MEN, LIKEWISE, BE SUBJECT TO YOUR ELDERS: Homoios, neoteroi,
hupotagete (2PAPM) presbuterois:
(Lev 19:32; Heb 13:17)
The Greek verse opens with ‘likewise,’
so having spoken of the elders being subject to the authority of the
Chief Shepherd, it now calls on younger men to likewise be subject to
from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in
orderly manner) (Click
here for in depth word study of
hupotasso) means literally to place under in an
The aorist tense,
imperative mood (aorist
imperative) is a command (as from a superior officer to his
troops) to fall into line under the God appointed leadership and to do
it now. Aorist imperative can convey a sense of urgency. Do this now.
means to submit to
and so to yield to authority. It is important to note that many of the
NT uses are in the
with a middle sense
which signifies the voluntary subjection of oneself to the will
Hupotasso - 38x in 31v -
Luke 2:51; 10:17, 20; Rom 8:7, 20; 10:3; 13:1, 5; 1 Cor 14:32, 34;
15:27f; 16:16; Eph 1:22; 5:21, 24; Phil 3:21; Col 3:18; Titus 2:5, 9;
3:1; Heb 2:5, 8; 12:9; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 2:13, 18; 3:1, 5, 22; 5:5. The
NAS renders hupotasso as put in subjection(5), subject(16),
subjected(7), subjecting(1), subjection(4),submissive(3), submit(2).
was a military term
that meant troop divisions were to be arranged in a orderly fashion
under the command of the leader. In this state of subordination they
were now subject to the orders of their commander. In non-military
voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility,
or carrying a burden.
Submission focuses not on
personality but position. We need to see authority over us not acting
on their own, but as instruments in the hand of God. If we look at
people as acting on their own we will eventually become bitter, but if
we can see them as acting as God allows, we will become holy. A
beautiful example of this is found in the life of Joseph. His brothers
consistently mistreated him and it would have been very easy for him
to become bitter at them. Yet he had a divine perspective on the whole
situation and it helped him become a holy man of God.
"And as for
you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to
bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." (Ge 50:20).
is an act of faith. We are trusting God to direct in our lives and
to work out His purposes in His time. After all, there is a danger in
submitting to others; they might take advantage of us—but not if we
trust God and if we are submitted to one another! A person who is
truly yielded to God, and who wants to serve his fellow Christians,
would not even think of taking advantage of someone else, saved or
AND ALL OF
YOU CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH HUMILITY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER: pantes de alleloie ten tapeinophrosunen
egkombosasthe (2PAMM): (1Pe 4:1,5; Ro 12:10; Ep 5:21; Php 2:3)
(1Pe 3:3,4; 2Chr 6:41; Job 29:14; Ps 132:9,16; Is 61:10; Ro 13:14; Col
Study the NT "one anothers"
- most positive, some negative
= an apron a servant wears while working <> from en = in + kombóo
= gather or tie in a knot, hence to fasten a garment, to clothe)
(found only here in the NT) literally means to tie something on oneself with a knot or
a bow and was a term often used to describe a slave putting an apron over
his clothes in order to keep his clothes clean.
This verb also refers to the
white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the belt of the
vest and distinguished slaves from freemen, hence the idea is "gird
yourselves with humility as your servile garb".
Peter uses the
signifies a command calling for "soldier like" obedience. This is a
vitally important command that dare not be dismissed without
significant consequences (e.g., pride blunts the Spirit fed stream of
God's amazing grace [Jas
which is necessary not just for salvation the first time [Eph 2:8,9-note],
but is also necessary for "salvation" daily = sanctification, present
tense salvation [See the
Three Tenses of Salvation]). In
indicates we are to initiate the action and participate in the results
or effect of this action.
it “Put on the apron of humility” an appropriate
paraphrase picturing the scarf or apron as the badge of a servant.
How easily the world’s competitive spirit filters into the hearts of
Christians and Christian workers who become envious of one another’s
success. How seldom we think of ourselves as servants for Christ’s
Charles Ellicott says that this
verse literally means, “tie yourself up in humility” gathering it
around us like a cloak to shut out the blighting winds of pride.
But there is a still more delicate shade of meaning to the word
“humility.” Ellicott says that the word for humility originally
referred to “a peculiar kind of cape worn by slaves” and thus was
“a badge of servitude.” The upshot is that these word pictures
indicate that humility is not simply a passive quality but that it
includes performing selflessly any task God assigns, and
bringing forth spiritual fruit.
Marvin Vincent explains the picture
which Peter may have had in mind when he choose the Greek verb
egkomboomai, writing that it was reminiscent...
of that scene in which Peter
figured so prominently—the washing of the disciples’ feet by the
Lord, when he girded himself with a towel as a servant, and gave
them the lesson of ministry both by word and act. Bengel
paraphrases, “Put on and wrap yourselves about with humility, so
that the covering of humility cannot possibly be stripped from
you." (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament)
Just as Jesus
laid aside His outer garments and put on a towel to become a servant,
so each of us should have a servant’s attitude and minister to each
other. True humility is described in Php 2:1-11. Humility is not
demeaning ourselves and thinking poorly of ourselves. It is simply not
thinking of ourselves at all! This was the white scarf or apron
of slaves, which was fastened to the belt of the vest and
distinguished slaves from freemen, hence in 1Pe 5:5, "gird yourselves
with humility as your servile garb" means by putting on humility, show
your subjection one to another. Also, this refers to the overalls
which slaves wore to keep clean while working, an exceedingly humble
= low lying, then low or
humble + phren = to think) literally means to think or judge
with lowliness and thus speaks of humiliation of mind, lowliness of
mind, lowly thinking, the quality of unpretentious behavior, a humble
attitude, modesty (modesty = unassuming in the estimation of one’s
abilities) or without arrogance.
Inasmuch as we are small compared to God, this is the correct estimate
The word indicates the esteeming
one's self as small or recognizing one’s insufficiency but at the same
time recognizing the powerful sufficiency of God!
Tapeinophrosune - 7x in 7v - Acts 20:19; Eph 4:2; Phil 2:3; Col
2:18, 23; 3:12; 1 Pet 5:5
observed that “neither the Romans nor the Greeks had a word for
humility.” The very concept was so foreign and abhorrent to their way
of thinking that they had no term to describe it. When, during the
first several centuries of Christianity, pagan writers borrowed the
term tapeinophrosune, they always used it
derogatorily—frequently of Christians—because to them humility was a
writes that tapeinophrosune...
indicates, not a merely moral
quality, but the subjection of self under the authority of, and in
response to, the love of the Lord Jesus, and the power of the Holy
Spirit to conform the believer to the character of Christ. In contrast
to the world’s idea of being “poor-spirited” (in Classical Greek
commonly carried that
imputation), the Lord commends “the poor in spirit” (Mt 5:3-note).
is not thinking less of ourselves but is really not thinking of
ourselves at all.
Basil was to describe it as “the
gem casket of all the virtues”; but before Christianity humility was
not counted as a virtue at all. The ancient world looked on humility
as a thing to be despised... In classical Greek there is no word for
humility which has not some tinge of servility; but Christian humility
is not a cringing thing. It is based on two things. First, on the
divine side, it is based on the awareness of the creatureliness of
humanity. God is the Creator, man the creature, and in the presence of
the Creator the creature cannot feel anything else but humility.
Second, on the human side, it is based on the belief that all men are
the sons of God; and there is no room for arrogance when we are living
among men and women who are all of royal lineage. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
Humility was not
thought of very highly in the ancient world (pun intended) and in fact
was even considered to be a vice by the pagan moralists. Christ and
Christianity elevated humility to the supreme virtue -
the antidote for the self-love that poisons relationships.
Humility is not
thinking poorly of oneself. Rather, it is having the proper estimate
of oneself in the will of God. The person with humility thinks of
others first and not of himself.
Humility, when it
becomes self-conscious, ceases to have any value.
Jesus modeled the essence of
humility which is being able to put others’ needs and desires ahead of
one’s own (Php 2:3, 4-note).
BROTHERS, LET US PUT ON
APRONS! - PRIDE is the most subtle of sins. It sneaks up on us
when we least expect it, and it's especially dangerous because it
feeds on the good things we do. If we are generous, we can't help
feeling pretty good about it. If we help someone, we pat ourselves on
the back. We can even be proud that we are conquering pride! Peter
gave the antidote to pride when he told us to be "clothed with
humility." This means we are to put on the servant's apron. We should
want to serve.
I saw this exemplified by the pastor of the church where I was saved.
He served his congregation so well that people in the community were
surprised to learn that he was a pastor. If there was building to be
done, he put on his carpenter's apron and swung a hammer. If painting,
he donned his paint clothes and slung a brush. If cement work, he put
on boots and grabbed a trowel. If dirt needed to be moved, he pulled
on his gloves and did his part.
My pastor had a lot to be proud of, but he didn't know it; he was too
busy serving. He showed us what it means to be clothed with humility.
