I. What Is Humility & Why Is It Important?
A. Humility might be the most misunderstood of all the Christian virtues. It might also be the most important. After all, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5 ESV).
Old Testament and New, the issue of humility appears inseparable from the issue of salvation. King David said, “You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down” (2 Samuel 22:28 ESV). So what is humility? Obviously, it matters and just as obviously, getting it wrong could have eternal consequences. Perhaps it would be helpful to begin with what it’s not.
B. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5 ESV).
II. What Biblical Humility Is Not:
A. Insecurity- People often mistake personal insecurity for biblical humility, but they are clearly not the same. According to the Bible, it is no sin to know who you are and to know what you are called to. The Apostle Paul said: Knowing who you are; knowing what you are called to and being diligent in the discharge of your duties in the household of God does not mean that you are proud, any more than being hesitant, retiring and unwilling to fulfill your commission makes you humble.
- But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV)
- Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—Galatians 1:1
A. Indecisiveness is often nothing more than a failure to take God at his Word. It is not humility – though it is often mistaken as such.
- “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet (Mathew 11:7).
- This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:7–11 ESV)
- John the Baptist was a man of straight lines and hard edges. He made bold statements and gave clear directions. He pointed at Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV).
A. Inactivity is not humility. It is rebellion; it is sloth; it is unfaith.
- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16English Standard Version The Apostle Paul lived his life and executed his ministry almost like a man possessed. He said:
- “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 ESV)
- “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 ESV)
- “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)
- “You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:26–30 ESV)