pride

SERMON LEFTOVERS 3.06.17

Wisdom Follows Humility

 

1 Corinthians 4:6-21                   

 

We all make a life choice concerning whose perspective is upside down, God’s or that of the world. The Corinthians had not chosen well as evidenced by their divisiveness. Paul has answered by contrasting the wisdom of God with that of world. Now he unmasks the motivation behind their choices.

 

The wisdom we follow is a pride issue

All human history and the gospel are connected to this reality (compare Gen 3:1-6 and Mt 4:3-10)

1. Paul uses confrontation, to help the Corinthians see their true selves

He asks three who – what – why questions (v7)

There is no mystery concerning the answers; all we have is from God, which takes away our reasons for boasting

But unless we know God clearly, we will not see this basic reality

Even believers drift if God’s Word does not anchor our minds

We desperately need the conviction not to go “beyond” God’s Word (v6)

Paul had “applied all these things” i.e. the truths of chapters 1-4

Paul has doggedly pressed this conviction on us – how has it impacted you?

Beware, it is not just the world that tries to draw us “beyond what is written”

There are some in the church who diminish the infallibility and authority of God’s word

Discernment matters concerning what we read and who we hear

2. Paul uses sarcasm to help the Corinthians see the foolishness of their pride

They had an exaggerated view their maturity, so in v8 Paul uses exaggeration

Then he makes comparisons in v10 using words they probably used about themselves

When we compare ourselves to others, we usually use a one-sided and distorted storyline

3. Paul uses his own example of humbly resting in Christ

Paul is no longer using hyperbole, this is how he lived!

He is uplifting the seemingly ‘upside down’ biblical perspective of humility

The world resents life that looks like (v11)

The rich and wise would have mocked Paul for demeaning himself in physical labor (v12)

People ridicule those who have a v13 lifestyle

Humility as lifestyle is upside down to a world that is self-centered

Then why would any of us want to embrace it and be content!?

It’s the way of wisdom, for it is the way of Christ (Philippians 3:8)

What is truly upside down, is the so-called wisdom of the world

If you know Christ and have his gospel, the choice of where wisdom is found should not be difficult

To help us joyfully agree with the worthiness of Christ, we need to be immersed in praise of him

 

Paul presents their response options

Paul has firmly “admonished” them: how will they receive it? (vs 14-17)

(1)  They can justify themselves and reject his assessment

(2)  They can be self-focused in “shame” and pull away

(3)  Or they can humble themselves and follow the example of godly wisdom

Paul offers himself as an example, because he has “applied these things”

We are all called to be disciple-makers; and part of that is being an example

You don’t need to be a perfect example, you can be a committed example

We can show that we are committed to “applying” the wisdom of God instead of our own

We can show that we take joy in the wisdom of God instead of our own

Paul has softened his tone from confrontational to fatherly

But these believers must still decide how they will respond (vs 18-21)

The wisdom of the world has influence, but it’s devoid of power

The wisdom of God consists of power, so serving his “kingdom” has power

     The wisdom of the gospel is ‘the power of God for salvation’

     The wisdom of God is power to make life whole

     The wisdom of God is power to sustain and lift you in every storm

If you are in Christ and you embrace his word, your life will have power

 

SERMON LEFTOVERS 2.22.16

“Gospel mission needs gospel unity”

 

Philippians 2:1-4

Chapter 1ends with Paul declaring the gospel of Christ is worthy of our unity in the face of opposition. In chapter 2, he adds the gospel is worthy of being guarded against disunity within church

 

Paul gives 4 reasons why unity should rule in us (v1)

1.  All believers are in Christ

Our common salvation and bond in Christ should encourage us toward fellow-believers

2.  All believers know love (Great Commandment living is all about love)

3.  All believers have the Holy Spirit – who works to bind us in community

4.  All believers have new character – which draws us to what is God pleasing

Any of these is sufficient reason for unity, together they are overwhelming!

How influential are these reasons to you?

If we don’t see one another (or ourselves) by these truths, are they true of us?

