Philippians 2:4,5-8 (ESV)
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Pastor Chris led us through the theology of humility, as expressed in the humble nature of Jesus Christ. This is the second part of the message on humility that he spoke on last week. Being humble, like Jesus, invokes the favor of God. Humility leads to joy, fulfillment, peace, reconciliation, contentment, thankfulness, and a soft-heart toward God.
Authentic Believers Know and Follow these 3 Truths about Jesus
- In humility, Jesus came to serve
- God humbled Himself for us
- Humility is exalted
Chris asked us, “Now, what does pride sound like?” Here are some soundbites: “My opinion is better, I am right, I am worthy of honor, I deserve better, I don’t need anyone (especially God).” This thinking produces a hard-heart toward God.
Humility vs. Pride:
- Pride is our greatest enemy. Humility is your greatest friend.
- Pride is demonic and satanic. Humility is Christ-like and spirit enabled.
- Pride is the root of all comparison. Humility compares self to Jesus Christ.
- Pride covets the success of other people. Humility celebrates other’s successes.
- Pride is about me. Humility is about Jesus and other people.
Even the disciples who walked with Jesus found that they fell into the temptation of comparison. Once they began to compare, their selfishness spilled out:“46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest…he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”” Luke 9:46–48 (ESV)
Only in humility was Jesus in a position that God might exalt Him. His name became powerful and brought glory to God the Father. Jesus exaltation was fourfold: resurrection, coronation, intercession, ascension. Our Lord emptied himself – gave up His privileges of Heavenly Glory, Independent Authority, and Divine Prerogatives.
“9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-10
The Dangers of Religious Pride
A prideful heart, fueled by a religious spirit, brings pain to the person and a wake of destruction to a ministry. Jesus warned us of the dangers of religious pride when he made an example of the self-righteous Pharisees. He called them out for appearing religious, but not bearing the fruit of the spirit.
15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15 (ESV)
Characteristics of Religious Pride:
- Selective transparency
- Resist displaying my weakness
- Prioritize my appearance to others above obedience to all of Scripture
- Strive for position and others to perceive my maturity
- Everyone needs to know how much I know
- We’re “in the loop,” and everyone else should join us
- Desire only the prestigious ministry assignments or recognition
- Cleaning the outside rather than the inside (the behaviors rather than the heart)
- Legalism (adherence to rules rather than seeking Christ’s heart)
- False belief that I am already clean, “I’ve already taken care of it”
- Refusal to receive correction or repent
True Disciples of Jesus Make These 3 Humble Choices Every Day
- Learn from everyone, including your enemies and critics
- Repent quickly and thoroughly
- Seek and celebrate God’s grace at work and other Christians
- How does a believer know if they have a hard-heart toward God?
- Why do you suppose God the Father made a big deal out of exalting Jesus – making His the “name above every name?”
- If you were to run a “Good News” TV show that featured sound-bites of a prideful person, what would those audio clips sound like? How about some humble ones?
- In what ways have you seen Religious Pride rear its ugly head in the church? How can discerning believers tamp it down – in themselves and in the body of Christ?
- Have you found yourself claiming that others should treat or speak to you in a certain way? Is this evidence of a heart of humility or a heart of pride?
- Make an effort in prayer to repent of pride and ask the Spirit of God to replace it with humility.