1 Peter 5:5-7
Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility…
I. HUMILITY ILLUSTRATED.
1. When St. Austin was asked what was the first grace of a Christian, he answered, humility: what the second, humility: what the third, humility. This grace is more fundamental to the nature of all true religion than any other grace whatever. The foundation of repentance is laid in an abasing sense of our guilt. The reason why men are not humble is, that they do not see the greatness of God. It is the effect of all knowledge to humble us, by producing a sense of our distance from the object which we contemplate: the farther we advance in knowledge, the more this distance widens on our view: hence where an Infinite Being, God, is the object of contemplation, there must be infinite scope for humility in His worshippers. The gospel is peculiarly adapted to produce this feeling: this is its very end and effect: "no flesh shall glory in His presence; the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day." This effect arises from the very constitution of the gospel; as it is a revelation of the free grace of God to sinners, without any respect to moral or natural differences of character.
II. THE MOTIVE BY WHICH SUCH A TEMPER IS RECOMMENDED.
1. "God resisteth the proud." The expression is very emphatic; He sets Himself in battle array against him; marks him as an object of peculiar indignation. It is not so said of any other temper. When the heart is filled by pride, nothing but spiritual barrenness and hardness can ensue. In a word, the proud are equally disqualified for the duties of Christianity here, and for the blessings of glory hereafter.
2. "But," as it is added, "He giveth grace to the humble." The same words are used by the apostle James, with the additional expression, "He giveth more grace." The humble feel their poverty, and pray for grace; and their prayers are heard.
III. Let us, then, SEEK AND CHERISH THIS GRACE, the only temper that can make us shine before God, the only one that can render us blessings to each other. The apostle exhorts us to "be clothed with humility." Men always use and wear their clothing, and we are to be clothed with this grace as a permanent vesture. It should pervade every part of our character; all the faculties of the mind: it should regulate the understanding, the will, and the affections. And then all other graces will shine the brighter through the veil of humility: it will shed a cheering influence on all.
(R. Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."