Pastor Prince and Pastors Darren Sim of New Creation Church (Singapore) shared a powerful sermon about receiving greater revelation from the Word, and how leaders are formed, how pastors are able to better lead their congregations.
There were a couple of points which I wanted to expand upon in the sermon.
The first theme that stood out for me in the sermon touched on the issue of familiarity vs. humility. Do we get so used to church and church people, that we stop learning? Do we get so accustomed to what we know that we become self-satisfied, puffed up, and ultimately useless in the grand design of ministry and missions?
Here's the slide which Pastor Darren shared with the audience:
"38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Like Paul, I had to be persuaded that nothing would or could separate me from the love of God. For a long time, I was in bondage to the lie that what I was thinking, what I was feeling, or what I would be doing could separate me from the love of God. How foolish I was, but in large part I struggled with this problem because I did not know how to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)
Today, I know and believe that Christ Jesus will not leave me nor forsake me. That is a promise (Hebrews 13:5)
Jesus is my life (Colossians 3:4), and we are one with Him (John 17:21-23). We need to disabuse ourselves of this strange notion that Jesus is not actively involved and infused in our lives. In fact, the greater revelation that He is our life and that He is living in us--that is precisely how we grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18)
So, how do teach people to be humble? The truth is, humility is something that is caught rather than taught. The more that we hear about Jesus, the more that we understand the fullness of the Finished Work that He accomplished at the Cross, and the more that we undestand that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5), the greater our humility.
Humility, at its core, comes down to "I cannot. He can."
How do we get to this place? This status, this revelation cannot come about by teaching it as a matter of knowledge. Each of us comes to this recognition, this revelation based on our walk with God. We face trials and hardships which we are unable to overcome in our efforts. We struggle with internal battles and external foes, and we grouse and cry out to God for help. The truth is that we need more than God's help. We need to rest, to stop our striving, and let God work in us:
"13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
So, how do we "teach" humility? We preach Jesus, and we underscore the Biblical truth and divine fact that we were dead in our trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-4), then brought to life in Christ Jesus. This is not a life that we live in our strength. The Christian life is Christ is in me, and I let Him live. The more that understand how consummate and complete His supply is for our walk in this world, the greater our humility.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." (1 Peter 5:5)
And this verse draws us back to the points which Pastor Darren shared with this audience!