“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”– Jesus
Andy Naselli points to D.A. Carson’s commentary on this passage with a powerful warning against “showy humility” displayed as poverty of spirit. Read the whole thing here.
The most powerful quote deals with an issue that many ‘thinking Christians’ (which we all are in some form or another) need to be on guard against;
“I suspect that there is no pride more deadly than that which finds its roots in great learning, great external piety, or a showy defense of orthodoxy. My suspicion does not call into question the value of learning, piety, or orthodoxy; rather, it exposes professing believers to the full glare of this beatitude. Pride based on genuine virtues has the greatest potential for self-deception; but our Lord will allow none of it. Poverty of spirit he insists on—a full, honest, factual, conscious, and conscientious recognition before God of personal moral unworth. It is, as I have said, the deepest form of repentance.”
True poverty of spirit is an honest evaluation and recognition of spiritual bankruptcy, with confession and repentance before God. Yet true poverty of spirit leads to great security for those who follow Christ. In the gospel we know that what God has accomplished through Christ is our only hope, and while the Spirit convicts us of sin He also gives us confidence in God’s loving grace.
Pride is so ugly, and most ugly in Christians. May we always guard against thinking that we have somehow “arrived” in our own understanding. It would seem to me that the more we grow in our understanding of the gospel the more conscientious we become of our dependence on Him who saves us.
Naselli also points to Doug Moo on theological humility.