And I'm sure he learned it from Christ, who set the example by washing
His disciples' feet.—D C Egner
ILLUSTRATION - When the legendary Knute Rockne
was head coach at Notre Dame, a column appeared in the school paper
with no clue as to who wrote it, other than the signature "Old
Bearskin." The column was highly critical of the football players. Its
author seemed to have inside information on the strengths and
weaknesses of every man on the team. And he spared no words in
lambasting each player for his shortcomings and inept performance.
When players complained to Rockne about the severe criticism they
received, he would sympathize with them and encourage them to get out
there and do better next time. The writer of that column was
never identified -- that is, until after Rockne died. And guess what?
The column "died" with him. "Old Bearskin" was actually the players'
best friend. He was aware of what happened to football heroes whose
success on the field went to their heads. As "Old Bearskin," his
criticism helped them to avoid the pitfalls of pride and to strive
continually to do better. When the Lord allows someone to cut us down
to size, let's thank Him for it. He cares about us and wants us to be
the humble recipients of His grace.
Clothed in Humility - A
young man who had been invited to a dinner given by the South African
statesman John Cecil Rhodes arrived by train and had to go directly to
Rhodes’s house in his travel-stained clothes. To the young guest’s
horror, he found a room full of people in full evening dress. Soon
Rhodes appeared, wearing an old suit. He had heard of the young man’s
problem and wanted to spare him further embarrassment. Rhodes
literally clothed himself with humility, a clear picture of
what the apostle Peter is speaking about in today’s text. Clothing
ourselves with humility toward others puts us on their level, in their
shoes, and keeps us from lording it over other Christians or flaunting
our position. (Today in the Word)
Francis of Assisi said
Where there is patience and
humility, there is neither anger nor vexation.
FOR GOD IS
OPPOSED TO THE PROUD: hoti (o) theos huperephanois antitassetai
(3SPMI): (James 4:6; Job 22:29)
[word study] from anti = against + tasso
= order, set) means to set an army in array against, to arrange in
battle order (to line oneself up against). The idea is to resist, to oppose, to be hostile toward.
Antitasso was a military term found in the papyri meaning "to
range in battle against" and pictured an army arrayed against the
enemy forces. It means to oppose someone, involving a psychological
attitude and also corresponding behavior. It means to "to be an enemy
of" or "to resist with assembled forces."
Antitasso is in the
signifies that this is God's continual attitude toward the proud!
middle voice speaks of a
"reflexive" action, wherein the subject initiates the action and
participates in the carrying out of the action. The idea is that God
sets Himself against the proud. This fact alone should be
enough to cause us to run for cover from the sin of pride!
Antitasso is used 6 times
in the NAS and is translated: opposed, 2; resist, 1; resists, 1;
But when they resisted and
blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be
on your own heads! I am clean. From now on will go to the Gentiles ."
Therefore he who resists
authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed
will receive condemnation upon themselves. (Romans 13:2-note)
But He gives a greater grace.
Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES
GRACE TO THE HUMBLE ." (James 4:6-note)
You have condemned and put to death
the righteous man; he does not resist you. (James 5:6)
Vincent writes that antitasso
A strong and graphic word. Literally, sets himself in array against, as
one draws out a host for battle. Pride calls out God’s armies. No
wonder, therefore, that it “goeth before destruction.
In a parallel use in James 4:6-note
God opposes the proud—all who oppress others—no matter who they are.
The word “resist” is a strong word which pictures an army set
and arrayed against the enemy.
pride calls out God’s
armies. No wonder, therefore, that it ‘goeth before destruction'.
[word study] from hupér = over, above, +
phaíno = shine) is the haughty person pictured with his head
held high above others.
Huperephanos designates the man who,
from a feeling of his own superiority, regards others with
haughtiness. It describes persons puffed up with a high opinion of
themselves, and regarding others with contempt, as if they were
unworthy of any intercourse with them.
As Kenneth Wuest says
The word “resisteth” in the Greek is a military term, used of an army
drawn up for battle. Pride calls out God’s armies. God sets
Himself in array
against the proud person. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in
the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Vincent writes that
From huper = above, and
phainesthai = to show one’s self... It
is the sin of an
uplifted heart against God and man. Compare Pr. 16:5; Ro 12:16 (mind
not high things); 1 Ti 3:6.
Barclay adds that huperephanos
literally means one who shows
himself above other people. Even the Greeks hated this pride.
Theophrastus described it as “a certain contempt for all other
people.” Theophylact, the Christian writer, called it “the citadel and
summit of all evils.” The real terror of this pride is that it is
a thing of the heart.
It certainly means haughtiness, but the man who suffers from it might
well appear to be walking in downcast humility, while all the time
there was in his heart a vast contempt for all his fellow-men. This
pride shuts itself off from God for three reasons. (i) It does not
know its own need. … It walks in proud self-sufficiency. (ii) It
cherishes its own independence. It will be beholden to no man; it will
not even be beholden to God. … (iii) It does not recognize its own
sin. … A pride like that cannot receive help, because it does not know
that it needs help, and, therefore, it cannot ask. It loves, not God,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
There are several problems with
pride in leaders. Pride prevents people from listening to or following
God. Pride can keep those who are older from receiving or even trying
to understand what those younger have to say. Pride can keep young
people from listening to those who are older.
Charles Bridges comments
on Pr 3:34, the source of Peter's quote...
On no point is the mind of God more
fully declared than against pride - the spirit of scorning. It
displaces man, and would, if possible, displace God himself. Jealous
therefore of His own glory, He sets Himself in battle array, as
against the usurper of His prerogative, the rebel against His
dominion. Witness the Babel-builders (Ge 11:1-9); Pharaoh (Ex 14:13);
Sennacherib (Isa 37.33-38); the proud opposers of his Gospel (Ps
2:1-4)--all the objects of His scorn. But most hateful to him is the
sinner, that will not submit to His righteousness, that scorns the
Corner-stone of salvation. How fearfully does it then become "a rock
of offence," of eternal ruin! (Ro. 10:3, with Ro 9:32, 33. Mt
21:41-44.) Surely without doubt, without way of escape from His frown,
He scorns the scorners.
A lowly spirit--a deep
conviction of utter nothingness and guilt--
is a most adorning grace.
Nor is it an occasional or
temporary feeling, the result of some unexpected hateful disclosure,
but an habit, "clothing" the man (1Pet 5:5) "from the sole of the foot
to the head." It combines the highest elevation of joy with the
deepest abasement of spirit.
And those who sink the lowest,
stand nearest to the most exalted advancement.
For "he that scorns the scorners,
gives grace to the lowly"-"more grace" (James 4:6), till his work is
perfected in them. ‘He pours it out plentifully upon humble hearts.
His sweet dews and showers of grace slide off the mountains of pride,
and fall on the low valleys of humble hearts, and make them pleasant
and fertile.' The centurion (Mt 8:5-10); the Canaanite (Luke
15:21-28); the penitent (Luke 7:44-50); the publican (Luke 18:13, 14);
such as these are the objects of his favor. (Isa 66:2.) Their hearts
are his dwelling-place. (Isaiah 57:15.) Their inheritance is his
(Mt 5:3). The soul, swelling with its proud fancies, has no room for
His humbling grace. Blessed exchange of the little idol of self-esteem
for Him; Who alone has the right! when even His own graces are only
desired, as instruments to set out His glory. (Bridges'
online Exposition of the Book of Proverbs -
comments on Pr 3:34)
Swindoll adds that...
Few qualities are more stubbornly
persistent within us than pride. It is ever present! I find it
absolutely amazing that we who deserve to have been left as aborted
fetuses and not given life (as Paul put it earlier) should have
anything to feel proud about. Nevertheless, pride is always there,
ever ready to defend itself. It is also clever. It has the ability to
go underground and mask its ugliness in subtle, quiet ways. Because it
doesn’t fit the Christian life for anyone to be overtly proud, we find
our pride in other ways: our work, our salaries, our prestige, our
power and influence, our titles, our clothing, our approach to people,
our tendency to manipulate. It is all so unattractive, so
inappropriate. As powerful as any influence, pride is a classic grace
But let it be understood that God will not bless what springs from
pride. As Scripture repeatedly reminds us, He brings His mighty hand
down over our lives and presses His sovereign fingers into areas where
it hurts. We sigh, we squirm, we struggle, and (hopefully) we lay hold
of grace and finally submit. What blessed submission! It is in those
hurting areas where we cannot handle it on our own that God does His
very best work.
George Matheson of Scotland
echoes the discipline of his personal despair in his book Thoughts for
Life’s Journey when he writes:
My soul, reject not the place of
thy prostration! It has ever been the robing room for royalty. Ask the
great ones of the past what has been the spot of their prosperity;
they will say, “It was the cold ground on which I once was laying.”
