Power of Pride 14

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.”

Think of the power of pride as being that thing which God hates and which is at the heart of which the devil, fallen angels, and fallen men rebel against God and live at enmity with Him. A proud heart lives by the reason of pride, the love of self, and the sinful drives of a proud heart. Pride is this awful thing that lifts us up in our own eyes and blinds us to the true God and self and as such we can live very religious lives while we are at enmity with the living God. If we think of the commandments as how we love God and how God works in us to share in His life by free-grace, then we can see how pride is that by which we live by self and is the life of self rather than the life of God in us. This helps us to see how a religious action or a religious duty is nothing but pride and self living at enmity with God.

The third command is for us not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain (empty, meaningless use of His name or anything to do with Him). We know from Scripture what God thinks of His name and how He treats His own name as holy and will not do anything but what glorifies His own name. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer is for God’s name to be hallowed and/or glorified. If we love God with all of our being, then we will strive to think and use His name with reverence. However, a proud heart will revere self and not revere the name of the Lord God other than how it makes the proud self appear to self and others. The proud heart longs for others to revere him or her and is more interested in appearing righteous for the sake of appearances than to love God and His glory.

The proud heart exalts self rather than God, though the proud heart may want to appear righteous to self and/or to others and as such it may appear to want to exalt God. In desiring to exalt self and appear righteous to self and others, the proud heart is a god to itself and is assuredly and idol. When self exalts self in some way then God’s name which is upon all men is used in a profane fashion as they are His image bearers in some way. All that man does for self is an irreverent use of the image of God and is using the image of God as an act of love for self which is to be like the devil. When man acts out of pride and self man is not loving his fellow man and does not desire for them to revere the name of God, but instead when man wants men to revere himself he does not want what is best for others who are made in the image of God and as such proud man is treating the name of God with a horrible irreverence and desires others to do the same thing.

When men see themselves and their horrible and noxious pride, they should bow deeply before the living God in angst of soul and with deep conviction. When men realize and come to feel the gravity of the situation, they can see that their proud heart stands against God and how He manifests Himself in the commandments. They should be able to see with frightening clarity that God alone can glorify Himself in their salvation. The glory of the Gospel of the free-grace by Christ alone shines brightly when we see it contrasted with the pride of men. How powerful that pride is that blinds men to their need of free-grace and blinds them to how dependent they are and how self-sufficient God really is. How glorious must that free-grace be that finds nothing in men worth anything but the wrath of God and yet overcomes their pride and showers them with the riches of Christ!

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