Amplified:And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.
KJV: And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
to the younger men to obey the elders
NLT: And when the head Shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in his glory and honor. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And then, when the chief shepherd reveals himself, you will receive that crown of glory which cannot fade. (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you shall receive the victor’s unfading crown of glory. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.
|AND WHEN THE CHIEF SHEPHERD APPEARS: kai phanerothentos (AAPMSG) tou archipoimenos: (1Pe 5:2; 2:25; Ps 23:1; Is 40:11; Ezek 34:23; 37:24; Zec 13:7; Jn 10:11; Heb 13:20) (Mt 25:31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46; Col 3:3,4; 2Th 1:7, 8, 9, 10; 1Jn 3:2; Rev 1:7; 20:11,12)
And when - Not "if" but "when" - Beloved are you ready? Are you living each day as if it might be the glorious day when He returns to take us home? (See Rapture versus Second Coming)
Appears (5319) (phaneroo [word study] from phanerós = manifest, visible, conspicuous from phaino = give light; become visible from phos = light) refers to an external manifestation to senses open to all. It means to make visible that which has been hidden primary reference is to what is visible to sensory perception. To cause to become visible, to make appear, to cause to be seen, uncover, lay bare, reveal. To make known, cause to be seen.
Chief Shepherd (750) (archipoimen from archí- = denoting rank or degree + poimen = a shepherd) is Jesus Christ Who died for the sheep (Jn 10:11), the Great Shepherd Who lives for the sheep (cp prayer in Heb 13:20,21-notes) and the Chief Shepherd Who comes for the sheep (1Pe 5:4).
As the Chief Shepherd Christ is in charge of the entire flock and all the elders are under-shepherds whose work will be evaluated and rewarded by Him. When the Chief Shepherd comes He is going to call us to account and ask…
YOU WILL RECEIVE THE UNFADING CROWN OF GLORY: komieisthe (2PFMI) ton amarantinon tes doxes stephanon: (1Pe 1:4; Da 12:3; 1Co 9:25; 2Ti 4:8; James 1:12; Rev 2:10; 3:11)
Receive (2865) (komizo from komeo = tend, take care of) means to bring bear or carry (used this way only in Lk 7:37) and in the middle voice to receive back (in sense of requital, recompense or reward) or to get what is promised (as in 1 Peter 5:4 [note], Hebrews 10:36 [note]) or to get back something that is one's own or is owed to one (as in Mt 25:27)
As A T Robertson says "This is a general law of life and of God and it is fair and square."
Komizo conveys the thought of getting something for oneself and carrying it off as wages or a prize.
The verb implies, not mere obtaining, but receiving and carrying away for use and enjoyment. Peter is teaching that in that coming Day of Judgment at the bema seat of Christ these faithful shepherds will joyfully carry away as their own “the unfading crown of glory.”
Komizo can describe a reward for good (as here in 1 Peter 5:4), not a penalty for wrong (as in 2Peter 2:13 referring to the false teachers).
Thayer has this note in regard to komizo with the sense of recompense…
Vincent says that komizo …
Below are the 11 NT uses of komizo… notice that only the use in Luke 7:37 is in the active voice (gives sense of bring) and all other uses are in the middle voice (sense of receiving back)…
There are 8 uses of komizo in the Septuagint (Ge 38:20; Lev 20:17; Ezra 6:5; Ps 40:15; Ezek 16:52, 54, 58; Ho 2:9). For example Moses records…
Unfading (262) (amarantinos from amárantos = unfading from a = without, + maraíno = to fade) literally means unfading as a flower but is used figuratively of that which is lasting, that which does not fade away or that which lose its pristine character.
Amarantinos does not refer to the quality of the heavenly inheritance as not fading away, but rather to the makeup of the crown itself as being of amaranths, unfading flowers whose unfading quality (and which can be revived easily by being moistened with water) was the symbol of perpetuity and immortality.
Kenneth Wuest makes the point that…
Thayer writes that this adjective is…
The Columbia Encyclopedia notes that
Crown (4735) (stephanos [word study] from stepho = to encircle, twine or wreathe) refers to the crown of victory in the Greek athletic games, to the runner who crossed the goal first, to the disc thrower with the longest toss, etc. Stephanos is distinguished from another Greek word diadema (1238) which refers to a kingly crown.
In the first NT use Matthew says that
Earlier Paul had used the verb form (stephanoo) reminding Timothy that
The stephanos was the only prize ancient Olympic athletes received and thus it was cherished as a great treasure. How much more should we as believers "run with endurance the race that is set before" (Hebrews 12:1-note) us, knowing that the Olympic athletes "do it to receive a perishable wreath (stephanos) but we an imperishable." (1Cor 9:25)
According to Barclay stephanos had many associations in the ancient world including as already mentioned
The leaders’ faithful fulfilling of the negative and positive injunctions set forth in v2b-3 will be followed by God’s bestowal of a reward. The prospect of the future must have its impact on their performance in the present. The difficulties of their work, as well as their awareness of their own inadequacies and failures, will often discourage the most prudent; but “to prevent the faithful servant of Christ from being cast down, there is this remedy, to turn his eyes to the coming of Christ.”
