Religious Pride and Deception 35

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.

If it is the case that pride blinds the soul from the truth of the Scriptures and the nature of God, then it is not enough to teach people the facts and nothing but the facts. It is not enough to give people information and leave that alone. If it is the case that pride blinds yet pride in religious things is a worse form of blindness, then religious things should be used very carefully and all people should seek to be given grace to be rid of pride as they would the very worst of disease. If it is the case that religious pride not only just blinds people to the truth of the Scriptures and of the nature of God, but in fact religious pride is a terrible deception, then people are in a terrible bondage who are in the bonds of religious pride. Religious pride will spoil and ruin all positive steps, but it will also send people down a spiraling staircase into the very depths of deception and then hell.

A man can be orthodox, a scholar, a minister, an elder or whatever and still be blinded by religious pride. A man can be all of the things in the previous sentence and spend hours and hours in his study every day and do nothing but deepen his blindness and deception. Pride is so insidious that the things that are most used to increase knowledge and spirituality are also used to deepen a person’s blindness and deception. The more a blind and deceived man reads the Bible for knowledge and information (as opposed to seeking God), the more blind and deceived that person will be. Reading the Bible for knowledge and information will puff that person up and blind them to the real truth which is the glory of God in the face of Christ.

In former BLOGS on this subject I Corinthians 8:1 was brought up. It tells us that knowledge puffs up and makes arrogant, which shows us why reading the Bible for knowledge and information (rather than seeking the Lord) will blind us to the real truth. It seems to be rather simple in the basic teaching of Scripture that God opposes the proud, so God will oppose the goals and ends of the proud when they are studying Scripture for reasons of pride. Interestingly enough, as Scripture tells us in Psalm 115:8, those who make idols become like them. Those who do things out of pride (idol of self) become more and more proud. The study of the Bible while in possession of a proud heart and a desire to gain knowledge of it is nothing more than an act of pride and God opposes that as He does all the proud. An effort to use holy things for the exaltation of self does not make pride better, but instead it is far worse.

Study that is academic or an effort to gain knowledge for the sake of self is simply a proud way that leads to errors of the proud or a studied error. A proud heart wants to believe what it has taken time and effort to come up with, but if it is not gained from the teaching of Christ in the inward man it will blind the person to the truth. It may be the case that the more we study from pride the blinder we will be in our studies. Very learned and intelligent men can spend their lives in the study of the Bible (as did the Pharisees) and simply do nothing but become more and more proud not to mention being hardened in their errors.

A proud man remains proud unless God turns his heart and that man becomes like a child. Even if a proud man becomes very religious, that man will be proud in the things of religion. We must always keep in mind that the degrees a person holds and the amount of time a person spends in study does not mean that they know God and know Scripture in truth, but instead it may mean that the person is becoming more and more proud and full of self. The world sets a premium on learning, but God sets a premium on those who know Him. The Scriptures do not tell us that eternal life is in knowing about God, but in knowing God. We must study Scripture as creatures who should seek the Lord in order to know Him and glorify Him rather than seek them to exalt ourselves.

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