Ask Abraham; he will point you to the sacrifice of Moriah. Ask Joseph;
he will direct you to his dungeon. Ask Moses; he will date his fortune
from his danger in the Nile. Ask Ruth; she will bid you build her
monument on the field of her toil. Ask David; he will tell you that
his songs came from the night. Ask Job; he will remind you that God
answered him out of the whirlwind. Ask Peter; he will extol his
submission in the sea. Ask John; he will give the palm to Patmos. Ask
Paul he will attribute his inspiration to the light that struck him
blind. Ask one more—the Son of Man. Ask Him whence has come His rule
over the world. He will answer, “From the cold ground on which I was
lying—the Gethsemane ground; I received my sceptre there.” Thou too,
my soul, shalt be garlanded by Gethsemane. The cup thou fain wouldst
pass from thee will be thy coronet in the sweet by-and-by. The hour of
thy loneliness will crown thee. The day of thy depression will regale
thee. It is the desert that will break forth into singing; it is the
trees of thy silent forest that will clasp their hands. (George
Matheson, Thoughts for Life’s Journey 1907) (Online
Reference page 266-267) (Front
page - Thoughts for life's journey)
My fellow pilgrim, is the progress
more painful than you expected? Thinking you were in for a Disneyland
experience, have you been surprised to find yourself on cold, barren
ground—lonely, depressed, and broken? Are you beginning to wonder if
you are on the wrong road? Trust me, you are not. God is at work in
you. His “mighty hand” is above you. His love is around you. His grace
is available to you. Awake and claim it.
George Matheson and John Bunyan
both would agree: You are in the “robing room for royalty.” The
tailor’s name is Grace . . . and when you are perfectly fitted, the
process will end. (The Grace Awakening. Thomas Nelson 2003)
F B Meyer...
Pride is one of the most detestable
of sins; yet does it find lodgment in earnest souls, though we often
speak of it by some lighter name. We call it - independence,
self-reliance. We do not always discern it in the hurt feeling, which
retires into itself, and nurses its sorrows in a sulk . . . We are
proud of our humility, vain of our meekness; and, putting on the
saintliest look, we wonder whether all around are not admiring us for
ILLUSTRATION - The story is told of a young
Scottish minister who walked proudly into the pulpit to preach his
first sermon. He had a brilliant mind and a good education and was
confident of himself as he faced his first congregation. But the
longer he preached, the more conscious everyone was that “the Lord was
not in the wind.” He finished his message quickly and came down from
the pulpit with his head bowed, his pride now gone. Afterward, one of
the members said to him,
“If you had gone into the pulpit the way you came down, you might have
come down from the pulpit the way you went up.”
THE RIPENING SELF - In
his early years of ministry, the English preacher Charles Simeon
(1759–1836) was a harsh and self-assertive man. One day he was
visiting a friend and fellow pastor in a nearby village. When he left
to go home, his friend’s daughters complained to their father about
Simeon’s manner. So he took the girls to the backyard and said, “Pick
me one of those peaches.” It was early summer, and the peaches were
green. The girls asked why he wanted green, unripe fruit. He replied,
“Well, my dears, it is green now, and we must wait; but a little more
sun, and a few more showers, and the peach will be ripe and sweet. So
it is with Mr. Simeon.”
Simeon, in due time, did change. The warmth of God’s love and the
“showers” of misunderstanding and disappointment were the means by
which he became a gentle, humble man.
The God of all grace works in all His children, humbling the proud and
exalting the humble, to make them ripe and sweet. Our task is to take
hold of God’s grace to endure our afflictions with patience, without
In time, He will “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle” us
(1 Peter 5:10-note).
We must “wait on the LORD” and “be of good courage” (Ps 27:14). —
David H. Roper
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Our fruitfulness and growth in
Won’t happen instantly,
But meditating on God’s Word
Will bring maturity. —Sper
Salvation is the miracle of a moment; growth is the labor of a
didosin (3SPAI) charin:
(Is 57:15; 66:2)
(didomi) means to give, to bestow, to confer, to make a present
of something, to put something into another's possession. The 1828
Noah Webster's Dictionary has an excellent definition of give
as "to pass or transfer the title or property of a thing to another
person without an equivalent or compensation". Note that this verb
didomi is in the
present tense which
signifies this giving is not just a one time gift but pictures God's
desire to continually bestow the gift of grace upon His children! Our
benevolent God ever seeks to bless us with His grace, despite the
widespread opinion held by many unbelievers that He is out to get
us! No, in fact "He is out to give to us"! He continually
gives amazing grace. And as Augustine adds "God gives what
Are you in need of His grace today?
Beloved of the Father, the
Spirit of Christ has sufficient supply to meet your EVERY need
(cp 2Co 9:8, 1Co 15:10,
Do you need to humble
yourself to "get low enough" so that His grace can freely flow?
[word study]) is
God’s generous favor to undeserving sinners and needy saints. When we
depend on God’s grace, we can endure suffering and turn trials
into triumphs. Grace enables us to serve God in spite of
difficulties (1Cor 15:9,10).
Whatever begins with God’s
will always lead to glory (Ps 84:11 [note];
First Peter shows how the three themes of suffering, grace, and
glory unite to form an encouraging message for believers
experiencing times of trial and persecution. These themes are
summarized in 1Pe
(note) a verse we
would do well to memorize.
Grace is not license to
do as we please, but the power to do as we should. God’s
insures that those who have been truly regenerated will persevere
until the end of life. This aspect of the work of grace (cp, "the
gospel of grace of God", Acts 20:24) is called sanctification,
a work of God “whereby we are renewed in the whole man and are enabled
more and more to die daily unto sin and to live unto righteousness” as
stated by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Ro 12:2
We can never be submissive to
each other until we are first submissive to our Lord and Master Christ
Jesus, a truth of which we need to be constantly mindful for we are no
longer our own but belong to Him (1Co 6:18, 19, 20, Titus 2:14-note). It
takes grace to submit to another believer, but God can and will give that
if we humble ourselves before Him.
Wuest explains that
(charis) as used by the pagan Greeks...
referred to a favor done by one
Greek to another out of the pure generosity of his heart, and with no
hope of reward. When it is used in the New Testament, it refers to
that favor which God did at Calvary when He stepped down from His
judgment throne to take upon Himself the guilt and penalty of human
sin. In the case of the Greek, the favor was done to a friend, never
an enemy. In the case of God it was an enemy, the sinner, bitter in
his hatred of God, for whom the favor was done. God has no strings
tied to the salvation He procured for man at the Cross. Salvation is
given the believing sinner out of the pure generosity of God’s heart.
The Greek word charis
referred to an action that was beyond the ordinary course of what
might be expected, and was therefore commendable. What a description
of that which took place at the Cross! The grace spoken of here is
sanctifying grace that part of salvation given the saint in which
God causes him to grow in Christ-likeness through the ministry of the
Holy Spirit... (Sanctifying grace is) the enabling grace for daily
Christian living which is given to the saint yielded to and
dependent upon the Holy Spirit. [Ed note: Grace equates in
essence with the Spirit of Christ indwelling me and enabling me to
overcome sin. I cannot overcome it...it will overcome me if I try. All
attempts to defeat the flesh in my own power will fail]. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
Spurgeon exhorts believers to gladly accept a prone position
(the root meaning of humility - see below) in order that grace might
flow down most efficaciously...
hearts seek grace,
and therefore they receive grace. Humble
hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so grace is
bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in
the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink
of them. Humble hearts are
grateful for grace and give the LORD (Jehovah) the glory of it, and hence it is
consistent with His honor to give it to them.
Come, dear reader, take
a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the LORD may make
much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, "I fear I am not humble."
It may be that this is the language of true humility.
Some are proud
of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride.
are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures,
and if we
are not humble we ought to be.
Let us humble ourselves because of our
sins against humility, and then the LORD will give us to taste of His
favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in
this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace.
(Ed: Read that again!)
Let us go down
that we may rise.
Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich.
Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted
by the grace of God (Jas 4:10, 1Pe 5:6-note). (Faith's
HUMBLE: tapeinois de didosin (3SPAI) charin:
Spurgeon comments that...
Many people have often been
humbled, and yet they have not become humble. There is a great
difference between the two. If God withdraws His grace and allows a
Christian to fall into sin, that fall humbles him in the eyes of all
good people, and yet he may not become humble. He may never give a
true sense of how evil his actions have been. He may still persevere
in his lofty spirit and be far from humility. When this is the case,
the proud spirit may expect a fall, for the rod will make wounds when
pride is not abated with gentler blows. The most hopeful way of
avoiding humbling affliction is to humble yourself. Be humble, that
you may not be humbled (Jas 4:10). Put yourself into a humble attitude
and draw near to God in a lowly spirit, and He will cease chiding.
low, not high, not rising far from the ground.
It speaks of one's condition as lowly or of low degree. It
described what was considered base, common, unfit, and having little
value. It pictures
one brought low, as for example by grief. Tapeinos is
descriptive particularly of attitude and social positions.
