The Power of Pride 8

This sin of pride which turned myriads of angels of light into legions of black devils, and that for this they were hurled down from heaven to the bottomless pit of hell. (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.”

When we think of sin, our most likely thought is that of others. Perhaps we may have read some of the older writers and as such meditate on our own sin as we seek God to break our hearts from pride and self, but it is rare for us to trace sin back to the Satan and his legions of demons. It is here that we should face the facts of what sovereign grace really is and of the terrible and wicked sin of pride. As we think of Satan and how it was that he fell, it is clear from the scant evidence from Scripture on the subject that he was a very proud being. It was in his own desire to be like God that he used to deceive the first couple and they sinned. We can see that he was proud of his own wisdom in deceiving them, and it was clear that he did not love God or the creatures of God when he deceived them into sin. This was an enormous pride in what he did.

As far as we know all the angelic beings that God were created were true angels and without sin. However, what we do know is that some followed Satan and fell into sin. But again, we can see an enormous pride in those creatures in thinking that it was their choice and perhaps ability to choose the greatest good. What pride to think that following Satan was a good idea and what pride it was to choose anyone but God. But because of that great pride countless numbers of angels became demons. As Dutton put it, there were myriads of the angels of light who became black devils. What was the difference? It was pride.

We must be careful not to go beyond Scripture, but we can see that pride was a real issue here. We can also see the sovereign hand of God in upholding those who did not fall and His not upholding those who did fall. We can see the basic principle at work that God opposes the proud. We must understand this and know that God opposes the proud even when they are the most beautiful creatures He had made, yet pride was a cause in their becoming hideous devils. There are some great lessons for human beings to learn here.

There is no reason found in man for God not to send sinful human beings to hell since He damned Satan and the demons for pride. This should sink into our souls and we should feel the weight of our pride against the living God and know that the only reason we are not in hell is because He has upheld us in life. If we have the Lord Jesus Christ as our very life, then we can understand to some degree the nature of grace. There is nothing in us that moved God to save such wretches as proud human beings, but He did so in order to shine forth His glory in grace. There is no room for pride in sinners saved by free-grace, none at all. There was nothing in us that could possibly move Him to send Christ to take away our sins, yet He did so for His own glory. There is nothing in us that could possibly move Him to share the life of Christ with us, yet He does so by His free-grace for His own glory.

We must wake up to the fact that the only reason that those angelic beings remained angels was because God upheld them for His own sake. The only thing that keeps us from falling into sin each moment is the restraining hand of God who does so for His own purposes. We should seek the Lord and pray for Him not to lead us into temptation and to keep us from evil and the evil one. It is when our pride leads us to think that we can avoid sin by our own power that God lets us fall in order to teach us that He is sovereign and He alone has power over sin. Oh how we should seek humility from His hand that we may live before Him in complete submission and live by His grace. Unless we are living by free-grace, we are living to some degree by pride. While no one is even close to perfection, it should teach us to constantly seek His face for humility that we may seek Him and receive grace. Behold the power of pride in the fall of Satan and his demons, but also in our sin.

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