Why God's Love Should Lead to Humility in Worship - Radical

Why God’s Love Should Lead to Humility in Worship

In Ephesians 3, during the middle of his prayer for spiritual strength for the believers in Ephesus, Paul says that he is praying so that they might “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). This is a love that reaches beyond our intellectual capacity, a love that surpasses the most superior of finite minds. So how does a love like this affect the way we worship God? To answer this question we need to think specifically about what God, in his love, has accomplished for us in Jesus Christ. And how that love leads us to humility.

Love that Leads to Humility

The holy and just God of the universe has looked down on depraved sinners, who in their very nature are hostile towards Him, who deliberately defy Him, and instead of releasing the rod of just and holy wrath on them, He provided a substitute. Jesus bore the wrath of God in our place on the cross. He was forsaken so that we never will be. He became a curse to redeem us from the curse of the law. By God’s grace, our eyes have been opened to this love that surpasses understanding and we have trusted in Christ’s finished work for our salvation.. And we don’t deserve any of this.

We know that our motives are impure. We know of our wicked and deceitful hearts. Also, We know we deserve condemnation. But because of Christ, we can cry Father and know that there is no condemnation to dread. Christ’s righteousness clothes us. When we transgress against our God, He convicts us of our sin. Also, He invites us to come boldly to His throne of grace rather than inflicting the divine vengeance we are due. Such love beckons us to humility.

Humility That Informs Our Worship

The kind of humility produced by the gospel is not a one-time thing; it changes the way we relate to God. The well-known Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, “Godly sorrow shows itself to be ingenious because when a Christian knows that he is out of the gunshot of hell and shall never be damned, yet still he grieves for sinning against that free grace which pardoned him.” [1] (The Doctrine of Repentance). This unmerited favor that God has bestowed on us in Christ not only saves us but also sustains us. It only makes sense, then, that our worship, whether personally or corporately, would be offered in a posture of humility before God.

When pride temps us or we boast in anything other than our Lord, let us shake off our guilty fears and humbly cling to the cross. Let us ascribe to God the honor of which only He is worthy. Let us revel in this love that surpasses understanding. Also, let us find that worship only makes sense in a posture of humility in light of the glorious grace of God who has reconciled us to Himself through our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance, 22

Eric Roberts is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Hoover. Eric and his wife Morgan live in Birmingham, Alabama.


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