Humility: The Glory of the Creature

May 2nd at 5:41am

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11)

When God created the universe, it was with the one object: making the creature, man, partaker of His perfection and blessedness. In this way, God potentiates the ongoing revealing to men and women, the glory of His love and wisdom and power.

God’s desire is to reveal Himself in and through created beings by communicating to them as much of His own goodness and glory as they are capable of receiving. But this transference must be communicated in unity with the Creator.

The human creature during creation could not; and still cannot possess God’s goodness and glory alone, as if owned separately in and of itself, of which it commands its own willpower to magnify and excel in good virtue independently. By no means.  God is the ever-living, ever-present, ever acting One, who upholds all things by the Word of His will and power. God must abide with mankind via His Spirit, individually, for it is Spirit from whom all things and all excellence of virtue exist. The relation of the creature to God could only be one of unceasing, absolute, universal dependence from which life’s energies and health in body, mind and soul emanate.

As truly as God by His power once created, so truly by that same power must God be creating in unification with man, in every conscious moment an inspiration in man to move toward the goal of spiritual maturity in a reborn experience unto godliness.

The genesis of mankind looking back to its origin and first beginning of existence must acknowledge that starting point when it owed everything to God; its chief care, its highest virtue and only happiness. It is ever the same, now and through all eternity. If we present ourselves as an empty vessel, in which God can dwell and manifest His power and goodness we will develop a godly mindset.

The life God bestows is imparted not once for all, but each moment continuously, by the unceasing operation of His mighty Spirit’s power. Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is, from the very nature of things, the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue.

Pride or the exaltation of the self is the mental illness of the age — expressing the dire loss of this humility due to our disconnect from our Creator — the root of every sin and evil. In this AI world, this would be akin to robotic intelligence usurping man, its creator.

Pride, originates in the dark mind of satan, as the desire to be as God. This is the story of the temptation in the garden of Eden. In heaven and earth, pride, self-exaltation, is the gateway to the curse of hell.

Therefore it logically follows that nothing can provide restorative redemption, but the restoration of our lost humility, the original and only true relational proof of the unity man can have to God. Humility individually and corporately must be reinvigorated as a goal.

And so Jesus came to bring humility back to earth, to make us partakers of it, and by it to save us. In heaven, He humbled Himself to become a man. The humility we see in Him possessed Him in heaven; He brought it from there as God, the Creator of our universe seeking to restore men and women. Here on earth “He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death”. His humility gave His unjust trial and final condemnation of death its cognitive and emotive comparative value in the demonstration of Christ’s life of compassionate love, and so became our redemptive impetus of the Gospel. And now the salvation He imparts is nothing less and nothing else than a communication of His own life and death, His own gentle disposition and Spirit, His own humility, as the ground and root of His relation to God (as the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and His redeeming work. Jesus Christ took the place and fulfilled the virtuous destiny of man, by His life of perfect humility. His humility in life offered us absolute trust in His path to salvation via His atonement. His self-sacrificing death for our salvation offers us our view of the virtue of humility.

And so the life of the saved ones, of the saints, must bear this stamp of deliverance from sin, and full restoration to their original state; their whole relation to God and man marked by an all-pervading humility. Without this there can be no true abiding in God’s presence or experience of His favour and the power of His Spirit; without this no abiding faith, or love or joy or strength.

Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure among humankind. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others; it is the root start-point of growing into all the good virtues, because it alone takes the right attitude before God, and allows Him as God to do all.

God has given us the enablement of reasonable minds. Yet the call to humility has been little apprehended. It is only when we get the sense of our entire life’s reliance upon God that we begin to realize our dependence, and need for an understanding that we need to learn how to live in humility. To see how truly God is all, and in which we make way for God to be all. Every man and woman must realize sooner or later that humility is the juncture of character development unto true nobility. Only by consenting to submit his will, his mind, and his affections to Christ, to be a vessel in which the life and glory of God can work and manifest right living will the reflection of his or her humility glorify God. This is simply acknowledging the truth of our creaturely position as a human, made in God’s image, yielding to God His place.

In the life of earnest Christians, of those who pursue and profess holiness, humility ought to be the chief mark of their uprightness. It is often said that it is not so. Perhaps the teaching and example of the Church has never viewed the virtue of humility nor given it the place of supreme importance which belongs to it. Again, this may be owing to the neglect of teaching this truth.

There is a wider and mightier influence in life for those who are open to it: that which makes the angels, that which made Jesus, that which makes the holiest of saints in heaven, so humble; that the first and chief mark of the relation of the creature, the secret of his blessedness, is the humility and nothingness which leaves God free to direct such lives. 1

1 Glen Jackman’s Glen Jackman’s summary edit of Andrew Murray’s thinking. of Andrew Murray’s thinking. This is from Humility: The Beauty of Holiness (pp. 11–16). New York; London; Glasgow: Fleming H. Revell. (1800) In the public domain.

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