© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. Examples of Biblical usage

    A. Hebrew word ana - "to be bowed down, afflicted, or humbled"
         1. Used of women "humbled, humiliated, brought low" by rape
              Gen. 34:2 - "lay with her by force"
              Deut. 22:24 - "violated his neighbor's wife" (cf. 22:29)
              Lam. 5:11 - "ravished the women"
              Ezek. 22:10 - "humbled her in her menstrual impurity"
         2. God "humbles, afflicts, makes men submissive"
              Deut. 8:2 - "He might humble you, testing you"
              Deut. 8:3 - "He humbled you and let you be hungry"
              II Kings 17:20 - "the Lord afflicted them"
              Ps. 119:71 - "It was good for me that I was afflicted"
         3. Attitude man is to have "submitting, humbling oneself" to God
              Exod. 10:3 - "How long will you refuse to humble yourself"
              Dan. 10:12 - "humbling yourself before your God"
    B. Greek words tapeinos and tapeinophrosune - tapeinos = low, lowly; phren = thought, mind,          heart
         1. Greek moralists depreciated this attitude
              a. Regarded as weakness, wimping out, taking the back- seat, getting run over, groveling
              b. Instead, advocated self-esteem, self-reliance, self- assertion, self-righteousness, to seek to                   be better than others for self-glory.
         2. Greek word sometimes refers to lowly, poor, humiliating
              Lk. 1:48 - "the humble state of His bond-slave"
              Rom. 12:16 - "associate with the lowly"
              II Cor. 7:6 - "God comforts the depressed"
              Phil. 3:21 - "body of our humble state"
              James 1:9 - "the brother of humble circumstances"
         3. Greek word transformed in Christian usage as expressive of character of Christ - "humility,              lowliness of mind"
              Matt. 11:29 - "I am gentle and humble in heart"
              Eph. 4:2 - "with all humility and gentleness"
              Phil. 2:3 - "with humility of mind"
              Phil. 2:8 - "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient"
              Col. 3:12 - "put on a heart of compassion..humility..."
              James 4:10 - "humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord"
              I Pet. 5:6 - "clothe yourselves with humility toward one another"

II. Humility as divine character

    A. Humility in the character of God
         Ps. 18:35 - "Thy gentleness makes me great"
         Ps. 113:6 - "God humbles Himself to behold things in heaven and earth"
    B. Jesus exemplified character of humility and humiliating in man
         Matt. 11:29 - "learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart"
         Lk. 22:27 - "I am among you as One who serves"
         Matt. 21:5; Zech. 9:9 - "humble, mounted on a donkey"
         Phil. 2:7 - "took the form of a bondservant"
         Phil. 2:8 - "humbled Himself by becoming obedient to point of death"
         Heb. 12:2 - "endured the cross, despising the shame"
         I Pet. 2:23 - "reviled, he did not revile in return..."

III. False-humility of religion

    A. Self-abasement
         1. Self-affliction, flagellation, self-imposed hardship and suffering, masochism - Col. 2:18,23
         2. "dying to self"
         3. legalistic impositions
         4. long faces, fasting, appearance of austerity and spirituality, hypocrisy -
    B. Spiritual pride
         1. elitism, exclusivism, favored of God - Rom. 12:3
         2. puffed up with knowledge - I Cor. 8:1
         3. claims to moralistic excellence, self-righteous
         4. comparing themselves with themselves - II Cor. 10:12
         5. prestige, privilege, preference, position, protocol, posturing, politics - Gal. 6:3
         6. honor, glory, praise from men - Jn. 5:44; Mk. 12:39
         7. eager to teach - James 3:1
         8. fail to recognize grace
    C. For purpose of self-exaltation

IV. The divine character of humility and humiliation expressed in Christian behavior
        by the life of Jesus Christ.

    A. Humility
         1. recognizes that Christian life only by grace of God - James 4:6
              a. personal insufficiency and unworthiness- II Cor. 3:5
         2. submits to Lordship of Jesus Christ - James 4:7
              a. dependence, receptivity
         3. attitude of humility - Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; I Pet. 3:8
              a. count others better than yourself - Phil. 2:3
              b. deference toward others - Eph. 5:21
              c. willing to take last place - Matt. 18:4; 20:27; Mk. 9:35
              d. confessing - James 5:16
              e. forgiving - Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13
              f. loving - I Cor. 13:4
              g. servant-heart - Matt. 20:26
              h. teachable, willing to learn
              i. concerned about unity - Rom. 12:16
         4. God will exalt - Matt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11; 18:14; James 4:6; I Pet. 5:6
    B. Humiliation
         1. turn the other cheek - Matt. 5:39
         2. willing to be mocked, misunderstood, spoken evil of, slandered, ridiculed, despised,               suspected, rebuffed, overlooked, slighted
         3. no attempt to protect reputation
         4. willing to forego personal "rights"



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