Scripture often talks about the importance of humility in our lives.

In this continued study of humility in Ephesians 4:2, we look at what Scripture says about humility with seven key observations—that if taken to heart, will radically change our lives.

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Key Passage: Ephesians 4:1-3

Ephesians 4:1-3 – Therefore I, the prisoner in the Lord, exhort you to walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

7 Humble Observations on Humility

Throughout Scripture, the topic of humility is important and must not be ignored. But what does it mean to walk in humility? Here are seven observations from the Bible on humility and what it means to choose a humble life.

1. Everyone will be Humbled

  • But only those who do it willingly find grace and salvation
  • Philippians 2:9–10 – For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
  • Proverbs 29:23 – A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.
  • Ezekiel 21:26b – Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high.
  • God saves those who are low, those who are humble and see their affliction (need)
  • 2 Samuel 22:28 – And You save an afflicted people; But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 – … and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • Psalm 147:6 – The LORD supports the afflicted; He brings down the wicked to the ground.
  • Psalm 149:4 – For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
  • Proverbs 3:34 – Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
  • Isaiah 29:19 – The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
  • Isaiah 57:15 – For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.”
  • James 4:6 – But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

2. Seek to be clothed with humility

  • Zephaniah 2:3 – Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.
  • Colossians 3:12-13 – So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
  • 1 Peter 5:5 – You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
    • slave clothing – to be distinguished and known by humility

3. Paradox: When you humble yourself, you are exalted

  • Matthew 18:4 – Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Matthew 23:12 – Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
    • also in Luke 14.11, 18.14
  • James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
  • 1 Peter 5:5–6 – You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

4. In humility, God becomes your source and strength

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 – And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Humility is the heart/anchor of dependence 
  • I am to live in dependence upon Jesus

5. God defends the humble

  • Moses accused by Aaron & Miriam
    • Numbers 12:2–3 – and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)
    • Numbers 12:6–8 – God said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
  • Mary/Martha
    • Luke 10:40–42 – But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

6. The humble are not persuaded or concerned by public opinion

  • when you see yourself in light of God, you only care about His approval, acceptance, affirmation, opinion
  • 2 Samuel 6:14–15, 22 – And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. … “I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.”
  • 2 Samuel 6:22a NKJV – “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.”

7. Humility is relational (never impersonal)

  • Philippians 2:3–4 – Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
  • Titus 3:1–2 – Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
  • Andrew Murray [Humility, 54]: It is in our relationships with one another, in our treatment of each other, that true lowliness of mind and a heart of humility are seen. Our humility before God has no value except as it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellowmen.

In Our Next Study Together …

I invite you to join me on this journey from the book of Ephesians to discover God’s eternal purpose, His plan for your life, and learn how to practically live out an abundant and fruitful Christian life. 

  • The focus of our next study: Ephesians 4:2
  • We continue to look at our calling to gentleness and patience that Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:2.
  • I encourage you to read through Ephesians a couple of times this week and focus specifically on Ephesians 4.

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About The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series

The Deeper Christian Bible Study Series in Ephesians is a Christ-centered practical in-depth verse-by-verse study of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Join NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) as he expositionally preaches from this incredible book – which will help you grow in your faith, gain greater intimacy with Jesus, and understand how to study God’s Word.

Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. Deeper Christian equips Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.

About NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson)

NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps Christians discover and experience a passionate love for God and His Word so that they can grow in their faith, live victorious lives, share the Gospel boldly, grow in their intimacy with Jesus, and transform the world through the indwelling life of Christ.
Read more about him here.

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