// ILLUSTRATION //
I heard about a pastor who was voted the most humble pastor in America.
And the congregation gave him a medal that said, “To the most humble pastor in America.”
Then they took it away from him on Sunday because he wore it.
// INTRODUCTION //
Humility is a funny thing.
It’s almost as if once you recognize you have it, you’ve lost it.
The reality is, as humans, we are naturally consumed with pride and selfishness.
We don’t typically give much thought to other people’s feelings, or thoughts, or plans, we generally just look out for number one.
If we are honest, this is really the root of so many problems in our lives – especially in our marriages.
As Christians, there is a better way.
// SERMON SERIES: LIVING WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL //
This morning, we continue our series called “Living Worthy of the Gospel”. In this series, we will be looking at portions of scripture from Philippians.
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel
Paul is saying, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Conduct yourselves, live in such a way that is deserving of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul is basically saying, you’ve been saved, washed clean of all your sins, delivered from bondages, transformed in your heart and mind, now live like it.
Live worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the course of this series, we will look at various passages from Philippians and unfold what it looks like to live worthy of the gospel.
// SCRIPTURE //
1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
// BE HUMBLE //
In this series, we said that to live worthy of the Gospel, we must  suffer well,  go all in, and this morning, we will see that we must be humble.
// WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMBLE? //
In verse 3, Paul is essentially saying, “don’t be selfish and prideful. Instead, be humble.”
Humility means to have a low view of your own importance. It is the opposite of pride.
Pride is competitive by nature and tries to lift a person above others, so it divides and promotes conflicts rather than harmony. By contrast, humility accepts a place of service, with concern for the needs and interests of others.
Paul goes on to explain this using the example of Jesus Christ.
Before Jesus came to Earth, He was in Heaven with God.
Remember, Jesus existed before He was born through Mary. Jesus existed before the foundations of the world. It is through Jesus that all things were made.
So when God chose to send His Son to be born a man, it was the beginning of Jesus. Jesus left Heaven. Jesus left the throne to become a man, to live among us, to live a sinless life, and to ultimately offer his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. This is humility.
He is God. He didn’t have to do this. He didn’t have to be born as a mere man. He didn’t have to leave His throne. We can even take it a step further – He didn’t have to be born into a poor family. He didn’t have to be born in obscurity. He is God.
Yet, He looked to the interest of others rather than His own. He was more concerned with us being saved. He was more concerned with obeying the Father. Think about this.
Some of us have a hard time picking up trash. “That’s not my job.” Have you ever seen that at the workplace? Someone is asked to do something, and they say, “Why? That’s not my job.”
Or, have you ever asked one of your kids to clean up something? And they say, “Why? I didn’t do it. It’s not my mess.”
Jesus didn’t have to do this. He is God. He could have just killed us all and started over. Or He could have just let us all die in sin and go to hell. But He humbled Himself, even to the point of death.
He not only took a low position as a human, but took a low human position in a relatively low income family. And not only that, but he took a low position of allowing Himself to suffer physically, and even be put to death wrongfully. This is humility.
Paul says, be like this. Be humble.
// WHY SHOULD WE BE HUMBLE? //
Why is this so important?
Why would Paul make mention of this here? And why is God interested in us being humble? Why should we be humble?
1. Humility breeds unity.
We can see from verses 1-2 that Paul’s primary aim is that the church was united. He desired that the church be in one mind, in one accord, with no division.
Division has no place among God’s people. Division has no place in the church.
Division is an ugly thing among God’s people. It destroys relationships, it destroys ministries, it destroys the witness of God among unbelievers.
Humility conquers this. Because humility causes us to put others first.
2. Humility combats pride.
Pride is destructive.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Our pride gets us into a lot of trouble.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5
Why does God oppose the proud? Pride creates a sense of arrogance which puts themselves in the place of God. It is an arrogance that says they don’t need God. It is an arrogance which says they’re in charge, they make the rules, they determine what their life is all about.
God hates this. God is against this.
Humility combats this. Humility allows us to recognize our low place before an Almighty God.
3. Humility demonstrates the character of God.
As we looked at a few minutes ago, Jesus was the ultimate example of humility. When we walk in humility, we demonstrate the character of God.
4. Humility makes us better lovers.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Tell me, can this kind of love co-exist with pride, arrogance, and selfishness? No.
Humility allows us to lay aside our own selfish desires. It allows us to be more patient with others. It allows us to desire to see others get their way, and others get what they want.
Humility helps us to love better.
// HOW DO WE WALK IN HUMILITY? //
Practically speaking, how do we live this out? How do we become more humble? How do we walk in humility?
1. First, we must humble ourselves before God.
If we are going to experience any real humility in our lives, we must first humble ourselves before God.
We need to recognize that we are not God. We do not rule the world. We do not rule our lives. In essence, we do not rule anything. God does. God is in control. God rules the world. God rules our lives. God rules the lives of others.
We need to be concerned about God’s desires more than our own desires. We need to be more concerned about obeying God, and pursuing what He wants – instead of pursuing our own plans and desires.
2. Second, after we humble ourselves before God, we can humble ourselves before others.
Paul lays this out for us when he says to “count others as more significant than ourselves”, and to “look not only to our own interests, but to the interests of others.”
This plays out in every avenue of our lives.
In the workplace:
- It means taking on extra tasks when asked to, even if it’s not in your normal job description.
In our marriage:
- It means letting your spouse pick where to eat from time to time.
With our children:
- It means serving them, instead of using them as servants.
On the road:
- It means allowing others to change lanes in front of you.
- It means recognizing that you don’t know everything.
If we are going to be humble, we must understand that …
- You don’t always have to have the answers.
- You don’t always have to have the last word.
- You don’t always have to be right.
- You don’t always have to get the credit.
- You don’t always have to be the one being served.
- You don’t always have to have it your way.
// CONCLUSION //
In the book of Philippians, Paul encourages us to live worthy of the Gospel. And one of the ways we do this is by being humble.
Walking in humility certainly brings a positive outcome to our spiritual walk, but it even makes a positive impact on our day-to-day activities and interactions with others.
This week, I want to challenge you to put this into action.
Sometime this week, when you out shopping, for groceries or whatever, let someone go before you in line, just out of courtesy.
Sometime this week, go out and do something your spouse likes to do, that you don’t like to do.
Each day this week, look for ways to be thankful to God.
- Think about your home. You don’t deserve it, it is a gift from God.
- Think about your car. Don’t take it for granted. You don’t deserve it, it is a gift from God.
- Think about your job. You don’t deserve it, it is a gift from God.
Erase the privileged mindset that says, “I deserve this. I earned this. I’m supposed to have this.” Let’s begin our journey of becoming more humble.