The stephanos was awarded for victory in the games, of civic worth, of military valour, of nuptial joy, of festive gladness. Woven of perishable materials, they were used to celebrate occasion of joy or victory. The scene here envisioned may be the festive occasion of a banquet or the crowning after struggle for victorious achievement. For Peter’s readers the crowning which concluded the athletic contests would readily come to mind.
1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: Homoios neoteroi, hupotagete (2PAPM) presbuterois. pantes de allelois ten tapeinophrosunen egkombosasthe, (2PAMM ) hoti o theos huperephanois antitassetai, (3SPMI) tapeinois de didosin (3SPAI) charin.
Amplified: Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
NLT: You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for "God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: You younger members must also submit to the elders. Indeed all of you should defer to one another and wear the "overall" of humility in serving each other. 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble'. (New Testament in Modern English)
Wuest: Likewise, younger ones, be in subjection to the elders. Moreover, all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes himself to those who set themselves above others, but gives grace to those who are lowly. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: In like manner, ye younger, be subject to elders, and all to one another subjecting yourselves; with humble-mindedness clothe yourselves, because God the proud doth resist, but to the humble He doth give grace;
|YOU YOUNGER MEN, LIKEWISE, BE SUBJECT TO YOUR ELDERS: Homoios, neoteroi, hupotagete (2PAPM) presbuterois: (Lev 19:32; Heb 13:17)
The Greek verse opens with ‘likewise,’ so having spoken of the elders being subject to the authority of the Chief Shepherd, it now calls on younger men to likewise be subject to the elders.
The aorist tense, imperative mood (aorist imperative) is a command (as from a superior officer to his troops) to fall into line under the God appointed leadership and to do it now. Aorist imperative can convey a sense of urgency. Do this now. Don't procrastinate.
Hupotásso means to submit to and so to yield to authority. It is important to note that many of the NT uses are in the passive voice with a middle sense which signifies the voluntary subjection of oneself to the will of another.
Hupotasso - 38x in 31v - Luke 2:51; 10:17, 20; Rom 8:7, 20; 10:3; 13:1, 5; 1 Cor 14:32, 34; 15:27f; 16:16; Eph 1:22; 5:21, 24; Phil 3:21; Col 3:18; Titus 2:5, 9; 3:1; Heb 2:5, 8; 12:9; Jas 4:7; 1 Pet 2:13, 18; 3:1, 5, 22; 5:5. The NAS renders hupotasso as put in subjection(5), subject(16), subjected(7), subjecting(1), subjection(4),submissive(3), submit(2).
Hupotásso was a military term that meant troop divisions were to be arranged in a orderly fashion under the command of the leader. In this state of subordination they were now subject to the orders of their commander. In non-military use, hupotasso describes a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, or carrying a burden.
Submission focuses not on personality but position. We need to see authority over us not acting on their own, but as instruments in the hand of God. If we look at people as acting on their own we will eventually become bitter, but if we can see them as acting as God allows, we will become holy. A beautiful example of this is found in the life of Joseph. His brothers consistently mistreated him and it would have been very easy for him to become bitter at them. Yet he had a divine perspective on the whole situation and it helped him become a holy man of God.
Submission is an act of faith. We are trusting God to direct in our lives and to work out His purposes in His time. After all, there is a danger in submitting to others; they might take advantage of us—but not if we trust God and if we are submitted to one another! A person who is truly yielded to God, and who wants to serve his fellow Christians, would not even think of taking advantage of someone else, saved or unsaved.
AND ALL OF YOU CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH HUMILITY TOWARD ONE ANOTHER: pantes de alleloie ten tapeinophrosunen egkombosasthe (2PAMM): (1Pe 4:1,5; Ro 12:10; Ep 5:21; Php 2:3) (1Pe 3:3,4; 2Chr 6:41; Job 29:14; Ps 132:9,16; Is 61:10; Ro 13:14; Col 3:12)
Related Resource: Study the NT "one anothers" - most positive, some negative
Clothe yourself (1463) (egkomboomai from egkomboma = an apron a servant wears while working <> from en = in + kombóo = gather or tie in a knot, hence to fasten a garment, to clothe) (found only here in the NT) literally means to tie something on oneself with a knot or a bow and was a term often used to describe a slave putting an apron over his clothes in order to keep his clothes clean.
This verb also refers to the white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the belt of the vest and distinguished slaves from freemen, hence the idea is "gird yourselves with humility as your servile garb".
Peter uses the aorist imperative which signifies a command calling for "soldier like" obedience. This is a vitally important command that dare not be dismissed without significant consequences (e.g., pride blunts the Spirit fed stream of God's amazing grace [Jas 4:6-note], which is necessary not just for salvation the first time [Eph 2:8,9-note], but is also necessary for "salvation" daily = sanctification, present tense salvation [See the Three Tenses of Salvation]). In addition the middle voice indicates we are to initiate the action and participate in the results or effect of this action.
