Question: “What does the Bible say about pride?”
Answer: There is a difference between the kind of pride that God hates (Proverbs 8:13) and the kind of pride we can feel
In yesterday’s devotional, we noted that Love is a commandment of God. Here in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes how utterly useless even the most gifted “Christian” is without love.
Our main text from Chapter 13 will be verse 4 which describes the true characteristics of Charity or Godly Love:
Charity suffereth long, – Godly Love is patient and waits long on others, remembering always the fallen state we too were once in
and is kind; – Godly Love always acts towards the kindness, not just politemness, of others never is a manner harmful to them. Not this does not mean we are pushovers or passavists, but do not actively seek harm to others.
envieth not; Goldy Love does not envy the abilities, accomplishments, or accumilations of others. Goldly love is satisfied with the provisions provided by a sovereign God.
charity vaunteth, not itself, Godly Love is never boastful or prideful. Godly Love seeks to build up others and glorify God above all else.
is not puffed up, Godly Love is not arrogant. There is a BIG difference between being confident or self arrured and arrogant, Godly Love always displays itself as the former.
Godly Love never finds humor, joy or anything good in the misfortunes of others. Whather that is a simple slip and fall or a fall from Grace. Godly Love always hopes and prays for others full redemption.
CONTEXT: Chapter 4 continues where 3 leaves off, reminding the reader that seeking after self, worldly gains, and wisdom will only lead to conflict within the church and their personal lives. Matthew Henry divides it as follows: Here are cautions against corrupt affections, and love of this world, which is enmity to God. (1-10) Exhortations to undertake no affairs of life, without constant regard to the will and providence of God. (11-17)
Before we briefly look at the specifics of our main verse, let me caution the reader that the text is not implying that humility equals being a pushover, a do-nothing, or someone who never speaks up. As always I implore you to read the Whole Counsel of God, Christ Jesus was anything but one of those things, yet He carried out His assigned duties on earth with great Humility.
But he giveth more grace. That is God will always provide more Grace to both believer and non-believer (Common Grace) but especially the effectual Grace needed for Salvation and a lasting relationship with the Triune God.
Wherefore he saith, God declares
God resisteth the proud, those who are so self-absorbed that they scoff at the notion of God. Psalm 1:1, Romans 1:18
but giveth grace unto the humble. those who will admit that apart from Christ they love the Darkside. John 3:17-21. It can be hard to “Back down” from our self-righteous, self-imposed throne, but that is exactly what God expects of His Children. To humble themselves as obedient children like Christ did Philippians 2:5-7.
Pray for the Grace of Self-Denial and Humility
We must pray for the grace of self-denial.
Lord, give us to seek, not our own good only, but also the good of our neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24(ESV)
And grant that we may not live to ourselves or die to ourselves, but whether we live or die, we may be the Lord’s, and may live and die to him. Romans 14:7-8(ESV)
We must pray for humility and meekness.
Lord, give us to learn from Christ to be gentle and lowly in heart, that we may find rest for our souls; Matthew 11:29(ESV) and that herein the same mind may be in us that was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5(ESV)
Lord, conceal pride from us, Job 33:17(ESV) and clothe us with humility; 1 Peter 5:5(ESV) and put upon us the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in your sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4-5(ESV)
Lord, give us grace to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:1-2(ESV)
Let anger never lodge in our bosoms, Ecclesiastes 7:9(ESV) nor the sun ever go down on our anger; Ephesians 4:26(ESV) but enable us to show perfect courtesy toward all people, because we ourselves were once foolish and disobedient. Titus 3:2-3(ESV)
Let us be clothed as becomes the elect children of God, holy and beloved, with compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12(ESV) that being merciful, even as our heavenly Father is merciful, Luke 6:36(ESV) we may be perfect as he is perfect. Matthew 5:48(ESV)
Jeremiah 9 is a continuation from Chapter 8, a lament of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem because of the nation of Israel’s rebellious (turning their backs on God) ways.
As bad a Jeremiah feels about this he wants to escape the events, v.2. I think so that he would not be a witness to the final days of complete debauchery/disobedience more so than the destruction.
