The sin of Pride

by Jim Murriner 

Isaiah 14:12-15
"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!"
"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:"
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
The first sin committed by the human race, was the sin of Adam, when he disobeyed the command of God, in the garden, and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The very first sin ever committed by a moral being, was the sin of pride, which is spelled out for us in the preceding verses.
The question is asked in the twelfth verse, why is it that you are no longer in heaven Lucifer? Why is it that you, the one who did weaken the nations, are cut down to the ground?
While we see pride as a small thing, even as a good thing in our thinking today, here in this portion of Scripture we see that it was pride that brought an angel down. He who had been angel was now the Devil and this because of the awful sin of pride.
We can not just point a finger at the Devil, and count this sin to him alone, because in each of us, there is the ability to fall into this sin. There is not only the ability, but there is also a great probability that this sin is already affecting us.
The Apostle Paul in writing by inspiration of God unto the Lord's church in Rome warns them of this terrible sin. Notice what is stated in Romans 12:3.
"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."
It must be very easy for every person to then think too highly of himself or herself, and each of us must then have a problem with pride.
This sin of pride is a sin, which we commit without thinking. It is an unconscious sin. We all have it but most of us never realize that we do.
Some folks think that they have no pride, but there is no one who has more pride than those who think that they have none.
Sometimes people brag about how humble they are. Some religions even teach us to try to make ourselves humble, but Colossians 2:18 tells us that to do so is to be deceived.
"Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."
This verse also condemns the thing, which is so prevalent among religious people today, the worship of angels. If you feel closeness to God, when you are around a figure representing angels then you are worshiping angels. You are making that angel be something between your face and God. This is the very thing which is condemned in the first commandment in Exodus 20:3.
Colossians 2:18 condemns voluntarily making ourselves humble. Humility does not come about in such a way. True humility like all good works of the saints of God, is by the grace of God and not of ourselves. I Corinthians 15:10 explains this to us.
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all; Yet not I but the grace of God which was with me."
We can not however say that humility is wrong, or that we should not want to be humble, for we are commanded to humble ourselves in II Chronicles 7:14 .
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
This humbling ourselves will not happen apart from the grace of God, for if God would leave us to our own devices and ways we would never humble ourselves.
We need to see whether it be pride of humility, or pride of whatever sort, pride is a dangerous thing. It is a dangerous thing which is at enmity with God. James 4:6 tells us that God resisteth the proud.
"But he giveth more grace, wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
Notice this verse tells us that humility is by the grace of God when it tells us, ".... but giveth grace unto the humble."
I Peter 5:5 reminds us also of the enmity against God, in our pride.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble"
We are told in Proverbs 16:18 that pride, the thing which is so highly esteemed today, will be our downfall.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us in Mark 7:20-23 just where pride comes from.
" And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. "
" For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, "
"Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: "
" All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Our Lord here lists many things, which we might call terrible sins, however along with these He also lists pride. 
God's word warns us of some particular sins of pride. Ezekiel 28:5 speaks of the sin of pride of wealth. 
" By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:"
We do not have to have much money to be lifted up with the pride of wealth. We who have little can so easily become lifted up with pride that we do not live as some others are forced to live who have less than we have.
James 5:1-5 warns us that riches may not bring pleasant things unto us.
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you."
"Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten."
"Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days."
"Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."
I Timothy 6:17 warns us that we must never turst in riches, no matter how large or small.
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"
We are never to become proud of the material things, which God gives us. If they have come to us thorough honest means, then God has blessed us with them, and if they have not come unto us through honest means, we need to hang our heads in shame.
No matter which way the goods of this world have come unto us there is no room for us to have pride concerning these things.
Another sin of pride that we are warned of is the sin of pride of beauty. So many are affected by this today, that recently A.B.C. news reported that cosmetic surgery is the leading type of surgery in our time.
We are told in Ezekiel 28:17 that it was the sin of beauty that corrupted the wisdom of Lucifer so that he fell and became the Devil.
" Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."
We who have been saved by the grace of God should have our minds upon God, rather than always having our minds upon our beauty and ourselves.
The keeping of ourselves upon our minds is a great source of worry and frustration in our world today. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that we need to have our minds stayed upon the Lord. 
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
We are not to trust in our works for salvation, neither are we to trust in riches, nor in any man or government. We must not then think that our beauty will earn us any acceptance with God, for we are only accepted in the beloved, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is nothing wrong with being beautiful, but the sin is when you become proud. In I Cor. 4:7 we are reminded that if we are any different from another that it is because we have been blessed of the Lord.
"For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why doest thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
Many today, even perhaps most today have a pride of morals. This too is a sin of pride. It is a pride of morals that causes us to look down on those who have committed some open sin, instead of wanting to help them depart from that thing which they have done.
The church in Corinth had two terrible sins. I Cor. 5:1 tells us of the terrible sin of fornication that had overtaken one of the members of the church there.
"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his fathers wife."
The very next verse shows us that there was also sin amongst the other members of the church at Corinth, in the way that they became proud of their morals being better than his, and therefore looked down on him, rather than to take action and discipline this sinning member.
"And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you."
Verse six of the fifth chapter of First Corinthians, tells us that their sin of pride as well as their not dealing with his sin of fornication was effecting the whole body.
"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
Sin must be delt with and not just ignored. The sin must be delt with rather than the church looking down on the sinner. Church discipline must be practiced that God then might work in the heart of the offender. 
If sin is not delt with in our churches it will spread, and the entire church will be affected.
Most men have a very small concept of sin; therefore they talk about morals. A man is not good merely because he has not done as much evil as someone else.
We need to see, as we are told in Romans 3:12 that none of us left to ourselves are good.
"They are all gone out of he way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Romans 3:23 tells us that no matter how good we might be morally we still are sinners in the eyes of God.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Many in addition to having pride of morals also have a religious pride. We should not become proud or things which God teaches us. Any knowledge of His Word that we might have is because He has revealed it unto us, not because of our much studying, or our superior mind. I Cor. 2:10 shows us that such things are all of the Lord.
"But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
Sometimes it is not that we believe that our morals are so much greater than others are, nor is it that we think that we are extra smart concerning the things of God, but sometimes religious pride comes in the form of thinking that we are more spiritual than others. The church at Corinth had this problem, in addition to their pride of morals. 
We are warned in I Cor. 10:2 that we must not have this religious pride, in thinking that we are more spiritual than others are.
"Wherefore let him that thinkest he standeth take heed lest he fall."
We sometimes develop pride of position. Far too often pastors, deacons, and others in the church fall into this awful sin. We who are to be the servants to others make ourselves the bosses, because we have become proud.
Pride is selfishness. We are proud when we cannot see that all that we are, and all that we have has been given unto us by God. 
James 1:17 reminds us that all of our physical and spiritual blessings have come unto us from God, and are not something which makes us above others.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down form the Father of lights, with whom is no variables, neither shadow of turning."
All of us who have experienced the grace of God in salvation, need to ask God to help us with this terrible sin of pride. 
Yet if you are not saved. No work on your part, not even if you could cease from ever being proud again, will save you. Eph. 2:8 tells us that it is all by the grace of God, through faith.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God"
Romans 3:28 teaches us the same thing.
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
We urge you even now to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe that He died on the cross to pay for your sins.
We are not asking you to say any kind of prayer, nor to do any other works. Our desire is that God would give you repentance and faith that you might believe in Christ as your savior.