Power of Pride 11

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. …Pride was the sin which cast down Adam, and in him all his posterity, even to the last, from the height of created, natural, and princely excellency, into an unsearchable depth of spiritual slavery, and the just desert of eternal misery. (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.”

Pride is not just a minor pride; it describes the human heart in its attitude and rebellion against God. Pride is not just a little peccadillo, it is that from which the selfish heart of human beings overflows with sin and corruption in enmity against God. Regardless of how religious a person is or how nice a person is, apart from Jesus Christ that person is religious and/or nice out of a sinful heart and in rebellion against the living God. Regardless of how much a person uses the name of Jesus Christ, apart from truly having Christ as his or her life that person is in the depths of spiritual slavery and deserves nothing but the eternal wrath of God.

While Dutton’s statements above give us the origin of pride as such, they also give us the idea of the gravity of pride as well. It is impossible for a finite human being to overstate the evil of pride. Pride is such a monstrous sin that it simply cannot be overstated as to the horrors and evils it works to produce in the human heart. How can our minds and hearts grasp the evil of a sin that would cast untold numbers of the angels of light and make them legions of demons of the dark? How can our own proud hearts grasp that the angels that fell were never given a Savior for even one of them but were instead promised nothing but the very pit of hell? It is hard to even begin to grasp the evil of a sin so monstrous that one man could have it and the whole human race for all history would be plunged into sin and justly deserve hell. Just to think upon it is to know that we barely know anything of the power of pride and the evil of pride.

Genesis 1 tells us that man was created in the image of God and that very good. The original man was born without sin and bore the image of God in a way that no man has had since. Man was seemingly the culmination of the creation of God and we could even say that underneath the glory of God as a primary motive the whole creation was created for man. God created man and all things in order to manifest His glory through man. But through pride man is now in the bondage of the devil and his evil work and deserves eternal and even increasing wrath and misery for all eternity. Our feeble and fallen minds cannot grasp the height from which we have fallen from and the depths that we have fallen to. Pride is what has done it and as such it is far more evil than we can know.

We can observe, then, the power of pride that would take such a noble creature and work it to fall to such depths. Behold the power of pride that would take a child of God and make it the child of the devil. Behold the power of pride in that all the angels and all the men that God has created are powerless to cast it out. Behold the power of pride that will blind the smartest and the wisest of men into thinking that it is a small matter and perhaps even good. Behold the power of pride that will take sinful men and make them very religious and yet blinded to their lost condition. Behold the power of pride that will take religious men and blind them even while they read their Bibles and say their prayers.

Perhaps the power of pride is seen in the only cure for it. Pride is so powerful that it took the eternal Son of God to leave the bosom of the Father (in a sense) and divest Himself of His glory (in appearance) and clothe Himself in human flesh. Even more, it took the very Son of God to die on the cross in order to overcome the power of pride. It took the humility of the very Son of God to overcome the pride of the human heart. It takes the power of the living God by His Spirit to regenerate man and give him life. Behold the power, the glory, and the wonders of His free-grace in taking proud sinners and making them humble saints. All praise and all glory is to Him who by His free-grace saves sinners.

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