Tapeinos is used 8 times
in the NAS and KJV (Matt. 11:29; Lk. 1:52; Ro. 12:16;
2Co. 7:6; 10:1; James. 1:9; 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5)
and is translated: depressed, 1; humble, 5; lowly, 1; meek, 1. In the
KJV tapeinos is translated: base, 1; cast down, 1; humble, 2;
lowly, 1; of low degree, 2; of low estate, 1. There are 44 uses in the
Septuagint - Lev. 13:3, 4,, 20, 21, 25, 26; 14:37; 27:8; Jos. 11:16;
Jdg. 1:15; 1 Sam. 18:23; Esther 1:1; Job 5:11; 12:21; Ps. 10:18;
18:27; 34:18; 82:3; 102:17; 113:6; 138:6; Prov. 3:34; 11:2; 16:2;
30:14; Eccl. 10:6; Is 2:11; 11:4; 14:32; 25:4; 26:6; 32:7; 49:13;
54:11; 58:4; 66:2; Jer. 22:16; Ezek. 17:24; 21:26; 29:14; Amos 2:7;
8:6; Zeph. 2:3; 3:12
The best "definition" of
tapeinos is found in the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ Who
Take My yoke upon you, and learn
from Me, for I am gentle and humble (tapeinos) in heart; and
YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. (Mt 11:29)
The other NT uses of tapeinos
He has brought down rulers from
their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. (Luke
Be of the same mind toward one
another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.
Do not be wise in your own estimation. (Ro 12:16 -
Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the
meekness and gentleness of Christ-- I who am meek (tapeinos)
when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! (2Cor
But God, who comforts the
depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus (2Cor 7:6)
But let the brother of
humble circumstances glory in his high position (James 1:9-note)
But He gives a greater grace.
Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO
THE HUMBLE. (Jas
The original sense of low
lying soon gave rise to metaphorical uses, NIDNTT listing
(a) low socially, poor, of
little social position and influence (Hdt., 5th cent. B.C. onwards),
(b) as a result of one’s social standing, with slavish outlook, a
synonym of not free;
(c) despondent, downcast (Thuc., 5th cent. B.C. onwards; cf. Eng.
“I’m feeling down”);
(d) in Socratic and post-Socratic ethical teaching the word was
separated from its social links, but retained a depreciatory
connotation. Men should avoid the two extremes of arrogance,
provocation and pride (hybris), and of grovelling, servile behaviour
and base flattery.
(e) Occasionally the word is used with a good connotation in
individual, social, ethical and religious contexts. Where this is so,
it does not mean humble, but unassuming (in Xen.), obedient,
conforming one’s behaviour to the righteous laws of the gods (Aesch.,
Plato). In all these uses there remains the memory of the original
physical meaning of below, low, in comparison with that which is above
or higher. (Brown,
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Wuest writes that
The word is found in an early
secular document where it speaks of the Nile River in its low stage in
the words, “It runs low.” The word means “not rising far from the
ground.” It describes the Christian who follows in the humble and
lowly steps of his Lord.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in
the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Larry Richards has some
excellent comments on tapeinos writing that...
In Greek culture, tapeinos
and its derivatives were words of contempt. The Greeks saw man as the
measure of all things. Thus, to be low on the social scale, to know
poverty, or to be socially powerless was seen as shameful. Only seldom
in classical Greek do these words have a positive tone, commending an
unassuming or obedient attitude. Scripture, however, sees the universe
as measurable only against God. Compared to him, human beings are
rightly viewed as humble. Thus in Scripture tapeinos and its
derivatives are nearly always used in a positive sense (exceptions are
in 2Co 10:1; Col 2:18-note,
Col 2:23-note). Tapeinos represents a person's
proper estimate of himself in relation to God and to others. In this
sense, Jesus himself lived a humble life, depending completely on God
and relating appropriately to all around him (Mt 11:29). It is the
humble, Jesus says, whom God will exalt in his good time (Lk 14:11;
18:14). While the thought of the OT about humility infuses the NT, we
learn more about humility in the Gospels and the Epistles.
Mt 18:1-4 helps us see
humility expressed in relationship with God. The disciples asked Jesus
who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The text tells us that
Jesus "called a little child and had him stand among them." Jesus then
told them that unless they were to "change and become like little
children" they would be unable to enter heaven's kingdom. He
explained, "Whoever humbles (tapeinoo - from tapeinos) himself
like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Just before
this, Jesus had presented himself to Israel as God's Son and their
promised Messiah. Israel refused to respond. But what of the child?
When he was called, he came immediately, responding to Jesus' word.
Humility in our relationship with God is seen when we refuse to stand
in judgment on his Word but instead respond immediately, recognizing
God as the ultimate authority in our life. The dependence and
responsiveness of the child is to mark our attitude in our personal
relationship with the Lord.
The NT often exhorts humility in
relationships with other believers (e.g., Eph 4:2). Paul gives the
example of Jesus' humility (Php 2:5, 6, 7, 8) to encourage compliance with
his exhortation: "In humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to
the interests of others" (Phil 2:3-4).
This attitude is explored further in Ro 12:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. The introductory
instruction goes like this: "Do not think of yourself more highly than
you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in
accordance with the measure of faith God has given you" (Ro 12:3).
That faith is to find expression within the body of Christ, as each
member of the body uses his gifts to serve his fellows. Moved by a
sincere love, each is told, "Honor one another above yourselves" (Ro
12:10), and "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people
of low position. Do not be conceited" (Ro 12:16).
It is in seeing others as persons of great worth because they are
loved by God and in seeing ourselves as their servants that we find
the fulfilling lifestyle of humility. (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Vincent writes that
The word has a history. In the
classics it is used commonly in a bad and degrading sense, of meanness
of condition, lowness of rank, and cringing abjectness and baseness of
character. Still, even in classical Greek, this is not its universal
usage. It is occasionally employed in a way which foreshadows its
higher sense. Plato, for instance, says, “To that law (of God) he
would be happy who holds fast, and follows it in all humility and
order; but he who is lifted up with pride, or money, or honor, or
beauty, who has a soul hot with folly, and youth, and insolence, and
thinks that he has no need of a guide or ruler, but is able himself to
be the guide of others, he, I say, is left deserted of God” (“Laws,”
716). And Aristotle says: “He who is worthy of small things, and deems
himself so, is wise” (“Nich. Ethics,” iv., 3). At best, however, the
classical conception is only modesty, absence of assumption. It is an
element of wisdom and in no way opposed to self-righteousness (see
Aristotle above). The word for the Christian virtue of humility
was not used before the Christian era, and is distinctly an outgrowth
of the Gospel. This virtue is based upon a correct estimate of our
actual littleness, and is linked with a sense of sinfulness. True
greatness is holiness. We are little because sinful. Compare Luke
18:14. It is asked how, in this view of the case, the word can be
applied to himself by the sinless Lord? “The answer is,” says
Archbishop Trench, “that for the sinner humility involves the
confession of sin, inasmuch as it involves the confession of his true
condition; while yet for the unfallen creature the grace itself as
truly exists, involving for such the acknowledgment, not of
sinfulness, which would be untrue, but of creatureliness, of absolute
dependence, of having nothing, but receiving all things of God. And
thus the grace of humility belongs to the highest angel before the
throne, being as he is a creature, yea, even to the Lord of Glory
himself. In his human nature he must be the pattern of all humility,
of all creaturely dependence; and it is only as a man that Christ thus
claims to be lowly; his human life was a constant living on the
fulness of his Father’s love; he evermore, as man, took the place
which beseemed the creature in the presence of its Creator”
(“Synonyms,” p. 145). The Christian virtue regards man not only with
reference to God, but to his fellow-man. In lowliness of mind each
counting other better than himself (Phil 2:3, Rev.). But this is
contrary to the Greek conception of justice or righteousness, which
was simply “his own to each one.” It is noteworthy that neither the
Septuagint, the Apocrypha, nor the New Testament recognize the ignoble
classical sense of the word. (Greek Word Studies)
about tapeinos says that...
“The work for which Christ’s gospel
came into the world was no less than to put down the mighty from their
seat, and to exalt the humble and meek. It was then only in accordance
with this its mission that it should dethrone the heathen virtue
megalopsuchia (human magnanimity and great souledness), and set up the
despised Christian grace tap., in its room, stripping that of the
honor it had unjustly assumed, delivering this from the dishonor which
as unjustly had clung to it hitherto; and in this direction advancing
so far that a Christian writer has called this last not merely a
grace, but the casket or treasure house in which all other graces are
contained … And indeed not the grace only, but the very word tap., is
itself a fruit of the gospel; no Greek writer employed it before the
Christian era, nor, apart from the influence of Christian writers,
Synonyms of the New Testament)
William Barclay writes
The Greek had an adjective for
humble, which is closely connected with this noun—the adjective
tapeinos. A word is always known by the company it keeps and this word
keeps ignoble company. It is used in company with the Greek adjectives
which mean slavish, ignoble, of no repute, cringing (which is the
adjective which describes a plant which trails along the ground). In
the days before Jesus humility was looked on as a cowering, cringing,
servile, ignoble quality; and yet Christianity sets it in the very
forefront of the virtues. Whence then comes this Christian humility,
and what does it involve?
(a) Christian humility comes
from self-knowledge. Bernard said of it,
“It is the virtue by which a man
becomes conscious of his own unworthiness, in consequence of the
truest knowledge of himself.”
