Sin of Pride

 

Sunday September 30, 2012   Phone: 570.829.5216
Pastor David Miklas e-mail pdmikBBM@aol.com
Message: Pride Text: Pro. 16:18; Rom. 12:3 

 

The Sin of Pride
 
Introduction: In Romans 12:3 we read, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” One of the greatest problems human beings have is that of PRIDE. I believe with all my soul that the sin of PRIDE, more than anything else, plugs up the spiritual aeries to the very heart of God, and thus prevents Him from sending showers of blessings in REVIVAL.
 
As Christians full of pride and full of self, we can't see our imperfections in God’s light.
As Christians we are warned not to think too highly of ourselves, and not to allow inflated egos.
In Proverbs 16:18 the Bible says, "PRIDE goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
In Proverbs 6:16-17, the Bible says, "These six things doth the LORD hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto Him…" and what is the first thing that is mentioned? It is a "PROUD look."
 
PRIDE destroyed the devil. When Lucifer was created, he was an anointed cherub. But PRIDE made a devil out of him. In Isaiah 14:12-17 we read,
 
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (13) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (14) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (15) Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (16) They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; (17) That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”
 
In the text, notice when his heart was lifted up in PRIDE, five times he said, "I will." When we develop a proud heart or a haughty spirit, we are just imitating the devil. If the devil could not get away with pride, neither will we. If a haughty spirit and pride made a devil out of Lucifer, it will make a devil out of you.
 
Most of the wars we fight are because of pride.
Most of the problems we have in life are because of pride.
Most of the struggles we have with one another are because of pride.
 
PRIDE destroyed Pharaoh in Egypt. Moses came to Pharaoh in Exodus 5:1 with a word from God, saying, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, let my people go…" In verse 2 Pharaoh’s response was, "Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?" In effect Pharaoh was saying, "I'm god in Egypt. I'll do what I please, when I please, how I please, and nobody is going to come into Egypt and tell me what to do. Nobody is going to tell me how to live and how to act. I'm my own boss." That attitude is the EPITOME of PRIDE!
 
By pride we enthrone ourselves in the place of God.
By pride we make ourselves your own final authority.
By pride we make ourselves accountable to no one but us.
 
Pharaoh hardened his heart and dug in his heels. His PRIDE would not allow him to admit he was wrong, and Moses was right. Pharaoh’s PRIDE cost his nation a great deal as a result of the plagues, and the life of his own firstborn son.
If a man gets proud and operates in pride, he'll destroy his family. He won't just self destruct; he'll destroy everything under the realm of authority that's delegated to him by God.
 
If your heels are dug into your carpet over an issue – any issue – because of pride, set them free. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
 
PRIDE destroyed King Saul. God had taken Saul from his position as a nobody, and placed him upon a throne. But the day came when Saul became puffed up in PRIDE, and he thought he was really somebody. He envisioned himself as big as God, so he chose to do his own will instead of obeying the will of God. As a result, the Bible says the Lord rejected him from being king. God's response to Saul through Samuel in I Samuel 15:17 was, "When thou wast little in thine own eyes, wast not thou made king over all the tribes of Israel?"
 
When he was small in his own eyes, he was greatly used of God, and when he got too big in his own eyes, God put him on a shelf and took the kingdom out of his hands.
 
When we get proud, that is the time when we will be dethroned.
When we get to thinking we really are somebody, that’s when we lose what we have.
 
Some folks have a good beginning, but a tragic ending, as in the life of Saul. They allow the success that God gives them, and the accomplishments that God does through them, to INFLATE their EGO – all to their destruction.
 
It has been well said, "The beginning of greatness is to be little. The increase of greatness is to be less. The perfection of greatness is to be nothing."
Someone asked, "What are the three most necessary Christian virtues to possess in order for God to use a person's life?" The answer came back, "The first is Humility. The second is Humility. The third is Humility."
 
God never intended for us to use HIS power to get fame and fortune for ourselves. He intended for us to put ourselves at his disposal, much like a pipeline, or an empty vessel, to be filled and used for His HONOR and for His GLORY.
 
Unfortunately, the prevailing theme in our generation is: “I’m somebody.”
 
The devil wants us to get to thinking that we're really something, and we're doing pretty well.
He wants us to get to thinking that we are spiritually above other people.
He wants us to think that we are above sin.
 
In I Corinthians 10:12 we read, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." You and I need to think soberly and honestly about ourselves.
 
