What Does Humility Look Like?

Philippians 2:5-11

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 emptied himself, by 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 death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Humble Service (part 2)

(This is a continuation of the message given last February 26, 2020 to the congregation of Ikthus East – Bacolod City during the Midweek Service, based on Philippians 2:1-11.)

2. HE HUMBLED HIMSELF/WHAT HE BECAME: NOTHING.

It is significant that nothing, becoming human, and taking the form of a servant seem to function as interchangeable, synonymous terms in this passage. To be human – a creature of God – is to be a servant. That is our rightful position in the scheme of things!

We have a tendency to think highly of ourselves, but actually what are we compared to the vastness of the heavens and the greatness of God?

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Humble Service (Part 1)

Philippians 2:1-11 ESV
[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [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. [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.

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Know Thyself

‘Know thyself’: this is true humility, the humility that teaches us to be inwardly humble and makes our heart contrite. Such humility you must cultivate and guard. For if you do not yet know yourself you cannot know what humility is, and have not yet embarked truly on the task of cultivating and guarding. To know oneself is the goal of the practice of the virtues.

– Nikitas Stithatos, On The Inner Nature of Things

Pride

What is pride? Here’s C.J. Mahaney’s definition in his book Humility: True Greatness

Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon him.

Making use of an insight of Charles Bridges, Mahaney goes on to say that pride is “contending for supremacy with God, and lifting up our hearts against him.”

What then does the proud person seek after? Self-glorification.

Pride takes innumerable forms but has only one end: self-glorification. That’s the motive and ultimate purpose of pride – to rob God of legitimate glory and pursue self-glorification , contending for supremacy with Him. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive.

“God opposes the proud” (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5) – he hates ┬ápride with a pure and holy hatred. Mahaney warns that “The proud will not indefinitely escape discipline” because “God’s opposition to pride is an immediate and constant activity.”

I’m just into the first couple of chapters but already this book is proving to be a real blessing. It makes me want to cry out to God for forgiveness for the many times I have been proud, conceited and arrogant. It also makes me realize that I shouldn’t be surprised if I often find myself humbled and even humiliated. God is serious about killing the pride in my heart so that I will learn to seek His glory and not mine. Oh, for the grace to be humble!