 

Gospel unity drives us to gospel mission (v2)

Paul has gospel mission in view (he uses the same language as the previous verses) 1:27

(1) Gospel unity gives us “the same mind”: that the gospel is everyone’s great need

(2) Gospel unity gives us the “same love”: our hearts value Christ above all

(3) Gospel unity brings us into “full accord”: we labor for the same purpose

It is important to recognize that biblical unity is gospel unity

Questions of church unity are often misapplied

Some too easily create disunity out of differences in secondary doctrine and practice

Others go the opposite way and claim unity is sacred regardless of belief

Some want peace at any price; rather than deal with heart issues, they sweep disagreement under the carpet

Disagreement among believers will happen

Sometimes it’s for reasons that are important for truth and godliness

However, as believers, we can have disagreement without disharmony (Romans 14-15) 15:1

The gospel is wonderful enough and powerful enough to keep us in unity

v1 the gospel is powerful enough

v2 the gospel is wonderful enough

With our common reality in the gospel, the Church should not allow anything to keep us from our common gospel mission

 

To have this unity we must eliminate what hinders it (vs 3-4)

Pride and selfishness are the great hindrances to unity (and godliness)

We see these at the root of sin and conflict throughout the Bible and life

Pride and selfishness relentlessly seek to erode what God wants to do

Our pride may not openly reject God, but it distorts how we serve him

Without humility, the gospel is not possible

It was necessary for Jesus leave heaven, stay on earth, and die in our place (vs 5-8)

Jesus’ every moment on earth required him to exercise humility

For us to receive the gospel, our hearts had to be humbled

If the gospel is to rule over our lives, we must embrace humility

So, how can the Church clearly go forth in the gospel without humility? This is why v3 so emphatic!

Humility frees from the bondage of pride and selfishness

Think of your experience with people: those who are extremely selfish are in bondage to it and they are miserable!

Our weaknesses and limitations are not in the way of gospel mission, it is our pride and selfishness that distract us, and muck up our lives

Where is selfishness and pride getting in your way?

Do you become offended, rather than look for people’s true intention

Do you pull away, rather than seeking to care for people’s weaknesses

Do you want members to meet your expectations, rather than look how to serve them

Are you going through life in self-pity and disappointment, rather than encourage others with gospel truth

 

HUMILITY IS RELAXING

 

Pride is a big fat liar!

 Although pride lies to us in many ways, it chiefly tries to convince us that life will be better right now if we will focus on ourselves or assert ourselves.

Bethany Jenkins leads us in the opposite direction in this article, “There’s Nothing More Relaxing Than Humility”.

Pause to think about the way pride takes up enormous amounts of space in our minds, action and emotions. It continually pushes us to grab and fight for self. Think about how exhausting all this can be. Everything from how we react on the highway to how we interpret people’s comments, all become draining exercises when pride is leading us.

Pride disturbs the rest we crave.

Pride does this by sending us running in the opposite direction from where God is moving. That means when pride rules over our lives, we are depending on our own strength and wisdom rather than resting in Christ! Taking what pride wants us to cling to and casting it upon Christ is rest, because we know he will handle it all far better than we can.

It may take a while to get used to this mindset, but try thinking about how this potentially frustrating moment will be much more relaxing, if we simply turning it over to Christ and let his agenda rule our life instead of that no-good-liar named pride.

 

WHAT DO PRIDE & HUMILITY LOOK LIKE?

 

Pride leads me to be at the center of my world

My impatience

Taking offense

Wanting to be first

Neglect of my devotional life – “I’ll be okay”

Pursuing my agenda

Talking over people

Take the nicer choice for myself

Doing what I want on family vacation

Focusing on how people like my preaching and my decisions

Day dreaming of my successes

Resisting the confession of my sin

      Pride is whenever first thought is how something affects me

Humility leads us to accept God’s assessments in everything

Whether it is His ways, decisions and timing

Or our weakness, need and depravity

Humility comes from seeing:

By nature we are creatures

By rebellion we are sinners

By grace we are now saints

Our negative view of humility distorts our understanding of it

Humility is not self-abasement; that is more self-centeredness

Humility is not weakness; it opens the door to strength and wisdom

Humility is not discouragement; it lifts our thoughts and our lives – because it keeps us immersed in the agenda of our glorious God

Asking if we are serious about confronting our pride, is the same as asking; “Are we serious about God?”