God says we are but dust.
God says we are prone to wander.
The Bible says we have a wicked heart that will deceive us.
 
PRIDE doomed one of the two thieves that hung on the cross. Just listen to their conversation from Luke 23:39-45 as they hung on their crosses. Remember, they both saw the same Son of God.
 
The one said, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” (Come down from the cross and deliver us, and we'll believe.)
The other said, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing that thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." Then he said, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Jesus said to him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
 
 
That first thief, in PRIDE, said, "Show me, and I'll believe." The second one said, "What a fool you are. It's already evident. Lord, save me." In humility, one turned to Christ as his only hope. In pride, the other one said, "Prove it." My friends, God doesn't have to prove anything to you. If you have that attitude when you die, and consequently go to hell, it definitely will be proven that God is right and you are wrong.
 
PRIDE caused David to sin. In II Samuel 11 we read of David’s scarlet sin of adultery that got him into an awful lot of trouble. The rest of his life he had turmoil in his family and in his kingdom. This was a sin of the FLESH. However, it was also a sin of PRIDE, because David thought he was above the level of sin. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba, we read in II Samuel 12:13, “And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die (14) Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”
 
There is another incident in the life of David we read of in I Chronicles 21 where the devil provoked David to number the people. That was after Israel had won a battle and been victorious. David became PROUD and numbered the people who survived.
 
In I Chronicles 21:7-8 we read, “And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. (8) And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.”
 
When he committed adultery he said in II Samuel 12:13, "I have sinned against the Lord."
When he numbered the people he said in I Chronicles 21:8, "I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing."
 
In verse 14 we read, “So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.” Now I ask,
 
“Which was the greater sin? Which sin brought more death and devastation?” Was it his committing the scarlet sin of adultery, which is vile and wicked, or his pride when he numbered the people?
 
From this verse, it is obvious that David’s PRIDE BROUGHT MORE DEATH AND GREATER JUDGMENT. I certainly do not want to minimize the wickedness of adultery, but I do want to maximize the wickedness of PRIDE!
 
ADULTERY is a filthiness of the flesh, whereas PRIDE is a filthiness of the spirit. God is a Spirit. If pride affects my spirit, it affects my relationship to God in a way that nothing else can.
 
It affects everything I do with God and for God.
It affects my worship, service and prayer.
 
PRIDE shows itself in the form of contention. In Proverbs 13:10 we read, "Only by pride cometh contention." When there is contention between people, you can be sure the devil is behind it. It is nothing more than each person being proud of their position.
 
PRIDE shows itself in self-righteousness. Nobody is always right. That's really tough for some of us to admit, isn't it? We get self-righteous and think we are all right because it’s your fault.
 
Now faithfulness is a wonderful trait, and there is not nearly enough of it. But if you're not careful, you'll get so proud of being faithful you'll destroy yourself by pride. Some are super hard on the scarlet sin of adultery, and again I am not minimizing it. But are you equally hard on David's greatest sin, the sin of pride?
We're hard on sins of the FLESH, and we need to be. But we better be just as hard and in some cases harder on the sins of the SPIRIT.
 
Some are proud of their service and ministry for God.
Some are proud of their purity. I believe you ought to be pure, but watch out, if you develop pride here, the devil will get you.
Some are proud of your poverty.
Some are proud of your prosperity
Some are proud of your achievement.
Some are proud of some specific victory in their lives.
 
Listen carefully, "When pride sets in, you are never more VULNERABLE than when you think you're immune to the devil." David's sin of the SPIRIT brought more devastation and death than his sin of the FLESH.
 
What is the answer to PRIDE? I believe it is found in this statement, "The closer I get to God, the more He fills my vision, the greater he seems to me, and the less I seem to be to myself. Likewise, the less I think of myself, the closer I draw to God." The closer I get to God, the less I think of David Miklas.
 
When you compare perfection with imperfection, you see a lot of things more clearly.
The more closely you can examine perfection, the more faults you can see in imperfection.
"The closer I get to God, the more He fills my vision, the greater he seems to me, and the less I seem to be."
 
It's just as true that the farther we remain from God's perfection, the more likely we are to think we are doing pretty well. One of our problems is that we're guilty of comparing ourselves to each other.
 
I can always find somebody who is not as good a Christian as I am.
I can always find someone with habits that I don't have.
I can always find someone who is less of what they ought to be spiritually than I am.
 
