Pride is a Grace Killer

Pride

Daily Reading: (1 Peter 5:5-6, James 4:6-7):

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

“God resists the proud”, we see this over and over again with Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees. It isn’t that God doesn’t love the Pharisees, but that the resistance provides the opportunity for the proud to be humbled, and to consider a better way in which they might receive grace.

Pride is what will hinder you from receiving the grace that God wants to give you (1 Peter 5:5) because you believe that you don’t need it or will try to work to earn it. God is not impressed with your sacrifice, especially when you are not impressed with His.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).

C.S. Lewis said,“humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” It is being compassionate and loving to one another as Peter wrote.Pride looks at self-efforts, humility says look at what Christ has done for me.

On the Mount of Transfiguration after the voice of God came from heaven and told the three disciples “listen only to My Son” this is what Jesus had to say to them in Matthew 17:7: “Arise and do not be afraid.” What Jesus is telling His disciples is to “allow yourself to be lifted by God.” True humility is when you allow the voice of grace to lift you up (Matthew 17:7, 1 Peter 5:6).  “God shows favor to the humble.” Because the humble are those who have received His Son. And when you are lifted by allowing Jesus’ finished work to do this for you (humility), you realize that you stand on equal ground with Him because you have been given His righteousness. Everything God desires to give us, it is available through Jesus. Pride says, “no thanks, I’m good, I got this.” God opposes this attitude. This shuts down the pipeline of His special grace unto us, the grace that grows us and makes us more and more like His Son.

James writes in 4:6-7: “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Both men quoted from Proverbs 3:34 to show how important this is.

Leading up to these verses James is going to hammer home the point of how destructive and dangerous pride is. Pride brings with it strife, division, and war. Pride leads to wars and fights, lust, and murder but God gives abundant grace. You can choose to be proud or you can choose to receive abundant grace. The principle of grace is supply, while the principle of the law is demand. The reason pride is a grace killer is that pride will take our focus off of our supply, Jesus Christ, and it will only focus on the demand placed upon us. Our part is just to exercise faith by receiving from God, His supply of grace, and this is living a life of humility that blesses others out of the abundant grace we have received.

#The One Who Meets Our Need

Daily Reading: (Romans 5:6-8):

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

“You can’t get any closer than being in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22). You don’t get any closer than Christ being in you (Colossians 1:27). You don’t get closer than being united with Jesus (Romans 6:5) and you don’t get closer than being one in Spirit with Him.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)[1]

There is only one thing that brought us close to God and Ephesians 2:14 tells us that it was the blood of Christ that brought us close to God. That is wonderful but there was also the problem about the wages of sin which is death but through the resurrection of Jesus we can be guaranteed that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Because He didn’t stay in the tomb. Jesus rose on the third day.

The question that is often asked in reference to closeness to God comes from the text in James 4:8 that appears to tell us that we have a need to come near to God.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

The paramount question to ask is “who is James writing to here”? The answer is right in the text itself. Sinners. You might think, “well, I sin.”  Just because we all sin, our action does not determine our identity and it will not change your relationship with God.

Paul addresses churches like the one at Corinth who were sinning a lot and addresses them as saints. Saints is who they are regardless of what they do. When you understand who you are in Christ, your behavior follows. Stop living in the gutter, when Christ paid for your entrance into the palace. The enemy wants you to believe that who you are is a sinner so you will continue in sin. Christ died to give you your new identity, don’t believe you are who you used to be, believe who Christ has made you to be.

God must judge sin. The reason Jesus was sent to die was to show God’s righteousness. Why did God’s righteousness need to be shown? We see this answered for us in Romans 3:25, “because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” In other words when God passes over sins—when He forgives you or me—it looks as though He is not acting righteously. It would be a horrendous unrighteousness if God were to simply sweep the sin of the world under the rug of the universe. What Christ did when he died was to vindicate the righteousness of God in the salvation of sinners. If Christ hadn’t died in our place, the righteousness of God could only be vindicated in one way—by our eternal condemnation.

The proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners (not when we got it all right) [if that was the case, we wouldn’t need a Savior] while we were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). Doesn’t that speak of God loving us when we sin or were sinning. God doesn’t want you to sin because He loves you and it harms you. However, your sin doesn’t change the way He thinks of you. The love of men is frail and weak but your Father’s love endures forever (Psalm 136). The real question is not whether God will always love you but whether you know and enjoy His love (1 Cor. 13:4, 7-8, Psalm 136).

 

 

 

 

[1] Andrew Farley. Twisted Scripture ebook location 2395.