I shared recently that I believe we are mistaken to think of
ourselves as poor rotten old sinners saved by grace, and how when a
speaker at a menís breakfast asked the twenty-five men present, "How
many men here are sinners?" every hand went up but mine. I believe
that the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed me from my sins, all of
them. I believe Godís children are commanded to be holy. Itís not
an option, itís a command. I choose to obey that command.
A few people were offended to hear that I donít think of myself as a
sinner, although they may have sung in church: "I am the
righteousness of God in Christ/ A brand new creation of Him/ I can
stand in the presence of my Father/ With no condemnation of sin!" I
chose not to argue with anyone, because you can never win an
argument. But I do know that the word says there is no temptation
that I have to face except what is common to men, and God is
faithful to me, always providing a means of escape for me. (I
Corinthians 10:13). This means I donít have to give in to
temptation. God is ALWAYS there to give me victory. I think thatís
good news. In fact, itís great news. Still, the mindset in the
Body of Christ is that we are all sinners, and how sad is that!
Rarely does a church call on the people to repent of their sins. We
just accept that weíre a bunch of sinners. It makes me so sad!
Well, donít be sad. Be glad, because we are new creations. Old
things are passed away. All things are new. God made Jesus, who
knew no sin, to become sin for us, that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:17-21). God has
called us to be holy because He is holy, and I want to share some
ideas on what it means to be holy.
Letís imagine weíre starting school and weíre taking four classes.
Picture a big report card on which are listed our four classes-- H,
O, L, and Y. Now see yourself getting an A written in blood after
So our report card looks like this:
H - A
O - A
L - A
Y - A
Now the Aís all stand for aspects of being holy. They are Armor,
Action, Aim, and Attitude. And the first set of letters stand for
attributes of being holy. They are Humility, Obedience, Love, and
So our completed report card looks like this:
Humility is the Armor
Obedience is the Action
Love is the Aim
Yieldedness is the Attitude
Today, weíll just talk about humility, which is the armor of
holiness. Humility will protect you against any enemy attack. When
you put on the full armor of God, you are putting on the new man,
the Christ-centered man. Ephesians 4:1-3 says: I, therefore, the
prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with
which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with
longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Now humility, referred to in this passage as lowliness and
gentleness, isnít what people think it is. Consider this: Suppose
the pastor stood at the pulpit next Sunday morning and said to his
congregation of three hundred of which you were one: "Would every
person who is humble, please stand..." Would you stand? How many
people would stand? I suspect not many. Now, if I was in that
congregation, I would have to stand. Otherwise, I would be
dishonest. Can you imagine me standing, perhaps the only person who
would be standing, and the looks I would get from the others!
"Well, look at Benrexi. What an arrogant brat! He thinks heís so
spiritual. Well pride cometh before a fall mister hotshot, and
youíre gonna fall big-time!"
I heard there was a pastor who was so loved by his congregation that
they gave him a button that said ĎWorldís Most Humble Pastorí. Then
they took it away from him because he started wearing it. I saw a
church marquis that said, ĎHumility is the most elusive quality.
When we think we have it, weíve lost it.í
But these examples only show that we donít know what humility really
is, and we need so much to know what it is, a gift from God, and we
need to embrace his gift.
If you read Romans 1:7, I Corinthians 1:3, II Corinthians 1:2,
Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, I
Thessalonians 1:1, II Thessalonians 1:2, I Timothy 1:2, II Timothy
1:2, Titus 1:4, and Philemon 3, you will see that every Pauline
epistle begins with Paul extending grace from God the Father and the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Now James 4:5 and I Peter 5:5 both say the same thing--"God resists
the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Since God is continually
giving grace, He must see you and me as humble. Interestingly, both
these verses appear along with instructions on drawing near to God,
and resisting the devil. Unless we are humble, we cannot receive
Godís grace. And we will not be able to resist Satan and his
temptations, (and Iím not talking about the Motown group). We are
either proud, and God resists us, or we are humble, and He gives us
grace so we can resist the devil. It is a choice. Between light
and darkness, death and life. Choose life.
Yeah, I know someoneís got their hand up. This is too hard to
accept. Whatís the question?
Middle aged man with a blue shirt and a red neck: "Now just a
minute, sir. If you look at James 4:10, it says, íHumble yourselves
in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.í And I Peter
5:6, says, íTherefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of
God, that He may exalt you in due time.í Well, not to be offensive,
sir, but you seem to have exalted yourself already, and the bible
says you should humble YOURSELF and then HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE will
lift you up!!!!!!"
"Well, sir," I responded feeling tremendous love for this brother,
"thatís the beauty of humility. Proud people refuse to humble
themselves, but humble people do so continually, so when weíre
exhorted to humble ourselves, thatís because we are humble. Thatís
why the apostle Paul starts every letter by bestowing grace from
God, and as we see in scripture God gives grace to the humble."
"Oh, come on..." the man argued, "arenít we just dodging the issue
here? Youíre not supposed to tell me how great you are. Youíre
supposed to humble yourself."
"Iím saying Iím humble, not necessarily that Iím great. Itís a
fruit of the Spirit--meekness. Letís look at Philippians 2:5-8:
ĎLet the mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in
the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant,
and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as
a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,
even the death of the cross.í
You see, dear friend, thereís that phrase again. He humbled
Himself. Was Jesus ever anything but humble? And yet He humbled
"Wow..." my would-be adversary opined, scratching his head. Had
there been a basin, a mass foot washing might have begun. I could
have gotten into a nasty argument, but I was protected by my armor.
Pretty cool, yeah?
But thatís the skinny. Humility isnít the ability to get other
people to say youíre humble by going "Aw, shucks, twarenít nuthiní"
It is the armor of God that He extends to us. We receive it by
faith. When was the last time you asked for it? Ask for it, and
youíll receive it. Then walk in it.
And if anyone asks you if youíre humble, you could say, "Yes I am,
and Iím proud of it, too!" But you can quietly nod your head, and
just thank God. Thatís always a right thing to do. And I thank God
In the eyes of the world/ Youíre only as good/ As your last at bat
or your last hit song (repeat)
Chorus: But when the LORD looks at you/ It is a glorious thing/ For
in the eyes of the LORD/ You are a child of the King
In the eyes of the world/ Your value depends/ On the clothes that
you wear/ And who are your friends (repeat) (chorus) repeat verses 1
Itís the fourth song on the new CD.
You may listen to this song at, Weekend at Grandmaís.
If this message blessed you, share it with someone else. If theyíre
offended itís my fault. If they love it, you get all the credit.
If you live in or around western PA, come to the New Kensington
Inspirational Music Festival which begins Friday night at 6:30pm, and
is all day Saturday, featuring 26 musicians songwriters sharing the
songs God gave them. God has promised to show up. Here it is only
Monday, and Iím excited. See you there!
July 19, 2004