How do we know if we have this Christian Grace?
Part One by Charles E. Whisnant
a prominent Christian grace (Rom. 12:3; 15:17, 18; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 2 Cor. 3:5;Phil. 4:11-13). It is a state of mind well pleasing to God (1 Pet. 3:4); itpreserves the soul in tranquillity (Ps. 69:32, 33), and makes us patient undertrials (Job 1:22). Christ has set us an example of humility (Phil. 2:6-8). Weshould be led thereto by a remembrance of our sins (Lam. 3:39), and by thethought that it is the way to honour (Prov. 16:18), and that the greatestpromises are made to the humble (Ps. 147:6; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; 1 Pet. 5:5). Itis a "great paradox in Christianity that it makes humility the avenue toglory."
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Humility as to do with a state of mind well pleasing to God. What I believe it means is one has a sense all we are and know is from God and for the Glory of God. I believe it’s about the Glory of God, rather than our glory.
Is it about thinking you are nothing, knowing, and acting like you are nothing? I don’t think so at all. Does it mean you act like you are a dummy? No. Does it mean that you give the idea that you know nothing about the subject at hand? No. Does it mean you give the idea to others that you have little ability to accomplish the task? No.
Does it mean you don’t get excited about what you would like to do or say? No.
The perception of one who is humble is one of observance, not necessarily one of reality.
What should one observe in a person in whom true humility does exist?
It is a state of mind well pleasing to God. It’s a mind set that recognizes Christ is the supreme purpose of all that we do and think. It’s a mind set, that transforms into the behavior of a person who is said to be humble. Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind"
1 Peter 5:5 ¶ Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
John Gill speaks this to mean: "his is a grace which shows itself in a man's thinking and speaking the best of others, and the worst of himself; in not affecting places and titles of eminence; in being content with the lowest place, and patiently bearing the greatest contempt; in not aspiring to things too high for him, always acknowledging his own meanness, baseness, and unworthiness, ascribing all he is, and has, to the grace and goodness of God, whether it be gifts of nature, providence, or grace: and this is a believer's clothing, not the robe of his justifying righteousness before God, but is a considerable part of his inward garment of sanctification, which is in the sight of God of great price; and makes a large show in his outward conversation garments before men, and renders him lovely and amiable: it is an ornament to him, which is precious with God, and recommends him to the esteem of men, and the religion and Gospel he professes, and his profession of it "
"it may denote the retaining of this grace in constant exercise, so as never to be without it; and to be clothed or covered with it, is always to have it on, and in exercise, in every action of life, in all our deportment before God and men, in all public and religious worship, and throughout the whole of our conversation, in the family, in the world, or in the church."
Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind,
"being conscious to himself of his own weakness and insufficiency in himself for such service; no ways elated with those excellent and extraordinary gifts bestowed upon him; ascribing all his success to the power, grace, and Spirit of God; treating no man with contempt and disdain; nor lording it over God's heritage, or claiming a dominion over the faith of men; nor seeking honor nor riches for himself, nor even what he had a just right unto, a maintenance from the people; but labored with his own hands, and to his own and the necessities of others:" John Gill.
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, i.e. you are conscious yourself of your own weakness and insufficiency in yourself for the ministry that the Lord has called you to. When the Lord does give you success, then you need to say, the Lord gave the increase and the ability, and the empowerment, to accomplish the Lord’s will. CEW.
We have enough failures in our life not to get proud in ourrself. There is success from the world’s point of view that is not to the glory of Christ. There are ministries that appear to be successful that I believe are not for the glory of the Lord.
The issue seems to be when someone asks you about your ministry or life. What do you say? "Oh, I am nothing, it’s all what the Lord has done!" Is that being humble? No.
Is asking John MacArthur to give us some insight into the ministry of Grace to You, or Grace Community Church, or himself, is it humility to say, "I had nothing to do with the purpose and plan of God, He did it all" To a degree that would be right. But to give a Shepherd’s Conference Workshop to 400 pastors/teachers would be right too. But when I talked with John, he seemed to have a pleasant spirit. He took time to talk to me, just before he preached that evening. As a matter of fact he let me hold his Bible and view his notes for his sermon. Great experience.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant October 05, 2006
Checked by Charity Whisnant October 10, 2006