God and Pride Do Not Mix (James 4:6-10)
God and Pride Do Not Mix
One time I was in a Bible study with someone and it was specifically about remarriage. The situation under discussion was a clear violation of Matthew 19:9; there was no doubt about it. But the individual was persistent that they should be able to do what they were wanting to do and what struck me was this comment: “Doesn’t grace fit in somewhere?”
What that question illustrates is a prevalent idea many people have in the religious world and in some parts of Christianity today - God’s grace will cover anything and everything I do. In fact, that person’s question suggests that I can live in complete disobedience to God’s word and God’s grace will cover me.
A related idea to this is the belief that if someone teaches John 3:16 will passion, even accurately, then God’s grace will cover them if they do not teach accurately Acts 2:38. I have even seen some Christians who have decided that Acts 2:38 does not have to be understood and obeyed because someone they love and respect teaches John 3:16 so beautifully. But, of course, this all is wrong but it has led many Christians to abandon the clear teaching of Scripture because they get “sincerity” mixed up with obedience.
First, anyone walking with God can only be humble and submissive. The greater our concept of God is, the greater our humility will be. The greater our humility is, the greater our submission will be. The unique, foundational virtue in Christianity is humility.
When it comes to spirituality, humility is not “in.” Submission is not “in.” If it is not of humility, then it is not of God! Biblical spirituality does not promote pride. Only humble people can serve.
GOD AND PRIDE DO NOT MIX:
God will have nothing to do with a proud member or a proud church:
The church in Sardis – Revelation 3:1
The church in Laodicea – Revelation 3:17
A proud church cannot save the world
Something said or done hurts my feelings and I react. Then I see my selfish will, my pride, my littleness. Jesus called sinners “fools.” People are not bothered when called “sinners;” they are devastated when branded “losers”.
“Fake humility” is our greatest hypocrisy. This is pride masquerading as humility. Why should man be proud? Can he be proud of his record? Man’s record is one of war, racism, hate, bigotry, lying, cheating, sexual immorality, violence, crime, poverty and meanness!
CHRIST DEFINED HUMILITY:
A humble man will not claim humility. God humbled himself in Jesus Christ – Philippians 2:1-11. Salvation by grace defines humility. Jesus did not teach humility; He was humility. “Blessed are the poor in spirit” is the foundation of the beatitudes. “Who then is the greatest”? asked the disciples. Jesus took a child – Matthew 18:4. Luke 14:11
Pride is thinking too much of yourself; humility is simply “not thinking of yourself”. Get your mind off yourself and yourself off your mind.
Psychology promotes self-seeking, self-esteem, self-awareness; Jesus preached self-denial. Deny yourself, take up the cross.
Unless one is humble, he cannot be like Jesus.
Truth humbles. Love humbles. Sin humbles.
Humility was no more desirable among men than a garbage dump. To the Roman, it was weakness. To the Greek, it was despised. Being humble was synonymous with being a weakling, a coward.
Humility involves both being and doing. It is a decision, an action, a commitment. We humble ourselves before men – Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3.
Humility displays itself in two ways:
Integrity – Capacity of self-criticism. Judge ourselves first.
Honesty – Humility demands we rejoice when others succeed. Another’s success does not make me a failure – Romans 12:15
REPENTANCE CAUSES HUMILITY:
Penitent people are humble. They are accountable, guilty, loss, and helpless. Repentance causes humility.
Repentance comes when God and truth conquer our wills. Daily repentance is the real index of our daily walk.
Hananiah’s False Prophecy – Jeremiah 28
Hananiah’s First Message – 28:1-4
Vs 1 Yoke of the King of Babylon – 27:12
Vs 2 Two years, bring back – 27:16
Jeremiah’s First Message – 28:5-9
Thus says the Lord… (vs 8)
Lev. 26:14-39 - Moses
1 Kings 14:15 – Ahijah
1 Kings 22:17 – Prophet of God
Hananiah’s Second Message – 28:10-11
Yoke from Jeremiah – 27:2
Jeremiah’s Second Message – 28:12-16
Yoke of iron to serve Neb – Deut. 28:48; Jer. 25:11
Trust in a lie – Jer. 20:6; 39:31
God chastises Hananiah – 28:17
Only Paul can submit Paul. It is our own choice. God can chastise us; He can work through various circumstances. Paul has to repent and humble himself.
Charles Spurgeon said, “I believe every Christian has a choice between being humble and being humbled.”
The essence of spirituality is dependency. Humility – we talk about it, we want it, we admire it, and we eulogize it. But it is hard to practice it.
2 Chronicles 7:13, 14
Take home message: Let us make sure that we are submitting ourselves to the teachings in God’s word and not making exceptions to His commandments.