I CORINTHIANS 4:6-7: “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What is the source of true humility? How many of the issues we face in life could be solved if we walked in humility towards one another? Why is pride not even a tenable option?
The Corinthian church was plagued with a feeling of superiority. They were moving in the gifts of the spirit and felt a spiritual superiority to others. Within the church there were factions that proclaimed superiority based on the teacher they followed. It was a church that was filled with pride and ripe with sectarianism and division.
This sounds a lot like many in the church today. We gather around teachers and issues of doctrine that divide us. We carry an air of superiority based on our style of worship or the size and prosperity of our ministry. We look down on those who do not express themselves as we do. The church today is also filled with sectarianism and division.
All of us deal with pride in our lives. Pride is one of the key issues in man that keeps him from coming to the Lord and from receiving from the Lord. Pride separates friends, family, churches, citizens, and countries. Pride is the source of hatred, division, and wars. And, the ironic thing is that no one has a just reason to walk in pride.
Paul makes it very clear as he outlines the fallacy of pride.
- “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
Everything we have is a gift from God. Each breath we take is an expression of His mercy and grace. Every aptitude we possess, every skill we learn, every accomplishment we celebrate, is a gift of His grace. We are because He is. In the book of Romans Paul emphasizes this truth.
- “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…”. Romans 12:3-6 NKJV
Our life, our talents, our abilities, our achievements, are all a gift of God’s grace. If this is true, then where is the justification for pride? When we understand that everything we have is a gift of God’s grace it will do two things. First, it will give us a sense of humility and thankfulness for all that we have. Second, it will give us the freedom to rejoice in the wonderful gifts of others. We will appreciate both their contributions and their opinions. We will realize that their’s is also a gift from God.
Grace calls us to humility. Grace is only received as we humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. We all need grace to live each day. Grace is given as we lay down our pride and humble ourselves before God and others.
- “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:5-7 NKJV
Lord, this morning, I thank you for all the gifts of grace that You have given to me. I thank You for all the gifts of grace that You have given to those you have placed in my life. I thank You for Your Church and the wonderful and myriad expressions of grace that flow from Your Spirit. Grant me grace today to walk in the unity of the Spirit and to always promote the bond of Your peace. Help me to walk in the humility of grace!
In Jesus Name!