THE HUMILITY OF GOD 1
Friends, I welcome you again, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am going to bring a message which I regard as a timeless message. And it is on the Humility of God.
The Humility of God
Our text is taken from Philippians 2, from verse 5.
Philippians 2:5 – I will read it from the New Living Translation, which actually is a paraphrase. Pardon me to use a paraphrase; because I love the way it reads.
5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
He did not demand and cling to His right as God.
7 He made Himself nothing ;
He took the humble position of a slave
and appeared in human form,
8 And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on the cross.
Let us pray.
Father, thank You for this hour. Thank You for keeping us till this day. We give You thanks. We present this audience to you now and ask that You would speak to our hearts; and that You may meet the needs in our lives by the power of your Word…in Jesus Name. Amen!
The Humility of God
Humility is defined as modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank. It is the opposite of pride which gives a person a feeling of superiority over others. Somebody has suggested that pride criticizes others to tear them down, but humility praises others in order to build them up.
Pride says, I am a self-made man, self-made woman; but humility says, apart from God I can do nothing. Pride says, do you know who I am; humility says, I am whom I am only by the grace of God.
The scripture we read in verse 3 (we read from verse 5). But in verse 3, there is a contrast between pride and humility. Verse 3 says,
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit.
But in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
– that’s humility.
Humility is from the lowliness of mind. It is primarily an inward position that gives one a modest sense of self-worth.
The humility of God.
That may surprise some that we are talking about God as a humble God. But that is what God displayed before mankind when He sent Jesus into the world to save sinners. By the way, any quality that God expects of us He already possesses. God expects us to be holy. Why? Because He is holy. He expects us to love. Why? Because He’s love and loving. God expects us to be patient – because He is patient. God expects us to be humble because He God is humble.
We will examine the humility of God in becoming a man and the humility of God as a man – that is, the humility of God living as a man.
The humility of God in becoming a man
In becoming a man, God demonstrates His humility in:
- His incarnation
- His station in life
His incarnation and station.
Let’s take these things one after the other.
We are familiar with John 1, that says,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And you drop down to verse 14, it says, of the same John 1,
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
This is the fact of His incarnation. But the passage where we read, Philippians 2:6-7, reveals to us the factor of the humility of God. Though he was God, He did not demand and cling to His right as God. He made Himself nothing. He chose the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. God became a man.
We see the humility of God, not only in the incarnation, but also in His station in life.
What do I mean by station? I do not mean where people stop or board a vehicle, a train, not the stopping place in a transportation system: not the place where you are sent to work. By station here, the station of the incarnate God, we mean His social status, relative to other human beings, and particularly, to other Jews. Three things in the social status of Jesus Christ mark His humility. You have heard of this expression: Humble beginning.
The humility of Jesus is seen in the fact that He was born in Bethlehem: that He was born in a manger, that He was born in poverty. You’d say, but how do these things signify humility? One would have expected God to come into the human race, to the human family, from a prominent city in Israel, such as Jerusalem, Cesarea, Capernaum – No! God came into the human race out of an obscure town in Israel. You see this in Micah 5:2. Micah 5:2 says,
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Did you take notice of that?
– Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
That’s a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ. Coming from Bethlehem an obscure town, signifies – indicates His humility.
In terms of social status of the incarnate God, we will expect Him to be born in a palace. The wise men from the east thought so – hence their stopover at Herod’s palace to ask of the Child born: King of the Jews. Because in Matthew 2 from verse 1,
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem was troubled with him. Why? Because the man was a buja. For him to be troubled heads would roll. And of course heads rolled.
So we see then in Luke 2:7, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Not only that He was born in Bethlehem, but born in a manger: for in Luke 2:7, we read:
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
He was born in a manger. That’s humility.
When we come back we will continue to discuss this Humility of God and the implications of it.
But friend, if the Almighty God will humble Himself to come in the form of a man in the manner which He has come you will be terribly ungrateful to ignore such a love that made Him come so low. Have you received this gift – the best gift anybody would receive?
Father, we thank You again for the time we have spent in Your Word; and we are praying, O God, that as many as have heard, who have never received Christ that the Spirit of God would work in their hearts that they may yield to the God who humbled Himself because of Love – the love He has for mankind…in Jesus Name we pray. Amen!