To face oneself is the most
humiliating thing in the world. Most of us dramatize ourselves.
Somewhere there is a story of a man who before he went to sleep at
night dreamed his waking dreams. He would see himself as the hero of
some thrilling rescue from the sea or from the flames; he would see
himself as an orator holding a vast audience spell-bound; he would see
himself walking to the wicket in a Test Match at Lord’s and scoring a
century; he would see himself in some international football match
dazzling the crowd with his skill; always he was the centre of the
picture. Most of us are essentially like that. And true humility comes
when we face ourselves and see our weakness, our selfishness, our
failure in work and in personal relationships and in achievement.
(b) Christian humility comes
from setting life beside the life of Christ and in the light of the
demands of God. God is perfection and to satisfy perfection is
impossible. So long as we compare ourselves with second bests, we may
come out of the comparison well. It is when we compare ourselves with
perfection that we see our failure. A girl may think herself a very
fine pianist until she hears one of the world’s outstanding
performers. A man may think himself a good golfer until he sees one of
the world’s masters in action. A man may think himself something of a
scholar until he picks up one of the books of the great old scholars
of encyclopedic knowledge. A man may think himself a fine preacher
until he listens to one of the princes of the pulpit.
Self-satisfaction depends on the standard with which we compare
ourselves. If we compare ourselves with our neighbour, we may well
emerge very satisfactorily from the comparison. But the Christian
standard is Jesus Christ and the demands of God’s perfection—and
against that standard there is no room for pride.
(c) There is another way of putting
this. R. C. Trench said that humility comes from the constant sense of
our own creatureliness. We are in absolute dependence on God. As the
hymn has it:
“‘Tis Thou preservest me from
And dangers every hour;
I cannot draw another breath
Unless Thou give me power.
My health, my friends, and parents dear
To me by God are given;
I have not any blessing here
But what is sent from heaven.”
We are creatures, and for the
creature there can be nothing but humility in the presence of the
creator. Christian humility is based on the sight of self, the vision
of Christ, and the realization of God. (W.
Barclay: The letters to the Galatians and Ephesians Westminster John
J C Ryle writes that...
that there is no grace which should
distinguish the Christian so much as humility. He that would be great
in the eyes of Christ, must aim at a totally different mark from that
of the Pharisees. His aim must be, not so much to rule, as to serve
the Church. Well says Baxter, "church greatness consists in being
greatly serviceable." The desire of the Pharisee was to receive honor,
and to be called "master." (Mt 23:2, 6,7) The desire of the Christian
must be to do good, and to give himself, and all that he has to the
service of others. Truly this is a high standard, but a lower one must
never content us. The example of our blessed Lord, the direct command
of the apostolic Epistles, both alike require us to be "clothed
with humility." (1Pe 5:5.)
Let us seek that blessed grace
day by day. No grace is so beautiful, however much despised by the
world. No grace is such
an evidence of saving faith, and true conversion to God. No grace is
so often commended by our Lord. Of all His sayings, hardly any is so
often repeated as that which concludes the passage we have now read,
"Whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Mt 23:12) (J. C. Ryle.
Expository Thoughts - Matthew)
The greatest saints of God in every
age of the Church have always been men of John the Baptist's spirit.
In gifts, and knowledge, and general character they have often
differed widely. But in one respect they have always been alike--they
have been "clothed with humility." (1 Pet. 5:5.) They have not sought
their own honor. They have thought little of themselves. They have
been ever willing to decrease if Christ might only increase, to be
nothing if Christ might be all. And here has been the secret of the
honor God has put upon them. "He that humbles himself shall be
exalted." (Luke 14:11.)
If we profess to have any real Christianity, let us strive to be of
John the Baptist's spirit. Let us study HUMILITY. This is the grace
with which all must begin, who would be saved. We have no true
religion about us, until we cast away our high thoughts, and feel
ourselves sinners. This is the grace which all saints may follow
after, and which none have any excuse for neglecting. All God's
children have not gifts, or money, or time to work, or a wide sphere
of usefulness; but all may be humble. This is the grace, above all,
which will appear most beautiful in our latter end. Never shall we
feel the need of humility so deeply, as when we lie on our deathbeds,
and stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Our whole lives will
then appear a long catalogue of imperfections, ourselves nothing, and
The greatest saint in the sight of
God, is the man who is most thoroughly "clothed with humility." (1Pe
5:5.) Would we know the prime secret of being men of the stamp of
Abraham, and Moses, and Job, and David, and Daniel, and Paul, and John
the Baptist? They were all eminently humble men. Living at different
ages, and enjoying very different degrees of light, in this matter at
least they were all agreed. In themselves they saw nothing but sin and
weakness. To God they gave all the praise of what they were. Let us
walk in their steps. Let us covet earnestly the best gifts; but above
all, let us covet humility. The way to true honor is to be humble. No
man ever was so praised by Christ, as the very man who says here, "I
must decrease," the humble John the Baptist. (J. C. Ryle. Expository
Thoughts - John)
John Ruskin (1819-1900)
"The first test of a truly great
man is humility."
Spurgeon said that
"Humility is to make a right
assessment of oneself." "Do not be proud of race, face, or grace."
(Point: everything and anything we have is from God Alone so how can
we boast?) The higher a man is in grace, the lower he will be in his
Dwight L. Moody declared
"Unless you humble yourself
before (God) in the dust (Note: tapeinos = not rising far from
the ground), and confess before Him your iniquities and sins, the gate
of heaven, which is open only for sinners saved by grace, must be shut
against you forever."
Puritan William Secker wrote that
"Pride is a sinner's torment,
but humility is a saint's ornament."
Puritan William Gurnall said
"Humility is the necessary veil
to all other graces."
Andrew Murray on
Do you want to enter what people
call "the higher life"? Then go a step lower down.
As someone once said,
"The ears of barley that bear the
richest grain always hang the lowest."
John Flavel had it right
They that know God will be humble,
and they that know themselves cannot be proud.
F B Meyer wrote
I used to think that God's gifts
were on shelves one above the other, and that the taller we grew in
Christian character the easier we could reach them. I now find that
God's gifts are on shelves one beneath the other. It is not a question
of growing taller, but of stooping down, to get His best gifts.
An unknown saint wrote
"Become nothing if you would become
something." In His rules of success, you must stoop to rise, go down
to get up, and shrink to grow.
Warren Wiersbe wrote
To be poor in spirit means knowing
yourself, accepting yourself, and being yourself to the glory of God.
After the memorial service for
George Whitefield a staunch supporter of Whitefield accosted John
Wesley, who had disagreed on some theological points with Whitefield,
"Mr. Wesley, do you think you
shall see Mr. Whitefield in heaven?"
"No," retorted Wesley.
"I was afraid you would say
that," lamented the lady.
Wesley however went on to say
"George Whitefield will be so near to the throne of God, that men like
me will never catch a glimpse of him."
Wesley's humility clothed him
all his life and at one point he wrote to Francis Asbury, the founder
of Methodism in America,
"Oh, beware do not seek to be
something! Let me be nothing, and Christ be all in all."
wrote an excellent little book on 1 Peter, in which he gave this test
of true humility describing
First, the test of precedence
"Do you feel badly when others
are honored, because they outshine you?"
Second, he noted that then comes
the test of sincerity
"All too often, people say
things about themselves to sound humble, when they really are not."
Third, the test of
"Do you react unfavorably when
someone points out your shortcomings?"
If you gave yourself a perfect score on this test, you failed the test
of humility (from
Richard DeHaan, Good News for Bad
Humility is the opposite
of pride, the sin that has always separated fallen men from
God, making them, in effect, their own gods. Genuine humility involves
believers’ not thinking too highly of themselves and requires that
they regard one another as more important than themselves (see
addition to Dr Barber's notes below see (Torrey's
Topic "humility") The humble man
realizes that all that he has comes from God and must be given back to
God. John the Baptist said:
“A man can receive nothing, unless it have
been given him from heaven.” Jn 3:27
Humility is the hallmark of the servant resting in, and sent
from, the Father’s presence
(contrast false humility translated "self abasement" in Col
There is a sense in which God’s true servant is always a defeated man.
The one who drives on with a sense of his own importance, who is
unwilling to appreciate the worthlessness of his own best efforts and
is always seeking to justify himself—that one will not be meek, and so
will lack the essential enablement by which God’s work must be
accomplished. Our brokenness must not be feigned; we must not be
content with the mere language and appearance of humility. We, too,
must be as conscious of Divine mercy in our being recovered for God’s
service as we are of the original mercy which drew us from the dark
waters of death.
Humility is quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is
never to be fretted or irritated or disappointed. It is to expect
nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me. It is to be at rest
when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have
my blessed home in the Lord Jesus, where I can go in and shut the door
and be with my Father in secret, and be at peace when all outside is
The Father may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined
him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man
who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal
man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it. True humility does not
so much consist in thinking badly of ourselves as in not thinking of
ourselves at all. I am too bad to be worth thinking about. What I want
is, to forget myself and to look at the Lord Jesus Christ who is
indeed worthy of all my thoughts. Doubts are not marks of humility;
unbelief is really evidence of pride.
