Monday, November 12, 2007

Pride and Humility
...the war between vice and virtue

Pride is the most serious of sins in all of Scripture. Pride caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, sin to enter this world, and to cause all mankind to become children of wrath by nature. Pride caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven because he tried to exalt himself above the throne of the Most High God. Pride drove Nebuchadnezzar to be stripped of his royal position and eat the grass of beasts in insanity for seven years for proclaiming: "this is the Babylon that I have built, by my might, and my power, for my glory." Pride made Herod believe his own press release that he had "not the voice of a man, but the voice of a god." And he fell over, was eaten by worms and died for he failed to give God glory. And my friends, pride will bring us low as well. It will cause us to forget our Lord and dishonor His Word. Pride will find sweet solace in wounding others. Pride will split churches, destroy families, cripple ministry, and forfeit God's blessing. Pride seeks and relishes the demise of others. Pride fans the flame of self-importance and with a malicious spirit rejoices in crushing ones neighbor. Pride puts down another in order to lift self up. Pride seeks only the advantage of self. Pride's first impulse is not to serve, but to be served. And pride cherishes unforgiveness and savors revenge.

Humility, however, is the daily surrender of our will to the submission of God’s will so that we may live pleasingly to Him and in right relationship with others in every circumstance and area of our lives. It is the purposeful yielding of ourselves to the Lordship of Christ. It is unqualified obedience to the truth of God. It is the unremitting state of being humble. Humility is quick to confess sin and seek repentance and restoration. It is being a living sacrifice. It is the broken and contrite heart, the broken spirit in which God is not despised. It is an all-inclusive dependence upon the Lord for all things pertaining to life and godliness. It is the denunciation of self-sufficiency, self-fulfillment, and self-aggrandizement. It is loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Humility is counting all things as rubbish except knowing Christ Jesus the Lord. It is denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Christ. It is not loving your life, even unto death. It is embracing the right to be wronged; free from retaliation, revenge and retribution. It is blessing those who curse you, praying for those who mistreat you, doing good to those that hate you. It is loving your enemy. It is to giving up all rights to us so that God may be glorified in all things. It is selflessness. It is treating the eternal as preeminent; and the temporary as modest. It is a high view of God and a low view of ourselves.

I pray the following words will encourage us all to daily guard against the pride of man; and with a whole heart to pursue the humility of Christ.

His Unworthy Servant in His Unfailing Love,
Jer. 9:23-24

"Pride is self contending with God for preeminence."

"A proud faith is as much a contradiction as a humble devil." -STEPHEN CHARNOCK

"Pride is the shirt of the soul, put on first and put off last." -GEORGE SWINNOCK

Job 35:12 “There they cry out, but He does not answer because of the pride of evil men.

Prov. 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.

Prov. 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.

Prov. 16:5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;

Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Prov. 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Dan. 4:37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

1 Pet. 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

"The meek man will attain a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings." -A.W. TOZER

"Repentance is a grace of God's Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed." -THOMAS WATSON

"Humility and love are precisely the graces which the men of the world can understand, if they do not comprehend doctrines. They are the graces about which there is no mystery, and they are within reach of all classes... The poorest Christian can every day find occasion for practicing love and humility." -J. C. RYLE

Prov. 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.

Prov. 16:19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Prov. 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.

Prov. 22:4 The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life.

Is. 66:2 “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

Zeph. 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger.

Eph. 4:1-3 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Col. 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

1 Peter 2:23 When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued trusting Himself to Him who judges justly.

1 Pet. 5:6 ¶ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,


dec said...

"As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings."

"Meekness is not weakness"

While it is true that meekness requires the strength that God provides to endure all things, and meek is not weak in faithfulness to God, by man's common definition meekness is weakness, where weakness is the failure to defend one's self-interest.

I think this is the last port of pride, defending ourselves from unprovoked and unjust attacks. We don't want to appear weak, for, deep down we Christians really do think that meek is weak. That's why we make slogans that support our notion that we can fight back and still be meek.

I've always admired the Amish, who exhibit meekness to the outside world. We can learn from them, that, over time and adversity, even the world has come to see their meekness as strength, for true strength is seen in enduring, not in defending.

Excellent post, Steve.

cyd said...

"Pride is the first sin that ever entered into the
universe, and the last sin that is rooted out."
J. Edwards

"The superlative perfection of the Lord God, and the
absolutely perfect example of our Lord Jesus Christ,
are such that if a man has ever had communion with
these, he shrinks into nothing in his own esteem."

"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Mt.12:29

Excellent post Steve. Thank you!!


Michele Rayburn said...

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

This one verse would keep us Christians from a lot of sins...if we did absolutely nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, and if we, with humbleness of mind, would take the time to regard others as being more important than ourselves.

The Apostle Paul says just before that "If there is any encouragement in Christ...any consolation of love...any fellowship of the Spirit...any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose."

And we do all this by putting off selfishness and conceit and by putting on humility, loving our brothers and sisters in the Lord more than we love ourselves, putting them first, wanting what's best for them, and thinking more highly of them. And most importantly, loving them without putting conditions on that love. As Christ loves us, we should love one another.


I liked what you said, especially that "true strength is seen in enduring, not in defending".

In His Enduring Love,