Moffatt translates it “Put on the apron of humility” an appropriate paraphrase picturing the scarf or apron as the badge of a servant. How easily the world’s competitive spirit filters into the hearts of Christians and Christian workers who become envious of one another’s success. How seldom we think of ourselves as servants for Christ’s sake.
Charles Ellicott says that this verse literally means, “tie yourself up in humility” gathering it around us like a cloak to shut out the blighting winds of pride. But there is a still more delicate shade of meaning to the word “humility.” Ellicott says that the word for humility originally referred to “a peculiar kind of cape worn by slaves” and thus was “a badge of servitude.” The upshot is that these word pictures indicate that humility is not simply a passive quality but that it includes performing selflessly any task God assigns, and bringing forth spiritual fruit.
Marvin Vincent explains the picture which Peter may have had in mind when he choose the Greek verb egkomboomai, writing that it was reminiscent…
Just as Jesus laid aside His outer garments and put on a towel to become a servant, so each of us should have a servant’s attitude and minister to each other. True humility is described in Php 2:1-11. Humility is not demeaning ourselves and thinking poorly of ourselves. It is simply not thinking of ourselves at all! This was the white scarf or apron of slaves, which was fastened to the belt of the vest and distinguished slaves from freemen, hence in 1Pe 5:5, "gird yourselves with humility as your servile garb" means by putting on humility, show your subjection one to another. Also, this refers to the overalls which slaves wore to keep clean while working, an exceedingly humble garment.
Humility (5012) (tapeinophrosune [word study] from tapeinos = low lying, then low or humble + phren = to think) literally means to think or judge with lowliness and thus speaks of humiliation of mind, lowliness of mind, lowly thinking, the quality of unpretentious behavior, a humble attitude, modesty (modesty = unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities) or without arrogance. Inasmuch as we are small compared to God, this is the correct estimate of ourselves. The word indicates the esteeming one's self as small or recognizing one’s insufficiency but at the same time recognizing the powerful sufficiency of God!
Tapeinophrosune - 7x in 7v - Acts 20:19; Eph 4:2; Phil 2:3; Col 2:18, 23; 3:12; 1 Pet 5:5
John Wesley observed that “neither the Romans nor the Greeks had a word for humility.” The very concept was so foreign and abhorrent to their way of thinking that they had no term to describe it. When, during the first several centuries of Christianity, pagan writers borrowed the term tapeinophrosune, they always used it derogatorily—frequently of Christians—because to them humility was a pitiable weakness.
Vine writes that tapeinophrosune…
Humility is not thinking less of ourselves but is really not thinking of ourselves at all.
Barclay writes that…
Humility was not thought of very highly in the ancient world (pun intended) and in fact was even considered to be a vice by the pagan moralists. Christ and Christianity elevated humility to the supreme virtue - the antidote for the self-love that poisons relationships.
Humility is not thinking poorly of oneself. Rather, it is having the proper estimate of oneself in the will of God. The person with humility thinks of others first and not of himself.
Humility, when it becomes self-conscious, ceases to have any value.
Jesus modeled the essence of humility which is being able to put others’ needs and desires ahead of one’s own (Php 2:3, 4-note).
BROTHERS, LET US PUT ON APRONS! - PRIDE is the most subtle of sins. It sneaks up on us when we least expect it, and it's especially dangerous because it feeds on the good things we do. If we are generous, we can't help feeling pretty good about it. If we help someone, we pat ourselves on the back. We can even be proud that we are conquering pride! Peter gave the antidote to pride when he told us to be "clothed with humility." This means we are to put on the servant's apron. We should want to serve.
I saw this exemplified by the pastor of the church where I was saved. He served his congregation so well that people in the community were surprised to learn that he was a pastor. If there was building to be done, he put on his carpenter's apron and swung a hammer. If painting, he donned his paint clothes and slung a brush. If cement work, he put on boots and grabbed a trowel. If dirt needed to be moved, he pulled on his gloves and did his part.
My pastor had a lot to be proud of, but he didn't know it; he was too busy serving. He showed us what it means to be clothed with humility. And I'm sure he learned it from Christ, who set the example by washing His disciples' feet.—D C Egner
ILLUSTRATION - When the legendary Knute Rockne was head coach at Notre Dame, a column appeared in the school paper with no clue as to who wrote it, other than the signature "Old Bearskin." The column was highly critical of the football players. Its author seemed to have inside information on the strengths and weaknesses of every man on the team. And he spared no words in lambasting each player for his shortcomings and inept performance. When players complained to Rockne about the severe criticism they received, he would sympathize with them and encourage them to get out there and do better next time. The writer of that column was never identified -- that is, until after Rockne died. And guess what? The column "died" with him. "Old Bearskin" was actually the players' best friend. He was aware of what happened to football heroes whose success on the field went to their heads. As "Old Bearskin," his criticism helped them to avoid the pitfalls of pride and to strive continually to do better. When the Lord allows someone to cut us down to size, let's thank Him for it. He cares about us and wants us to be the humble recipients of His grace.