If you don’t think you have a pride problem, it is serious problem

Denial indicates we are not seriously examining ourselves

You may not be arrogant with people, but how submissive are you to God?

The question is not ‘Do I have pride?’, but ‘Where is my pride lurking?’

We have to work diligently at cultivating humility

Pray consistently that God will reveal where our pride lurks – then be ruthless in rooting it out

Replace thoughts of ourselves with thoughts of God. We will find great delight when God dominates our thoughts

GOD HAS AN OPINION ABOUT PRIDE & HUMILITY

God uses strong language when discussing humility and pride

Psalm 138:6   “Lord regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar”

Luke 1:52  “Lord has brought down the mighty and exalted the humble”

James 4:6   “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”

Why is God intensely “opposed” to pride?

Pride relentlessly seeks to erode His Lordship and His glory

Pride led to Satan’s rebellion   Isaiah 14:12-14

Pride led to Adam and Eve’s rebellion   Genesis 3:1-6

Pride is at the heart of mankind’s resistance to God   Romans 1:21-25

Pride may not overtly reject God, but it always distorts our position and His

Since pride is self-centered, it opens the door to virtual every other sin

Why is humility so pleasing to God?

Humility is an unrestrained desire for God to fulfill His role in everything

Humility leads us to listen to God and learn from Him  Psalm 25:9

Humility is how Christ stepped forward to save us  Philippians 2:8

Humility causes God to show mercy  2 Kings 22:19

Humility is to see ourselves and God in a true perspective.

CJ Mahaney wrote,

“Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness”

Humility removes the biggest obstacle to God working freely in us

We should share God’s strong opinions on pride and humility

Our pride is groundless  Isaiah 40:6-8

Our pride is corrosive  Habakkuk 2:4

Our pride is illogical  Acts 17:28

Our pride is foolish  James 4:6

Humility embraces reality, so God embraces the humble

God says He  “blesses” . . “exalts . . and “gives grace” to the humble

The more humility fills our heart and mind, the more we can have an unobstructed relationship with God

How do we grow in humility?

Start at the cross – and stay there!

John Stott wrote,

“The cross undermines our self-righteousness, and we can stand before it only with a bowed head and a broken spirit.”

LEFTOVERS TASTE BETTER

My “Sermon Leftovers” began 4 years ago during my first week of blogging

It was Thanksgiving weekend which inspired the title of Leftovers

Since I don’t have leftovers today and it is near Thanksgiving, I will give you my original Leftovers article

Sometimes leftovers just taste better

In soups and stews the ingredients need that extra time for their flavors to fully meld; and Thanksgiving is famous for providing satisfying leftovers.

A fresh snow flake roll piled with cold turkey, stuffing, hot gravy and some cranberry sauce seems to taste even better than when those favorites first appeared on our plates the day before.

Could it be possible that Sermon Leftovers are also better the next day??

On Mondays I will be offering a modest portion of those leftovers. Having heard a sermon once already, we are ready to feast on those biblical truths once again, as the Holy Spirit sharpens our appetite to apply them in our life.

Since we are in the midst of a series, I will give a small portion from each of the three messages:

“God Has An Opinion About Pride and Humility”

James 4:6

Pride relentlessly seeks to erode God’s glory and His Lordship.

Pride is always seeking to make us the center of our world.

Pride opens the door to virtually every other sin.

Our pride is groundless – illogical – corrosive and foolish.

Humility is an unrestrained desire to have God fulfill His role in everything.

Humility leads us to embrace God’s assessment in all areas of our life.

The humble can have an unobstructed relationship with God.

If we don’t think we have a pride problem, it is a serious problem, because we are not seriously examining our heart.