When we are conscious of pride we fancy that humility will meet our
need, but the answer to pride is not humility, it is the Lord Jesus,
and He is the answer to every need. The Father will not give you
humility or patience or love as separate gifts of grace; He has given
you the Lord Jesus, and if you simply trust Him to live out His life
in you, He will be humble, patient, loving and everything else you
we think we're humble--we're not.
WAYNE BARBER'S EXPLANATION
In his exposition of Ephesians 4 (Click
Barber has a practical discussion of the practical
significance of tapeinos/humility...
Ephesians 4:1, 2, 3 (notes)
What does this word "humility" mean?...The word (in Eph 4:2-note)
is the Greek word tapeinophrosune (from tapeinos +
phren = to think) which means to think less of yourself.
The root word tapeinos... means to get down as flat as
you can possibly get so nobody can see you at all... to be level
with the earth. The Greek verb phren ...speaks of a
framed attitude of the mind...an attitude. So what is the
attitude we must have towards ourselves? The attitude is that we
are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think
(cp Ro 12:16-note).
We need to get down where we belong. Listen, the only way up
is to bow down before God. Do you want a proper estimate
of self? Here it is... Die. Get down, flatten out, so that the
Lord through His divine enablement can continue to keep you
united with the body of Christ.
There are 3 things
that I want you to see about humility. Paul uses it
three times in three different books and each teaches us
something about humility.
This is an important Scripture because Paul is speaking...with
the elders of Ephesus (Ed: He is on his way back to
Jerusalem and then on to Rome to be imprisoned and he will never
see these men again). He has brought them down to Miletus. In this
passage, we see that an attitude of humility is essential to
serving the Lord Jesus Christ... Some people think, "God is so
glad to have me on His team." That is about as unbiblical as
anything you could say. God doesn’t want to use anything about
who we are (Ed: That is our
in which there is no good thing! cp Ro 7:18-note).
He wants us to be an empty vessel so He can infuse His power in
our life (Ed: cp 2Co 4:7, 2Ti 2:21-note,
Jesus referring to Paul in Acts 9:15KJV). Humility is an
essential attitude which is necessary for us to carry out
effective service for Christ. Let’s back up to Acts 20:18 to
when they came to him [the elders coming down to Miletus from
Ephesus], he said to them, ‘You yourselves know, from the first
day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,
19 serving (douleuo
= conveys idea of one serving another as a
slave serves his master and =
signifies this was Paul's continual attitude and action toward)
the Lord with all (pas = all without exception, speaks of
completeness) humility (tapeinophrosune
[word study]) and with tears and with trials (peirasmos
[word study]) which came upon me through the plots of
The first point about the essential attitude of humility in
serving Christ is that when it is there, everybody else knows
it. Paul says "you know...you saw...you experienced." Paul said,
"You know that I was serving out of humility." How did they
know? Paul didn’t tell them. I like what Ian Thomas said, "I
can’t. He never said I could. He can. He always said He would."
That is the essence of humility.... When you have that attitude,
everybody knows it... You are not aware that they are aware, but
they are aware. Paul said, "You know."
Secondly, if humility is real it will provoke those who are
"religious" (Ed: Christianity if more about relationship
than about "religion".). Look at Acts 20:19: "serving the
Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came
upon me through the plots of the Jews." Is he talking about
all Jews? No. He is talking about the "religious" group...
Religion is what man does, and therefore, man has to stand up
to do it. Christianity is what God does, and man has to get
down in order to allow God to do it. The two cannot
peacefully coexist... When you start being humble of mind, it
means you are aware totally of what you are not, what He
(Christ) is and Who He (Christ) is. You wait until He initiates
it (Ed: e.g., a "good work") so that He might anoint it (Ed:
And empower it.).
The third thing is in Acts 20:22. If this humility is real,
then God’s will will always be preeminent above your will. Acts
now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not
knowing what will happen to me there.
know what happened to him... We know he has been in prison for
five years because he went to Jerusalem. At this point in Acts
20:22 he doesn’t know. He said, "I don’t have my will." Everyone
tried to stop him from going to Jerusalem, but he said, "I have
to go. I am chained to His chariot. I am bound to His Spirit. I
am a prisoner of Jesus. I am a bond-servant of Christ." (cp Acts
21:12, 13, 14) When humility is a reality in your life, it is
not what you wear or don’t wear. It is your attitude towards God
which works in your life. You don’t have an agenda which you
place before God. You just want His agenda in your life. So we
see that humility is the essential attitude in serving Christ (Ed:
His will not our will - see same idea inherent in the term
doulos [word study] = a
bondslave or bond servant).
Colossians 3:1,2, (note)
humility is the attitude of those seeking a higher calling. The
context is Col 3:1...
then you have been raised up with Christ,
= make this your lifestyle, the desire of your heart above all
else to continually, intentionally, diligently seek) the things
above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on
= command to continually have this mindset) the things above,
not on the things that are on earth. (Col 3:1-see
note, Col 3:2-see
With this context now look at Col 3:12
so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved
(Ponder your privilege and your position in Christ that it might
motivate you to...),
- command to do this now, do it effectively. Don't delay!)
a heart of compassion, kindness, humility (tapeinophrosune
[word study]), gentleness and patience.
Humility is part of the garment of the lifestyle of those
who are seeking a higher calling. Who are these humble people?
They are not seeking their own calling. They are seeking His
calling. They are not looking for the praise of men. They are
looking for the glory of God in their life (cp Mt 5:16-note).
It is an attitude that originates from their new life in Christ.
Philippians 2 we see this attitude
of humility once more. This attitude is not only essential to
serving Christ, it is not only the attitude of those seeking
Christ, but it is also the very attitude of our Savior Himself.
nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility
of mind (tapeinophrosune
[word study]) regard one another as more
important than yourselves...5 Have
this attitude (present
imperative = make this your lifestyle)
in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He
existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a
thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a
bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being
found in appearance as a man, He humbled (tapeinoo)
Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death
on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and
bestowed on Him the name which is above every name (Php 2:3-note,
Php 2:5, 6, 7-note,
Php 2:8, 9-note)
Have you ever heard someone preach on this passage but not put
context? We know what
Christ did. We know He emptied Himself of His glory, but Paul
says is that you are to have the same attitude in you that He
had before He came to this earth to die on a cross. So therefore
be strengthened in the inner man with an ability that you don’t
normally have (cp Eph 3:16-note).
It is an ability He has place within you. Who is in you? It is
Christ Himself (Col 1:27b-note;
Let that attitude be released in your life. That is His
attitude. What is it? Philippians 2:3 says,
nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility
of mind (tapeinophrosune
[word study]) let each of you regard one
another as more important than himself. (Php 2:3-note)
hope you are beginning to see something... If I truly have a
high view of salvation, I will have a proper estimate of myself.
Therefore, I am going to be humble in the way I approach the
body of Christ. My attitude is, I know that I can’t, but I also
know that He can. I want to be strengthened with might in the
inner man with His power (cp Eph 3:16-note).
Many think that talking
badly of ourselves is the ideal of humility; whereas the simplest and
more real humility is to feel unaffectedly that we are too bad to be
worth talking about. Only One is worthy of all our thoughts and words
and ways, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, Whose name
is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite
and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to
revive the heart of the contrite. (Is 57:15)
In his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before
himself, and in his eyes there is something which looks at all men
with a silent contempt.
GARBAGE DETAIL - It was once my privilege to preach in a church
where love and warmth were especially evident. I was impressed by the
members' willingness to pitch in and work. On the Sunday I spoke,
three services were scheduled. The women of the church had provided a
bountiful meal to be served between the meetings for visitors who had
traveled a long distance.
Following the dinner, after most of the people had left, I noticed a
distinguished-looking couple clearing the tables and dumping the paper
plates into large plastic bags. When I complimented them on what they
were doing, they said matter-of-factly, "Oh, we're the 'garbage
detail.' We volunteered to clean up after every church function. We
consider it a ministry."
How wonderful that this man and woman were not only available to serve
the Lord, but they humbly did what others might consider demeaning
work. These dear people were glad to be what they cheerfully called
the "garbage detail."
Some members of the body of Christ are called to serve in places of
prominence; others to labor quietly behind the scenes. Regardless of
what the Lord asks us to do, let's be willing to do it by serving one
another through love, knowing that ultimately we are serving the Lord.
— Richard De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
There's surely somewhere a lowly
In earth's harvest fields so wide
Where I may labor through life's short day
For Jesus the Crucified. —Prior
There is no insignificant task in the church.
OF HUMILITY - Over the centuries, the entrance to Bethlehem's
Church of the Nativity has twice been made smaller. The purpose in the
last case was to keep marauders from entering the basilica on
horseback. It's now referred to as the "Door of Humility," because
visitors must bend down to enter.
