Faith and Pride 4

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

Psalm 94:4 They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly; All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. 16:5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

In thinking through the issues of faith and pride, it should be quite obvious that the proud heart is not right before God and as such it does not have any true faith. It should also be unsettling to us to realize that throughout history many religious people have been deceived, though they thought they had true faith. Indeed they had faith, but it was really a faith in self and a faith that came from the natural man. If indeed pride goes before destruction, then we must ask ourselves with a great deal of seriousness about whether we are proud people or not. The very nature of true faith is surrounded by and consists to some degree with humility, but that is true humility and not something generated of the flesh and is in accordance with a proud heart. It may sound quite crazy, but a proud person who is a religious person may indeed think that s/he is quite humble.

Well, says the deceived person, the Bible states quite clearly that God opposes the proud. God is for me and is with me in life and in all I do. What we must take into consideration, however, is that God gives many worldly things and many fleshly things to people who are proud and who are religious. However, worldly things and fleshly things are not signs of His blessing. God can oppose the proud and yet give them many riches and worldly things. In doing this, though, He is opposing their true spiritual good. He is blinding them with those things and all the while they are treasuring up wrath for the day of wrath. A proud and selfish heart is under a terrible judgment as it increases in its pride and selfishness as it appears to it to obtain natural things and worldly things because it is so religious. This is nothing but self-righteousness and self-righteousness is a proud heart.

When God opposes the proud, He opposes the proud heart as to its true and eternal good. He opposes the proud person by hardening them and allowing them to obtain many worldly and fleshly things, as He uses that to harden the hearts of the proud. He opposes the proud religious person by hardening their hearts and bringing them to a state of religious wealth (though not spiritual wealth) and working so that they will be more and more religious. The devil is certainly not opposed to people being very religious and obtaining many worldly benefits from their religion. After all, he is the father of the proud and hates them from his proud heart. He wants to deceive them and he wants them to think that they are converted when they are not. The more religious and proud they become the greater his deception is.

How impossible it is for a proud and selfish heart to make itself humble. How impossible it is for a proud and selfish heart to resist the power of God in judging it and turning it over to more and more pride. How impossible it is for a proud heart to have true faith because God only gives faith to the humble. Yet the proud heart goes on trusting in itself for faith and trusting in the faith of self to obtain things from God. It is hard and in fact impossible for a proud heart to see what it truly is as it sees itself through the eyes of pride and self-love. True faith beholds the glory of the true God, yet a false faith sees a false god and sees that false god through the eyes of pride and of a selfish heart. True faith sees that God loves sinners because of who He is, yet a false faith has a heart that thinks that God loves it because of what it has done or because it is lovable. A heart of pride is opposed to the true God and the true God is opposed to it. That is true even when (or perhaps more so) the person is devout and religious.

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