Cultivating Humility from 1 Peter 5:5-7

Posted by Matt Postiff February 22, 2012 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts 

I was invited a week ago to bring a message on "Cultivating Humility" for the seminary students at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. I enjoyed the visit and the opportunity to think on the subject of humility, though I am no expert on it! Let me share a couple of key points from my message to the students.

First, I noted that by obeying 1 Peter 5:7 (casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you) we demonstrate humility under the mighty hand of God. To the extent that we keep our cares to ourselves, we are showing that much pride, as if we can handle all our problems apart from God's provision.

Second, I mentioned how extensively humility and its opposite, pride, show up in our systematic study of God's Word. These ideas touch the doctrines of sin, Satan, salvation, sanctification, the church, Jesus Christ, and the Triune God. Pride is sometimes called the very essence of sin; Satan sinned through pride; salvation rescues us from our own pride and requires humility to receive; sanctification is, in part, about the gradual removal of pride; the church is often upset by Diotrephes types who love to have first place; Jesus is the best example of humility; and God hates pride.

Third, I explained how God will exalt the lowly. The Bible mentions in many places how God will bring down the proud and lift up the humble. But He does not lift up the humble to the place that the proud would like to have. Rather, 1 Peter 5:5 says just how God will exalt the humble—He does so by giving them grace. We don't need the fame or fortune that a self-centered proud person wants. Humble believers have the grace of God in salvation, sanctification, eternal life, a future dwelling with God, and all the other grace-based blessings that accompany our salvation. We don't want to take the low road to things that proud people want; rather we will receive exaltation by being given the very grace of God. What else could we really need?!

Finally, I emphasized that we must be diligent to exercise humility in all our relationships, whether toward our pastors (1 Peter 5:5), toward everyone (1 Peter 5:5), and especially toward God (1 Peter 5:6). –MAP

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