Are we willing to ask God if He would reveal where pride is lurking in us?

“Christ Is Our Example For Humility”

Philippians 2:3-8

Amidst the glories of heaven, the eternal Son of God exercised inexpressible humility to become a man. The events of Jesus’ birth underlined the humility of his incarnation.

Jesus’ earthly labors required him to exercise humility every moment. No one he met ever had the zeal and faithfulness he possessed.

In his death, Jesus embraced wrath he did not deserve, to give us a grace we did not deserve. The events of Jesus’ death underlined the humility his sacrifice required.

Without the deep humility of Christ, our salvation would not be possible!

For Jesus who deserved glory, every expression of humility was extreme.

We cannot follow Christ very far without humility.

If we are to imitate Christ, we must exercise humility in our relationships with each other.

Jesus’ example makes our lack of humility toward others – indefensible.

What role does humility have in our relationships?

“The Gospel Is Our Path to Humility”

Ephesians 2:4-10

Our experience tells us that fighting pride is a constant battle. How we grow in humility needs to be as persistent as our pride. What is more persistent than our pride? The truths of the gospel!

The gospel is the antidote for pride, and it is the sure path to humility.

The gospel is not just for those who need to be saved, the gospel is the foundation for all Christian living.

To grow in humility we must stay on the path of gospel truths.

The gospel saves us from pride, by saving us from ourselves.

The gospel keeps us from the pride of self-focus.

The gospel will always point us to God . . to reality . . and to humility.

Be a worshipper: it is hard to exalt ourselves when we are exalting God.

Sermon Leftovers: 12/06/10

The Attribute That God Loves: I Peter 5:5b-6 “Humility is our glory”


Yesterday we finished our series on Humility.   Humility is should not be seen as an obligation we begrudgingly give to God.  Humility is an significant part of our eventual glorification.


1.  In Humility We find Wholeness:

♦  Man was created whole and humble.  Adam gladly exalted God and was content to rest in Him.  Before sinful pride, God was the center of man’s world.

♦  Pride was the door which led to all brokenness in creation.  Through the pride of Lucifer, heaven was torn (Isaiah 14:12-15); and through the pride of Adam all human nature was corrupted (Genesis 3:1-6).

♦  In our glorification, God will again be the center of our world and we will gladly humble ourselves before Him (Revelation 4:8-11).  The joy of heaven will not primarily be the blessings we receive, it will be that all creation is in submission to Christ

Humility is a necessary part of how we are made whole again.  When we are at our best in glory, we we rejoice in our humility before our glorious King!


2.  In Humility We Find Greatness:

♦  Humility is a form of great Strength.  Humility is the path that Jesus took to save us, there was no weakness in the humility he displayed (Philippians 2:3-8).

♦  Humility is the root of great Character (Matthew 18:1-4).  When we think about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, we easily recognize how humility leads the way in all these qualities.

♦  Humility is the path to great Actions (Matthew 23:11-12).  Humility will lead us to serve Christ’s Kingdom, rather than our own.  We have all seen how pride is the chief culprit that gets in the way of fulfilling the two great commandments (Mark 12:28-31).


3.  In Humility God Exalts Us:

This amazing thought is repeated many times in the New Testament (Matthew 23:12, Luke 18:14, James 4:10, I Peter 5:6).  Who can know what it means for God to exalt us!?  But there are a couple statements we can safely make about it.  (1)  This exaltation will be in the context of Christ establishing his kingdom, not ours.  (2)  Whatever is involved in God exalting us, is immeasurably better than being exalting by others or ourselves.


IF WE ARE SERIOUS about Humility:

(1)  We will take actions of exercising humility as I Peter 5:5 tells us “toward one another.”  Exercising humility always starts with God and then it continues toward those who are closest to us; who happen to be the ones we typically struggle with most in terms of humility.

(2)  We will accept what God does to humble us (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).  Whenever God puts us in humbling circumstances, it is His grace to us.