The people should be wailing and crying out for forgiveness but, their religiosity is superficial. God uses the rite of circumcision, to make His point saying in verses 23-26, we see that righteousness is not a compliance issue, but a heart issue. God says all who are only circumcised in the foreskin, ‘those ones who are wise and skillful boast in their own insight’, but not in the heart will be judged swiftly and righteously.
Many years ago I went forward to an altar call said a little prayer, “got saved”, and all was supposedly all good. EXCEPT like Judah my heart was uncircumcised, I wanted the get out of jail card but not the LORD of my life part.
The question for today is your heart circumcised?
Jesus sits down at His final meal with His disciples and a argument breaks out. They have just learned of Jesus’ betrayal and of course no one is going own up to that so the next “logical” thing to “discuss” is who is the greatest among them.
Most folks in their core want some varying level of acknowledgement for a job well done. There is nothing wrong with hoping to get words of encouragement or praise for doing well. It is when we go out of our way to seek these things “a job well done if I do say so myself” where pride raises its ugly head. Here is a perfect example of that. Jesus has in the three preceding verses Luke 22:21-23, dropped a bombshell announcement and they quickly dismiss it for selfish interests.
Of course Jesus being whom He is appears to let them go at it a moment and then quells the storm that is brewing by simply reminding them who is truly the greatest, v.27; For who is the greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
Who is greater the master (diner) or servant. Jesus reminds them He is a servant and they recognize Him as greater than all. So the next time Pride roars its ugly head remember our Servant Saviour Jesus Christ, who willingly humbled Himself for you and me.
The 26th Chapter of Isaiah is a Song of Praise. Many bible headings have different interpretations of what the “theme” or subject of the Song is, I tend to agree with some of the old scholars in that it is a Song dedicated to the well being and prosperity of the church along with the ruining of its enemies.
The church, Israel, God’s chosen, are represented by a strong city v.1, it is said to have strong (impenetrable) gates which are open to all who are righteous v.2. Here in they (we) can find perfect peace v.3, by trusting in the Lord v.4.
If anyone thinks himself lofty and more sovereign than God, He will surely bring them down v.5-6. For the path of the chosen is one of righteousness and God judges those travels v.7. In fact your people have waited and prayed for you oh Lord to make straight our path of righteousness that we may follow you v.8-9.
Let favour be shewed to the wicked, – Various Bibles translate this differently and I think it changes the meaning (to those who do not thoroughly study) for example:
AMP: Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor,
ESV: If favor is shown to the wicked
NKJV: Let grace be shown to the wicked
How often is the case that the wicked unrepentant we see in life seem to have it all while we struggle? What do we do about it? Curse them, that is wish ill upon their favor or pray for their good fortune and repentance. I hope the later. Isaiah would seem to have us ask for favor to be shown upon our enemies (context) how often do we ask for that?
yet will he not learn righteousness: – Isaiah points out that no matter how much of God’s Grace some folks get, their hearts are to harden to accept the free gift of God’s Love that goes along with it. This does not mean we stop trying to share the Good News or pray for them.
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, – These unrighteous men (and women) will continue to deal unrighteously for a time here on earth. Those who are openly rebellious against God’s word need our intervention (prayer) more than ever.
and will not behold the majesty of the Lord. – Do not get discouraged in our efforts some folks no matter how hard we try, will continue to deny what is clearly before their eyes, the majesty of the Lord.
Isiah is clearly writing about two different Perspectives on Life.
One from the standpoint of God’s chosen people, His elect born again whom will spend eternity in Heaven. These see reason even during life’s troubling times to Praise Him and Glorify His name forever.
The other from those who are blinded by their own self (pride). They deny what is easy to see in front of them and make up every excuse to not seek the truth.
The question(s) for today are what Perspective on Life do you have? Do you see the MAJESTY of God before you today?
Thanks to LP, Jr. for the idea behind today's devotional
by Jerod Gilcher | Sep 29, 2020
There is a myth that has long filled the church: that the more theology you know, the more prideful you become. And sadly this is often more reality than myth (cf. 1 Cor. 8:1). Men and women throughout church history have all been guilty of becoming ‘puffed up’ with knowledge that doesn’t humble them. We have all, at one time or another, clubbed down well-intended, yet misinformed saints with our doctrine. And if we’re not careful, we all will grab our theological clubs again.
