Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Test for Humility

I was reading a sermon by Jonathan Edwards this morning with a title so long I can't remember it.  In the sermon he spoke about how the godly have an attitude which seeks to exalt God and humble himself.  The text he was preaching from was:
Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory.
Half-way through the sermon there was this brilliantly insightful piece where he mentions that men may often affect this attitude in prayer, yet it is only words that they are speaking and not the true attitude of their heart.  So how do you know if you are the truly godly man who desires to be humbled and to exalt God, or if you are the self-righteous man who is a hypocrite, even though he may not know it?

The answer lies in how he relates to good deeds.  A self-righteous man seeks to be known for the good works that he does.  He cannot help it, it is in his heart.  He has based his justification on his own righteousness and he needs others to know about it.  Even if he does it with fake humility, he still must let others know about how much he gives, or prays, or serves, or loves.  He cannot allow the glory to be God's completely, he must appropriate some of it for himself.

This is the test.  If your righteousness is not your own, but completely from Christ, then you know it and need not take God's glory.

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