Humility
The opposite of pride is humility and it is often said, rightly so, that pride comes before the fall!

When someone comes to Christ, when they receive Him as their Savior and their Lord, they MUST do so in a spirit of broken-ness.  That is to say that they must turn away from all that they believed about themselves, how they see themselves, and receive what Jesus says about who they are.

They must subjugate themselves to His authority, knowledge and wisdom. They must pick up their cross daily and crucify the desires and pride of the flesh!
There are far too many pride-full and self-righteous Christians within the church today.  Believers who have forgotten from where they have fallen.  Believers who have left their first love.  Believers who think more highly of themselves than they aught to think.  Even more so there are far too may Christians who have become so full of themselves that they have become blinded by a hardened heart, they have become so filled with pride that they are unable to, if not unwilling to receive the truth.

These people proclaim Jesus as their Lord, they profess themselves as His disciples, but they do not resemble Him.  They have not been transformed into His image they have transformed themselves into the image of Him that they created out of their imagination.

I believe that the following are among the greatest words ever spoken by our Lord and are most instructive with regard to pride and discipleship:

(Mat 11:25)  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

(Mat 11:26)  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

(Mat 11:27)  All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

The first thing that we see here is that there are things which are "hidden" from the "wise and prudent" that have been "revealed unto babes".

Now many theologians, many self proclaimed authorities of scriptures, many who have doctorate degrees in religious studies, are not particularly fond of these words of our Lord, but that does not make them any less the less truth.  May God's word be true and every man a liar (Rom 3:4)

Even more so that Jesus said that this thing is seen as a good thing in the eyes of the Father and subsequently it was the Father who made it so!

The next thing that we see is Jesus claiming authority over ALL THINGS including knowledge of the Father.

In that light Jesus makes it clear that the knowledge of the Father, as well as other knowledge (in my opinion), is revealed unto those whom Jesus chooses to reveal them to according to His will.

Now man can believe what he/she wants to believe.  They can believe that their own efforts to learn the true meaning of scriptures, or to learn about the Father and or the Son, will manifest into something seen as beneficial in the sight of God,
but Jesus says that the Father reveals these things unto babes!

Those with true humility receive this truth.  They do not rely on their own eforts and their own understanding rather on revelation from Jesus Himself.

Now this is not to say that we just sit back and God pours knowledge and wisdom and understanding into us, albeit He can if He so wills as He did with the apostle Paul.

What I am saying is that according to the word of God, Jesus is the revelator, He is the one who gives us understanding.

You can study all of the church history that you want to study, you can study comparative religions, you can go to school for 20 years and not get one drop of divine revelation from our Lord because you are relying on your own efforts rather than on devine revelation.

Our Lord proclaimed:

(Joh 6:63)  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

(Joh 6:64)  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

(Joh 6:65)  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

This literally means that the words of Jesus, albeit they can be read with our natural eyes, are spirit.  There is something beyond the written word of God, something beyond the text, beyond the letter, beyond the ink, that ONLY Jesus can reveal to us!

Now we will get into this more deeply later on in this writing, but the point I am attempting to make here is that one must first have the humility to set aside the natural ways of doing things and receive the way of the kingdom of God. 

We must learn how to begin to walk in the Spirit so that we can live in the Spirit!

We must not conform to the world (Rom 12:1), we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto our God. This means to kill off the ways flesh and learn to live in the Spirit (more on this later).  We must be "transformed" by the "renewing of our minds" from carnal into spiritual.  We have to change the way that we think.  We have to choose the things of God over the things of man.  We must overcome the world not live as natural brute beasts.

We must remember who the potter is and who the clay is.

This begins and ends with humility!
Christian Discipleship is the second step in God's plan for the redemption of man, salvation being the first, yet many are unprepared to become true disciples of our Lord Christ Jesus, they are nor ready to take that second step, because they have not really taken the first one.

You see the salvation of today is not the salvation of yesterday, or of the early church, or of the time of the apostolic ministry of Jesus, or of Jesus himself.

Let us for a moment go back to the beginning to the ministry of John the Baptist.

John was in Jordan baptizing when he saw a group of Pharisees and Sadducees who had come to his baptism.  Notice what he says unto them:

O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  (Mat 3:7-9)

What is it that John is demanding here?  What is he telling the Pharisees and Sadducees to do before he would baptize them?

He was telling them to REPENT!  He was telling them to change the way they think.  He was telling them that their connection with Abraham does not bring them righteousness.  He is telling them that there was a change coming and that this change was going to come through one who is greater than Abraham!

(Mat 3:10) And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

(Mat 3:11)  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

(Mat 3:12)  Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Most importantly however he was telling them that to receive baptism for the remission of sins they first had to repent and receive his message of salvation through Jesus Christ.  He was telling them that they had to change the way they think about their sins and how those sins are redeemed (paid for).  That to say how they achieved their righteousness,
International Discipleship Ministry
 
The Call of Christ Jesus
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Mat 11:28-30) 

For our Lord to give this instruction, to learn "of " (apo) Him, implies a separation or departure from someone or something.  In this case Jesus is speaking of the way which our Father intended for us to live.
Jesus is saying that we need to move forward towards Him or draw close to Him.  That we need to take His yoke upon us so that He can lead us, so that we can learn His ways.  Again this goes above and beyond simply learning His sayings and doing His commandments, both of which we should indeed do.

Jesus is showing us how to have rest unto our souls.  He is telling us that following His lead is easy and that His burden, that which He requires of us, is light.  That it is easy to lift, that it is easy to bear!

How many times have your heard brothers and sisters in Christ say that being a Christian is hard?

How often have you heard you have to do this or you have to do that, or you can't do this or you can't do that?

You have to go to church, you have to read your bible, you have to obey the law, you have to tithe, you have to do this ministry or that ministry.

You can't drink wine, you can't smoke cigarettes, you can't break the Sabbath, you can't listen to secular music or watch secular movies.

Now I am the first to admit that doing these things are good for us and abstaining from the other things are likewise good for us, but we should NEVER become pride-full or self-righteous over the things that we do and the things that we do not do, and this for one single reason:

Because we are not doing anything, Jesus is!

(Joh 15:5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

(Joh 15:6)  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

(Joh 15:7)  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

(Joh 15:8)  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Jesus said that He is the vine (He said that He is the "true" vine - v.1).  This means that ALL good things, ALL good fruit, flows through Him and into the branches and that He produces the fruit of the vine!

We are not the vine, we are the branches, and the branches can do nothing without the vine!
Have you ever seen a branch that was removed from a vine or a tree that produced fruit? 

Jesus also said that He speaks nothing but what the Father, the husbandman (keeper of the ground) (v.1) commands Him to speak and that He only does what He has seen the Father do.  Jesus even goes so far to say that the Son can do nothing of himself (Jon 5:19) but because the Father loves the Son the Father shows the Son ALL THINGS!


You see just as the branches can only bear fruit from what they receive from the vine, the vine can only produce that which it receives from the ground in which it  is rooted.  Jesus illustrates this very point when He speaks about planting the seeds of the kingdom in the parable found in Luke 8:5.  The growth of the seed depends upon the condition of the ground that it is planted in.

This soil however is an allegory of the condition of the human heart (more on this later).

The point here is that Jesus is the source of ALL THINGS that are good and profitable in the kingdom.  He is the source of everything that pleases God!

We are just vessels made by the hands of the Potter.  We are just branches through which the fruit of the vine becomes manifest.


The Call Of Christ is to be meek and lowly of heart as He is!

To willingly place His yoke upon us so that He can lead us.  To enter into His rest so that He can do the work of the Father through us.
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