Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

I Chronicles 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (See also verses 4-8.)

16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

I Corinthians 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (See also I Corinthians 3:1-8.)

I Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.


MEMORY VERSE: Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. —Galatians 5:26


CENTRAL THOUGHT: We are loved as God’s cherished treasure, not because we are superior, but because God is love, and in His plan and purpose has chosen us in love. Therefore we ought not to think more highly—nor lower—of ourselves than we ought to think, but consider the reality before God, that we are all equal in His sight and everything we have comes from Him. Because we are secure in God’s love, we are then free to prefer others over ourselves without feeling threatened.


Deuteronomy 7:6 “Special people”: one’s own treasured possession; valued property; from a root meaning to closely shut up. Same word as “jewels” in Malachi 3:17.

Deuteronomy 7:7 “Fewest”: little.

Romans 12:3 “Think soberly”: Be minded unto sober-mindedness; to have the thoughts and feelings habitually turned in a certain direction; to keep sobriety of mind constantly in view as the object or ideal towards which all the thoughts and feelings converge” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers). “But as we must not be proud of our talents, so we must take heed lest, under a pretence of humility and self-denial, we are slothful in laying out ourselves for the good of others. We must not say, I am nothing, therefore I will sit still, and do nothing; but, I am nothing in myself, and therefore I will lay out myself to the utmost, in the strength of the grace of Christ. Whatever our gifts or situations may be, let us try to employ ourselves humbly, diligently, cheerfully, and in simplicity; not seeking our own credit or profit, but the good of many, for this world and that which is to come” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary).

Romans 12:16 “Condescend”: to allow oneself to be carried away with; experience with others the force of that which carries away; yield or submit to lowly things, conditions and employments. “Be content with mean and low things in life, and disdain not to take notice of and converse with, men in a low condition, whether in things temporal or spiritual; who may be poor in this world, be very ignorant and illiterate, as to general knowledge and learning; be men of mean parts and abilities, of very small gifts, and be weak in faith and experience; condescend to their weaknesses, bear their infirmities, and become all things to them for their good, and God’s glory: consider the apostle is writing to citizens of Rome, who might be tempted to look upon themselves above others, and to look disdainfully upon others, as [Roman] citizens too often do on country people, as if they were below them, as persons of low life to them” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).

Philippians 2:3 “Strife”: rivalry; ambition. “Vainglory”: empty, cheap pride; groundless self-esteem.

Galatians 5:26 “Vain glory” (The adjective form—vain glorious): driven by delusions of personal grandeur.




Recalling that many of the struggles of the early church had to do with the Jewish Christians receiving as brethren the Gentile converts, having come from a background of viewing them as “dogs,” or “swine,” and esteeming themselves as set-apart and treasured jewels in God’s sight, let us review the Scriptures where God had given them such distinction. We find that God reminded them constantly that it had nothing to do with them; rather, it was His love and Divine purpose and plan to use them as vessels to reach all people in uttermost parts of the world and draw them to Him. They weren’t special, the best, the greatest number, the most righteous; in fact, they were stubborn, self-willed, and ungrateful for their blessings. They despised the land they had been given. They tossed His laws behind their backs.

Many of Jesus’ parables dealt with their attitudes of superiority. Paul’s writings to the different congregations had much to do with the natural, human tendency toward self- aggrandizement and partisanship. In fact, at the root of apostasy was the lifting up of those who were in places of authority; esteeming position, prestige and power above humility and the reproach of the cross. It is the very same struggle we face today.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


1. Special Treasure: Why were the Israelites considered thus?

2. The Promise to Their Fathers: What was that oath? (Hint: Abraham)

3. Differences: Are they reasons to feel superior or inferior to another?

4. Dangers: Summarize the main spiritual pitfalls that endangered the early church and the church today.




There is a close link between the respect of persons studied in last week’s lesson and the superiority attitude in our lesson today. One is definitely motivated by the other. The answer to the problem is the humility and self-denial Jesus so often taught His disciples, and the source for that is the cross—dying with Him, laying down ourselves, giving our lives for the brethren. Another term describing that process is “ego-slaying.” It takes that to be in the place for the Holy Spirit to fill our lives. “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”

Are we willing to totally lay down our lives—our ambitions, preferences, positions, hopes, dreams, schemes, reputations—for one another? Do we gladly prefer one another— ”outdo one another” in showing honor one to another; do we truly esteem the other better than ourselves? Oh, how beautiful is mutual honor when observed in a family, and especially God’s family!

We are called to make this our rule of living wherever we live in society. In the office, on the worksite, on the bus, in the school, in houses of government, in the courtroom, on social media, in our friendships, neighborhoods—even in traffic going down the highway. Yield. Put others first. Genuinely put yourself in another’s place, to feel how he feels, to walk where he has walked, to experience what he has experienced, before ever a judgment is made concerning him. This is how Christ loved. He became us—put Himself in our place; THEN He was exalted to be Lord and Judge of all. Let us follow Him!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




The events that took place at the White Supremacist rally at Charlottesville, Virginia in August of this year truly demonstrated the depravity of carnal, unregenerate and unsanctified human hearts. The root of all such behavior is pride and selfishness. “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:14-17).

Paul tells us in Acts 17:26 that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” The fact is, all the variations of skin color, hair texture and color, stature and size, personality traits, etc., have cropped out from Noah’s family— his three sons and their wives—who escaped the destruction of the great flood that destroyed the old world. This should tell us that God loves “variety.” “Who maketh thee to differ from another?” And why should any one of us “be puffed up for one against another?”

Let us remember that when dealing with any fellow human being we are dealing with a unique piece of God’s creation. We should never think for a moment that we are superior to or better than them. Instead, let us think about this: “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” (1 Pet. 1:24). Our bodies are all headed for the grave! After your body has laid there awhile, how much better looking do you think you will be than the others in the cemetery?

“’Tis meet that the creature dependent For even the breath that we draw, Should feel very grateful, and humbly Serve God in His beautiful law.
‘Tis low, ‘tis low, low down at His feet we bow; ‘Tis low, ‘tis low, ‘tis low at His feet we bow.”

—D. S. Warner, verse 2 and chorus of #92 in Echoes From Heaven —Bro. Harlan Sorrell