Wednesday, January 2, 2008

He helped me

Thinking over Matthew 5:3 for Sunday ("Blessed are the poor in spirit"), I dipped into Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, on pride and humility. His exposure of my pride was unrelenting. I was soon turning the pages, thinking, "Okay, okay, okay, but this doesn't HELP me." Then, on page 209, he helped me:

"Look to the humbled Christ to humble you. Can you be proud while you believe that your Savior was clothed with flesh and lived in meanness and made himself of no reputation and was despised and scorned and spit upon by sinners and shamefully used and nailed as a malefactor to a cross? The very incarnation of Christ is a condescension and humiliation enough to [baffle] both men and angels, transcending all belief but such as God himself produceth by his supernatural testimony and Spirit. And can pride look a crucified Christ in the face or stand before him? . . . Doth he pray for his murderers, and must thou be revenged for a word or petty wrong? Is he patiently spit upon and buffeted, and art thou ready through proud impatiency to spit upon or buffet others? Surely he that 'condemned sin in the flesh' condemned no sin more than pride."