Clothed in Humility - A young man who had been invited to a dinner given by the South African statesman John Cecil Rhodes arrived by train and had to go directly to Rhodes’s house in his travel-stained clothes. To the young guest’s horror, he found a room full of people in full evening dress. Soon Rhodes appeared, wearing an old suit. He had heard of the young man’s problem and wanted to spare him further embarrassment. Rhodes literally clothed himself with humility, a clear picture of what the apostle Peter is speaking about in today’s text. Clothing ourselves with humility toward others puts us on their level, in their shoes, and keeps us from lording it over other Christians or flaunting our position. (Today in the Word)
Francis of Assisi said that…
FOR GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD: hoti (o) theos huperephanois antitassetai (3SPMI): (James 4:6; Job 22:29)
Opposed (498) (antitasso [word study] from anti = against + tasso = order, set) means to set an army in array against, to arrange in battle order (to line oneself up against). The idea is to resist, to oppose, to be hostile toward.
Antitasso was a military term found in the papyri meaning "to range in battle against" and pictured an army arrayed against the enemy forces. It means to oppose someone, involving a psychological attitude and also corresponding behavior. It means to "to be an enemy of" or "to resist with assembled forces."
Antitasso is in the present tense which signifies that this is God's continual attitude toward the proud! The middle voice speaks of a "reflexive" action, wherein the subject initiates the action and participates in the carrying out of the action. The idea is that God continually sets Himself against the proud. This fact alone should be enough to cause us to run for cover from the sin of pride!
Antitasso is used 6 times in the NAS and is translated: opposed, 2; resist, 1; resists, 1; resisted, 1
Vincent writes that antitasso is
In a parallel use in James 4:6-note God opposes the proud—all who oppress others—no matter who they are. The word “resist” is a strong word which pictures an army set and arrayed against the enemy.
Huperephanos designates the man who, from a feeling of his own superiority, regards others with haughtiness. It describes persons puffed up with a high opinion of themselves, and regarding others with contempt, as if they were unworthy of any intercourse with them.
As Kenneth Wuest says
Vincent writes that huperephanos is derived
Barclay adds that huperephanos
There are several problems with pride in leaders. Pride prevents people from listening to or following God. Pride can keep those who are older from receiving or even trying to understand what those younger have to say. Pride can keep young people from listening to those who are older.
Charles Bridges comments on Pr 3:34, the source of Peter's quote…
Swindoll adds that…
F B Meyer…
ILLUSTRATION - The story is told of a young Scottish minister who walked proudly into the pulpit to preach his first sermon. He had a brilliant mind and a good education and was confident of himself as he faced his first congregation. But the longer he preached, the more conscious everyone was that “the Lord was not in the wind.” He finished his message quickly and came down from the pulpit with his head bowed, his pride now gone. Afterward, one of the members said to him,
THE RIPENING SELF - In his early years of ministry, the English preacher Charles Simeon (1759–1836) was a harsh and self-assertive man. One day he was visiting a friend and fellow pastor in a nearby village. When he left to go home, his friend’s daughters complained to their father about Simeon’s manner. So he took the girls to the backyard and said, “Pick me one of those peaches.” It was early summer, and the peaches were green. The girls asked why he wanted green, unripe fruit. He replied, “Well, my dears, it is green now, and we must wait; but a little more sun, and a few more showers, and the peach will be ripe and sweet. So it is with Mr. Simeon.”
GIVES GRACE: didosin (3SPAI) charin: (Is 57:15; 66:2)
Gives (1325) (didomi) means to give, to bestow, to confer, to make a present of something, to put something into another's possession. The 1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary has an excellent definition of give as "to pass or transfer the title or property of a thing to another person without an equivalent or compensation". Note that this verb didomi is in the present tense which signifies this giving is not just a one time gift but pictures God's desire to continually bestow the gift of grace upon His children! Our benevolent God ever seeks to bless us with His grace, despite the widespread opinion held by many unbelievers that He is out to get us! No, in fact "He is out to give to us"! He continually gives amazing grace. And as Augustine adds "God gives what He demands."
Are you in need of His grace today? Beloved of the Father, the Spirit of Christ has sufficient supply to meet your EVERY need (cp 2Co 9:8, 1Co 15:10, Titus 2:11-note, Titus 2:12-note, Php 4:13-note, Php 4:19-note, 2Co 12:9-note, 2Co 12:10-note). Do you need to humble yourself to "get low enough" so that His grace can freely flow?
Grace (5485) (charis [word study]) is God’s generous favor to undeserving sinners and needy saints. When we depend on God’s grace, we can endure suffering and turn trials into triumphs. Grace enables us to serve God in spite of difficulties (1Cor 15:9,10). Whatever begins with God’s grace will always lead to glory (Ps 84:11 [note]; 1Pe 5:10-note). First Peter shows how the three themes of suffering, grace, and glory unite to form an encouraging message for believers experiencing times of trial and persecution. These themes are summarized in 1Pe 5:10 (note) a verse we would do well to memorize.
