by J. Gerald Harris

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The Least Sought Virtue (4 of 8)
Series: A Treasury of Virtues
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Philippians 2:5-11

This morning we come to consider the least sought virtue, and I contend that the least sought virtue is humility. Chrysostom, one of the great church fathers, said, "Humility is the root, mother, nurse, foundation and bond of all virtue."

And yet so many of us are filled with pride, and our pride robs us of the virtue of humility.

William Jenkyn said, "It is better to be an humble worm than a proud angel."

And St. Augustine said, "As pride was the beginning of sin, so humility must be the beginning of the Christian discipline."

Now in Philippians, chapter 2, Paul is addressing a problem that had arisen in the church. The unity of the church was being threatened and creating a spiritual problem in the fellowship. Paul wanted them to see that the basic cause was selfishness, and the cause of selfishness is pride. There can be no joy in the life of the Christian who puts himself above others.

If you study chapter 1 of Philippians you will find that Paul talks about the importance of the single mind. He declares that the secret of his joy, in spite of circumstances, is the single mind. He lives for Christ and the gospel (Christ is named 18 times in chapter 1 and the gospel 6 times). For example, he says, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

But in chapter 2 the apostle Paul talks about the submissive mind. And he says the secret of joy, in spite of people, is the submissive mind. And the key verse is verse 3 where he says, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better (more important) than themselves." So in chapter 1 it is "Christ first" and in chapter 2 it is "others next." Paul the soul winner in chapter 1 becomes Paul the servant in chapter 2.

The "submissive mind" does not mean that the believer is at the beckon call of everybody else or that he is a "religious doormat ...

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