Practice of Godliness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:04
0 ratings



Luke 18:14 ESV
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Review of Last Class

We discussed the topic of Developing a Godly Character.
The Right Motive
The Source of Power- Christ
Responsibility and Dependence
Put Off and Put On
Balanced Growth
Growth is Progressive
Know Sin and Fear God
- Wanted to see if anyone had any testimonies they wanted to share on how they applied any of the things we discussed last week?
- For me, I took stock of specific areas of unfaithfulness in my life and I was more intentional in those areas. I would remind myself
Romans 13:14 ESV
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
I found that my time in the Word was more sweet this week and that my prayers were deeper.
As mentioned before, the first few lessons defined godliness and provided us with a right foundation. It is God working in us enabling godliness to be pleasing to God and that we are capable of developing godliness. We considered how we should think about it in light of God’s Work in us and our responsibility in bearing godliness. This morning we begin the second half of the class which will focus on specific characteristics of godliness. If you go through the Scriptures, you will find several lists. I mentioned before, the temptation is to approach those lists and just try to apply them.
But divorced from a godly orientation (inward rightness), outward conformity is not good. If that statement is not clear, then today’s topic may best demonstrate what I mean by that.

Chapter Review (10 Min)

What is Humility?
Bridges never defines it, but he offers up some descriptions and outworking of those who bear this character trait. 2 expressions of it.
Christ-like character- Imitation of Christ
Philippians 2:8 ESV
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Manifests itself in our relationships
Particularly how we treat and think of others
Has a high view of God
As opposed to a high view of self
Has a submissive posture towards the Scripture
Not disputing the word or arguing/twisting it to conform to one’s own pattern of righteousness
"Not only must we develop a spirit of humility toward the Bible in regard to our conduct, we must also develop such a spirit in regard to our doctrine.” (71)
Expand on this. Ask the class about what it means to be possess a humble spirit in regard to doctrine?
Cage stage Christians
Give example of Benjamin Keach and hymnology
Is not boastful about one’s own gifts, abilities, and attainments
Receives instruction and correction from other believers
Serves others
Honors others
Takes this from Rom 12:10
Romans 12:10 ESV
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Quote: “The Spirit does not make us humble, but He enables us to humble ourselves.” (79)
Renew your mind through memorization of Scripture
Confess Prideful ways
Pray for the Holy Spirit to change you inwardly
Take the necessary steps to obey God’s direction to humble yourself
That’s the chapter.

Topic Lecture (15 Minutes)

