Power of Pride 12

Pride is a sin by which the whole law of God, in each of its ten commandments, is broken. (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.”

It is not often that we hear of pride as being something other than a person thinking too highly of him or herself, but what we see from the Scriptures and the comments by Dutton pride is at the very essence of sin. As the Ten Commandments reflect something of the holiness of God, so pride reflects how man is unlike God, lives to his own glory, and in all that falls short of the glory of God. A proud heart is a heart that is puffed up with self and lives for self rather than being full of the glory of God and living for Him. A proud heart exalts self rather than God, which is to show the very heart of sin. Pride puts itself in the place of God in terms of the place to look for wisdom, for justification, and for the goal of living.

The commandments are unified in the sense that they all flow from the character of God. The Ten Commandments were formally stated to the nation of Israel, but all of these commands are seen in the book of Genesis. This should teach us that the very heart and truth of the commandments are not found in the civil and ceremonial requirements given to the nation of Israel, but instead these reflect how God is toward Himself and how we are to love God. We are commanded to be holy as He is holy, so we can know that real holiness is to be like God. The commandments, minus the civil and the ceremonial laws, teach us how God is in Himself and they reflect His holiness. God does nothing that is not for His own glory, which is also to say that He loves Himself as triune in all He does. Is there a greater to love than Christ for the Father? Is there a greater for Christ to love than the Father? For them to be holy, then, they must love each other perfectly. Is the Greatest Commandment nothing more than an arbitrary command of God or is it how God exists in and of Himself as triune? The triune God who is “a God of love” is indeed a God who lives in perfect love within the Trinity.

The proud person is quite the opposite of God in that the proud person loves himself and does all for himself rather than love God in all he does. While the First Commandment teaches us to have no other gods before God, what it teaches us is that we are to have no gods in His presence (before Him = in His presence). The proud person violates that commandment because the proud person is his own god and does all for himself out of love for himself. The proud person listens to his own wisdom and follows his own heart as the very foundation for all of his or her morality. The proud person follows his own heart and as such does not follow Christ who kept all the commandments perfectly out of a perfect love. Christ could keep the commandments perfectly because He was the very tabernacle of God and He loved God perfectly and spoke and acted as He received from the Father.

Oh how the proud heart finds being like Christ so hard and so restricting, yet the lover of God finds that s/he wants to be more and more like God. A proud heart is at enmity with God and does not want Christ to rule over it and does not want to be like the true Christ. The proud heart wants to live by its own power and independence rather than rest in Christ and receive all from His self-sufficiency. The proud heart loves self, lives for self, does all for self, and violates all that God is. The proud heart wants to be religious to the degree it wants to be religious rather than love God with all of its being. The proud heart wants to be holy as it wants to be holy rather than be holy as He is holy. The proud heart wants to be like self rather than to be like Christ. The proud heart wants to love self rather than love God. The proud heart wants to have self-esteem rather than Christ-esteem. The proud heart, then, is clearly its own god. A proud heart is taking the throne of God and sitting in the seat thinking that self is the god to follow. What an enormous power pride has when hearts are deceived and blinded to the fact that the proud heart is a god to self and as such does not bow in submission to the living and true God. A proud heart is the opposite of a humble heart that has true grace.

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