What Makes Religion Real?

KEY VERSE: “Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” —Luke 18:14


HUMILITY BEFORE GOD and man is an essential trait of character for all who would be pleasing to the Lord. To teach this lesson to his disciples Jesus called a little child into their midst, and said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”—Matt. 18:2-4

In an admonition to the elders and to the church as a whole, the Apostle Peter wrote, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. … 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.”—I Pet. 5:2-6

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves…. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, yet did not [snatch at equality with God, The New English Bible]; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.”—Phil. 2:3-11

Thus we find that Jesus, Peter, and Paul all enlarge upon the thought expressed in our text, that he that humbles himself shall be exalted. On the other hand, he that exalts himself “shall be abased.” This lesson was beautifully set forth by Jesus in a parable, saying: “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher; then thou shalt have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.”—Luke 14:8-10

It is essential to be humble before God. Jesus did not aspire to be equal with God. This is in contrast with Lucifer, who said in his heart, “I will be like the Most High.” (Isa. 14:12-14) In keeping with the divine principles by which God governs his vast universe, the time will come when Lucifer shall be forever abased in the minds of all God’s intelligent creatures, and ultimately destroyed. But as Paul reminds us, the Logos, who took the course of humility, has already been exalted to the divine nature, to the right hand of the throne of God.

In the parable of our lesson, the Pharisee and publican went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men—especially the publican. But the publican smote his breast, and begged God to be merciful to him. He went away justified, but the Pharisee did not. (Luke 18:10-14) The man with humility found God’s favor.

Jehovah is himself humble. “Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!”—Ps. 113:4-8

How fortunate it is for us that the Lord is humble. Is our attitude toward God and man also one of humility?

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |