Because of God’s Mercy…Be Humble
September 20, 2020
Henry Augustus Rowland was a professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University in the second half of the 19th century. On one occasion he was called as a witness in a court case and his qualifications were given as “the highest known authority in this country upon the subject of the laws and principles of electricity…” A friend supposedly asked him about the claim later and he allegedly said, “Well, what did you expect me to [say]? I was under oath.”
If I asked you, “what is the inner attitude of sin that you struggle with the most?” wouldn’t most of us answer, “pride?” Yup. Historically pride has always been exalted and humility has been shunned — and even in our Christian circles we have ways of seeming to humble, but really being prideful. (“Oh, it was nothing…I’m really unimportant…” can very easily be an attempt to elicit praise and affirmation.)
“Humility is not a mere outward ornament of the Christian, but an essential part of the new creature united to Christ by faith. It is a contradiction in terms, to be a Christian, and not to be humble.” [Richard Baxter]
In Romans 12:2, Paul stressed that spiritual transformation begins in the mind; here in v. 3, he continues that emphasis. If we will be humble we need to think rightly — we must put off all prideful stinkin’ thinkin.’
Paul’s point in this passage is that humility is essential for ministry. Effective ministry is dependent on true humility. And the way that we will cultivate humility is through our mind:
Cultivate humility by thinking rightly about yourself, your ministry, and God.
These three verses contain three mind-renewing thoughts that will cultivate humility in us:
- Don’t Think Too Much of Yourself and Your Gifts (v. 3a)
- Do Think Rightly About Yourself and God’s Gifts (v. 3b)
- Do Think and Work Faithfully with Your Gifts (vv. 3c-5)
- God’s gifts are for faithfulness in the one church body (v. 3c)
- God’s gifts are various within the one church body (v. 4)
- God’s gifts are unifying within the one church body (v. 5)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 12:3-5.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.