Power of Pride 2

The sin of pride is the child of unbelief. Pride springs from a disbelief of God to be what He is, in His immense and essential glory, in His infinite, underived, all-comprehending, incomprehensible self-sufficiency; and from a vain conceit of the creature’s being that which indeed it is not—that the creature is something independent of God. Whereas, without His all-supporting and all-supplying hand, it would soon sink into its first nothing, and be, as in and of itself it is, a mere vacuity, less than nothing, and vanity. (Anne Dutton, Letters on Spiritual Subjects)

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

We have tried to show in the previous post that pride and faith should be seen as polar opposites. If that is true, then pride and unbelief are close allies if not the same thing and the power of pride is the power of unbelief. Unbelief, then, is not just a lack of believing something as true, but instead it is the power of a proud heart that is opposed to the living God. We can see that for those who are supposed to walk by faith that a proud heart would make that utterly impossible. The proud heart lives for self and exalts self, and that is precisely what the unbelieving heart does. Humility is the emptying of pride and so the soul exalts God in Christ.

The proud heart trusts in self and relies on self, which should show people that free-will is a false teaching since it always points man to the will of self rather than the grace of Christ. Whether it comes from the pulpit of a professing Arminian or a professing Reformed person, urging people to look to themselves and their own wills is urging them on in their pride. As Romans 4:16 sets out, it is by faith in order that it may be by grace. It is necessary to stress these things repeatedly because our hearts will constantly want to look to self. True and biblical faith requires us to die to our pride in order to have true faith. When we stand Romans 4:16 along side of James 4:6 we can see that God is opposed to the proud and if looking to ourselves for faith is pride then God is opposed to that. God gives grace to the humble, that is, God gives grace to those who have died to their pride (not perfectly) and do not look to self, but instead they look to Him for faith and not themselves.

The proud heart looks to self because it trusts in self rather than God, though indeed it may think that it is trusting in God as it looks to self. However, the proud heart is not looking to God empty of self and empty of any merit, but instead the proud heart is looking to self for faith or something it can do so that God will give it what it wants. The humbled heart looks to King Jesus for all things knowing that He gives according to His perfect wisdom and it will receive all He is pleased to give and know that it comes by grace alone. The creaturely pride is seen in that it always wants to do something that precedes grace, though it may profess something entirely different.

Quoting Dutton from above, “Pride springs from a disbelief of God to be what He is, in His immense and essential glory, in His infinite, underived, all-comprehending, incomprehensible self-sufficiency.” Here we see the heart of pride in many of its aspects. We can see that pride and unbelief go hand and hand. While sinners are born with proud and selfish hearts, the growing in and continuing in pride is a growing in rebellion against God and is in fact a denial of who He is. A proud person that seeks his or her own glory is really a practical atheist that denies the very glory of God in all of His attributes. The proud person is self-reliant and self-sufficient and will not bow to the free-grace of God where His infinite, underived, incomprehensible self-sufficiency is set out for all to admire, adore, and worship.

One of the great battles between the proud person and God is over the issue of self-sufficiency, though it will be put in differing ways. The chief issue of free-will versus free-grace is really self-sufficiency. God is either self-sufficient in saving sinners or sinners must do something of themselves before He will save them. Oh the horror of pride in the nostrils of the one and only glorious God! What a stench it must be for sinful man to think that he can exercise free-will which will move God to save him! What a stench it must be in the nostrils of God for men to look to anything but free-grace to save their wretched souls !

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