Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California
Copyright © 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)
The Greek word for "humility" is TAPEINOPHROSUNE. Humility is a mental attitude thought pattern of grace. Grace thinking recognizes that we, at no time, earn or deserve any blessing from God.
Humility understands that everything depends on who and what God is and has done. Humility is not self-effacement (i.e., "Aw, shucks that was nothing"). Neither is it telling everyone about your failures or telling jokes about yourself to show others how stupid you are.
Humility-grace thinking causes a believer to have no illusions about himself. Thus, the believer has an "edification complex" instead of an inferiority complex or a superiority complex. He has a relaxed mental attitude.
Mental attitude humility produces a relaxed mental attitude toward believers that have authority over you. This mental attitude grace enables the spiritual believer to submit to the teaching authority of another believer in order to learn Bible doctrine.
Pride is the opposite of humility and always resents and rejects the authority of the pastor-teacher. Thus, only true humility through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit allows learning of Bible doctrine. This process causes the believer to become spiritual self-sustaining.
A believer that has the correct Biblical concept of humility is a wonderful believer to be around because of the evident relaxed manner, dogmatic position without being arrogant, confidence in his/her beliefs, and is never double-minded.
In the Old Testament, the word "humility" appears as a noun 3 times and in all of its forms, about 40 times. It is found in the New Testament approximately 15 times.
The word "gentleness" is found in Galatians 5:23 as one of the fruits of the Spirit and is closely related to the meaning of humility. It is also a mental attitude of not being pushy, self-centered, or demanding. It is not a word denoting weakness. Moses was called humble in Numbers 12:3 and was very much a man, not a mouse.
(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3)
Gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:23)
Dr. L.S. Chafer said on page 190, Volume 7 of his "Doctrinal Summarization" that: "Since man has no merit in himself before God, but receives all that he has, humility is only the right and natural attitude. Christ was humble, still not because He was a sinner or meritorious. To become conscious of humility its utter ruin.