You Can't Be A Christian Without Humility And Love

Here is point 3 of the my Christmas sermon. You're always welcomed to come to Antwerp Community Church on Sunday, December 26, and listen. Point 2 can be found here. Point 1 is not yet written. Neither are the intro and conclusion. The verses to be used can also be found here.


When we miss the mark on attaining humility, we encounter humility's arch-nemesis, pride. Pride allows us to think that our church is the best church in town. Humility causes us to see our church, with all of its faults, in the light of the ideal church and encourages us to strive for perfection. Pride allows us to compare our lives to our weaker brothers and sisters in Christ and think how great our faith is. Humility causes us to compare our lives, with all of their faults, to Christ and strive for perfection. Pride allows us to view ourselves as more fortunate than others who are not as well off. Humility causes us to get down and dirty and love those less forutnate.

Someone wore a t-shirt to church a couple of months ago and on it were the words, "I'm like a superhero with no powers and no motivation." I hate to analyze a silly statement. Okay, maybe I enjoy it. But if we look at that sentence - I'm like a superhero with no powers and no motivation - what makes it funny is that it can't be true. What makes a superhero "super" is their powers and what makes a superhero a hero is there motivation. You can't be a superhero without any powers and without motivation.

I think a lot of us fall into the same category when it comes to our Christian lives. It would be beneficial for non-Christians if a lot of us wore a similar shirt with a disclaimer on it. "I'm like a Christian with no humility and no loving actions." However, like the superhero statement, I don't think we can be Christian without humility or without loving actions. They are essential ingredients to being a Christian. A proper humility allows us to acknowledge our faults and view people and events the way Christ viewed them.

Humility's end result is love. The humility of Christ as a baby in the manger led to the love of Christ to everyone on the cross. And our humility, if it does not result in similar sacrifice and love, is not the humility of Christ but a disguised for of pride. If our life is not filled with loving actions then we should be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we have a faith problem. We can't be Christians without loving actions. All the faith in the world, if it does not manifest itself in love, is meaningless. You will find a better rendition of that thought in 1 Corinthians 13.

Somewhere along the way we have turned our invisible faith into being more important than the works that accompany it, a concept that I have yet to run across in Scripture. We have even gone so far as to say good works are evil. We take the "do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing" passage out of context and do not read it in the light of a verse that is in the same Sermon on the Mount 25 verses before that one.

Matt 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

The "do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing" passage is a warning against doing good works before men for your personal glory. However, we are told in the passage that I just read that we are to do our good works so that they shine before others and bring glory to our Father. Our good works cannot be done in secret if they are supposed to bring God glory through our shining. We shouldn't discard the baby with the bath water. The problem isn't doing good works, the problem isn't even doing good works that others can see. The question is: "Who we are trying to glorify by doing good works?" If we are trying to glorify ourselves, then they are wrong. But if they are done by us in order to bring glory to God, then they are exactly in line with God's plan for our lives.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus...who empited himself, taking on the form of a slave and humbled himself to the point of even being obedient on the cross.

Then onto the conclusion.

Watch out for potholes.