Religious Pride and Deception 34

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.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

While the lying pen of the scribes makes the law of God a lie in certain ways, pride that blinds and self-love and self-focus will also turn the law of God into something it is not. One does not have to actually change the words to change the Word of God into a lie, but by changing the meaning of words and making the text say something it does not one can also change the Word of God into a lie. Pride will deal with the text of Scripture in a way that is advantageous for self rather than what the text says. Pride will preserve its pride by changing the meaning of the text with the excuse that the text cannot mean what it appears to say. Pride will change the text so that pride can keep what is said so that it can maintain pride even when the text commands things that cannot be done by man apart from the strength of grace. It takes a humble heart or a heart seeking humility and God to deal with Scripture as it should be dealt with.

Pride is what men and women are born with since the fall and so they want to be as God judging Scripture by themselves rather than having Scripture be the revelation of God and His glory. How our proud hearts want others to exalt us rather than God for our profound knowledge of Scripture. At times we are willing to be thought of as sinners and even bad ones in certain circles as long as we are thought to have great knowledge and to have people think of us as humble. But the human heart is so wicked, even when it appears kind, good, and nice, that it thinks of self rather than God and wants honor for self rather than God. The Scriptures are the revelation of the true God and when the proud human heart that wants to as God is reading and interpreting Scripture, it will change the truth of Scripture to make it more like itself rather than be a reflection of His glory.

Pride is that drives men and women to change the text of many, many Scriptures, Matthew 18:1-4 (above) included. It is the proud heart that does not think that it really needs to be turned (converted) by God, but instead it thinks that it can turn itself as far as is needed. But of course the proud heart fails to see or is blind to the fact that it is its very pride and it is the very self that must be turned. The proud heart will not only think that it can change itself, but it thinks that humility is in its own power and so thinks that it is great or that it can attain greatness in that way. Pride, then, is a horrible power and attitude in the human heart that is at enmity with the true God and the true Scriptures. Pride wants to retain the love of self and to be its own god while interpreting Scripture and in life as a whole. Pride wants to be able to be saved and retain its pride. Pride does not want to face the fact that it is pride and self that a person must be turned from and saved from.

Jesus told one of the most religious groups in His time on earth that they were mistaken in that they did not understand the Scriptures or the power of God. They challenged Jesus Himself on the basis of their misunderstanding. The same is true at any point in human history. Proud man changes Scripture or misinterprets Scripture and then challenges the truth with his profound error. Proud man does not understand the true nature of God and yet will challenge others based on his own misunderstanding. Pride blinds men to who they are and to the nature of God and the truth of Scripture. Proud man walks in great error in all of his ways and yet may think that he is walking in truth. The horrors that pride has brought to humanity is beyond human calculation, yet each person loves self in pride and interprets all things according to self and the refusal of self to give up its pride. Oh how pride is such a great power in the soul that it takes a Divine power to cast it out. How dangerous is the proud heart in thinking it is sufficient in its own power to study Scripture and fulfill it in its own strength.

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