Grace is not license to do as we please, but the power to do as we should. God’s grace insures that those who have been truly regenerated will persevere until the end of life. This aspect of the work of grace (cp, "the gospel of grace of God", Acts 20:24) is called sanctification, a work of God “whereby we are renewed in the whole man and are enabled more and more to die daily unto sin and to live unto righteousness” as stated by the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Ro 12:2 note; Ep 4:23-note; Col 3:10-note; 2Cor 4:16). (Torrey's Topic Sanctification)
We can never be submissive to each other until we are first submissive to our Lord and Master Christ Jesus, a truth of which we need to be constantly mindful for we are no longer our own but belong to Him (1Co 6:18, 19, 20, Titus 2:14-note). It takes grace to submit to another believer, but God can and will give that needed grace if we humble ourselves before Him.
Wuest explains that grace (charis) as used by the pagan Greeks…
Spurgeon exhorts believers to gladly accept a prone position (the root meaning of humility - see below) in order that grace might flow down most efficaciously…
TO THE HUMBLE: tapeinois de didosin (3SPAI) charin:
Spurgeon comments that…
Humble (5011) (tapeinos) means low, not high, not rising far from the ground. It speaks of one's condition as lowly or of low degree. It described what was considered base, common, unfit, and having little value. It pictures one brought low, as for example by grief. Tapeinos is descriptive particularly of attitude and social positions.
Tapeinos is used 8 times in the NAS and KJV (Matt. 11:29; Lk. 1:52; Ro. 12:16; 2Co. 7:6; 10:1; James. 1:9; 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5) and is translated: depressed, 1; humble, 5; lowly, 1; meek, 1. In the KJV tapeinos is translated: base, 1; cast down, 1; humble, 2; lowly, 1; of low degree, 2; of low estate, 1. There are 44 uses in the Septuagint - Lev. 13:3, 4,, 20, 21, 25, 26; 14:37; 27:8; Jos. 11:16; Jdg. 1:15; 1 Sam. 18:23; Esther 1:1; Job 5:11; 12:21; Ps. 10:18; 18:27; 34:18; 82:3; 102:17; 113:6; 138:6; Prov. 3:34; 11:2; 16:2; 30:14; Eccl. 10:6; Is 2:11; 11:4; 14:32; 25:4; 26:6; 32:7; 49:13; 54:11; 58:4; 66:2; Jer. 22:16; Ezek. 17:24; 21:26; 29:14; Amos 2:7; 8:6; Zeph. 2:3; 3:12
The best "definition" of tapeinos is found in the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ Who declared…
The other NT uses of tapeinos include…
The original sense of low lying soon gave rise to metaphorical uses, NIDNTT listing several…
Wuest writes that tapeinos…
Larry Richards has some excellent comments on tapeinos writing that…
Vincent writes that tapeinos
Trench writing about tapeinos says that…
William Barclay writes that
J C Ryle writes that…
John Ruskin (1819-1900) wrote that
Spurgeon said that
Dwight L. Moody declared that…
Puritan William Secker wrote that
Puritan William Gurnall said that
Andrew Murray on humility…
As someone once said,
John Flavel had it right declaring
F B Meyer wrote
An unknown saint wrote
Warren Wiersbe wrote that…
After the memorial service for George Whitefield a staunch supporter of Whitefield accosted John Wesley, who had disagreed on some theological points with Whitefield, asking
Wesley's humility clothed him all his life and at one point he wrote to Francis Asbury, the founder of Methodism in America,
Richard DeHaan, wrote an excellent little book on 1 Peter, in which he gave this test of true humility describing
Humility is the opposite of pride, the sin that has always separated fallen men from God, making them, in effect, their own gods. Genuine humility involves believers’ not thinking too highly of themselves and requires that they regard one another as more important than themselves (see Philippians 2:3-note)
In addition to Dr Barber's notes below see (Torrey's Topic "humility") The humble man realizes that all that he has comes from God and must be given back to God. John the Baptist said:
Humility is the hallmark of the servant resting in, and sent from, the Father’s presence (contrast false humility translated "self abasement" in Col 2:18) (note). There is a sense in which God’s true servant is always a defeated man. The one who drives on with a sense of his own importance, who is unwilling to appreciate the worthlessness of his own best efforts and is always seeking to justify himself—that one will not be meek, and so will lack the essential enablement by which God’s work must be accomplished. Our brokenness must not be feigned; we must not be content with the mere language and appearance of humility. We, too, must be as conscious of Divine mercy in our being recovered for God’s service as we are of the original mercy which drew us from the dark waters of death.
Humility is quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or irritated or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have my blessed home in the Lord Jesus, where I can go in and shut the door and be with my Father in secret, and be at peace when all outside is trouble.
The Father may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it. True humility does not so much consist in thinking badly of ourselves as in not thinking of ourselves at all. I am too bad to be worth thinking about. What I want is, to forget myself and to look at the Lord Jesus Christ who is indeed worthy of all my thoughts. Doubts are not marks of humility; unbelief is really evidence of pride.
