"I served the Lord with great humility and with tears" - Acts 20:19
Without humility there is no salvation (Psalm 34:18; 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:3-5; 18:34; Philippians 3:3).
No man can serve or glorify God in this world without this God-given "humbleness of mind" (Colossians 3:12). Anything done for Christ must be done with humility (Matthew 6:3, 5, 16, 33).
Humility is not an act, but an attitude of the heart. Humility is brokenness of heart before God by reason of sin and in gratitude for His love, mercy, and grace to sinners in Christ.
Here are five things revealed in the Word of God as characteristics of humility:
- Humility is a realization of personal unworthiness before God, by reason of one's own depravity and sin (Job 42:5-6; Psalm 51:4-5). It is not a show of words which sound humble, but which are designed to gain praise. Rather, it is a heartfelt unworthiness before the holy Lord God (Luke 18:13; Isaiah 6:5).
- Humility is a renunciation of all merit and personal righteousness in the sight of God (Philippians 3:9). No man's heart is humbled before God so long as he imagines that he has anything by which he may merit God's favor, or that his righteousnesses are more than filthy rags in God's sight (Isaiah 64:6).
- Humility is an inexpressible gratitude of heart to God for His abundant, amazing grace to sinners in Christ (Psalm 116:12, 16). It causes a person to live with a sense of delightful obligation and indebtedness to the Lord God.
- Humility is a willing submission and devotion of one's heart to the Lord Jesus Christ that cries, "Lord, what will you have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). Humility is . . . devotion to Christ as Lord, submission to His providential rule of all things, and a determination of heart to obey and honor Him regardless of cost.
- Humility gladly ascribes the whole work of salvation to God's free and sovereign grace through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:10).