If you recall from last week, I mentioned that it is important to know sin in our pursuit and practice of godliness. So if the godly trait of humility is what we want to pursue, possess, practice, and perfect, then what is the opposite of humility? What is the sin that is associated or contra to humility?
Answer: Pride.
In James 4: 6
James 4:6b (ESV)
6 ...“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
What is Pride?
Glorying in self in a manner that declares Independence from God.
Is it always always wrong, to look inwardly to self? No, it is not. We are to look externally when we are looking for salvation. Likewise, if we need an example of moral uprightness and perfection, we do not look to self. For both of those, we look to God. For salvation and for moral example, we look to Christ and to Christ alone.
But if we want to find out our sins , it is appropriate for us to look within ourselves. Sin, like we mentioned last time is deceptive. It fools us into thinking our sins cannot and will not be found out. But if we are honest and truly evaluate our hearts, ask others to help, we can root out sin that is holding on so tight to remain.
and to see the progress we have made in our faith,
Likewise, we should recognize the fruit that God is bringing to bear in us. If we do not stop to consider where we were and where we are now, by looking inside of ourselves, we will not fully rejoice in all the wonderful works of God in us.
That is pride.
If pride is glorying in self and becoming independent from God, then Humility is glorying in God and being more dependent on Him.
God has given each and everyone of us gifts. Christians should have an appropriate sense of that gift and confidence in our abilities to work, do school, being rooted in our recognition of God giving it to us. So we use our gifts and abilities in dependence and gratitude to God. A healthy sense of self-confidence.
Pride is the disordering of that truth. We begin to think of ourselves as having these abilities, when i go to the office, gym, school, pulpit, these abilities are mine. The gifts no longer are gifts, but my abilities and skills and talents. And this will lead to all sorts of issues.
Pride is a mother sin, it gives birth to all forms of other sins.
We become easily provoked and angry.
We become aggravated and anger builds within us when our will is crossed.
We love recognition and praise and are offended when we are not praised or overlooked.
A proud person resents criticism.
They insist on their own opinions and not because they are seeking to truth, but because they cannot be wrong. It leads to envy or hate of people superior to us.
They feel that they are entitled to things that are not theirs.
They cannot accept criticism or correction because you are speaking against something that is his!
Let me clarify though briefly that I am not saying that Humble person does not recognize any of their gifts.
does not deny those gifts and abilities. That is not giving gratitude to God.
Those who do not recognize what they are
Those who let others decide not out of love for other, but inability to act
It is a healthy recognition of what God has given and using those gifts in a manner that displays dependence and glory to God.
But in this pursuit, we must know our enemy. And it starts even from the outset of the day.
“From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the center is opened to it. This sin … is the fall in every individual life, and in each day of each individual life, the basic sin behind all particular sins: at this very moment you and I are either committing it, or about to commit it, or repenting it. We try, when we wake, to lay the new day at God’s feet; before we have finished shaving, it becomes our day and God’s share in it is felt as a tribute which we must pay out of “our own” pocket, a deduction from the time which ought, we feel, to be “our own.””
C.S. Lewis
Before we even finish, this is our day. So God I will pray to you and read my Bible in the morning. That is your due, but then I will go about my day. That is the point humility becomes pride.
This for us individuals, but it also is a warning for us parents. What is it that you are teaching them? Not simply by example, but by your words and your encouragements? What if the reason for the selfishness and pride in your child is due to your teaching. We think only of the positive sense of
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
If you train them up to be prideful, what ought we expect? How do we do that? I want to be careful here:
How do you raise them up in school? Do you get upset when they do not do well in school in such a way that it teaches them that their value and worth is in how much they accomplish?
Do you praise them only when they obediently clean their room? Training them perhaps to feel that their value is only in how they perform?
Do you boast in how you get paid or if you got a raise or a bonus as though everything is going to get better now. Teaching them that their value and worth is in their ability to make money.
Teaching them to find their value and worth, their pride is only in self. What happens when they lose all of that though?
<<<<<<<<< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Chris Engelsma
Two people
Person 1
Sees his worth and value in that he knows and is known by God
Person 2
Valuable because of some skill that he has. His speed, strength, skills in finance, planning, looks, in relationship, some achievement or accomplishment.
Person 2 is the fastest person in the school. Person 1 likes to run.
They both compete in a race and they both lose. Who is disappointed? Both. But person 2 built his whole value in this ability, he is crushed. He does to pieces. Person 1 says, I can do better, I need to try that again. He values running, but it is not the center of his life.
Question? Which of the two is the stronger? If God takes away your beauty or your job or your relationship, the person who is rooted in that thing will be broken and devastated. They lost their identity. But the Christian is not centered on that. So that person can have peace.
The point is that a person who is humble in this way, since they do not find their identity in these things, not twisting their gifts from God as something it is not. They depend on God. They find all of their worth and value in knowing Him.
Do you know what the beauty is that comes from this sort of characteristic?
You can approach every moment and encounter in your life, you can take it to God. You can take your fears of failure, your fears of losing the game, your home, your relationship, your kids, your gifts, your money, your fill in the blank and bring that God and know that He’s got it. S humble person is not a meek, timid, hey let me get that door for you person. They are dependent and give gratitude to God. This is why we cannot really say that an unbeliever properly bears the virtue of humility. They can show a form of it, but ultimately you will find that there is something that they are holding on to and is everything to them.
1 Peter 5:6–7 ESV
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Humility then will produce what? Freedom, peace, joy. If you can let go of the anxiety of how you perform or winning or any other form of pride, and be content with being in covenant with God and diligently doing what is pleasing to him because you want to express gratitude to him for all that you have, having that mind of Christ. Then what else matters? In light of that, none of those matter.
But also, notice that in light of that, everything matters. Alex isn’t that contradictory. No. Because if what we hold most dear is God, then all things will fade away. And in our pursuit of godliness, we will not neglect to do what we are required to do.
So then everything matters, but we do not carry the burden or the stress to perform. We want to do well in school, because that glorifies God the only that matters to us. We want to be healthy, so that we have the fitness and longevity to endure and work for his glory. We want to work and labor well and in a manner that is in service to God, because the watching world will either glory in what God is doing in us or mock the faithlessness of the Christian. And for us to be reason God is mocked will crush us, because He is all we desire. He is our most valuable thing. This is why division, especially on such trivial matters, is such a horrible thing in the life of a church.
We, like John the Baptist can cry out
John 3:30 ESV
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Parents need to teach our children. We push our children, but we need to communicate to them by the standards we hold them to that their value is not in how well they perform and rank in school or how well they do in the soccer field. We do not want them to work harder and be even more committed to be better at those things and to value those things.
Jeremiah 9:23–24 ESV
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
What do we boast in according to Paul? We glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:3 ESV
3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—
Philippians 3:7–8 ESV
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
A proud person boasts in these things. They find value in them and are so attached to them that to lose them is to lose self. But a humble person is not weak and timid. A truly humble person, denies self. Lessens self, decreases, to increase Christ.
The question, you need to ask yourself after this class and every single one after this is this, am I a humble person? Willing to be mocked and scorned and made a fool, because what matters to us is not how we look but who is looked upon.
2 stories
Howell Harris, effectively the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, also known as the Calvinistic Methodist Church was not always a righteous man. He was a school teacher in the morning and his second occupation after teaching was womanizing. He is described as being taken up with “dice playing, drinking, gossiping and love-making”.
He was known in the entire district as an immoral man and had multiple illicit relationships. He went to church one day in 1735 and the preacher, during communion said something to the effect that if you are not fit to take the Lord’s Supper, then you are not fit to live. That struck him, and for 6 weeks he struggled with that.
Easter 1735 he is converted and goes to the woman he affairs with repentant and goes to every house to share what God has done with him. After going through his town, he goes to the next village. Does this for 2 years. He gets up at 2 am goes into the village walking 2-3 hours and sharing and then coming back to the school at 6 am and then afterwards doing it again. for 10-12 years he does this in Southern Wales. Eventually preaching to crowds of 1,000s of people.
Samuel Pearce- Humble in preaching
In us, there is something that is at work to cause us to not experience all of the grace of God.

Class Discussion (10 Minutes)

What about a humble person that you know makes them more delightful?
What would your life look like if you were more faithful in this?
Are you humble?
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more