When we are conscious of pride we fancy that humility will meet our need, but the answer to pride is not humility, it is the Lord Jesus, and He is the answer to every need. The Father will not give you humility or patience or love as separate gifts of grace; He has given you the Lord Jesus, and if you simply trust Him to live out His life in you, He will be humble, patient, loving and everything else you need.
When we think we're humble--we're not.
Many think that talking badly of ourselves is the ideal of humility; whereas the simplest and more real humility is to feel unaffectedly that we are too bad to be worth talking about. Only One is worthy of all our thoughts and words and ways, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
In his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before himself, and in his eyes there is something which looks at all men with a silent contempt.
GARBAGE DETAIL - It was once my privilege to preach in a church where love and warmth were especially evident. I was impressed by the members' willingness to pitch in and work. On the Sunday I spoke, three services were scheduled. The women of the church had provided a bountiful meal to be served between the meetings for visitors who had traveled a long distance.
Following the dinner, after most of the people had left, I noticed a distinguished-looking couple clearing the tables and dumping the paper plates into large plastic bags. When I complimented them on what they were doing, they said matter-of-factly, "Oh, we're the 'garbage detail.' We volunteered to clean up after every church function. We consider it a ministry."
How wonderful that this man and woman were not only available to serve the Lord, but they humbly did what others might consider demeaning work. These dear people were glad to be what they cheerfully called the "garbage detail."
Some members of the body of Christ are called to serve in places of prominence; others to labor quietly behind the scenes. Regardless of what the Lord asks us to do, let's be willing to do it by serving one another through love, knowing that ultimately we are serving the Lord. — Richard De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
There's surely somewhere a lowly place
DOOR OF HUMILITY - Over the centuries, the entrance to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity has twice been made smaller. The purpose in the last case was to keep marauders from entering the basilica on horseback. It's now referred to as the "Door of Humility," because visitors must bend down to enter.
Christ's humble birth should help us see
KNOWN FOR HUMILITY - It seemed as if the guest preacher wanted to be sure we were all impressed with his credentials. In his message he informed us of his greatest accomplishments, and he told us that among his friends were a number of well-known, influential Christians.
Self-centeredness brings misery,
CLIMBING HIGHER - Pastor Dale Kurtz laughed so hard that his sides ached. He was watching a frustrated squirrel trying to climb the metal pole supporting a bird feeder. The squirrel repeatedly got part way up, then slowly slid down the pole in a heap. In an describing this incident, Kurtz wrote, "What the squirrel didn't know was that I had greased the pole!"
These four actions and attitudes enable us to resist Satan's attacks (1Pe 5:9) and allow God's grace to strengthen us and cause us to be established in our faith (1Pe 5:10).
Satan wants to keep us from making progress in our spiritual life. With the Lord's help, though, we can keep on climbing. — Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Onward and upward your course plan today,
To avoid sin's tragedy, learn Satan's strategy.
F B Meyer in his book Tried by Fire has the following discussion of humility…
THE GARB OF THE HOLY SOUL
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time."--1 Peter 5:5-6.
ONE of the chief signs of the unrenewed spirit is the haughty self-complacency with which it bears itself. To resent an insult; to stand upon fancied rights; to vaunt superiority; to show "the silver, and gold, and spices, and precious ointment," in the ostentatious and vainglorious way which brought reproof and chastisement on Hezekiah--this is the manner of the world.
And this insidious sin of pride dies hard in the child of God; nay, it may be questioned if ever we shall be perfectly quit of it on this side the gates of pearl. It is Protean in its form, changing with every temperament, suiting itself to every mood, clinging as a Nessus cloak even around the flesh of the converted man. Christian men are proud of their houses, and carriages, and wealth, and position. Christian women are proud of their person, and dress, and rank, and children. Christian ministers are proud of their influence, and sermons, and the admiration they receive. A bit of flattery, a newspaper notice, a conscious success, are food enough for pride to grow fat upon, till it begins to fancy that all the world is thinking of it, and feels that the most extravagant praise is but a grudging tribute to its worth.
May I not press this upon my readers further, urging each to consider his own character and behaviour in the light of these words. We must be convicted of pride before we seek the grace of true humility. Pride is one of the most detestable of sins; yet does it find lodgment in earnest souls, though we often speak of it by some lighter name. We call it independence, self-reliance. We do not always discern it in the hurt feeling, which retires into itself, and nurses its sorrows in a sulk. We do not realize how much it has to do with our withdrawing from positions where we feel ourselves outshone by some one who excels us, and with whom we do not care to enter into comparison with the certainty of being second best. It would not be at all easy for us to be silent; to take the lowest place; to learn--where now we count it our prerogative to teach.
