In Ephesians chapter 1, Paul describes the blessings that believers have received from God the Father, because of their relationship with Jesus. In chapter 2, Paul describes the salvation process God used to bring sinners out of the kingdom of satan, into His Kingdom, and that also centers around Jesus. Paul describes how Gentiles or non Jews have also being brought into the new covenant, through the blood of Jesus. In chapter 3, Paul describes how it was always God’s plan to have Gentiles as part of the new covenant.
So, in summary of chapters 1-3,
⁃ it is God the Father who has blessed us in Jesus,
⁃ It is God the Father who saved us through Jesus
⁃ It is God the Father who unites us in Jesus
At the beginning of chapter 4 in verse 1, and in light of what God the Father has done for us in Jesus Christ, as mentioned in chapters 1 to 3, Paul told us that as Christians, we have been called as believers to be citizens of the kingdom of God, and therefore, Paul urged us to live our lives or conduct our lives as those who are citizens of the kingdom of God. Our lives should reflect our citizenship.
Now let’s look at our passage Ephesians 4:2
Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
As indicated, in verse 1, Paul urged us to live lives corresponding to our citizenship of the kingdom of God. Now from verse 2, Paul tells us exactly how to live this life.
He begins by saying we should live our lives as citizens of the kingdom of God “with all humility”. The word humility is translated from the Greek word “tapeinophrosynes” and in the Greek culture of the time, it was thought of as a weakness to be practiced only by slaves. It is a word that means the opposite of pride. It means to be without arrogance. The word describes an attitude of a person who knows that all human beings are equal before God.
The word does not occur before New Testament times and Epictetus listed humility among qualities not to be commended or approved of. In Phillipians 2:3, the word is contrasted with self-seeking and vainglorious boasting or boasting of one’s own self-importance. In other words, instead of being selfish and over exaggerating your sense of importance, one must tapeinophrosynes or humble themselves. In 1 Peter 5:5, tapeinophrosynes is contrasted with being proud. In summary then, we can then say that tapeinophrosynes or humility is the opposite of being arrogant, selfish and self-importance.
Paul goes on to say to what degree must Christian be humble, and he says with all humility. In other words, not some humility but all humility. This means that Christians as those who are citizens of the kingdom of God, must live their lives with complete humility. Christians must be completely unselfish and completely not boasting or exaggerating their own self-importance.
Now as a Christian, are you living your life with all humility? Are you known for your complete humbleness or are you known for your selfishness, your arrogance or pride, or your sense of self importance?
This is what Jesus said about humility:
Luke 14:7-11 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 that He is humble:
Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Aren’t we supposed to be Christ-like? Of course we must and therefore, we also must be humble and be known to be humble. Humility is not a weakness but an acknowledgment that we are all equal before God and all that we have achieved that is good is from God. If you have been prideful or selfish, now is the right time to repent and to turn away from that sin. Focus on Jesus and what He has done for you, and not on your sense of self importance. Amen
Now to the unbeliever.
1 Peter 5:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
I want to ask you as an unbeliever to humble yourself under mighty hand of God. Humble yourself under His sovereign authority. He commands you to repent and to put your trust in Him. Be humble and Repent therefore before it is too late. Submit yourself and humble yourself under the authority of God and obey only Him always. Amen