The main reason people don't walk down the aisle and weep at the altar is because they are too far from God to realize how bad off they really are.
 
They are too FULL of PRIDE.
They are too FULL of SELF.
They don't see the need to repent and get right with God.
 
Many of us are guilty of thinking we're not terribly bad people. But the truth is:
 
We have gotten to the place where we think we've arrived.
We think we're great Christians and have no need for growth.
We think the preaching is for somebody else.
We think we don't need to use the altar constantly.
 
That pattern of thinking is not an indication of spirituality. That's an indication of PRIDE. The best Christian in this auditorium doesn't think he's the best Christian. The person who is closest to God will feel his sinfulness more keenly than all the rest.
 
When Isaiah came into contact with the holy presence of God in Isaiah 6, he said, "… I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips …" The closer Isaiah got to the holiness of God, the more he saw his sinfulness.
 
When John the Baptist knew of Christ he said in John 1:27 "He it is, whom coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." The more he became aware of who Jesus was, and what He came to do, the less he became in his own sight. It was then that John the Baptist cried out, "He must increase, but I must decrease."
When Peter recognized the greatness of Christ he wrote these words in I Peter 5: 5-6, "… for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time."
 
When James recognized who Jesus really was He said these words in James 4: 7-10, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
 
When Paul finished giving his background credentials before he was saved in Philippians 3:8 he said, "Yea, …I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but garbage, that I may win Christ."
 
Folks, there is something bigger than you and me, something bigger than our ministry, something bigger then our lives and homes, our dreams and our plans. There is GOD. The smaller we become to ourselves, the more room God has to work in our lives.
 
We live in a generation of folks who have inflated egos, who are demanding their rights, who are being told, "You are somebody."
But the only right we have is to die and go to hell. Everything better than that comes to us only by the grace of God. That fact is rather humbling.
If we realize how holy God is, and what we really deserve, we will not run around with our lower lip dragging on the ground because ______ (of something or someone).
 
Here is a refreshing story told years ago about Samuel Morris, a very devoted Christian missionary who came to the United States at the request of a Christian College. When he arrived, the president of the college asked him which room he would like to occupy. They wanted to honor him, and they offered to let him survey the buildings and choose any room on the entire campus.
 
Sammy Morris said, "If there's a room that nobody else wants, I'll take that one."
As the college president walked away, he thought, "I WONDER IF I WOULD BE WILLING TO TAKE WHAT NOBODY ELSE WANTED." That, my friends, is what humility is all about.
 
The closer we get to God and the more clearly we see Him, the more acutely we will see ourselves. The songwriter said,
 
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride
 
We don't have to work at being HUMBLE. We don't have to pray for humility.Humility is a natural result of getting closer to God. It is the result of seeing God as He really is, HOLY and RIGHTEOUS. That’s what makes us realize what we really are.
 
The truth is, many of us have not been to an altar in a long time. It's not because we're so close to God, rather it's because we're so far away that we don't see our own sinfulness. It's because we are BLINDED, and we're DRIFTING from God. So we think we're doing well, and that means we're not. If we get as close to God as Paul was, we are going to say, "I am the chief sinner. No one has a greater need than me."
 
Perhaps you are here this morning, and for weeks, maybe even years you have know you are a sinner bound for a Christ-less eternity in hell. But you refuse to get before the Lord and say, “Oh, My God, My Sin, Please save me for Jesus’ Sake.” You won't do that because of your PRIDE.
 
 
It is Pride that keeps some of you from following the Lord in baptism.
It is Pride that keeps some from joining in Church membership.
It is Pride that keeps you glued to your seats during the invitation time. God has spoken to your heart. Your soul has been griped with the challenge of the message and the need to deal with the spiritual issue in your life, but out of pride, you stay glued to your seat.
It is Pride in our lives that keeps God from sending the showers of blessings in a revival.
 
Humility is a natural outcome of drawing near to God. Again in James 4: 8 & 10 we read, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you… Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lite you up." The closer you draw to God, the greater He becomes in your sight, and the more completely he occupies all your vision … the closer you get the smaller you look.
 
What will it be? PRIDE that leads to destruction or HUMILITY that leads to blessings! God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
 
*****************************************************************************
If God has spoken to your heart, after reading the sermon “The Sin of Pride” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
 
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
 
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior let me know? Please send an e-mail to, pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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In His Amazing Grace,

Pastor
David Miklas
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