A final and fascinating point in our present consideration involves the truth that the high view of ourselves in Christ makes possible the low view of our complete dependence upon Him, while the low view of humility leads us more and more to believe the Bible’s affirmation of who believers are in our bond with the Lord Jesus.
No character trait is more contrary to our flesh than humility. Only the presence of the Holy Spirit can motivate and enable us to view ourselves in accordance with the “lowliness of mind” where we “esteem others better than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3). The Spirit of the Lamb of God dwells within us to produce His character, attitude and actions. We must believe this about ourselves, namely, that we are the scene of God’s dynamic working to conform us to the image of His Son. No higher view of ourselves exists than this gracious and merciful “exaltation” whereby God values us enough to inhabit us by His Spirit of the purpose of making us like the Lord Jesus. Thereby our native bent toward exalting ourselves can be overcome as we remember and affirm the truth of God’s ongoing working within us. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
As this lowly view more and more saturates our sensibilities, we more and more find ourselves believing the Word of God rather than our own faulty thoughts and inclinations. Such humility leads us to affirm the Biblical truth of who we are and Whose we are – the high view - against the face of all appearances. Indeed, pride often causes us to disbelieve Scripture as we exalt our opinions above those of God. The lowly view of ourselves counters this deception, enabling us to confess our life in Christ even as our flesh bemoans and belittles the Biblically-declared work of the Holy Spirit in us. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Born again believers are more than we know ourselves to be, and less than we know ourselves to be. God humbles us in order to exalt us, and exalts us in order to humble us. Both views of ourselves, the high and the low, unite to form the proper spiritual-mindedness that leads us to glorify the Lord Jesus only, even as we confidently affirm who and what we are in Him. May God grant much illumination upon the path that winds ever upward in order to lead us ever downward in the lowly humility of our Master’s sublime character, nature and way.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament.”
(II Corinthians 3:5-6)
Tomorrow: Conclusion; The Humility of God