humble: (adj.) Having a low estimate of one's importance, worthiness, or merits; marked by the absence of self-assertion or self-exaltation; lowly: the opposite of proud. C. haughty: High in one's own estimation; lofty and disdainful in feeling or demeanour; proud, arrogant, supercilious. D. pride: The quality of being proud. A high or overweening opinion of one's own qualities, attainments, or estate, which gives rise to a feeling and attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; inordinate self-esteem. II. The Christian is called to a humble attitude and on God's report card, attitude counts. A. Humility is a chief garment of God's elect. COL 3:12; 1PE 5:5. B. Humility is basic to our being Christ-like. PHIL 2:3-8. C. A lack of humility towards God, His word and His minister keeps many out of the kingdom. PSA 10:4; MAT 18:3-4; PSA 131:1-2; MAT 5:3; ACT 13:46. III. Pride is the antithesis of humility. A. It was fundamental to Satan's downfall. EZE 28:17; 1TI 3:6. B. It is on God's “Seven Least Wanted” list. PRO 6:16-17. C. It is the forerunner of destruction. PRO 16:18. V. Pride forbids men from coming to terms with their sin nature and their sinning ways. It is the sincere humble heart that God requires and honors. LUK 18:9-14; ISA 57:15. A. Sincere godly sorrow, confession and repentance are the only way that sin can be properly dealt with. 1. The “ostrich complex” which denies the reality of the sin is a sin itself. 1JO 1:8, 10. 2. The “fig-leaf complex” which futilely tries to cover sin fares no better. PRO 28:13; GEN 3:7 c/w JOB 31:33. 3. The “hardened heart” complex which defies the righteousness of God and His law is especially disastrous. JOB 9:4; PRO 28:14; 29:1; JER 6:16-17; 44:16-17; ROM 2:5; HEB 3:13. 4. Genuine contrition and confession (which requires humility) is the only acceptable alternative. 2CO 2:6-7; 7:10. B. Humility is the one sacrifice for sin that God accepts from us. PSA 34:18; 51:17. 1. Loving God and brother with a pure heart is better than sacrifice. MAR 12:33. 2. See MIC 6:6-8. C. We ought never to consider ourselves above reproach, correction, judgment, learning or improvement. ROM 12:3; 1CO 8:2; 10:12; PHIL 3:13-15. V. “...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (JAM 4:6). A. There is a store of grace which only a faithful walk may access. JOH 1:16; ROM 5:2. B. A faithful walk is one regulated by God's word. ROM 10:17. C. Grace is multiplied unto us through the knowledge of Christ. 2PE 1:2. On Humility 11-4-12 Page 1 1. The enemy of humility (pride) stifles godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding by which grace is multiplied. PRO 1:7; 9:10 c/w PRO 8:13. When we proudly defy God's plain instruction, God justly pinches off our understanding and withholds the grace we need to be overcomers. This is called quenching the Spirit (1TH 5:19), and receiving the grace of God in vain (2CO 6:1). 2. 3. VI. Consider some who learned that grace is withheld or withdrawn from those who will not humble themselves before God and His ways. A. King Saul started out well, but stumbled. 1. God upbraided Saul for his gross disobedience. 1SAM 13:13-14. 2. Saul did not confess or repent of his sin. 3. He sinned more and suffered the consequences of “too little, too late” repentance. 1SAM 15:23-29. 4. God withdrew His spirit from Saul. 1SAM 16:14. 5. Before long, Saul was making enemies of his dearest friends, family and supporters. 1SAM 18:9; 20:30. 6. Saul's lack of humility (pride) destroyed him. PRO 16:18. B. Israel in the wilderness suffered relatively little while God was preparing them for Canaan, yet they would not humble themselves to the justice and goodness of God. NEH 9:15-17; HEB 3:8-12. C. King Uzziah was mightily helped of God until pride destroyed him. 2CH 26:15-16. VII. Consider some who found that God truly gives grace to the humble. A. Solomon was mightily blessed of God because of a correct early attitude. 1KI 3:7-14. B. King Josiah, rather than chafing at the coming judgment of God for Judah's sins, humbled himself and effected great reforms in the land. For this, he received grace. 2CH 34:27-28. C. Even King Manasseh, one of the most vile kings ever, found grace and mercy through humility. 2CH 33:11-13 ct/w 2CH 33:21-24. D. Let men not glory in their power, possessions or prudence but rather glory in the LORD. JER 9:23-24. VIII. There is a false humility to be avoided. COL 2:18-23. IX. The lesson is simple. Hardening the heart, chafing against God's laws and judgments, proud self- exaltation, etc. is the road to a life of self-destructive misery and punishment. A. By contrast, a humble attitude in the face of your sin, your circumstances, God's laws and judgments, etc., is the way of riches, honor and life. PRO 22:4. B. “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (LUK 14:11). X. “Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble” (PSA 10:12).

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