Power of Pride 13

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.”

Colossians 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

Ephesians 5:5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

In the Old Testament the idea of idolatry had a lot to do with idols that people made and then set up, but also the worship of false gods. The New Testament focuses on idolatry as sinfulness of the heart. However, we still have Revelation 9:20 speaking of the worship of demons, and “the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.” The worship of idols that were made with human hands continued on until late in the New Testament. However, in the epistles idolatry took on a more prominent place in terms of the loves and desires of the heart.

Colossians 3:5 (quoted above) sets out greed as idolatry. Ephesians 5:5 (also quoted above) sets out a covetous man as an idolater. The proud heart of man is a heart that is focused on self and thinks of things in terms of self. The proud heart is governed by the exaltation of self and the cravings for things for self. A greedy person, whether it is greed for possessions or other types of things, is a person in the service of self rather than in the service of the living God. The greedy heart is one that is always looking at things for self rather than the true good of others and certainly does not look at things out of love for God and His glory. Thus we see the power of pride in the hearts of those who do not love God. This pride of man exalts man over God and as such men serve self rather than God. This pride has such power that it pushes man and drives man to be in the service of self. A greedy man is a slave to his greedy heart which is really a proud heart.

Looking again at Colossians 3:5, what we see is the power of coveting. It is true that a greedy heart and a coveting heart are essentially the same thing and come from essentially the same Greek word. However, in terms of the way the word is used in English there is a bit of a different concept. We tend to think of the word “greed” in terms of a person desiring more and more money. We tend to think of the word “covetous” as a person who desires the property of others. While we are thinking of the power of pride in our hearts in terms of the 2nd command, it naturally leads us to the 10th command. Coveting has to do with the longing of the heart for things that it is not supposed to desire and for things it desires far more than it should. As such, the proud heart is always coveting after people and things it should not have.

For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the power of pride has been set forth and we can see how it violates the 2nd commandment in that the sinful and proud heart has such a power over the desires that the proud heart is given to greed and coveting. It is true that a proud person may be too proud to admit those things, but then that person is coveting the honor of others rather than the love of the true God. The proud heart is always thinking of self and how to obtain things for self rather than seeking love from God in order to love God and do all for His glory. The power of a proud heart is such that it takes the omnipotent God in the power of His glorious grace to change an idolatrous heart that it may truly love Him. Oh that we would seek the Lord to show us our hearts and reveal our sin to us that we may know the power of His grace! Oh that we would understand our hearts that we may know the grace of a new heart! Overcoming pride, greed, and covetousness does not come by our own power to overcome the power of pride, but instead it can only come by the power of God in the soul by Christ. It is His free-grace that takes our proud hearts and makes them humbled hearts. Let us not look to self to do what only omnipotent power can do by grace.

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