Growing by Developing Humility

Dr. Steve Viars October 13, 2019 James 4:11-17

Daniel 4:12 - And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches, and all living creatures fed themselves from it.

Daniel 4:14-17 - He shouted out and spoke as follows: “Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its foliage and scatter its fruit; Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. Yet leave the stump with its roots in the ground, but with a band of iron and bronze around it in the new grass of the field; and let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him share with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let a beast’s mind be given to him, and let seven periods of time pass over him. This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

Daniel 4:19 - Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries!

Daniel 4:26-27 - And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.

Daniel 4:29-30 - Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?

Daniel 4:3 - Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Daniel 4:34-37 - But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

“Pride is the epidemic vice. It is everywhere and manifests itself in many ways. As much as we may hate to admit it, we all have pride, each and every one of us. The question is not ‘Do I have it?’ but ‘Where is it’ and ‘How much of it do I have?’” From Pride to Humility, Stuart Scott, p. 2

Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom…

James 4:10 - Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Philippians 2:5-9 - Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…

3 characteristics to avoid in order to grow in humility

I. Judgmentalism

A. A slanderous tongue

James 4:11 - Do not speak against one another, brethren…

Leviticus 19:16 - You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people…

Proverbs 20:19 - He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.

“The biblical injunctions against slander do not, as many in the church today erroneously believe, prohibit rebuking those who persist in unrepentant sin. On the contrary, such public exposure of sin is commanded in Scripture…James’s words do not speak against one another do not forbid exposing sin with righteous intent, but rather lying with malicious intent. Katalaleō (speak against) appears only here and in 1 Peter 2:12 and 3:16. Along with the related nouns katalalia (‘slander’; 2 Cor. 12:20; 1 Pet. 2:1) and katalalous (‘slanderers’; Rom. 1:30), it refers to mindless, thoughtless, careless, critical, derogatory, untrue speech directed against others.” John MacArthur, Commentary on James, p. 221

B. A judgmental heart

James 4:11 - Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother…

C. A rebellious act

James 4:11 - Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

D. A prideful outlook

James 4:12 - There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

II. Presumption

James 4:16 - But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

A. How it sounds

James 4:13 - Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”

B. Why is it wrong?

James 4:14 - Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

C. What it should be

James 4:15 - Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

D. What this tendency reveals

James 4:16 - But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

III. Inactivity

James 4:17 - Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Dr. Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video