Unaffected Singularity

By “unaffected” I mean without artificiality or insincerity; genuine.

“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth.” (1Co 5:8)

“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” (2Co 1:12)

“For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” (2Co 2:17)

“I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” (2Co 8:8)

“Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.” (Eph 6:24)

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine [shewing] uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity.” (Tit 2:7)

So here’s Edwards discussing unaffected singularity and true humility (this is not a promotion of Edwards as a true Christian):

“From the disposition there is in hypocrites to think highly of their humility, it comes to pass that counterfeit humility is forward to put forth itself to view. Those that have it, are apt to be much in speaking of their humiliations, and to set them forth in high terms, and to make a great outward show of humility, in affected looks, gestures or manner of speech, or meanness of apparel, or some affected singularity. So it was of old with the false prophets (Zechariah 13:4). So it was with the hypocritical Jews (Isaiah 57:5). And so Christ tells us it was with the Pharisees (Matthew 6:16). But it is contrariwise with true humility: they that have it, are not apt to display their eloquence in setting of it forth, or to speak of the degree of their abasement in strong terms” (Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections).

These comments on affectation being contrary is quite correct. False humility and affected pseudo-pious singularity are wicked and repulsive.

By way of contrast, here is a description of TRUE and UNAFFECTED humility that is singularly confident about entering the Holy of Holies through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ ALONE.

“Therefore, brothers, having confidence for the entering of the [Holy of] Holies by the blood of Jesus, which He consecrated for us, a new and living way through the veil; that is, His flesh; and [having] a Great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts having been sprinkled from an evil conscience, and [our] body having been washed in pure water; let us hold fast the confession of the hope unyielding, for He who has promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).

Upon what basis do we have confidence for entering the Holy of Holies? Through our own works and cleanness? No – it is through the blood of Jesus. Notice in verse 22 that we have full assurance of faith. Upon what basis do we have this? Through our own works and cleanness? No – it is because we have been sanctified by the blood of Christ. The false religionist sees a person who doubts his salvation and says, “humble.” God says, “proud.” The false religionist sees a person who is fully assured of his salvation and says, “proud.” God says, “humble.” A truly humble person acknowledges and repents of his sin, and says that he is not sufficient in and of himself to be accepted before God, and, at the same time, he is fully confident that he is accepted before God because of the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. Here’s a passage of Scripture that clearly shows the humility and confidence of believers: 2 Corinthians 3:4-5.

“And we have such confidence through Christ toward God; not that we are sufficient of ourselves to reason out anything as [being] out of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.”