“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1Peter 5:5)
Before we can begin to receive the instruction of the Holy Spirit and enter into the deeper things of God, we must first have the correct attitude.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
Many different sermons with many different interpretations have been preached based upon the Scripture, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
But let’s look at the entire context of the Scripture.
Here we read in Philippians chapter two verses five through eight,
“Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philip. 2:5-8)
Now, the Gospel of John chapter one verse one tells us,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
These verses in the Bible tell us that Jesus Christ was in the form of God, was God, and was equal with God.
But yet Christ had such a humble nature that He yielded Himself to the will of His Father, took upon Himself the form of flesh, and in obedience suffered the shame and torment of the death on the cross.
And we are to follow after the example of Christ’s obedience.
Throughout this seminar we are going to be building upon two underlying principles. They are humbleness of self and pride or reverence for God our Father.
It is written in First Corinthians,
“That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Co 1:29-31)
As God was revealing this to me, He gave an illustration of how some Christians today treat God in their daily lives.
He brought to my remembrance how several times I had been out in a public place such as a mall or a county fair, and there I would sometimes see parents with their child on a harness and leash.
I’m sure to the parents it was a matter of convenience and safety, but to me it just didn’t seem right.
The parents would often be walking along and the child would be trailing behind, when suddenly the child would stop and see something of interest and the leash would tighten as the parents continued to walk.
The parent would stop and tug on the leash telling the child to “come on, come on” and the parents then would continue on partially dragging the child behind them.
Many Christians have come to a place of spiritual pride in their lives where it is as if they are dragging God behind them believing Him to go their direction and fulfill their desires when it is really not the direction or desires of God.
We need to be humble of self and submit our will to God, always recognizing and giving respect to our Heavenly Father and having pride in Him.
The Lord gave me another illustration to show the true attitude we should have toward Him. It is opposite to the illustration of the child on the leash.
Did you ever see a little boy walking hand-in-hand with his daddy? It doesn’t matter to him how dark an alley they walk down. It doesn’t make any difference to him how rough a section of town he is in because he is with his dad.
He doesn’t even think about himself and the situation.
It doesn’t enter into his mind what he would have to do should trouble arise because he knows that his daddy has everything under control.
He has complete trust in his father. He is not afraid.
This is the way we are to walk with God.
Our Heavenly Father is able.
We are to walk as ambassadors of Christ fully recognizing the power we have as His ambassadors but never forgetting it is all His power.
This attitude of spiritual pride has really infiltrated the church more than any of us realize. There are those who have even come to the point of thinking that they can command God as to what he has to do.
This is spiritual pride in the extreme.
We are going to be dealing more and more with this error of spiritual pride as we continue further along into the seminar.
Humility does not come automatically.
We must determine to obtain this principle. We must humble ourselves and become obedient. In First Peter chapter five and verse six the Bible tells us,
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” (1Peter 5:6)
To “humble ourselves” is something that God requires of us before we can go on and really obtain the deeper principles of God. In other words, we must first have a proper self-image of who we are in Christ.
The true self-image is in realizing that there is none worthy. There are not any of us here who are worthy of what God did for us beginning from salvation up to every other blessing that we have received.
There is none worthy, but God thought we were of great worth.
This puts all of the grace, all of the mercy, all the unmerited favor in the hands of God to give.
An old sentimental object you might have around your home may not mean anything to anyone else, but it means everything to you.
That’s the way we are in God’s eyes.
He thought we were of such great worth that he sacrificed His only Son. Seeing His Son in anguish and torment, He watched as Jesus died in agony on the cross. He was separated from His only Son in order that we might receive everlasting life.
This is the goodness of God and his attitude toward us.
We need to have a proper self-image of who we are in Christ.
Psalms chapter 51 verse 10 tells us,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
This is the cry of every individual who first comes to Christ. We have to come to Christ in humility and confession of sins, asking for His forgiveness and salvation.
The Lord says that if we will come to Him with this attitude He will create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. God has created a clean heart in you and me.
We have been born again.
In Isaiah chapter 65 and verse 18 the Scripture goes on to say,
“But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isaiah 65:18)
Here God is talking about creating Jerusalem a rejoicing, but we know Jerusalem is symbolic of Mt. Zion, and Mt. Zion is always symbolic of the church.
This verse of Scripture is prophetically speaking about the Church and individual salvation.
The Lord here is really saying “be glad forever in that which I create” and what He has created is our new heart.
Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter 15 verse 11 says,
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
Jesus said that “my joy might remain in you”.
What is God’s joy? What makes God happy? What makes God hilarious?
In Zephaniah chapter three and verse 17 we have the answer,
“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)
God’s joy is in us.
He said to let His joy be in us that our joy might be full. God wants us to rejoice in our salvation.
Jesus sent forth the 70 disciples and they came back rejoicing that even the demons were subject unto His name. In Luke chapter ten and verse 20 Jesus said,
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
He has commanded us to rejoice that our names are written in heaven.
You are not just an “anybody” but you are a “somebody” in the eyes of God. You are not someone just barely scraping by, hoping that you can somehow manage to get through life until finally you can enter into Heaven where there are streets of gold and gates of Pearl.
You are somebody right now in the eyes of God.
He is rejoicing over you now as we are sitting spiritually at the feet of the Holy Ghost and learning of God. I believe God is hovering over us and rejoicing in us. God is literally singing over us here as we are gathered together in His Word.
Romans chapter eight verse one tells us,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)
There is now no condemnation.
If we have been born again, our sins washed clean white as snow, our names penned in the Lamb’s book of life, and we are walking after the Spirit, then according to His Word there is not anyone here who is in condemnation before God.
If so, then we are prime candidates to sit at the feet of the Holy Spirit and learn of God.
There is not a single person here that God wants to withhold anything from. There is not a single person here that God would say to them, “You are not worthy.”
There is not a single person here that God would say to them, “You are too ignorant, you are too unlearned, or you have too little understanding.”
No, God would tell each of us that if we are hungry for the meat of the Word, if we desire the meat of the Word, then we shall receive the meat of the Word.
This is the proper self-image we should have before God, that we are nothing in ourselves.
God did it all.
He created a new heart in us. He gave us a repentant heart. He gave us his righteousness. He is the one rejoicing over us and we are to walk in that.
There is no false pride in that. There is no spiritual pride in that, because we are rejoicing in God.