Sunday, August 20, 2017 pm


Sinful Pride (1)

Tonight, we want to examine another problem we face as Christians.   Recently we have addressed other problems such as discouragement and worry.  Our goal in this study is to remind us of how the Bible tells us to live and in so doing overcome some of these attitudes and problems. 

The problems we are addressing in this periodic series are certainly not exclusive to Christians.  In fact, they are the way of world and tools Satan uses to diminish our spirituality and faith.  Often when we struggle with these things it is because too much of the world is in us.  And that is something we all need to work on as Christians. 

Tonight, I want to examine the problem of sinful pride.  This is one of those subjects that it is impossible to exhaustively cover in one lesson, so we will devote 2 lessons to this.  Tonight, we want to define and show that pride is sinful.  Next week we will address how to deal with pride (by being humble). 

 I.                     What is pride?

a.       Defined (Google)[1]    1(a). A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated with, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. (b) The consciousness of one’s dignity. (c) The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.

b.       Biblically, the word means thinking too highly of yourself; an undue sense of one’s own importance.  And the idea of being puffed up or conceited. 
There are at least 3 different Greek words translated “pride” in the New Testament.  And several words in the Old Testament.  These words indicate the idea of arrogance or boasting. 

c.        Sinful pride – by its very definition, pride is sinful.  However, we need to understand that it not wrong to recognize goodness and proper achievements, and to feel good about yourself and others with humility.  Thinking confidently about yourself is not wrong. 
Yet some confuse this with what the Bible calls pride.  To my knowledge, the Bible never uses the word “pride” or “proud” in a good sense. 

d.       Pride can be manifested in many ways:

                                                   i.      Arrogance and self-righteousness – both words are dealing with an attitude of one’s perceived superiority overs others.  These are often a product of pride.

                                                 ii.      Boasting – when we brag about ourselves, it is often because we are prideful.

                                                iii.      Being excessively concerned about our appearance.  Yes we need to take care of ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with making yourself look your best.  But some become obsessed with appearance (especially aspects they cannot change)

                                                iv.      Think even of our inward appearance.  Are we more concerned about what others think about us than what God thinks?

                                                  v.      One who is continually seeking praise from others

                                                vi.      We don’t admit our sin or that we are wrong

                                              vii.      We don’t admit our struggles - because of shame or other emotions, we won’t let our brethren help us deal with what we are struggling with. This CAN be because of pride.

                                             viii.      We unjustly judge others – some have an overinflated perception of their being right and they look down upon those who are different or wrong on a given subject.   Just think of the Pharisees in their dealings with Jesus and His disciples.

                                                ix.      Persistent self-degradation – there are some who are constantly talking about how terrible they are.  This MAY NOT be pride, but some do it as a means to bring attention to themselves. 

                                                  x.      Over-confidence – can be prideful.  When you think you are invincible in a given area, it may be pride at work.

                                                xi.      Thinking you don’t need God – consider James 4:13-17 where we find one making plans without God.  Instead we ought to say, “If the Lord wills.”  Note vs. 16, But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Psalm 10:4, The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.

                                               xii.      Thinking you cannot be wrong!  Or that you don’t need to follow His word or change.  (cf. 1 Timothy 6:3-4 – one who will not consent to wholesome words)

                                             xiii.      Assumed humility!  How many are proud of their humility (or maybe some other godly characteristic).

                                             xiv.      Friends, are we to proud to admit that we are proud?

 II.                   The Bible and pride

a.       There are MANY examples of pride in scripture –

                                                   i.      There was pride as Eve and then Adam partook of the forbidden fruit and then sought to excuse it before God.  (Genesis 3)

                                                 ii.      Pharaoh in rejecting God (Exodus 5:2);

                                                iii.      Naaman in refusing to dip in the Jordan (2 Kings 5:11);

                                                iv.      Righteous King Hezekiah in showing his possessions to the Babylonians (2 Kings 20:13)

                                                  v.      Haman (Ester 5:11-12, etc.) – thinking he was the greatest as he plots to destroy Mordecai and the Jews

                                                vi.      Simon the magician in desiring to buy the gifts belonging to apostles (Acts 8:9);

                                              vii.      Peter in rebuking Jesus.  This leads to Jesus telling him he will deny Him 3 times. (Matthew 26:33-35);

                                             viii.      The continual, boastful conduct of the Pharisees and scribes – garments to draw attention (Matthew 23:5-7) , bragging in prayer (Luke 18:10-4, Matthew 23:4 – for pretense they make long prayers), in questioning Jesus (cf. Luke 10:29 – a lawyer wanting to justify himself); looking down upon sinners (Luke 7:39 – Jesus at the home of Simon, the Pharisee), etc. 

                                                ix.      The church at Laodicea – Revelation 3:17 – they thought they were rich and needed nothing. 

b.       Proverbs 21:4, A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin.

Proverbs 13:10, By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 6:16-17 – A proud look - FIRST in the list of seven things that the LORD hates – they are abominable to Him.
Proverbs 16:5, Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
Proverbs 26:12, Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

c.        Mark 7:22 – it is one of the evil qualities that comes out of the heart.  Along with foolishness, blasphemy, adultery, fornication, murders, covetousness, lewdness, etc.

d.       Rom 1:30, 2 Timothy 3:2, 2 Corinthians 12:20 (conceits) – lists of ungodliness that include prideful conduct.

e.       1 John 2:15-17 – the pride of life of “of the world or the things of the world.”  It is an avenue through which Satan tempts us. 

f.         James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

 III.                 What does pride do?

a.       It dethrones God from our hearts.   A good summary of pride is the desire to exalt ourselves beyond the place where God has put us.  Consider Romans 1:28-30 concerning those who did not like to retain God in their knowledge.

b.       It deceives us as to who we really are – we have seen this in many of the above passages.  It corrupts the heart and causes you to fail to properly assess your place before Him. 

c.        It leads to numerous other sins – some already mentioned – self-righteousness, prejudice, arrogance, bragging, a failure to recognize sin, etc.

d.       Ultimately, it will lead to our condemnation – if we do not repent of our pride, it will condemn us! 
1 Corinthians 10:12, therefore, let who thinks he stands, take heed, lest he fall.


In this lesson, we have seen what pride is and why it is an attitude we need to avoid or overcome.  But how do we do this?  In a single word, the answer is humility!  James 4:10 tells us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.    In our next lesson, we want to examine humility as the answer to our pride.  

[1] “Pride”, Google search., 19 August 2017.