THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-21-01
LESSON TITLE: SOCIALLY ACCEPTED SINS OF TODAY: "PRIDE"
Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.
Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won't you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
This morning we again want to begin by mentioning one of our sister congregations which helps financially to make this program possible. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Plainview Church of Christ in Rogersville, Missouri. This congregation has been with our work for many years now. We appreciate their like desire to do God's will, as we together reach out to this area with the Gospel of Christ.
If you have opportunity, please take advantage of meeting with these brethren - even this morning. Today, they will assemble together at 10:00 a.m., for a Bible class and at 11:00, they will have a worship assembly. This evening at 6:00, this family again comes together to worship God. This congregation also offers a mid-week service at 7:00 on Wednesday evenings. I hope you will visit with them very soon.
If you have any questions or need further information about this congregation, please feel free to contact me or their minister Bob Brickner. Their contact number is (417)883-3060.
It's time to start our praise through song. Won't you join in the first song of the morning, as we sing together, "O Happy Day!"
(SONG # 1)
When is the last time someone did something that upset you? Was it today, yesterday, last week, or last month? The fact is we get mad at people almost every day for things which they do against us. What was it that he or she did to make you mad? Did they say something about you or were they talking with others about you. Maybe they said something to you that you didn't like.
Sometimes we get mad at others for things they do when they don't even realize that they have done something to upset us. Were they teasing or joking with us or were they really talking about us to hurt us?
Let's first be careful about judging the motives of those around us. In John 7:24, Jesus said, ""Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." We must look beyond the face value of a person or situation and make sure we are making a proper judgement! But what do we usually do, we make a quick judgement without taking time to think it through. We make ourselves judge, jury and prosecutor within a matter of seconds. What type of judgement is this, righteous or unrighteous, wise or unwise?
The facts are, all of us like to jump to conclusions on these matters and we generally choose to get mad and get even now and worry about the consequences later. During these situations, isn't our first reaction an "eye for an eye" or a "tooth for a tooth." We seem determined to "get even," by any cost or by any means. However, is this really what God wants?
Look at what Jesus taught in Luke 6:29. There He said, "To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either." Jesus said we need to learn to be better than those around us. Return good for evil as Christ would have us to.
Another thing to keep in mind, concerning getting even, is that God will take care of the vengeance. Paul said, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." Romans 12:19. This is why Paul goes on to say in verses 20 and 21, "Therefore 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.'" We must act as Christ would act, overlooking evil in order to do good. Thus, letting our enemies know that we are like Christ and not like them.
Who was the wisest man that ever lived? Solomon. Look at what he said in Proverbs 22:20, "Do not say, 'I will recompense evil'; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you."
God will truly care for us if we will obey according to His will. How much easier it is for us not to have to worry about punishing others or getting even with them, because God has promised to take care of that for us. Who will you choose to be like God or your enemy?
Our topic today will again focus on our series called "Socially Accepted Sins of Today!" Our specific study this morning concerns, "Pride!" So stay with us and in a few minutes I will return and lead us in our thoughts of the Day. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Face to Face."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
When we think back to the Bible we find many examples of our topic this morning. In fact, you might go back to Adam and Eve and find our discussion of what we will look at this morning. You might look at men like Saul, King Saul, who had a problem with this. Also, Nebuchadnezzer, a great man, a man who was able to really lead all of the nation at that time to greatness, had a problem with our topic this morning. We could go on and on mentioning those who had a problem with pride, and had a problem and really resulted in losing what positions they had in life or maybe they lost many of their possessions sometimes and homes because of being caught up in such a proud and arrogant type of attitude. So this morning, we want to look at a sin sometimes I believe in our society that is accepted socially in many ways because people accept pride. But now let's not go too far and misunderstand because not all pride is wrong and we want to look at that in just a moment.
Great men like Augustine named pride as one of the biggest sins stating that "it was a sin that pointed a man to cause himself to be exalted and displeasing of himself before God." Now if you put those things together obviously pride is the opposite of God because pride sets ourselves up as almost being equal or like God, and when we do that we cause God to be displeased.
Pride is also something that is also insidious. Pride leads to many other sins as we will see in our discussion this morning, and pride often causes us because of its puffed-upness or it's arrogance causes us to again be lead to other sins which are again contrary to the will of God.
