Prominence Without Pride
TITLE : Prominence Without Pride
TOPIC/LESSON : James: Apostle of Practical Christianity – Lesson 1
TEXT : Selected Scriptures (James)
THRUST : The purpose of this lesson is for the student to exercise humility in different areas of the Christian life and service.
· Share someone you know who you admire for his humility
· “The humble man will not be thinking about his humility. He will not be thinking about himself at all.” (C.S. Lewis)
1. Humility Defined
· Humility was not a new word when the New Testament was written, but in those days being humble means being coward.
· Secular authors used the word “humility” negatively. It was a word for slaves.
· But Jesus took a despised term, and both by example and in His teachings, redefine the meaning of humility and made it a crowning grace.
· Mathew 5:5
· Today, dictionaries define humility as “the absence of pride or self-assertion.”
· The Old Testament word closes to humility is the Hebrew word anawah which means gentleness and implies suffering.
· The New Testament writers used the Greek word, Tapeinophrosurne, which means lowliness of mind.
2. Humility Demonstrated
2.1. In Christ’s incarnation
· What is Christ’s true identity? Despite Christ’s true nature, what did Jesus do for us?
· Philippians 2:5-7
· Notice also that in James 1:1, the apostle referred to himself as the “servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” James recognized the deity of Christ by placing Him co-equal with God.
· James probably remembered the times he spent with his brother Jesus. In spite of Jesus’ deity, James witnessed Jesus’ full humanity and how he lived as s true servant. James humility was passion after the lifestyle of his brother and Lord, Jesus Christ.
2.2. James identity
· What are the possible reasons for James to be proud of?
o He is the half brother of our Lord Jesus Christ.
o The Lord personally appear to him after the resurrection (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:7).
o He held a prominent position being one of the foremost leaders of the early church.
· You can just imagine how the early believers turned to James for counsel. Surely, he had many valuable insights to share to them growing up in the same homes as Jesus.
2.3. In James’ introduction
· Despite James’ privileged position in the early church, how did he introduce himself?
· James 1:1
· James did not engage in name-dropping or boasting by compiling an impressive list of credentials in his resume. Instead James presented himself as a servant. The Greek word James used to refer to himself is doulos which means a slave.
2.4. In James’ instruction
· Some Bible students say James’ materials was well-organized, while others have been unable to discern a clear pattern in various topics he dealt with. But James’ original Hebrew audience did not find his apparently rambling style difficult at all.
· One of the Hebrew words for preaching is charaz, which literally means stringing beads. So James letter may be likened to a handful of pearl being dropped one by one to the reader’s mind.
· Hence, James’ teaching method of quickly moving from one topic to another, pulling together familiar proverbs and teachings from Christ into forceful and prophetic sounding sermon is a normal teaching style among Hebrews.
· How can we express humility in various areas of Christian life and service based on James’ teachings?
2.4.1. Humility in rejoicing in One’s Social condition.
A man should maintain humility even though he becomes rich. For one cannot place his perfect security in wealth, for he cannot bring it with him when he dies.
2.4.2. Humility in receiving God’s word.
James 1: 21-25
A man must be humble in accepting moral instructions from the Word of God. He must honor what the Bible says on certain moral issues. He must accept God’s Word as the Supreme authority when it comes to morality.
2.4.3. Humility in Remembering the Poor
A true humble person practices charity. He is concern after the plight of the poor in the society and do something to alleviate their burden. A true humble person shows no favoritism in treating his fellow man. He will treat both rich and poor equally.
2.4.4. Humility in Resisting False Motive in Service.
James 3:1 / James 3:13
A true humble person has wisdom in giving caution to those who want to achieve leadership position in the church.
2.4.5. Humility in Relating with One Another.
A true humble person has great consideration, esteem, mercy, sincerity in dealing with other people. He esteem others better than himself. He is not partial in his judgments.
2.4.6. Humility in Responding to God.
James 4:6, 10
A true humble person never resist God’s discipline and dealings with him. He is submissive to God’s plan for his life. He never question the ways of God. He never grumble in times of trials and difficulties. He trust completely God’s wisdom.
· What areas of your life do you need to cultivate humility?
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Bible Knowledge Commentary
James: Apostle of Practical Christianity by Robert P. Lightner and Bernard Thompson.
This Bible study material was prepared By Ramil Dizon cell group leader of Grace Bible Church Professionals Ministry.