How humble should we be? More than we are, that’s for sure.
Let us all seek more humility, if we know anything of it now. The more we have of it, the more Christlike we shall be. It is written of our blessed Master (though in Him there was no sin) that ‘being in the form of God He thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross’ (Phil. 2:6–8). And let us remember the words which precede that passage ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’ Depend on it, the nearer men draw to heaven, the more humble do they become. In the hour of death, with one foot in the grave, with something of the light of heaven shining down upon them, hundreds of great saints and Church dignitaries . . . have left on record their confession, that never till that hour did they see their sins so clearly and feel so deeply their debt to mercy and grace. Heaven alone, I suppose, will fully teach us how humble we ought to be. Then only, when we stand within the veil, and look back on all the way of life by which we were led, then only shall we completely understand the need and beauty of humility. Strong language like St. Paul’s [“the very least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8)] will not appear to us too strong in that day. No: indeed! We shall cast our crowns before the throne, and realize what a great divine meant when he said, ‘The anthem in heaven will be, What hath God wrought.’
—J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Banner of Truth, 2014), 378–379.
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