So let's begin our discussion this morning by looking at really the two different senses of pride. First being that of good pride. The idea that we can be proud as people. In fact, the Bible promotes this idea and tells us that we need to have dignity in our lives. We need to be people who are proud of what God has made us, who are content, satisfied and have a joy with what life has offered us and how we live in this life. So that type of pride is acceptable . I think you might remember with me in the book of Matthew 22 and verse 39 where we find there the second greatest commandment was to love thy neighbor as thyself. Think about that for a moment. We are to love self. We are to have a love for what God has made us and exactly who we are. We should never do the opposite of what we would know pride to be and maybe start considering ourselves as a nobody or looking down on ourselves or really comparing ourselves to others to the point that we say we are worthless or worth nothing. But again, we need to be a proud people, one who loves self, one who cares for yourself. Why? Because you are an example unto Christ as one who is a follower of God.
On the other hand, you might also consider the bad sense of pride. This goes to the next level, the next step so that we become again puffed up with who we are or many times with what we have, with the position that we have obtained in society or maybe the office that we serve in. And again, pride in this type of a sense has always been condemned in the word of God. A self esteem that actually goes so far as to being arrogant again, of self importance, again not only at the expense of what's around you but at the expense of others, and many times hurting others through the process of being so arrogant again before the world. In fact, if we were to look in the dictionary, in the Webster dictionary, we would find that pride is defined as the quality or state of being proud or an inordinate self esteem. In fact, the word "conceit" also is mentioned there. To be conceited. To be one who is so caught up in how good looking one might think that you are or in a serious way thinking that you're great because again of a position that you hold or because of the wealth of the house that you live in or you have a better car than others, again that you allow that to somehow cause you to be conceited or to put your nose in the air, so to speak. Again, these things are contrary to the will of God. They are not according to what we find in the Bible.
You have heard that a man who is given a medal of humility would be one who would have to have that taken back if he were to put that medal around his neck. Really, when we mention humility and we bring that up for the point that pride and humility are opposites. Really what we will see in our discussion this morning is that instead of being a proud people, we must learn to be humble. We must be before God those who deserve a medal for humility, those who again exemplify in everything that we do a very humble and a good spirit.
Now let's go to the scripture and specifically look at some text that tells us that pride is wrong, that pride is sinful. One such verse says, "A high look and a proud heart is sin." We read that there in Proverbs 21:4 from one of the greatest men who ever lived and who was given the greatest wisdom by God.
You might also consider there in Proverbs another great verse. In fact, if you look in the book of Proverbs chapter 6 we are reminded there that there are some things in this life that God actually hates. Notice He doesn't hate the individuals, but there are some characteristics, there are some actions that He hates when people participate in these. It says there, "These six things God hates," in verse 16, "yes, seven are an abomination." Notice in verse 17 the first being there is a "proud look." Yes, there in Proverbs 6 and verse 17 a proud look is unacceptable. One who again sticks their nose up into the air and acts as if they are better in some way or for some reason than others is considered as being one who is in sin, who is doing that which is contrary to God.
In the book of Mark, Mark chapter 7, verse 21 and following, we find there that "a proud attitude defiles a man." It makes him to be as sinful, as wrong, as reproachable before God, one who is unrighteous rather than being righteous as God is righteous.
Paul, in the book of Romans chapter 1 and verse 22, talked about the gentiles and what he really was discussing about the gentiles was the idea of their pride, their arrogance, those who were not of God and how that they were caught up in life, in the world and in self. Therefore, turning from God and not finding an interest in God.
Another scripture that we might look to would be found in 1 John 2, verse 15 through 17. Here, we are reminded that we are not to be individuals that love the world. A very familiar passage that tells us that the love of the world really causes us to be at opposites with God. But one of the things mentioned there in the 2nd verse of this discussion, verse 16, tells us there of the types of sins, the categories that sin might fall into, and as we look at those categories you might remember that one is the pride of life. In other words, being caught up in life to the point that you are arrogant once again about it, that you are somehow one who really tries to show yourself to be above others and really again harming others because of this. You might remember that ever Christ was tempted with this type of sin. You might remember there in Matthew 4 when He was approached by Satan and there as He was approached by Satan one of the things that He actually did was to show him the pride of life, the ability that he would have to be seen of men. Now you can look at that in two ways. One is that the devil told Him that He could cast Himself off the pentacle, and that the scripture said that the angels would bear Him up. People would see Him and glorify Him and He would be able to be proud of what He had done. Some also might apply that to the great, vast gift that he offered Him in saying, "You see the kingdoms of the world from this mountaintop. I will give you all of this if you will but fall down and worship me." Satan told Christ that. Again, the pride of life, to have all power, to have people look up to you, to have people somehow idolize you and for you to soak that in and to not really allow people to know that you are humble and that you are really like Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Temptation was also something, as we've already mentioned, that was found there in the very beginning with Adam and Eve. What was it that caused Adam to fall to the sin that he did in eating the fruit? What was it that caused Eve to give in to the desires that Satan there was bringing forth before her? Again, pride. He says, "You will not be unwise, but you'll be wise like God." You see again, pride, to be like God, to puff yourself up again to make yourself equal again with God rather than to be a servant, rather than to be like Christ. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Being like Jesus is something that we work towards, being humble and exactly as we look to the examples in the New Testament that's what Jesus was.