As we age, bending our knees becomes more and more difficult and
painful. In the physical realm, some people courageously undergo knee
replacement surgery. To avoid years of increasingly painful joint
damage, they endure several weeks of agony.
Like physical knees, spiritual knees can grow stiff over time. Years
of stubborn pride and selfishness make us inflexible, and it becomes
increasingly difficult and painful for us to humble ourselves. Seduced
by false feelings of importance when others submit to us, we never
learn that true importance comes from submitting ourselves to God and
to others (Ephesians 5:21-note;
1 Peter 5:5).
As we celebrate Jesus' birth, it's good to remember the Door of
Humility, for it reminds us that we all need new knees-knees that will
bend. Humbly is the only way to enter the presence of God.
What better way to honor the One who bent so low to be with us. —
Julie Ackerman Link
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Christ's humble birth should help
What life in Him can bring;
It's not acclaim that we should seek
But service for our King. -Branon
The road to victory is paved with humble submission to God.
FOR HUMILITY - It seemed as if the guest preacher wanted to be
sure we were all impressed with his credentials. In his message he
informed us of his greatest accomplishments, and he told us that among
his friends were a number of well-known, influential Christians.
Maybe you've heard church leaders make statements like this: "Numbers
are not important to our church, but in the past 3 years we have grown
600 percent and increased our giving by 800 percent." Soon after they
say they're not interested in numbers, they start tossing them around!
It's a subtle way of bragging.
I can't be too critical, though. I've seen pride in my own life. I was
standing by the literature table of a church when someone picked up a
copy of Our Daily Bread. "Do you read that?" I asked. "I start every
day with it," came the reply. "Well, I write for it," I heard myself
As servants of Christ, we should be known for humility. First Peter
5:5 tells us to "be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.'" We should be unpretentious, talk
about other people's accomplishments, and focus on serving others.
Lord Jesus, please help us to guard our hearts against pride, and
teach us to be humble. — David C. Egner
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Self-centeredness brings misery,
A proud heart brings much pain;
But those with true humility
Have lasting peace to gain. —Sper
No garment is more becoming to a child of God than the cloak of
HIGHER - Pastor Dale Kurtz laughed so hard that his sides ached. He
was watching a frustrated squirrel trying to climb the metal pole
supporting a bird feeder. The squirrel repeatedly got part way up,
then slowly slid down the pole in a heap. In an describing this
incident, Kurtz wrote, "What the squirrel didn't know was that I had
greased the pole!"
Kurtz then pointed out that "greasing the pole" is one of Satan's
tactics to hinder Christians in their spiritual climb. The "grease" he
often uses is our own pride, complacency, and self-sufficiency. How he
In today's Bible reading, Peter listed four things that will help us
continue in our spiritual climb and not slide back:
Submitting to one another (1Pe
Humbling ourselves before Almighty
God (1Pe 5:6).
Casting all our care on our caring
Lord (1Pe 5:7).
Disciplining ourselves and being
watchful (1Pe 5:8).
four actions and attitudes enable us to resist Satan's attacks (1Pe
5:9) and allow God's grace to strengthen us and cause us to be
established in our faith (1Pe 5:10).
Satan wants to keep us from making
progress in our spiritual life. With the Lord's help, though, we can
keep on climbing. — Joanie Yoder
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Onward and upward your course plan
Seeking new heights as you walk Jesus' way;
Heed not past failures, but strive for the prize,
Aiming for goals fit for His holy eyes. --Brandt
To avoid sin's tragedy, learn Satan's strategy.
B Meyer in his book Tried by Fire has the following discussion of
THE GARB OF THE HOLY SOUL
"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. Humble yourselves
therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
time."--1 Peter 5:5-6.
ONE of the chief signs of the
unrenewed spirit is the haughty self-complacency with which it bears
itself. To resent an insult; to stand upon fancied rights; to vaunt
superiority; to show "the silver, and gold, and spices, and precious
ointment," in the ostentatious and vainglorious way which brought
reproof and chastisement on Hezekiah--this is the manner of the world.
And this insidious sin of pride dies hard in the child of God; nay, it
may be questioned if ever we shall be perfectly quit of it on this
side the gates of pearl. It is Protean in its form, changing with
every temperament, suiting itself to every mood, clinging as a Nessus
cloak even around the flesh of the converted man. Christian men are
proud of their houses, and carriages, and wealth, and position.
Christian women are proud of their person, and dress, and rank, and
children. Christian ministers are proud of their influence, and
sermons, and the admiration they receive. A bit of flattery, a
newspaper notice, a conscious success, are food enough for pride to
grow fat upon, till it begins to fancy that all the world is thinking
of it, and feels that the most extravagant praise is but a grudging
tribute to its worth.
May I not press this upon my readers further, urging each to consider
his own character and behaviour in the light of these words. We must
be convicted of pride before we seek the grace of true humility. Pride
is one of the most detestable of sins; yet does it find lodgment in
earnest souls, though we often speak of it by some lighter name. We
call it independence, self-reliance. We do not always discern it in
the hurt feeling, which retires into itself, and nurses its sorrows in
a sulk. We do not realize how much it has to do with our withdrawing
from positions where we feel ourselves outshone by some one who excels
us, and with whom we do not care to enter into comparison with the
certainty of being second best. It would not be at all easy for us to
be silent; to take the lowest place; to learn--where now we count it
our prerogative to teach.
And sometimes, when we are clearly worsted, and obliged to step down,
we begin to pride ourselves on the sweetness of our disposition in
taking the affront so pleasantly. We are proud of our humility, vain
of our meekness; and, putting on the saintliest look, we wonder
whether all around are not admiring us for our lowliness. I fear me
that Bunyan's shepherd-boy, sitting in the lowland glade, and singing,
would have become proud of being so low, had he known that his
lowliness was to render him immortal. There is at least one preacher
whom I know, who has been proud of his sermons on humility, and
ostentatious of his efforts to be meek. And thus, even if the soul
should array itself in the garb of humility, however simple and plain
it be, there is imminent risk of its becoming vain.
"Of all the evils of our corrupt nature, there is none more connatural
and universal than pride, the grand wickedness, self-exalting in our
own and others' opinion. St. Augustine says truly, that which first
overcame man is the last thing he overcomes. Some sins, comparatively,
may die before us; but this hath life in it, sensibly, as long as we.
It is as the heart of all, the first living, the last dying; and it
hath this advantage, that whereas other sins are fomented by one
another, this feeds even on virtues and graces as a moth that breeds
in them, and consumes them, even in the finest of them, if it be not
carefully looked to. As one head of this hydra is cut off, another
rises up. It will secretly cleave to the best actions, and prey upon
them. And therefore there is so much need that we continually watch,
and fight, and pray against it, and be restless in the pursuit of real
and deep humiliation, daily seeking to advance further in it."
The metaphor used in this passage is surely derived from that most
touching incident on the eve of the crucifixion, when, though having
present to his mind his origin and destiny, our Lord took upon Him the
form of a servant. "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all
things into his hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God;
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments, and took a towel
and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and
began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel
wherewith He was girded." What a lovely vesture did that stripping,
that towel, that lowly attitude, between them make! Not even when He
stood radiant on the Mount of Transfiguration did He seem to be
dressed so fair. Surely Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as
He. And so the injunction comes to us all, that we should adopt the
same livery, and each one don his garb. "Yea, all of you be subject
one to another, and be clothed with humility." The question is --how
to be humble.
1. RECOGNIZE THE CLAIMS
OF THOSE OLDER THAN AND SUPERIOR TO YOURSELF.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder." In Athens it
was held to be a matter of first importance that the young should pay
deferential respect to their seniors. And even among the precepts of
the New Testament, it would be hard to find one more salutary and
beautiful than that of the old law: "Thou shalt rise up before the
hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am
the LORD" (Lv 19:32.).
We need to repeat these maxims of wisdom and grace in the ears of each
new generation. It is impossible not to notice the great laxity in
such matters which is spreading through modern society, loosening its
bands, and affecting its stability. Perhaps it is that children are
too early taught habits of self-reliance, or are too precocious in
their studies. But certain it is that they are more apt to dictate
than to submit. Young shoulders are disinclined for the yoke. And yet
how many bitter memories are being stored up for coming days! We
remember how Dr. Johnson, in late life, stood bareheaded in the rain,
in the market-place at Lichfield, in remorseful remembrance of boyish
disobedience to his dead father. "Ye younger, submit."
Of course there are occasions when conscience forbids us to submit;
and then we must respectfully state the reasons of our refusal, at
whatever cost. But these occasions are comparatively rare. And in all
doubtful cases--in all cases where a good conscience is not directly
infringed--we should submit. Where young Christians have asked my
advice as to the way they should behave, when their parents urge them
to go to places which, if left to themselves, they would not choose, I
invariably answer that, if their conscience absolutely prohibits them,
as to the theatre, music-hall, or ball, they have no alternative but
to refuse; but, where the question is as to indifferent things, so
long as they are under parental control they should yield, if it be
insisted on, after they have stated their scruples or objections.
