The Power of a Humble Witness
Study: Grace to Stand
Part I Excerpts from Lesson 7
“True humility fixes its eyes on Jesus Christ, stands firm on God’s truth, and proclaims, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). True humility’s witness is undeniably powerful because it displays and proclaims the living hope of salvation.”| _Carol J. Ruvolo
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. I Peter 3:13-4:6
“The Power of a Humble Witness”
As Reformed Christians, we can sometimes be overzealous in our zeal to speak the truth and stand firm in our belief. In my recent conversations in social media I was reminded of speaking truth in strong terms but also was convicted to be biblical and remember to be humble with love and grace. Not an easy thing to do when you are surrounded by unbelief and enemies of the faith and of righteousness. Nevertheless, we are called to it so a revisiting of my study was in order. I pray the notes help you as you interact with others in all areas of your Christian life.
In our study of Carol Ruvolo’s “Grace to Stand”*and our supplemental materials we are called to be “humble” in Christ and at the same time “bold” in our witness. True humility will produce boldness because we are totally, 100% dependent upon Christ to hold us up in all of life. As Ruvolo has stated, humility does not mean a shy, inhibited, introverted person but one who is confident and outspoken, not in fear, not afraid of man, not concerned about one’s own “skin” but concerned about the proclamation of Christ’s gospel through their witness and life. Whether it is in ministry, in home or church life, or in our personal relationships, we are to be humbled in Christ and bold in truth. We are reminded of Numbers 12:3 wherein Moses is called “very meek” (gentle, not full of pride) and thus his boldness in proclaiming to the unbelievers, “let my people go” and being bold going forward with the gospel. We are again reminded in Scripture that we are to be “bold” as Paul was in proclaiming God’s Word in our lives and to the world. This takes humility, putting self aside and putting Christ first, not worried about “me” but in love and service, loving Christ more than our own self and lives. We, as God’s children, do this every day when we live for Him, whether in our homes, teaching and training our children, being godly wives, mothers, daughters, teachers of good things or in the workplace and marketplace. It is saying in so many words, “I belong to Christ, my life is not my own, but belongs to my Saviour and His will I will do no matter what.” Man, woman, people may assail me, threaten me, disassociate themselves from me and detest me. They may mock me, call me all kinds of things, ignore me or any other thing that they can but I stand in courage, confidence and in good stead to “suffer as He suffered” and as my brethren throughout time have suffered, proclaiming in my life and death, the Lord Jesus. This is the Christian life that is blessed.
Living Coram Deo,
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*/ Carol J. Ruvolo, "Grace to Stand Firm, Grace to Grow" [“Grace”]