Humility Bible Study
Five Ways Humility Can Make You a Better Christian

A humility Bible study gets to the heart of the Christ like attitude.  To the saints who lived in Philippi, Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”  (Phil. 2.5).  Paul then provides Christ as an example of humility.

     Philippians 2.6:  "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,”

Jesus did not consider being equal with God as taking anything away from God.  In other words, Jesus Christ considered Himself equal with God. 

The Hebrew writer agrees who described Jesus as being “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person”  (Heb. 1.3). 

In John 1.1, you read that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”   When you skip down to verse 14, you learn that the Word is “the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth”  (John 1.14). 

Philippians 2.7:  "but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

Here is Jesus who was with the Father in heaven equal to the Father in terms of deity, and He left His home in heaven.  He did not come with great glory and honor.  He did not come with fanfare.   He gave up His honor and dignity (“made Himself of no reputation”), to come to exist in flesh and blood to live as a servant.  In other words, Jesus humbled Himself. 

Philippians 2.8:  "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Having come down to live as flesh and blood, Jesus humbled Himself by submitting to the commands of God, His Father.  He did not rebel against the will of God.  He did not refuse to obey the commands of God complaining that they were too difficult.  He humbled Himself to do all that God commanded Him, even to the point where He was willing to die on the cross.

Here is this example of Jesus, who humbled Himself, and in His humility was willing to submit Himself to the will of God.  Paul sets this example before us and says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”  (Phil. 2.5).  Just as much as Jesus humbled Himself, so we are think like Jesus thinks, and humble ourselves.

As we engage a Bible study on humility, let’s first of all think about the definition of humility.

The Definition of Humility

To really engage in a thorough Bible study on humility, let’s look at a couple of definitions of the word “humility” so we can understand what we are discussing.

Dictionary Definition of Humility

A humility Bible study necessitates a proper definition of the word.  If we were to go to an English dictionary, we would find that humility is a “modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance.”  []

There are some who live to acquire a great deal of prestige.  They measure their worth by how many friends they have of Facebook.  It is a phenomenon in which the average individual is looking for fame hoping that his comment on Facebook, his tweet, or his video he uploaded on YouTube will go viral.  He is looking for a means to make himself feel important. 

There are some who try to make themselves feel important by…

  • The way they spend their money.
  • The way they dress.
  • The way they spend their time.

All of this is governed around the idea of making themselves feel important.  But that is the exact opposite of humility.  Humility is a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance.

A dictionary definition is fine, but let's take this humility Bible study a step further with a Biblical definition.

A Bible Definition of Humility

Philippians 2.3:  "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."

Did you see what we were just told to do?  We are to elevate others in our minds as being better than ourselves.  You are to see others as more important than yourself.  

He continues this thought in the next verse where we read, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others”  (Phil. 2.4).  You are to think about your own interests, but you are also to think about the interests of others.  In your mind, whose interests are to be more important?  In your mind, who is to be thought of as better?  You are to think of others as better.  You are to put the interests of others first above your own. 

Humility is lifting others up, and at the same time, lowering yourself.  You are to think about your interests, but as it relates to others.  You are to see yourself as a servant to others with their best interest in mind.  

The Five Benefits of Humility

In our humility Bible study, let’s give some thought to five passages and see what humility can do for us.  In studying these Bible passages on humility and seeing the benefit of having a humble attitude, it will motivate us to humble ourselves in the sight of God and man. 

1.  Humility Helps in Your Conversion

Matthew 18.2,3:  "Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’”

Notice that the subject here is conversion.  It is essential that in our conversion we become like a little child.  Is Jesus referring to our being innocence as a little child?  No.  Is Jesus referring to our being obedient to our Father as a little child?  No. 

Verse 4 describes how we are to be like little children.  Matthew 18.4:  “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Humility is essential in  becoming great in the kingdom of heaven.  It is also essential for us to even get into the kingdom of heaven.

I have talked with so many who refuse to obey the gospel and become baptized believers because they refuse to accept what the Bible so clearly says.  They counter what the Bible says with what they were raised to believe or what they were taught in their particular denomination.

It isn't that they are necessarily arrogant, but that they have not lowered themselves while elevating the teachings of Christ.  You cannot lift up your past teachings or your past experience above what God says.  Humility is essential to my being converted to Christ.

2.  Humility Helps You Change Your Ways

Luke 18.10-14:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'  And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

Imagine being the Pharisee.  Imagine being one who exalts yourself only to have God humble you.  Do you want to be humbled by God?  Jesus taught that “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled”  (Luke 18.14).

Did you notice in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican why this tax collector cried out to God begging for mercy?  It was his humility that compelled him to plead for mercy.  You and I will never make any kind of change if you and I are filled with pride. 

When you engage in a humility Bible study, you learn that when you have humility in your heart where you lower myself and you elevate Jesus, you constantly see room for improvement in your life.  You read His teachings, and you are constantly reminded of how much you still need to grow and how much you still need to learn. 

3.  Humility Helps You to be More Forgiving

Colossians 3.12,13:  “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

A humility Bible Study speaks to Christians.  In the passage above, the apostle Paul tells us to put on certain attributes and attitudes, and one of those attributes is humility.  After he give us this list of attributes and attitudes, he then explains what they will make us into if we live by them.

If you have a heart of humility, you will be a more patient person.  You will learn the art of forgiveness.  You will look at another and see their needs as being more important than your own.  Do you hold a grudge toward someone else?  Pride is in your heart.  Has someone hurt you and you cannot forgive and forget?  Pride is in your heart.  

4.  Humility Helps You Correct Others

2 Timothy 2.24,25:  "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,”

In context, “a servant of the Lord” is referring to preachers.  Here is the apostle Paul telling a young preacher named "Timothy" the proper way to correct others. 

No one should correct someone as a means of embarrassing someone.  Correcting someone who is wrong should not be done as a punishment.  It is done because we love the person and want to see them succeed.  Therefore Paul tells Timothy that he is to correct those who are in opposition, but to do so in humility.  

The application can be broadened to include everyone.  Does someone need correcting?  It is to be administered with humility.  

5.  Humility Helps You Resist Temptation

James 4.7:  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

There is the verse that tells us not to give into temptation.  But look at the surrounding verses.   What is the context?

  • James 4.6:  “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:  ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
  • James 4.10:  “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

 You are reading a context in which you are told to be humble in verse 6, and you are told to be humble in verse 10.  In between those two verses on humility, you are told to submit to God, resist the devil, and cleanse your hands of sin.

You cannot submit to God unless you first of all humble yourself.  You come to God on His terms because you lower yourself and elevate Him.  That makes resisting the devil much easier.  How does temptation come?  It comes from your desires according to James 1.14.  When you humble myself, your desires are going to be lowered or take a back seat in relation to the desires of God.  So humility makes it easier to overcome temptation. 

It seems counter intuitive.  We are told by the world around us to sell ourselves, and let everyone know how great we are.  As we study the Bible on humility, we learn that we are to humble ourselves as Jesus humbled Himself.  When we do, there are so many benefits that make living the life of a Christians that much easier.  

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