There are, however, other relationships in life besides that of parent
and child. We are constantly thrown with those who have seen more of
life; have lived more years; and acquired more experience than
ourselves: and who have claims upon us. To all such--unless where
their character has absolutely forfeited all their claims on our
respect--there should be service without servility; meekness without
meanness; consideration without cringing; politeness without a thought
And the cultivation of this habit of deference to those who are older
and better than ourselves, with a distinct intention to acquire
thereby some new tinge of humility, is to take a considerable step in
2. TAKE ALL THE OCCASIONS
WHICH LIFE AFFORDS OF SERVING OTHERS.
"All of you be subject one to another."
Of course there must always be a diversity of function in society; but
the very positions in it which we have inherited or acquired give us
opportunities of exercising this constant life of self-denial for
those around us.
To submit to discomfort, that we may promote their comfort. To submit
to inconvenience, that we may make life easier for them. To submit to
the cross, that we may save them, though at the cost of our blood. It
is the same teaching as came out before in the injunction to "submit
to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake."
Yield before wrong. Hold your mouth in subjection, choking back the
proud, resentful words leaping up there for expression and chafing for
utterance. Give up even your rights, rather than go to law to keep
them. "If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat,
let him have thy cloak also." And submit in such matters, not from
mean-spiritedness or cowardice, but because you will accept each
opportunity which is put into your way of acquiring the grace of
Let the servant take the rebuke of the master meekly, not careful to
vindicate himself, save where the cause of God may be jeopardized by
his fault. Let the employee receive the remonstrance of his employer
quietly, eager to comply with any righteous demand, and to learn in
silence. Let the believer who has said or done anything unkind and
unjust to a fellow-believer confess it with shame, and put the scourge
into his brother's hands, while he stands meekly to bear the inflicted
strokes. Let us not shrink from humbling ourselves before our servants
and children, if we have sinned against them. Strong as rocks and
lions in our advocacy of the truth as it is in Jesus, let us be as the
reed swept by the storm when it is merely a question of our good name,
and prestige, and well-being. And let our single purpose be in all to
learn the grace of humility, in all the occasions for its practice
which our God throws in our way.
3. ACCEPT ALL THE DIVINE
DISCIPLINE OF LIFE.
"Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God."
Ah, what infinite sorrow men lay up
for themselves in resisting the Divine will! If you fret and chafe
against his appointments, finding fault with Him because He has not
given you another lot, some other partner for your life, some more
congenial occupation, you cannot but be wretched. For at the bottom of
all such dispositions, which fume as the waves of the sea, there lurks
a feeling of disappointed pride, which thinks that it deserved some
better treatment from God, and considers itself ill-used.
But who are we that we demand so fair and comfortable a lot--we whose
first father was a gardener who stole his Master's fruit; who have
sprung from the dust but yesterday; and who have piled Alps on Andes
of repeated sin? Let us accept what God sends. The worst is ten
thousand times better than we deserve. The hardest is the better
evidence of a love which dares not spoil us. The whole is dictated and
arranged by such wisdom as cannot for a single instant err.
The shadow cast by that mighty hand is dense and dark; its pressure is
almost overwhelming. David cried, as he felt it, "Day and night thy
hand was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of
summer." But bend beneath it. Its pressure may be felt in personal
suffering, in rebuke, or shame, or persecution, or in loss of
property, or in some other form of chastisement, yet take each as
another opportunity of putting into practice this injunction to
"Lie still my soul! whatever God ordains is right and good; thou
deservest nothing better; what right hast thou to be sitting at the
royal table at all, when thou hadst forfeited it for the swine's fare?
If thou hadst thy rights, thou wouldst be now in the outer gloom."
4. OTHER METHODS MAY BE
Let us try to get a true estimate of ourselves. Let us judge ourselves
now that we be not judged at the last:--
(1) Look into thyself in earnest--
"And truly, whosoever thou be that
hast the highest conceit of thyself, and the highest causes of it, a
real sight of thyself will lay thy crest. Men look on any good, or
fancy of it, in themselves, with both eyes, and skip over as
unpleasant their real defects and deformities. Every man is his own
flatterer. But let any man see his ignorance, and lay what he knows
not over against what he knows; the disorders in his heart over
against any right motion of them; his secret follies against his
outwardly blameless carriage--and it shall be impossible for him not
to abase and abhor himself?
(2) Accustom yourself to took at the good in others.--
Many of us compare ourselves at the
best with others at their worst, and of course we come off with
advantage, at least in our own esteem. We are so much keener to see
the defects than the excellences of our companions. We look at the one
with the magnifying glass, and at the other with the reversed
telescope. But if we were to be as keen on their virtues as now on
their vices, always looking for the compensating grace, always making
such allowances as we can find, always magnifying what is lovely and
of good report, and thinking of these things, then we should find the
bubbles of our self-congratulation pricked and burst.
(3) Accept all kind, good things, from whatever source, as the gift
of God, and tune your heart in praise to Him.--
It is very pleasant to be thanked
and kindly spoken of; to be surrounded by dear friends with their
honeyed words: and we may be thankful when such hours shine on us; as
it is impossible for them to last, if only we are true to our Master.
And whilst they tarry they will not hurt us, if only we pass on all
kind speeches in thanksgiving and praise to God. When we can transmute
all praise, into Praise, all speeches into Speech, and gifts into
Sacrifices, failing down to worship Him who is the giver of every good
and perfect gift, we shall emerge from the ordeal, without having
(4) Claim the humility of Jesus.--
As you go through the world, not
only set yourself to resist pride, but make every temptation towards
it an occasion for lifting your heart to Christ to receive from Him
something more of his own sweet and humble spirit. "Thy humility,
Lord!" There are many incitements to this: God resisteth the
proud.--The Greek word here is very expressive. He sets Himself in
battle array. Ah, miserable attempt to withstand God. Pharaoh
perishing in the Red Sea is the perpetual evidence of the futility of
the conflict. All things may seem to prosper for a time; but
discomfiture is certain, and will be final.
He giveth grace to the humble.--
"His sweet dews and showers of
grace slide off the mountains of pride, and fall on the low valleys of
humble hearts, making them pleasant and fertile. The swelling heart,
puffed up with a fancy of fulness, hath no room for grace. The humble
heart is most capacious, and, as being emptied and hollowed, can hold
most." The vessels which are most heavily laden sink lowest in the
water; and those which can sink lowest, without danger, are they which
are most heavily freighted. Oh for the humble heart which can hold
most grace; and, as it obtains more, sinks still lower in its own
He will exalt in due time.--"The lame take the prey." The meek
inherit the earth. The master of the feast bids those who take the
lowest rooms to go up higher. Moses, the meekest man, has taught the
principles of jurisprudence to half the world, and sits on the
judgment-seat. The martyr's stake has ever been a throne from which
the sufferer has ruled after-ages. The men and women of gracious,
retiring spirit wield the truest authority in town or village. These
who can die on the cross, pass through the grave to the Ascension
Mount. Be humble, not only in outward mien, but in the inner shrine of
thy spirit; and in due time, not to-day or to-morrow, but in his own
time the Lord will exalt thee to inherit the earth. (F. B. Meyer.
Tried By Fire)
Necessary to the service of God
- Micah 6:8
Christ an example of - Matthew 11:29; John 13:14,15;
A characteristic of saints - Psalms 34:2
THE WHO HAVE
Regarded by God - Psalms 138:6; Isaiah 66:2
Heard by God - Psalms 9:12; Isaiah 10:17
Enjoy the presence of God - Isaiah 57:15
Delivered by God - Job 22:29
Lifted up by God - James 4:10
Exalted by God - Luke 14:11; 18:14
Are greatest in Christ’s kingdom -Matthew 18:4; 20:26-28
Receive more grace - Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6
Upheld by honour - Proverbs 18:12; 29:23
Is before honour - Proverbs 15:33
Leads to riches, honour, and life - Proverbs 22:4
Put on - Colossians 3:12
Be clothed with - 1 Peter 5:5
Walk with - Ephesians 4:1,2
Beware of false - Colossians 2:18,23
Afflictions intended to produce - Lev 26:41; Deut 8:3; Lam 3:20
Want of, condemned - 2Chr 33:23; 36:12; Jer 44:10; Da 5:22
Temporal judgments averted by - 2Chr 7:14; 12:6,7
Excellency of - Proverbs 16:19
Blessedness of - Matthew 5:3
Abraham - Genesis 18:27
Jacob - Genesis 32:10
Moses - Exodus 3:11; 4:10
Joshua - Joshua 7:6
Gideon - Judges 6:15
David - 1 Chronicles 29:14
Hezekiah - 2 Chronicles 32:26
Manasseh - 2 Chronicles 33:12
Josiah - 2 Chronicles 34:27
Job - Job 40:4; 42:6
Isaiah - Isaiah 6:5
Jeremiah - Jeremiah 1:6
John the Baptist - Matthew 3:14
Centurion - Matthew 8:8
Woman of Canaan - Matthew 15:27
Elizabeth - Luke 1:43
Peter - Luke 5:8
Paul - Acts 20:19