And sometimes, when we are clearly worsted, and obliged to step down, we begin to pride ourselves on the sweetness of our disposition in taking the affront so pleasantly. We are proud of our humility, vain of our meekness; and, putting on the saintliest look, we wonder whether all around are not admiring us for our lowliness. I fear me that Bunyan's shepherd-boy, sitting in the lowland glade, and singing, would have become proud of being so low, had he known that his lowliness was to render him immortal. There is at least one preacher whom I know, who has been proud of his sermons on humility, and ostentatious of his efforts to be meek. And thus, even if the soul should array itself in the garb of humility, however simple and plain it be, there is imminent risk of its becoming vain.
"Of all the evils of our corrupt nature, there is none more connatural and universal than pride, the grand wickedness, self-exalting in our own and others' opinion. St. Augustine says truly, that which first overcame man is the last thing he overcomes. Some sins, comparatively, may die before us; but this hath life in it, sensibly, as long as we. It is as the heart of all, the first living, the last dying; and it hath this advantage, that whereas other sins are fomented by one another, this feeds even on virtues and graces as a moth that breeds in them, and consumes them, even in the finest of them, if it be not carefully looked to. As one head of this hydra is cut off, another rises up. It will secretly cleave to the best actions, and prey upon them. And therefore there is so much need that we continually watch, and fight, and pray against it, and be restless in the pursuit of real and deep humiliation, daily seeking to advance further in it."
The metaphor used in this passage is surely derived from that most touching incident on the eve of the crucifixion, when, though having present to his mind his origin and destiny, our Lord took upon Him the form of a servant. "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments, and took a towel and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded." What a lovely vesture did that stripping, that towel, that lowly attitude, between them make! Not even when He stood radiant on the Mount of Transfiguration did He seem to be dressed so fair. Surely Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as He. And so the injunction comes to us all, that we should adopt the same livery, and each one don his garb. "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility." The question is --how to be humble.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder." In Athens it was held to be a matter of first importance that the young should pay deferential respect to their seniors. And even among the precepts of the New Testament, it would be hard to find one more salutary and beautiful than that of the old law: "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD" (Lv 19:32.).
We need to repeat these maxims of wisdom and grace in the ears of each new generation. It is impossible not to notice the great laxity in such matters which is spreading through modern society, loosening its bands, and affecting its stability. Perhaps it is that children are too early taught habits of self-reliance, or are too precocious in their studies. But certain it is that they are more apt to dictate than to submit. Young shoulders are disinclined for the yoke. And yet how many bitter memories are being stored up for coming days! We remember how Dr. Johnson, in late life, stood bareheaded in the rain, in the market-place at Lichfield, in remorseful remembrance of boyish disobedience to his dead father. "Ye younger, submit."
Of course there are occasions when conscience forbids us to submit; and then we must respectfully state the reasons of our refusal, at whatever cost. But these occasions are comparatively rare. And in all doubtful cases--in all cases where a good conscience is not directly infringed--we should submit. Where young Christians have asked my advice as to the way they should behave, when their parents urge them to go to places which, if left to themselves, they would not choose, I invariably answer that, if their conscience absolutely prohibits them, as to the theatre, music-hall, or ball, they have no alternative but to refuse; but, where the question is as to indifferent things, so long as they are under parental control they should yield, if it be insisted on, after they have stated their scruples or objections.
There are, however, other relationships in life besides that of parent and child. We are constantly thrown with those who have seen more of life; have lived more years; and acquired more experience than ourselves: and who have claims upon us. To all such--unless where their character has absolutely forfeited all their claims on our respect--there should be service without servility; meekness without meanness; consideration without cringing; politeness without a thought of policy.
And the cultivation of this habit of deference to those who are older and better than ourselves, with a distinct intention to acquire thereby some new tinge of humility, is to take a considerable step in that direction.
2. TAKE ALL THE OCCASIONS WHICH LIFE AFFORDS OF SERVING OTHERS.
"All of you be subject one to another."
Of course there must always be a diversity of function in society; but the very positions in it which we have inherited or acquired give us opportunities of exercising this constant life of self-denial for those around us.
To submit to discomfort, that we may promote their comfort. To submit to inconvenience, that we may make life easier for them. To submit to the cross, that we may save them, though at the cost of our blood. It is the same teaching as came out before in the injunction to "submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake."
Yield before wrong. Hold your mouth in subjection, choking back the proud, resentful words leaping up there for expression and chafing for utterance. Give up even your rights, rather than go to law to keep them. "If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." And submit in such matters, not from mean-spiritedness or cowardice, but because you will accept each opportunity which is put into your way of acquiring the grace of humility.
Let the servant take the rebuke of the master meekly, not careful to vindicate himself, save where the cause of God may be jeopardized by his fault. Let the employee receive the remonstrance of his employer quietly, eager to comply with any righteous demand, and to learn in silence. Let the believer who has said or done anything unkind and unjust to a fellow-believer confess it with shame, and put the scourge into his brother's hands, while he stands meekly to bear the inflicted strokes. Let us not shrink from humbling ourselves before our servants and children, if we have sinned against them. Strong as rocks and lions in our advocacy of the truth as it is in Jesus, let us be as the reed swept by the storm when it is merely a question of our good name, and prestige, and well-being. And let our single purpose be in all to learn the grace of humility, in all the occasions for its practice which our God throws in our way.
