Pride goeth before a fall. You've heard of the Great Wall of China, right? Well, pride is the foundation of the great wall of sin that separates God from man - me and you included.
Please read James 4:1-17 before starting GraspingGod.com's free Bible study lessons, #1.11
Previous lesson: Satan Cast Out #1.10
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) What one sin led to both the fall of angels and the fall of mankind?
2) Name some things that can trigger one's sin of pride.
3) Why does pride stop a person's improvement?
Thanks for stopping in and joining me in a very important lesson. All of us struggle with pride and maybe the more we talk about it, the less of it we'll have. I sure hope so! Grab a glass of lemonade and let's start the lesson.
There are many warnings about pride in the Bible for good reason. Pride took down both of God's greatest creations - angels and humans. Satan and his angels, and Adam and the human race, were all cast out of God's presence because of the horrible sin of pride. Satan and Adam represented the two great races of creatures - angels and humans.
The history of Jesus Christ would appear much different to us if the pride of angels and humans wouldn't have upset the perfect universe he created. His creation would have remained perfect without the sin of pride. Order would have remained with all living and non-living things.
Pride goeth before a fall. One of the most glorious and powerful cherub angels, Lucifer (aka Satan), became proud because of his beauty and stature. Other angels admired him, and his spirit became haughty. Satan reveled in the admiration, and when he became jealous of Christ's higher status he sought the throne of the One who created him.
Soon, Satan and his followers were cast down to earth. Pride led the creature to seek to rule the Creator. That will never work in God's plan, with God saying as much, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18, KJV).
Pride goeth before a fall - even the fall of man. Adam and Eve were in perfect union with one another and with Jesus Christ, their Creator. They were pure and innocent in God's eyes, actually being involved in the ultimate love relationship with him. Soon they were tempted by Satan and broke one of God's commands.
Original sin befell them. The pride of man led them to seek the type of intelligence that only God possesses. Although intelligence is normally a good thing, one doesn't break God's commands to gain it, especially the type of knowledge that understands both good and evil. Their innocence was destroyed.
Adam and Eve failed, falling because of the sin of pride in their own abilities.
Pride leads to evil desires, impure motives, and destroys God's most precious creatures. Please understand this crucial element of humanity that must be fought against.
Pride goeth before a fall, and sometimes the destruction is eternal. Learn and live.
The definition of pride one finds in the dictionary doesn't really explain how it affects who we are, or what we've become because of its terrible consequences. Take this definition of pride, for instance: "a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc."
While it's true that pride is a lofty view of one's own self, defining pride need not be so wordy. The term "pride goeth before a fall" actually tells us more information than the definition provided. This term at least informs us that a fall is the by-product of sinful pride.
A biblical definition of pride, rather, a proud person, is simply, "one who is wise in his own eyes."
Pride is conceit and arrogance in an individual. The Bible says there is more hope for a fool than for a proud person. A proud person can't improve his life, because he feels he is already an expert in everything (Proverbs 26:12). Some things that birth pride in an individual are laziness (Proverbs 26:16), wealth (Proverbs 28:11), unsanctified knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:11), self-righteousness (Luke 18:11-12), possession of power (Ezekiel 30:6), and spiritual immaturity (1 Timothy 3:6).
Pride goeth before a fall. The biggest problem teaching pride, unfortunately, is that a proud person won't listen to teaching. He usually has to fall, and fall again, before learning the painful truth.
Pride will destroy one's spiritual life. Pride keeps us from realizing that we are all totally depraved and incapable of seeking God on our own (Romans 3:23). Pride also blocks God's acceptance of us when we attempt to ask him into our lives. First Peter 5:5 says, "God opposes the proud, but favors the humble." God resists pride.
Pride is the wall that separates God from man. God lets a proud man fend for himself until he breaks down, realizing that he is abandoned to his own devices. God hates pride, and until a person humbles himself God will remain distant.
Pride goeth before a fall. My senior pastor warned me soon after becoming a Christian that I should never get comfortable in regards to my Christian walk. The reason he counseled me was because the powers of temptation and pride would combine forces to test me. We all need to take heed lest we fall. My pastor was right, sinful pride is a monstrous power that seeks and destroys God's work, which happens to be us and our Christian testimonies.
We've all witnessed the rise and fall of great people. Pride leads to blindness and eventually sin. Too much pride in our hearts will stop us from reading the Bible, prayer, and serving God. Excessive pride keeps us from true repentance before God. Repentance means we are to accept God's ways, and apply them to our lives. We turn from our own wrong thoughts and actions, towards righteousness. Pride stops us from real repentance. The great wall of sin, with pride as its foundation, blocks our path to repentance.
Pride is the primary source of all sin. Tracing any sin back to it's roots, will there find pride standing alone, smirking. Pride leads each of us to break God's commandments, because it elevates our hearts and minds above God. Because of pride we think we don't need God and his word in our lives. Pride is a blinder over our spiritual eyes, and keeps us from seeing God's holiness and his work.
