In the last post, I looked at the fact that we need to be humble if we are to follow Christ. It is by humility that we come into the presence of God. The arrogant, proud and conceited will be excluded for those were the attitudes of Satan before he was kicked out of heaven.
In these verses today we see just how humble Jesus was when He first came to the earth. It was in His humility that we received the opportunity to be reconciled to God and to be able to stand in His presence.
There is also an interesting insight into the concept of the trinity found in these scriptures that we will examine today too.
One of the things I heard years ago when I was in business, was that if you want to get ahead you had to be prepared to “blow your own horn.” To blow your own horn basically means to be prepared to put yourself up on a pedestal and to tell people how great you are.
Now I don’t know about you, but I was always uncomfortable with that statement, especially the principle that seems to be the foundation for these words. To me, this is boasting, and it smacks of pride and arrogance, which are two characteristics of man that have never led to anything good.
Boasting about your self is not good. Self-justification, self-aggrandizement and self- promotion to me seem to be too focused on “self” and as Christians we are told over and over to care about others more than ourselves and to worship and serve the Lord. So Paul teaches us a better way in these verses today. Continue reading “Boasting”
This scripture is a great lesson and reminder for those of us who teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It needs to be remembered, especially as there are many today who do not follow the teaching Paul is giving us here, which is to proclaim Christ first.
There are ministries today where the major focus of the ministry is not Jesus Christ but the “personalities” who run or work within the ministry. Some seem to be more focused on money, music, social activities, or other things and completely miss the point of Jesus Christ. This is not what Paul was teaching us here, and the big issue for us is that by NOT following Paul’s advice, a ministry can and will go astray from the truth.
It is simple advice too. Paul tells us that we need to proclaim not ourselves, but Jesus Christ with ourselves as His humble servants. Unfortunately, it does not always work that way.
This section of scripture exhorts us to learn the lessons of the past. Too often in this world we find that people do not learn from the mistakes of others, let alone their own mistakes, and so they repeat the same bad decisions and wrong behaviour over and over again.
The old saying is true that says, “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.” I know for a fact this is true in many business situations, and it is true in life as well.
That is why we need to read the bible and study the words and examples written there. The bible does not only teach us the words of life, but it also gives us examples of those who do wrong…and the outcome when they did so. And too often it is in arrogance that people believe they can get away with what is wrong to their own destruction.
In this short section of scripture Paul is trying to give the Corinthian church some perspective regarding their call and conversion in Jesus Christ. Note his words,
6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? – (1 Corinthians 4:6-7)
From time to time all people need this same perspective. We need to stop, think and understand as Christians where we are and what we have been given.
And then we need to be thankful that the Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ have been so gracious towards us to even give us a chance and to not wipe us off the face of the earth as they did in th days of Noah and of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is a humbling thought.
In this world there is terrible conflict. It is the way of the world that one person or one group stands opposed to others.
The nature of this world is competition to compete for what is best for the individual. In this day and age in particular the fundamental philosophy of the world is “What's in it for me” and the need to be “taking care of number one”.
But that is not what the Lord seeks. That is not the way of the kingdom of God. It is His desire for mankind to live in harmony with one another as this verse in Romans 12:16 tells us. So this is the lesson to be learned today…how to live in harmony with one another.
It is interesting that some of the terminology used by writers in the bible would lead us to think that Christianity is a competition. It sounds in some places as if we are all competing in some way.
This is especially true when Paul says in places about “running the race set before us” and it is “only those who run according to the rules will receive the prize” and similar messages.
But in truth it isn't a competition. I say this because if you mis-read this particular verse it could make you think it is a competition. The verse reads as follows and it is the last section that could mislead.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
If there is one attribute of Jesus Christ that He epitomized and which we are to aspire to it is humility.
There is no way that any person can or will be able to enter the kingdom of God unless they are humble. Not a presence of humility, but humble through and through to the very core of their being.
This verse in Romans 12:3 as I read it screams out humility to me, defining and describing in some way what it means to be humble. Here we see how a person ought to think and behave if they are to show the true humility without which no one will see God.