Friday, February 4, 2011

Pride, The Greatest Problem of the Human Race

Pride, I can feel it rearing up its ugly head in me frequently. Since I started this blog, I have felt it come up after I post something. I think, "Oh, this is good, I wonder if anyone is reading this?" I even try to justify it in my mind thinking I'm doing this for the Lord so I am just excited to see what the Lord is doing. Then I proceed to spend precious time looking at my stats and looking at facebook to see if anyone has commented. There are other ways pride comes up in my life. I am guilty of passing judgement of others, thinking 'I'm all that', and much more. I want to confess. I am sick with pride.

Pride comes in many forms. John Piper speaks of these in his message "Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting" 
boasting is the outward form of the inner condition of pride. And pride has been the root cause of all the evils and miseries of the world, described in Romans 1:18-3:20......The truth is available to all people in one way or the other, and instead of humbling ourselves under it, we stand over it and push it down. This is pride. It may take hundreds of different forms - from the most petite and delicate to the most powerful and crude - but the reality is the same: we will stand over the truth and accept what we like and suppress what we don't........
...Then in Romans 2:3, Paul shows the form this pride takes in the morally vigilant: "Do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" There is such a thing as the pride of the lecherous and there is also the pride of the legally careful, moral person.
There is even the pride of the religious person who uses his knowledge of God to exalt himself. Romans 2:17, "If you bear the name 'Jew' and rely upon the Law and boast in God . . ." and then he goes on to warn them against hypocrisy. The same could be true of any religious group. We are all tempted to make God himself a means of our own self-exaltation.
And when Paul comes to the end of his long indictment of the human race as all being under sin (3:9), he says in climax in 3:18, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." They don't tremble before God. They have exchanged the glory of God for other things. And they have such an overweening sense of their own significance in the world that they can't even imagine trembling before their Maker and Judge. 
boasting is the outward form of the deep, root-problem of the human race, pride. This moral corruption lies behind all the evils and miseries of the world. And, worst of all, this pride has put us at odds with God, so that, as Romans 3:19b says, "Every mouth is stopped and all the world has become accountable to God." We are under his judgment because of our pride and all the sin that flows from it. 
Pride is the the biggest issue people deal with. There are 277 occurrences in the bible on the subject of pride. Here are a few:

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16:18 ESV)
"A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor." (Prov. 29:23 NASB)
"Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment." (Psalm 73:6 ESV)
"By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom." (Prov. 13:10 ESV)
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Prov. 11:2 ESV)
"In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.' " (Psalm 10:4 ESV)
"And he said, 'What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.' "(Mark 7:20-23 ESV)
So how do we deal with it? What can we do to avoid it? Pride is just one of a multitude of sins. We can't just deal with one, eventually, we have to deal with them all.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18 ESV)
If God is so angry, how can we be put right with God?

First, we must understand self.
Self is the fleshly, carnal life of nature, the nature of the first Adam- "dead in our trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1); throughly corrupt before God (Gal 5:19-21); the life in which their is no good thing in the sight of God (Rom 7:18) -Miles J. Stanford "The Green Letters" Ch.10 "Self"
Then, we must believe that we have been justified.

Romans 3:21-26 says:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 
God sent His Son to die in the place of sinners in order to repair the damage done to His glory through our pride and sin. God's wrath was absorbed by Christ instead of us because Christ gave Himself as a propitiation (mercy seat). The ransom was paid to release us from our guilt of sin and now we are justified, which means on the bases of what Christ did on the cross we are declared righteous!

"Paul says in verse 24: "[We are] justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." The redemption price - the ransom - was paid by Christ outside of us in history. This unleashed an avalanche of grace toward us, and the form that grace has taken is the free gift of justification. Verse 24: "we are set right with God as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." -John Piper from the message "Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting"
Finally, we must STAND in our position.

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
"even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," (Ephesians 2:5-6 ESV)
"Our position, the source of our Christian life, is perfect. It is eternally established in the Father's presence. When we received the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior, the Holy Spirit caused us to be born into Him. He created us in the position that was established through His work at Calvary. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation)" (2 Cor. 5:17). This is an eternal position in which every believer has been placed, whether he is aware of it or not. The Christian who comes to see his position in the Lord Jesus begins to experience the benefit of all that he is in Him. His daily state is developed from the source of his eternal standing." -Miles J. Stanford "The Principle of Position" Ch. 1 "Position Defined and Illustrated"
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1 ESV)
When the Holy Spirit reveals sins in my life, I confess them. Pray something like this- Lord, Thank you for revealing to me what I am doing. I confess I have been prideful. (I try to be specific. If I don't know exactly what the sin is, I say what I have been doing. The law is written on our hearts so you will know when you have sinned) I hate that I have hurt my family/friends, I hate that this issue has caused a wedge between me and my family/friends. I do not want this sin to come up again. I pray you will continue to point out to me when I act this way and that you will help me understand what I need to do to stop it from happening again. Thank you Lord for forgiving our sin. In Jesus Name, Amen. Accept that your forgiven and then BELIEVE you are justified. Finally, STAND on your position in Christ.

"We take our position, not by attempting to get it, but simply by seeing that we are already positioned in the Lord Jesus. We abide in Him by resting in this fact. We have been in this risen position ever since our new birth. As we come to realize this truth and to "stand in this standing" in Him, we begin to experience the daily benefits of our life that is hid with Christ in God. Our attitude becomes, "I see my position in the Lord Jesus, and I abide there; I rest in Him, not only as my Savior, but as my life." Faith in our position will be growth in our condition." -Miles J. Stanford "The Principle of Position" Ch. 1 "Position Defined and Illustrated" 

Here are some links I have found helpful:

Justification by Faith is the End of Boasting- message by John Piper

How To Fight the Sin of Pride, Especially When You Are Praised-Ten things I do- Article by John Piper

Live Positionally, Positively, Possessively, Triumphantly!

Kelley Jo

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