Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #27 Subject One to Another (I Peter 5:5) PART 4
I Peter 5:5, “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.”
A. The Importance of their Clothing (I Peter 5:5d) “…for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Why are we to have this humble spirit? The answer is, "God resisteth the proud but gives grace to the humble." God delights to exalt the humble and to humble the exalted. The word “resisteth” means "to rage in battle against someone; to oppose or to resist; to set against, to stand against." When we think of greatness, we think of being served. When Jesus thought of greatness, He thought of being served. We choose whether or not we will put ourselves under one another. Peter says that God resisteth the proud. This word "proud" means "to show yourself above other people; to have a high estimate of yourself or your merits which causes you to despise others and treat them with contempt." Are there people that really act this way? Unfortunately, the answer is "Yes." If you want God's blessings, then do all that you can to guard against pride in your heart.
Solomon knew the destructive effects of pride and repeatedly warned us against this vice.
Proverbs 3:34, “Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.”
Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy,”
Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
Proverbs 13:10, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
Proverbs 15:25, “The Lord's will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.”
Proverbs 15:33, “The fear of the Lord's is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”
Proverbs 16:5, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 29:23, “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
The person with a humble mind thinks not of his desires from others, but of his duties to them. In fact, the person with a humble mind doesn't think about recognition from others at all. They are not looking for it. In fact, God resists (literally opposes) the proud, but rather gives grace to the humble. The sense of grace in this context is of help and strength. Or, in other words, it conceivably conveys the idea of ‘blessing.’ In any event, God helps (blesses) the humble while being an adversary to the proud. Pride is never spoken of favorably in the Scripture. To the contrary. Here and elsewhere indicates that God is the enemy of the proud. Humility is vital if you are going to serve the Lord Jesus Christ because humility prepares a person to serve. When it is time to serve, then a person's humility is tested to see if it is genuine. If a person feels he is above others or is too important, he will struggle to do anything that is demeaning or difficult. He will find it difficult to stoop down in order to lift others up. The difficult demands of serving others require the durable clothes of humility.
Why is submitting to your pastor and having a humble spirit so important? The answer is the spiritual leaders in your life can help you to grow in Christ and equip you to serve the Lord. They can help you to overcome faults or habits that will weaken or spiritually defeat you or hurt your testimony for Christ. To be teachable, you need to be submissive and have a humble spirit. As long as you think you know it all, you are going to have a difficult time growing in the Lord. It’s been said that those who have the most grace, the greatest gifts, and have the most usefulness are the most humble, and think the less of themselves. So those limbs and branches of trees which are most richly loaded with fruit bend downwards and hang lowest.
Points to Ponder:
1. I believe Fellowship Baptist Church is a healthy church because we are a humble, serving church.
2. We should humble ourselves before others in the church because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
3. We are either a humble, serving church that God blesses or a prideful church that God fights against.
4. Those who humble themselves before God shall find unmerited favor.
5. This includes intimacy, strength, and empowerment to do God’s work.
6. I believe Fellowship Baptist Church puts on the garment of humility.
7. However, a prideful church is not consumed with the interest of God or others.
8. They are prideful, and therefore, God fights against them.
Questions to Consider:
Thank you for reading PART 4 of Biblical Building Block #27 of this series. And the Series in its entirety.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.