I read a story about a young seminarian who was excited about preaching his first sermon in his home church. After three years in seminary, he felt adequately prepared, and when he was introduced to the congregation, he walked boldly to the pulpit, his head high, radiating self-confidence.
But he stumbled reading the Scriptures and then lost his train of thought halfway through the message. He began to panic, so he did the safest thing: He quickly ended the message, prayed, and walked dejectedly from the pulpit, his head down, his self-assurance gone.
Later, one of the godly elders whispered to the embarrassed young man, “If you had gone up to the pulpit the way you came down, you might have come down the way you went up.”
Oak Crest, all of us would do well to learn the lesson of the young seminarian. Let’s recommit ourselves to being teachable in the things of God. But the need for humility does not apply only to knowledge and doctrinal maturity. There is also a great need in the Body of Christ for humility toward others. Everyone who is a believer is in a process of sanctification. There is no shame in being five years old, if indeed you are five years old. It is immature and childish for a ten year old to think he or she is better than the five year old simply because the five year old is younger. The same principle applies spiritually. We must not look down upon anyone for being at a different level in the sanctification process. Rather, we should encourage them and edify them and help them grow. In other words, we should be humble. Philippians 3:8-11, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”