Humility Is Not A Work

God gives grace to the humble.

That bothers a lot of people, because they think there is nothing you can do to get grace. The following verse is trotted out as proof text:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
–Romans 11:6

This passage, in its context, is talking about the choosing of the nation of Israel for the Messiah to come through. The choosing of the nation that all nations would be blessed by. Salvation is of the Jews.

The Messiah was one Man and could be related to one race of people. That people was/is Israel. Romans 9-11 explains God’s plan of redemption and the interaction between Jews and Gentiles in the revealing of that plan.

I don’t think this verse has anything to do with how people receive salvation by grace.

Another verse quoted is Romans 4:4

Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Paul’s point is that salvation is not achieved by works of the law, by circumcision, and keeping the old covenant law.

The context flows back into Romans 3, which is all about the Jews and their law. They thought doing Old Covenant law is what saved them. But never once did God ever tell anyone that keeping the Old Covenant law would save them. It was a covenant to stay in the Promised Land.

Abraham was before the law, therefore salvation, which was around in Abraham’s day, couldn’t be by the law. Romans 4 goes on to quote David, who lived under the law, also saying that salvation is not something you work your way into.

Therefore, if the Bible says there are things we do to get grace, and it does, then clearly those things cannot be the work Paul refers to in Romans.

The only way it could be is if the Bible is massively inconsistent on this issue, which some have staked their doctrine to such a claim. Not a good idea, but at least they are being more honest then most!

We are saved by grace through faith. Grace is what God provides; faith is how we respond. Faith is humble.

Every single human being knows they are bad. We have a conscience. A conscience is not proof of spiritual life; it’s proof that you are human. We all feel guilt. Yes, the conscience can be hardened, but it’s still there.

Knowing we are wrong wears a person out. We will seek mind altering chemicals to drown it out, or entertainment and distraction to get it to shut up, or sometimes even suicide.

All our desires of the flesh exist to quiet guilt. Yet the more we use the flesh to quiet guilt, the more guilty we become. It’s hopeless.

When the light of the Gospel shines in and a hopeless, guilt-ridden person hears that God loves them and wants to set them free from sin and guilt through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, some grab onto that message with humble dependence.

When a person comes to the end, when hopelessness and guilt have trounced their soul, they respond to the Gospel.

This is not trying to fix the flesh, impress God, or in any way purchasing our own salvation. This is an admission that we got nothing and Christ is all.

I fail to see how this is pride and fleshly works.

Humility, love, and faith are exactly what the Gospel draws out of a person who seeks deliverance from themselves.

This is how the Bible speaks of how salvation happens. Any other theory plays fast and loose with Scripture and makes much of it false. Don’t do that. Be humble! Hear God’s Word and respond accordingly.

One thought on “Humility Is Not A Work”

  1. The “works of the law” are not real obedience.

    Gal 3
    10 As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

    They who are “of the works of the law” don’t actually keep the law, for there is no curse on a man who really keeps the law.

    Rev. 22:14 – Blessed are they that do his commandments.
    Rom. 7:10 – The “commandment…was ordained to life.

    The problem of “the works of the law” is simply the problem of an evil tree, trying to bring forth good fruit.

    Rom 9
    31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
    32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

    The stumblingstone was Christ, who offered them real righteousness, real spiritual life, real law-keeping, to replace their fake righteousness. The humble, were those who were willing to admit that their own so-called righteousness was far below what God expected, and were willing to receive something better. “God be merciful to me, a sinner.” So, “God gives grace to the humble,” because they are the only ones willing to trade their faulty character for His perfect one.

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