God’s Word always requires a response from us.  What will be our response to these messages on humility (and pride)?  Will we respond to Scripture’s call, and humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.”?

A Step Further

If you want to takes further steps in examining the biblical teaching on humility and pride (and examine your heart along the way), I recommend the following books.

“Humility: the Forgotten Virtue” by Wayne Mack

This book is helpful in recognizing the heights of humility and the depths of pride.  It is filled with great quotes on humility and pride by famous preachers and Bible scholars

◊ ◊ ◊

“Humility” by Andrew Murray

Murray plunges the deep theological waters of Jesus’ humility.  I found it to be the most powerful of the books I have read on this topic.

◊ ◊ ◊

“Humility: True Greatness” by C.J. Mahaney

C.J. Mahaney is always challenging in his preaching and writing.  This book is no exception.  I found his book to be the most helpful in practical application of humility (another trait of C.J.’s preaching and writing)

◊ ◊ ◊

“Fool Moon Rising” by Kristy & T. Lively Fluharty

My final recommendation is a book for children; of course adults will benefit as they read along.  If you are going to work on humility in your life, then bring your whole family into the process and read this with your children.

Sermon Leftovers: November 15, 22 & 29

Sometimes leftovers just taste better. In soups and stews the ingredients need that extra time for their flavors to fully meld; and Thanksgiving is famous for providing satisfying leftovers. A fresh snow flake roll piled with cold turkey, stuffing, hot gravy and some cranberry sauce seems to taste even better than when those favorites first appeared on our plates the day before. Could it be possible that sermon leftovers are also better the next day? On Mondays I will be offering a modest portion of those leftovers. Having heard a sermon once already, we are ready to feast on those biblical truths once again, as the Holy Spirit sharpens our appetite to apply them in our life.
Since we are in the midst of a series, I will give a small portion from each of the three messages.

NOVEMBER 14
James 4:6 “God has an opinion about pride and humility”

Pride relentlessly seeks to erode God’s glory and His Lordship.

Pride is always seeking to make us the center of our world.

Pride opens the door to virtually every other sin.

Our pride is groundless . . illogical . . corrosive . . foolish.

Humility is an unrestrained desire to have God fulfill His role in everything.

Humility leads us to embrace God’s assessment in all areas of our life.

The humble can have an unobstructed relationship with God.

If we don’t think we have a pride problem, it is a serious problem, because we are not seriously examining our heart.

Are we willing to ask God if He would reveal where pride is lurking in us?


NOVEMBER 21
Philippians 2:3-8 “Christ is our example for Humility”

Amidst the glories of heaven, the eternal Son of God exercised inexpressible humility to become a man. The events of Jesus’ birth underlined the humility of his incarnation.

Jesus’ earthly labors required him to exercise humility every moment. No one he met ever had the zeal and faithfulness he possessed.

In his death, Jesus embraced wrath he did not deserve, to give us a grace we did not deserve. The events of Jesus’ death underlined the humility his sacrifice required.

Without the deep humility of Christ, our salvation would not be possible!

For Jesus who deserved glory, every expression of humility was extreme.

We cannot follow Christ very far without humility.

If we are to imitate Christ, we must exercise humility in our relationships with each other.

Jesus’ example makes our lack of humility toward others – indefensible.

What role does humility have in our relationships?


NOVEMBER 28
Ephesians 2:4-10 “The gospel is our path to humility”

Our experience tells us that fighting pride is a constant battle. How we grow in humility needs to be as persistent as our pride. What is more persistent than our pride? The truths of the gospel!

The gospel is the antidote for pride, and it is the sure path to humility.

The gospel is not just for those who need to be saved, the gospel is the foundation for all Christian living.

To grow in humility we must stay on the path of gospel truths.

The gospel saves us from pride, by saving us from ourselves.

The gospel keeps us from the pride of self-focus.

The gospel will always point us to God . . to reality . . to humility.

Be a worshipper: it is hard to exalt ourselves when we are exalting God.


Make your life serve the Kingdom of Christ: take what you do and turn it to serve what Christ is doing.