The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
+ The Sin of Pride +
Pride is self-idolatry and according to the Holy Scriptures, God hates pride and will judge a person for pride because it is a sin and an abomination (Proverbs 6:16-17, 8:13, 15:25 16:5, Psalm 31:23, 101:5, and 119:21). Pride is the sin of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-16, Ezekiel 28:11-17, I Timothy 3:6). It is the sin that caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven to earth, and eventually to be cast into hell. It is the oldest sin in the universe. Pride is the worst sin in that it has damned more souls than any other. Pride keeps sinners from salvation and keeps saints from service. It is the source and root of all other sins. Pride is a universal sin in that it can be found in every part of the world among all classes of people. Pride is also a sin that characterizes the last days in which we live (II Timothy 2:3-4). Amen.
“Pride is the very image of the Devil.”
- Thomas Boston
“The man who thinks he is too big for a little place is too little for a big place.”
- Vance Havner
This article is dedicated to carefully approaching the subject of pride and pointing out three things about pride: The Cause, The Curse, and The Cure. To be proud is to highly value oneself, to gratify self-esteem, or have a conceit of one’s superiority. It is an attitude of self-exaltation, an attitude that one’s self is important. Pride comes in many forms and shapes. Pride has many costumes. For example, many take pride in such things as achievements, talents, abilities, beauty, strength, wealth, rank, race, education, and appearance. There is also spiritual pride.
The Cause of Pride
As already stated, pride originated with Satan. It was the first sin ever committed. Pride was the principal cause for the fall in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:5, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Our pride today comes from the fallen nature of man. The heart becomes the seat of pride where it enthrones itself, Mark 7:21-22, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” This sin is deeply rooted in our nature and must be dealt with accordingly. Please keep in mind that this sin is at the top of the list of seven deadly sins that God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19). As one writer states, “It is the first born son of hell.” According to Obadiah 3, this sin of pride is a deceiving sin that blinds the heart. “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?”
The Curse of Pride
According to Proverbs 16:18, pride brings a curse and leads to destruction, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” One author said, “Everything has its prelude; the prelude of destruction is pride and of honor humility.” Pride is surely the sign of coming destruction. The sin of pride has brought many curses upon individuals and even nations.
In Ezekiel 16:48-50, pride was one of the chief sins of Sodom. It was pride that brought Nebuchadezzar to the level of a beast in Daniel 4:28-37. Pride hardened the heart in Daniel 5:20. It was pride that destroyed Pharaoh and his army according to Exodus 5:14, “And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?”
As this ugly sin of pride ruined the Garden of Eden, it also brought the death of Herod (Acts 12:21-23). Pride brings destruction and judgment upon all who embrace it. According to the book of Obadiah, Edom, in the pride of their heart, boasted of their security. But, God pronounced judgment upon them and assured them that they would be brought low. So, the curse of pride always brings a tragic end.
The Cure for Pride
The only cure for pride is humility. One author so plainly stated, “Pride is the oldest sin in the universe, and shows no signs of growing weaker with age.” Humility is simply lowliness of mind or a modest estimate of oneself. We must clothe ourselves with it and wear it all the time. Only by humility comes honor. Humility pleases God and is a great virtue to possess, James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Other Scriptures to consider are I Peter 5:5-6, Colossians 3:12, and Proverbs 16:18.
In Romans 12:3, the Bible commands us to not think too highly of ourselves, “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.” We are also told in I Corinthians 4:7 that anything that we have was given to us by the Lord and there is no room for boasting, “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?”
In Matthew 5:3, it is the “poor in spirit” that shall partake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Only our cross is death to pride (Matthew 16:24). The Lord Jesus Christ is our greatest example of humility. The Lord said in Matthew 11:29, “learn of Me”, and in Philippians 2:3-7, He humbled and made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant. These same verses tell us as believers to have the same mind (verse 5). This is the only way to deal with pride. In John 13:1-17, Jesus deflated the pride of His disciples by washing their feet. According to a parallel passage in Luke 22:24-30, there was strife among them as to which should be counted the greatest. The Savior took a towel and girded himself as a servant to wash their feet for an example to them. John 13:14, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.” There are some who fight for the top, but not many who look for a towel. The cure for pride is not a twelve step program, it is just one step, humility.
God does not hear the prayer of the proud in heart (Luke 18:9-14). Only the humble in heart shall enter into God’s Kingdom, Matthew 18:3-4, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” We must repent of the sin of pride and humble ourselves before a holy God. The truth will set us free (John 8:32).
“Pride is the idolatrous worship of ourselves, and that is the national religion of hell.”
“All pride is idolatry.” -John Wesley
“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523