Personal pride makes us all hypocrites. Pride makes non-Christians point at Christians and accuse them of falling short of what they believe. Pride makes Christians point at non-Christians and judge their actions. Pride makes Christians condemn one another. The reason is that sinful pride makes us compare ourselves to other people. That's wrong, because we judge others and put them down, while raising ourselves up.
People who are ashamed at their sinful lives seek to build pride in who and what they are by naming their organizations with "pride." Here are a couple examples from a quick Google search: Lesbian Pride, Pagan Pride, Southern Pride Smokers, and Atlanta Black Gay Pride.
People try to rebuild their sin-crushed, seared consciences by elevating personal pride in themselves. Like the natural amounts of pride they have aren't enough, they're trying to make it better, but only making it worse.
Sin begets sin. The last thing they need is more pride, which got them in trouble in the first place. That is really messed up, and it should break our hearts. Pride goeth before a fall, and sometimes the fall is so great the downward spiral never ends.
This following pride quote by Jonathon Edwards hits the mark in a graphic way. Our minds must separate God from human religion. Religion is not God, nor is God religion. Fighting for a human, earthly institution is not zeal for God - it is zeal for Satan. Read and understand this valuable insight from a great 18th century preacher:
Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of religion. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment. This is the main handle by which the devil has hold of religious persons, and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces, to clog and hinder a work of God . . . Alas! How much pride have the best of us in our hearts! It is the worst part of the body of sin and death, the first sin that ever entered into the universe and the last that is rooted out. It is God's most stubborn enemy!
Jonathon Edwards, 1703-1758
Excessive pride leads to boasting, or bragging about who we are, what we do, or what we own. We're all guilty of these things. The Bible tells us to only boast about Jesus Christ, and him crucified - all other boasting is sinful (James 4:16).
Galatians 6:14 says, "Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." What don't we understand about this message? We are slaves of Jesus, and last time I checked slaves don't lay claim to many things.
Overcoming pride starts in your mind, so know these facts: We are NOTHING . . . without our Savior's love. The only good we possess ... comes directly from God, by his graceful gifts. Repeat those two things until you lock them into your worldview.
We can overcome pride by ceasing to measure our lives and activities against other people. We can begin by measuring our own life by the life and actions of Jesus Christ. True disciples of Jesus follow him. True disciples don't exalt themselves by putting other people down. Jesus must be the measure of your life.
You, me, and all other people now have to seek humility through biblical repentance (Acts 20:21). This ensures our forgiveness by God.
Pride goeth before a fall. Pride got the world into this present mess, and only humility will rescue us from the ruins. Don't find this truth out the hard way. If temptation is knocking at your door, drop to your knees in repentance, before falling on your face from sin. God will be pleased with your choice!
Join our next lesson: Noah's Ark # 1.12
Bible Study Questions:
1) Are some types of pride okay to express? If so, give examples.
2) What does one find when they trace any sin back to its roots?
3) Where does humility begin?
Inspirational Bible Verses:
Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. I Corinthians 10:12
Pride leads to shame, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Pure and simple, faith not lived every day is not faith, it is facade. Unknown author
Quotes on Pride:
A cold, self-righteous prude who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. C.S. Lewis Quotes
Pride, or the loss of humility, is the root of every sin and evil. Andrew Murray
The gospel insists that what stands between humans and God is pride - the stubborn refusal to derive our worth from God's love alone. Peter C. Moore
Learn to break your own will. Be zealous against yourself! Allow no pride to dwell in you. Thomas a Kempis
Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the one who has it. Author unknown
The greatest fault is to be conscious of none. Thomas Carlyle
More Pride Quotes!
A proud monk needs no demon. He has turned into one, an enemy to himself. John Climacus
He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow. George Eliot
Final Quotes on Pride: (You people just can't get enough!)
They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud. John Flavel
The signs of humility are poverty, withdrawal from the world, the concealment of one's wisdom, simplicity of speech, the seeking of alms, the disguising of one's nobility, the exclusion of free and easy relationships, and no idle talk. John Climacus
If you plan to build a tall house of virtues, you must first lay deep foundations of humility. Augustine of Hippo
We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterizes true Christianity. Jonathon Edwards
True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us. Tryon Edwards
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
Dear Sovereign Creator,
You are Holy, the Almighty God
All things you propose come to pass
Your work always marches onward
Who are we, O God, to question You?
Why do we strive on our own?
Pride goeth before a fall,
It is as you say, Lord.
When will our foolishness end?
Oh Lord, please have mercy
Be patient, as I seek repentance
Hopefully, humility will find me
Raise me up on your wings, Jesus
Fly me far away from this cumbersome pride
Bring me to where goodness eternally presides
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