Religious Pride and Deception 28

Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. 11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.

Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

From Genesis 3 through Revelation we see God opposing the proud but giving grace to the humble. We see that God fights the proud in many ways, sometimes even giving them many good things of the world. He will give the proud many worldly things and plenty of riches, but those things are judgments to those who are proud and their proud hearts will love money and it will ruin them to a greater degree. But in the Old Testament we see time and time again that God loves the humble. Moses was the most humble man on earth (Numbers 12). David, though indeed one that fell into sin, was a man after God’s heart and was humbled deeply over his sin. We see the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Gospel of grace alone and grace cannot stand with pride but will either overcome it or will not dwell with it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for the humble and the humble alone. It is for those for whom God has shown that they are sinners who have no spiritual ability at all and so they wait for God to give them grace in order to have faith. These poor in spirit are those who know that they are in bondage to the devil and sin and that God must show them grace in order for them to be delivered from that dominion of darkness. The proud heart of man does not want to admit or face the real problem of his proud and sinful heart. Proud man cannot bear to think that he is in bondage to the devil and sin and that he cannot help himself. Proud man resists with all of his might to think that he is dead in sin and cannot make himself alive. The Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Gospel of grace alone stands opposed to the proud heart of man and proud men hate the cross of Christ and the Gospel of grace alone.

Man wants to be his own God in terms of deciding whether to save himself or not, to be his own God in terms of when to save himself or not, and he wants to be his own God in terms of whether to save him from his pride or save him and leave him in his pride. All of the false gospels in the world today are results of proud men straying from the true Gospel because of their pride or because of the blindness brought on them by their pride. But the true Gospel of grace alone is a Gospel that will humble sinners and bring them down in their own eyes. The true Gospel is for those who have been turned and are like little children rather than the proud who are full of themselves and their own abilities. How beautiful the passage above (Matthew 18:1-3) really is. How glorious is the message that God will not leave sinners in their pride but that He will turn them and He will work in them to become like little children in His hands.

While it is true that no one is ever perfectly humble in this life and that all have room to grow in humility, the law breaks sinners and empties them of the pride of hope in self and of all that they can do to save themselves. Those who try to obtain humility while still in their sin or flesh will simply be deceived by their false humility. What is required is to truly be humble according to the standards of God and not according to what men think it is. The proud and fleshly heart of man will work hard at being humble, but it is nothing but the flesh of his proud heart and is nothing more than an appearance of humility. True humility comes in stages. The fleshly man will be broken by the law until he has no hope in the flesh. When a person has no hope in the flesh, that person will look to Christ to give him faith by grace. When a person has a new heart and has Christ Himself dwelling in that person, then that person has true humility because Christ is his or her life. But the fight is never over until heaven. While the unregenerate man has a form or religious pride, true believers are at war with their spiritual pride as well. God will keep His people humble to some degree and He will use the remaining pride of their hearts to accomplish that.

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