But doctrine is not to blame for pride. The one responsible is the fallen saint who wields the doctrine. What if the intended effect of doctrine was just the opposite? What if the deeper we descended in our understanding of God, the more humble we became?…
The bible is full of references that make it clear that man that is ALL MANKIND is messed up apart for the Grace of God. A few of the more known examples (ESV) include:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— … Ephesians 2:1-22
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Romans 5:12
I could go on and on and on. I think I counted well over 100 bible verses referencing man’s sin nature. While many deny the bible, one only has to look at the utter chaos and depravity going on in the streets of many major cities in the U.S. and around the world to understand mankind is truly MESSED UP.
Though the Lord be high, – The Lord sits in His rightful position of Leadership and Authority; deserving all the dignity, honor and glory that comes with being the Lord Almighty creator of Heaven and Earth.
yet hath he respect – Some (just look at many of our elected officials) let the Authority and Power of a position swell their heads so to speak. If anyone had the right to be arrogant it would be He who is All Knowing, All Powerful and Ever Present.
Instead God is a respecter of persons, that is He views His creation with pleasure.
unto the lowly: – Ah, but not all His creation pleases Him. As this and many other verses make clear it is only the lowly, those who have a contrite heart.
but the proud – The proud man, that is the kind of pride in man that God hates, The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Proverbs 8:13 is different than pride we can have in accomplishing something for the Kingdom.
he knoweth afar off. – Note it is very clear, God hates a prideful (arrogant) man but we must be WARNED even taking pride in one’s accomplishments can lead to self pride and sin. This leads to separation (no fellowship with) from God.
It is not often I get to use a Clint Eastwood movie in one of my devotionals but here goes:
The Good: God’s love His creation
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
THE BAD: Not everyone will respond to God’s Love
SEE VERSES ABOVE
AND THE UGLY: Those failing to respond are doomed for eternity
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Last point before I close, less anyone think the “Ugly” is unfair, unjust etc. the same old tired excuses we hear all the time from doubters, remember Romans 1:19-21 God makes it clear the maximum effective range of your excuse is zero meters.
Paul in Chapter 3 has given instructions for good Christian living.
He then switches gears and begins Chapter 4 with a sort of defense of his ministry. As you can imagine from the name and verses selected to represent this ministry we are partial to 1st Corinthians here.
v.1-2 Paul declares himself a servant and faithful steward of Christ Jesus and the true Gospel message.
v.3-5 Paul says he cares little if he is judged (wrongly) by the Corinthians, for the final Judgement Seat of Christ is the one that really matters. I need to note Paul is not saying DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS, he is saying do not unrighteously judge others. For he has done nothing against God or the Corinthians for them to condemn him.
v.6 The church at Corinth has become uppity and self righteous based upon who taught them. They have split into little factions and boast one is better than the other. They quarrel over minor details and forget (because of pride) the things of God Romans 14:1, 2 Timothy 2:23-24, Titus 3:9.
Paul finishes this part of his letter to the church at Corinth, with a series of 4 questions (here from the NLT):
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? – We used to say when I was a kid “who died and made you boss”. Paul in a way makes a similar statement here asking the Corinthians ‘what is so different or special about them‘ that they can pass unfounded judgement upon him.
What do you have that God hasn’t given you? – What have they done to earn the right and their righteousness? Has not God given and provided all they have? What special quality did they bring to the table on their own?
And if everything you have is from God, – If you can not acknowledge all you have is from God James 1:17 , YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN. To some them is fighting words, to a true child of God they are just the plain biblical truth.
why boast as though it were not a gift? – If the only good we have in us is from God, the only thing we should be boasting about is GOD, Psalm 34:2, Romans 15:17, 1 Corinthians 1:31.
Boasting and Bragging about anything except God is never looked upon favorably in the bible. The world may teach us to brag about our accomplishments to display our trophies loud and proud. yet for a “Christian” to be boastful about their own accomplishments is a sign of weakness and immaturity in their faith.
I love how James 4:16 puts it (AMP) But as it is, you boast [vainly] in your pretension and arrogance. All such boasting is evil. It is evil because it casts God aside for pride and self.
We are a to follow examples like the apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 11:16-31, to humbly serve as Faithful Stewards of all God has given us, giving Him all the Glory.