Yesterday, I kept bumping into the word “humility”. From the morning devotional, to a mid-afternoon meeting, till I closed the book I was reading and went to sleep, humility seemed to be the word of the day for me. No doubt, it’s because I need to grow down in Christ-like humility.
I want to submit to you just two thoughts regarding humility.
First, humility comes from the gospel. In Philippians 2:3-9 the Apostle Paul writes, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves….Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him…”(bold-type mine)
Humility, then, comes from and grows out of faith in the gospel of the Self-humbling of Jesus Christ who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:45)
Secondly, humility sends us back to the gospel. The more we grow in the grace of humility, the more we see our desperate need for the gospel. Gospel humility makes us all the more aware of our sinful capacities. William Jay, a 19th century Presbyterian pastor, rightly observed, “the more [one] advances in the divine life, the more he sinks in his own estimation.” Isn’t this why the great Apostle Paul said toward the end of his life, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost”? (bold-type mine) Gospel humility produces a growing gospel dependency, for, the more I see my sins and shortcomings, the more I must see my Savior.
Loved ones, we will never out grow our need for the gospel. So let us drink freely from the well-spring of salvation, and, as we grow in gospel humility, let us say with John Newton, “I am a great sinner, but Jesus Christ is a great Savior.”
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Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.