3. ACCEPT ALL THE DIVINE DISCIPLINE OF LIFE.
"Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God."
Ah, what infinite sorrow men lay up for themselves in resisting the Divine will! If you fret and chafe against his appointments, finding fault with Him because He has not given you another lot, some other partner for your life, some more congenial occupation, you cannot but be wretched. For at the bottom of all such dispositions, which fume as the waves of the sea, there lurks a feeling of disappointed pride, which thinks that it deserved some better treatment from God, and considers itself ill-used.
But who are we that we demand so fair and comfortable a lot--we whose first father was a gardener who stole his Master's fruit; who have sprung from the dust but yesterday; and who have piled Alps on Andes of repeated sin? Let us accept what God sends. The worst is ten thousand times better than we deserve. The hardest is the better evidence of a love which dares not spoil us. The whole is dictated and arranged by such wisdom as cannot for a single instant err.
The shadow cast by that mighty hand is dense and dark; its pressure is almost overwhelming. David cried, as he felt it, "Day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer." But bend beneath it. Its pressure may be felt in personal suffering, in rebuke, or shame, or persecution, or in loss of property, or in some other form of chastisement, yet take each as another opportunity of putting into practice this injunction to humility.
"Lie still my soul! whatever God ordains is right and good; thou deservest nothing better; what right hast thou to be sitting at the royal table at all, when thou hadst forfeited it for the swine's fare? If thou hadst thy rights, thou wouldst be now in the outer gloom."
4. OTHER METHODS MAY BE SUGGESTED.
Let us try to get a true estimate of ourselves. Let us judge ourselves now that we be not judged at the last:--
(1) Look into thyself in earnest--
"And truly, whosoever thou be that hast the highest conceit of thyself, and the highest causes of it, a real sight of thyself will lay thy crest. Men look on any good, or fancy of it, in themselves, with both eyes, and skip over as unpleasant their real defects and deformities. Every man is his own flatterer. But let any man see his ignorance, and lay what he knows not over against what he knows; the disorders in his heart over against any right motion of them; his secret follies against his outwardly blameless carriage--and it shall be impossible for him not to abase and abhor himself?
(2) Accustom yourself to took at the good in others.--
Many of us compare ourselves at the best with others at their worst, and of course we come off with advantage, at least in our own esteem. We are so much keener to see the defects than the excellences of our companions. We look at the one with the magnifying glass, and at the other with the reversed telescope. But if we were to be as keen on their virtues as now on their vices, always looking for the compensating grace, always making such allowances as we can find, always magnifying what is lovely and of good report, and thinking of these things, then we should find the bubbles of our self-congratulation pricked and burst.
(3) Accept all kind, good things, from whatever source, as the gift of God, and tune your heart in praise to Him.--
It is very pleasant to be thanked and kindly spoken of; to be surrounded by dear friends with their honeyed words: and we may be thankful when such hours shine on us; as it is impossible for them to last, if only we are true to our Master. And whilst they tarry they will not hurt us, if only we pass on all kind speeches in thanksgiving and praise to God. When we can transmute all praise, into Praise, all speeches into Speech, and gifts into Sacrifices, failing down to worship Him who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, we shall emerge from the ordeal, without having contracted guilt.
(4) Claim the humility of Jesus.--
As you go through the world, not only set yourself to resist pride, but make every temptation towards it an occasion for lifting your heart to Christ to receive from Him something more of his own sweet and humble spirit. "Thy humility, Lord!" There are many incitements to this: God resisteth the proud.--The Greek word here is very expressive. He sets Himself in battle array. Ah, miserable attempt to withstand God. Pharaoh perishing in the Red Sea is the perpetual evidence of the futility of the conflict. All things may seem to prosper for a time; but discomfiture is certain, and will be final.
He giveth grace to the humble.--
"His sweet dews and showers of grace slide off the mountains of pride, and fall on the low valleys of humble hearts, making them pleasant and fertile. The swelling heart, puffed up with a fancy of fulness, hath no room for grace. The humble heart is most capacious, and, as being emptied and hollowed, can hold most." The vessels which are most heavily laden sink lowest in the water; and those which can sink lowest, without danger, are they which are most heavily freighted. Oh for the humble heart which can hold most grace; and, as it obtains more, sinks still lower in its own esteem!
He will exalt in due time.--"The lame take the prey." The meek inherit the earth. The master of the feast bids those who take the lowest rooms to go up higher. Moses, the meekest man, has taught the principles of jurisprudence to half the world, and sits on the judgment-seat. The martyr's stake has ever been a throne from which the sufferer has ruled after-ages. The men and women of gracious, retiring spirit wield the truest authority in town or village. These who can die on the cross, pass through the grave to the Ascension Mount. Be humble, not only in outward mien, but in the inner shrine of thy spirit; and in due time, not to-day or to-morrow, but in his own time the Lord will exalt thee to inherit the earth. (F. B. Meyer. Tried By Fire)