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Subject: Christian Religious Studies
Topic: Humility (Philippians 2:1-11, 1Peter 5:5-11)
Lesson Objectives: At the end of the lesson, learners should be able to:
i. Explain what humility means in relation to Christian living,
ii. Describe ways of demonstrating humility,
iii. Identify the benefits of humility,
iv. List the consequences of pride.
Humility is a state of being humble, meek, lowly and modest. A humble person is not arrogant. Humility is one of the attributes of a good Christian. Among the apostles, St. Paul and St. Peter made remarkable teachings on this.
St. Paul’s Teaching on Humility (Philippians 2:1 – 11)
St. Paul, in his epistle to the Philippians, stressed the need for a sense of humility among the church members. As at the time Paul wrote the message, great disunity existed among the church members as a result of lack of humility. Paul therefore advised them to be in harmony and not to do anything out of selfishness or conceit. They should not be self-centered. They should consider the interest of others above their own.
St. Paul used the case of Jesus Christ to show them what humility is all about. He said Jesus was in the form of God but he did not count himself equal to God. He took the form of an ordinary servant and was born in the likeness of man. In the human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross which was considered as one of the worst forms of death. For this reason he said:
“God has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phillipians 2:9 – 11).
St. Peter’s Teaching on Humility (1Peter 5:5 – 11)
Peter also gave words of exhortation to Christians, especially the youths. He advised the youths to be loyal to their elders and clothe themselves with humility. People should therefore humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, so that in due time, he might exalt them. Christians should cast all their anxieties on God, for He cares for them. They should be sober and watchful, for Satan, the adversary, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Peter was saying in essence that Christians should resist Satan at all cost, knowing fully well that suffering and temptation are part of the things a Christian might have to pass through, if they are able to endure these with humility, the God of all great who has called them to His glory in Christ would Himself restore, establish and strengthen them.
The Significance And Implication Of Humility
i. God loves the humble-minded and exalts him but debases the proud.
ii. God gives grace to the humble; he or she reaps the reward of humility.
iii. Humility creates unity, understanding and progress in the society.
iv. A humble person renders selfless services to the society,; he puts the interest of the society first in whatever he or she does.
How Christians Express Humility
Christians demonstrate humility in their lives by;
i. Respecting themselves and others
ii. Rendering selfless services to the society they belong to.
iii. Showing love to the needy.
iv. Showing forgiveness to others who might have offended them.
v. Ensuring peace and harmony in the society in which they belong.
vi. Being law abiding.
vii. Contributing to the welfare of the community
viii. Christians should perform their Civic responsibilities and obligations e.g exercising their franchise during elections,
ix. Resisting violence against opposition either by agents of devil or other faith.
x. A Christian should not be proud. He should be anxious of what to do for the church and not what to gain.
xi. With the hope of salvation as the motivating factor, a Christian should be the doer of the word and not a hearer only.
xii. A Christian should be active in preaching and acting based on the gospel in order to win more souls for the kingdom of God.
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Take a quick test for this lesson
i. What are the attributes of and reward for humility as stated in the epistle?
ii. Describe Paul’s teaching on humility as contained in his letter to the Philippians. Indicate two ways by which a Christian can manifest a life of humility.
iii. What are the significance and Implication of humility? How can Christians show humility in their daily life?
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