Week 6: Demand #16 – Humble Yourself by Making War on Pride

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Demand #16: Humble Yourself by Making War on Pride – Matthew 23:1-12
Memory Verse: "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." Matthew 23:12


This passage came to my mind last Sunday before I realized it was the subject matter for this week. I was talking about the issue of addressing a Christian leader in the community as "Father xxxx". Is that any different than addressing someone as "Pastor xxxx"?

Def of Humility: honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness. – C. J. Mahaney

Think of the teaching we received yesterday at the Mid-Atlantic Bible Fellowship Conference on the Doctrines of Grace. (especially the topic of Total Depravity)

Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him (contending for supremacy). True greatness is serving others for the glory of God.

Christ addresses this subject of Humility as it applies to spiritual leadership. We all can make the applications to our own lives as well.

I. Exposition of Primary Text – Matt. 23:1-12


(:1) Context for Teaching on Servant Leadership

(:2-3) Contrast of Ambitious, Prideful, Hypocritical Spiritual Leaders

  1. The Religious Establishment Seizes Positions of Authority and Control
  2. Hypocritical Leaders Never Walk the Talk

    1. The Proclamation of Truth Still Has Value
    2. The Pattern of Hypocrisy Must be Rejected

(:4-7) Characterization of Their Blatant Abuse of Power – Exposing 3 Areas of Deficiency

  1. (:4) Lording it Over the Flock vs Setting the Example for Loving, Sacrificial Service

    1. Demanding Burdensome Service from Others – Insensitive, Demanding
    2. Excusing Themselves
  2. (:5) Prideful Motivation – Seeking Man’s Approval Rather Than God’s
    1. Looking for the Praise of Men
    2. Concentrating on External Signs of False Super Spirituality – Fake Piety
      1. Spiritual Rituals and Ostentatious Piety
      2. Spiritual Garments
  3. (:6-7) Ambitious, Political Self Promotion – Contrast the Role of a Servant
    1. First in Honor
    2. First in Power
    3. First in Loyalty
    4. First in Teaching

(:8-10) Caution (Caveat) Against the Use of Grandiose Titles of Exaltation – Warning Against 3 Danger Areas

  1. (:8) Over Reliance on Academic Credentials
  2. (:9) Relationship Dependencies
  3. (:10) Shepherding Abuse

(:11-12) Calling to Humble Servant Leadership

  1. Spiritual Leadership is All About Humble Service
  2. The Way Up is the Way Down

    1. Wage War Against Pride
    2. Work at Humbling Yourself

II. Humility: True Greatness – C. J. Mahaney

(reference portions of this short text)