I also want to look at some examples of pride. Individuals in the Bible who struggled with this same problem. In fact, there are many that we could mention this morning, but there are just a few that I'll bring to our attention in the short amount of time that we have. One was known as Uziah. In fact, if we go to the book of 2 Chronicles 26, we find the story of this man, this man who really had a problem with pride, a man who was caught up in all of these things, a man who really realized that pride was something in his life that caused him to achieve all things and in fact, as we look at it, we find there that he was willing to do that no matter who was harmed and no matter who was hurt. In 2 Chronicles chapter 26, we see there that actually his pride was addressed. It says there beginning in verse 16, "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction for he transgressed against the Lord God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense." Here a man who was not worthy to come before God actually went into the temple as we find here, the place of dwelling where God was and himself offered something. That was the duty of the priest under the Old Law. But this man so arrogant, so caught up with who he was, what he was all about, that he failed to again respect God enough and said, "I don't need a man to approach God for me. I can do it myself." Well he found out very quickly that what he did was wrong and we read that actually in verses 19 and 20 because he was immediately struck with leprosy all over his body and because of this the priest actually threw him out of the temple. Well again, pride can cause us to be puffed up even to where we forget that we are bound by those things that God asked us to do.
Another example is in the book of Esther. In fact, it's dealt with throughout the majority of the book. A man there who is known as Haman, and actually he had a great jealousy for a man named Mordecai, a man who was well-blessed, and his jealousy really is seen throughout the whole text and how his pride puffed him up because he wanted to have what others had. He wanted to be the best that he could be, and he really thought he was the best and because of that, he was trying to put others down or harm them or even kill them, in order that he might be able to be perceived as the greatest. Again, an example that we need to know that was unacceptable to God.
Another example would be that of Nebuchadnezzer in Daniel chapter 4. Nebuchadnezzer, a man who was not only wealthy but ruled one of the greatest nations of the time. But what did he do? He again was willing to allow himself to be puffed up, even to cause people to worship him. Again, still contrary to the will of God.
In the New Testament we find the same thing. The Pharisees were often found to be proud people. One Pharisee you might remember in the book of Luke 18 actually came before the throne of God to pray there in the temple, and as he was there he was looking over to a sinner, a tax collector, and he was praying and thanking God that he wasn't like that other sinner, because he was such a good man and all the great things that he did. Then this other man who was a sinner came before God and actually prostrated himself, wouldn't even look up to heaven knowing that he was a sinner. Again, we see the clear difference of what God wants, one who is humble, one who understands that in the presence of God we are nothing as opposed to one who feels really again that he is really worthy to stand next to God.
Ananias and Sapphira were caught up with this same type of a pride, unacceptable once again, being arrogant enough to say this is mine. This is my money. I don't have to give it to God.
What about Herod? Herod is mentioned in Acts 12, verses 20 through 23, who tried to himself serve in the position of maybe a priest and caused the people to love him and follow him. Again, they rejected him and they cried out that what he did was contrary to the will of God.
So as we look at pride, we find that yes, pride is something that is contrary to what God would have us to do. We can be caught up in many types of pride, a spiritual pride which will be a religious pride as we've looked at a few examples in order that we might somehow think that we are spiritually better than others. This is an unacceptable pride before God. An intellectual pride, thinking that we are smarter than others, or because I have a degree or a Master's Degree or a Doctorate Degree, I am better than somebody else and I can't really discuss or talk with someone who is under me because I am so much smarter. Again, an intellectual pride is wrong according to the will of God. A pride of material things, of what we possess again would be another type of pride. Even a social pride that I am of a better class. I am somehow more worthy than another individual because of what I have in this life and because socially I am much more adequate in this life that I live.
Well, as we consider pride then we must understand that there is a cure for it. We must do what God says and be humble. Humble as Christ is humble. The reason that we strive for humility is so that we might understand that we will not be found in tragedy because pride goes before a fall as we read in Proverbs 16 and 18. Proverbs will bring us low, so low that in the end we will be found unacceptable before God because we have chosen to allow ourselves to be arrogant, to be so satisfied in our spiritual, our physical, our social or with what we have in this life that we forget that really without God we are nothing.
Will you focus today on God? Will you allow Him to be able to show you that truly as one who is a follower that you do need Him and will you put that every confidence in Him?
(SONG # 3 - "Fairest Lord Jesus!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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May we realize that a proud or arrogant spirit is unacceptable before God, thus striving to practice a life of humility, like Jesus Christ.