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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Natural Revelation, Special Revelation and NASA | Main | Prayer - in preparation for Sunday »

    Are You Humble?

    I’m certainly not.

    But I have been meditating on a forefather in our most holy faith that was! I wanted to share some of Thomas Brooks’ wisdom with you (he’s the guy who wrote ‘Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices’ that classic spiritual warfare book).

    James 4:7 says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Only Christ was perfectly humble; we can only learn true humility in Christ as we draw nearer and nearer to God, trusting less in ourselves and more in Him!

    Humility is both a character and a command. In the Bible, we are commanded to be humble; this may seem strange to you. ESV 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…” How is a person to “humble themselves”? Essentially, when the Scriptures teach us to draw near to God, or submit ourselves to God, or to depend upon God, etc. these are admonitions and/or commands to be humble. We are to have a right estimation of ourselves under God before God.

    To be humble when we speak of it, often means that God has developed in a person this submission to God; others notice the humility because it forms the persons character. The humble person (that is, the one characterized by a great deal of humility) does not know that he/she is humble.

    Our commands in Scripture teach us that we are to daily humble ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus, because He has redeemed us. The more we understand and know His love for us; the more we understand how he gave up everything to die for our sins; the more we will learn to better humble ourselves, and the more humble we will become by His grace.

    May these meditations encourage and strengthen you in your most holy faith this week! As you read these helpful observations from Brooks, think of both the command to be humble and the character of humility. Cry out to God for grace…right now.

    What are the chief characteristics of a humble man?- Thomas Brooks, ‘The Riches of Christ’

    1) A humble person, no matter how much spiritual growth, he never forgets his former sinfulness and his outward, undeserving commonness.

    2) A humble person overlooks his own righteousness, and looks and lives upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.

    3) For a humble person no work or service is “too beneath” or “too humbling” for him.

    4) A humble heart will submit to every truth of God that is made known (revealed) to it; even to those truths that most offend.

    5) A humble person lives not upon Himself, but upon the sufficiency of Christ alone.

    6) A humble person prizes the least of Christ: the least smile, the least good word from him, the least good mercy from him, etc. She is thankful for a crumb from the table if she cannot get all of the Manna.

    7) The humble heart can never be content to pray enough, hear enough, mourn enough, believe enough, love enough, fear God enough, joy enough, repent enough, loathe sin enough, nor be humble enough!

    8) A humble person seeks to smite and mortify both great and “small” sins.

    9) A humble person quietly bears burdens and takes blows, and will receive disrespect and dishonor and make no noise.

    10) A humble heart withdraws all strength and credit from Christ alone.

    11) A humble person desires to honor and glorify God in afflictions rather than seeking to get out of afflictions.

    12) A humble person seeks not great things of this world; looks not after great things.

    13) A humble person rejoices in the growth in grace that they see in other Christians, as much as they rejoice in their own.

    14) A humble person will never disdain to be taught by a fool, someone beneath them in dignity, one less learned, and even one who doesn’t truly care for him.

    15) A humble heart is a constantly thankful heart.

    “A humble heart cannot be satisfied with so much grace as to bring him to glory, with so much heaven as will keep him from dropping into hell; he is still crying out, ‘Give, Lord, give! Give me more of yourself; more of your Son; more of your Spirit; more of your light, more life, more love.” – Thomas Brooks

    May we learn more of Christ and learn more humility by His grace.

    In Christ’s love,

    Pastor Biggs

    Posted by Charles Biggs on December 2, 2010 10:05 AM

    Comments

    Charles

    So very nice to hear from you. What a blessing your posts are. thank you

    Thomas Brooks is always good stuff. You can get the Works of Thomas Brooks in ebook (Kindle and EPUB) format for only $9.99
    http://www.monergismbooks.com/The-Works-of-Thomas-Brooks-eBook-p-19679.html

    Thank you for your post Pastor Biggs.

    I was confused by your reference to James 4:7. Do you mean verse 6?

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