Prone to Pride, Redeemed for Humility
"Prone to pride, Lord I feel it, prone to rival the God I love." These easily could have been the lyrics that were written in the great hymn "Come, Thou Fount." We are people who, when we revert to our old man, are prone to inflate our view of ourselves and to diminish our view of God.
It's sad but true that God's people can be a prideful people. We are people who are quick to defend ourselves when critiqued. We are quick to want to be noticed when we walk in a room. We long for people to be attracted to us, to be drawn to us, or to be praised above all other names.
Yet, as Christ our Lord says to his disciples "it shall not be so among you."
For Christ's disciples we should be fine with being last, instead of first. We should strive to serve rather than to be served. As we talked about in our community group last night, we should be fine with losing, with criticism, with not being picked, or with not being noticed. We no longer have to defend ourselves. All of this is true because we have been united with Christ. As one pastor stated "There should be no greater oxymoron in the world than a prideful Christian."
Death to the Old Man
We need to be reminded of our union with Christ everyday because any pride present in our hearts belongs to the old man that has been put to death. For "we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life," (Romans 6:4) Our old self was buried with Christ and we now have been raised with Christ in new life. No longer to be under the rule of lust, lying, greed, jealousy, anger, rage, impurity, and even pride.
We should no longer follow in the footsteps of the first Adam, whose pride led to his destruction (Proverbs 16:18) in the garden. He knew that he was the creation who was to pursue worship and fellowship with His creator, but instead rebelled against his good King. If Philippians 2 was written about Adam it would have read this way,
"Do not have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Adam, who, though he was created in the image of God, wanted equality with God and tried to grasp it, so he puffed himself up, by taking on the role of a rebel, walking in the path of the Deceiver. And being found in this rebellious state, he inflated himself by rivaling God for supremacy, even by doing something as simple as eating the fruit off a tree."
This was our old path. The one we used to walk in step with the first Adam. But the good news is we have been redeemed to a better way.
Alive to the New Man
The good news is that we are no longer our old selves. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Who we used to be has been put to death and now we are alive in Christ. We have been made alive to think like Christ, to walk like Christ, to act like Christ, to have the same affections and desires as Christ and to live for the glory of Christ.
And this is the good news, this is not God's people trying to be something we are not. We are not just putting forth effort to be humble. Stirring up a little hard work to be as lowly as possible. If we are in Christ Jesus, clothed in his righteousness alone, than we have already been clothed in humility. When God sees us, he sees his humble Son. Our desire now should be to walk in this humility that we have been clothed in. To quit acting like these are our parents clothes that don't fit us, but to walk in the righteousness that is ours in Christ Jesus.
It's time to stop walking in step with our old man and to walk in step with who we are in Christ. For in Christ we have been be redeemed from our pride and set free to walk the path of humility shown to us by Jesus.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." - Philippians 2:5-8