“Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.”
“taking delight in false humility”
There is nothing in the Greek word “humility” to indicate that this statement is false, but the context shows that it is false humility. We might render “humility” as “subjection to.” The idea is the abject worship of angels (note context). This servile attitude is a pretense of humility, but they were proud people. Ironically, their humility was pride.
Worship of angels has the appearance of modesty or humility, as if we are unworthy to talk to God ourselves. These notions were purely the inventions of men and not from the Bible (Isa. 8:20). It was the humility of their own making, not a humility from God (1 Cor. 4:6). Therefore, this whole thing was phony. It detracted from the mediation of Christ for our sins. Religious pride makes man presume upon the Word of God.
Many are impressed with what they give up for God. If they suffer for God, this is supposed to impress him. However, God is in the business of making provisions for the believer; he calls this the principle of grace. Bonafide humility is when we recognize that what we have is from God. We all have a streak of asceticism that is usually brought to the surface when some horrible experience comes our way.
Spiritual pride is the most challenging pride to correct.
Some say that “I would never presume for sure that I know that I am going to heaven. No one can know that for sure. We will not know whether we qualify until we get there. I would not have the audacity to claim I know I am going there.” That is a mock humility. It is unvarnished unbelief that claims something that God does not say.
The Bible flatly states that we can know we are going to heaven,
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” 1 John 5:11-13).
Phony self-effacement appears spiritual, but it is not true humility. True humility focuses on God and his grace (provisions) to us. False humility draws attention to self.