A few days ago I began to consider where true humility is to be found. In so doing I assert that it is only in Jesus Christ that one can come to a true understanding of what humility is, particularly that it involves dying to self and living for God and for others. However, as I have continued to reflect on this issue, I realized that all I have so far done is shown in what way Christ was an example of humility. Therefore, I would like to show here that Christ not only establish an example of humility in his incarnation, his obedience, his sufferings, and his death, but that he also procured the believers humility as well. To say this another way, that the believer being humble and walking in away of humility before God and others was ultimately accomplished by Jesus Christ.

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15)

First, notice that these verses indicate that “that one died for all, therefore all died”. Those “who live”, those who are no longer “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) have died with Christ. When Christ died, they died also. As Paul says in another place, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;” (Rom. 6:6) or “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). Now recall that the essence of sin in to be a “lover of self ….lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2Tim. 3:2-4). At the heart of sin is to seek our interests before the interests of God and the interests of others. Therefore, when it says that “our old self was crucified with Him…so that we would no longer be slaves to sin”, it is the same as saying that “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves”. Both of these passages declare to us that we are loosed from the bondage to sin, from the pursuit of self-love, from pride, by being crucified with Christ. No man may ever put to death his own pride, He is too proud to do so. No man can every set aside his love for himself, for he loves himself too much to do so. It is for that reason that Christ intervened to put to death the old man, the proud man, so that those who are in Christ might “no longer live for themselves”.

I hope the reader will heed these words, no man pursues interest other than his own, except for those who are. All men apart from Christ seek their own pleasure and their own desires. They live for themselves. Objection. Some may object at this point and say, “But I know atheists and members of other religions that do good to others. They give to the poor and help their neighbors. How can you say they only live for themselves?” Answer. Those who be not in Christ will meet the needs of others only as far as they see in them their own greater interests. How many do good to others in way of religion as a means of securing salvation for themselves? They do not do good to others out of love for them, but out of love for self. Their life is driven by a desire to secure their own eternal interest (i.e. their salvation) and they use others as a way of doing so. Yet Scripture tells us that those “but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” (Rom. 2:8). For those who profess to be atheists and deny their maker, they also live in a way as only to themselves. They may seek the good of others and the good of society as a whole, but it will always be driven by a desire to maximize their own interests. For some this will be a desire to secure their own safety and protect from the evils of men. For others it will be a desire to have others think more highly of them, to maximize their glory in the eyes of men.
Why then is it that only Christians can be rightly said to “no longer live for themselves”? Why is it that the good that they do unto others cannot be rightly attributed as a “living for themselves”? The nature of man made religion is to think that man can do something in order to secure their salvation. The result is that men pursue interests of religion out of their own desire to better themselves, to improve their own lot before God. True Christians on the other hand under declares that man can do nothing to secure their lot before God, rather that God and God alone is able to save. They understand that all their righteous deeds are filthy rags before a holy God and that they stand unable to save themselves. Thus the cast themselves on the mercies of God, who sent for His Son to save them. They look to Christ who alone can save to the uttermost. They see that they do not need anything to secure their greatest good, as Christ has already done it on their behalf. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God,”(1Pe. 3:18). Therefore, all that they do in Christ is not done for their own good, but ultimately as 2 Cor. 5:15 says “for Him”. They actions and deeds are not done in a way of promoting themselves or their own interests or their own glory, but rather what they do is to be done in a way of promoting Jesus Christ and pursuing His interests and exulting His glory.
May those of us who have died with Him no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who loved us and gave Himself up for us.