Pride Kills Everything

Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-9

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But[b] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

The life and death of Christ fulfilled the law, it did not throw the law away.  In God’s love for his people, he mercifully became flesh to take his own wrath.  Christ did not condemn the world because his purpose was reconciliation.  You can’t reconcile and condemn at the same time but you can correct and reconcile; this is love.  We should do the same since he is our model and we walk after him in the spirit.  A heart filled with judgement without solutions is self righteous.  A heart that tries to spread conviction without a plea for repentance is just like the accuser, Satan.

The gospel will break the proud and humble them under the weight of the atonement of the cross.  Some will become even more prideful and reject Christ’s meekness, seeing his love as weakness.  The prideful will always follow what they persecive as power and authority.   They become slaves to the idols that they create in their own image.  This pride fuels all of our sins as our very pride explains away all of our deeds as faults.  Our pride causes us to be unforgiving, critical, judgmental and above all self-righteous.

Matthew 6:12-15

12and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.[a]

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We never seem related or connect sin to disobedience toward the Lord God because of pride. We always see sin as it relates to man. We think at if we “love” God that it washes away our sins against him. We see belief/faith in Jesus Christ awards us with diplomatic immunity to discipline. We attach a one-sided view of love to God. It is a view that always stacks itself in our favor. Even if biblical doctrine and scripture speaks contary to our love stack.

This is very evident in our treatment of enemies, fellow Christians, family and friends. Our love stack is pressed up against heaven, leaving stability to chance as we have no one bracing the stack. The reason is because we chase away everyone. We will not receive love that does not look like our makeshift stack.  We foolishly over look our responsibility to each other to be our brother’s keeper.  We fail to see the community Christ is building and we cannot see how important we are to one another in this heavenly family.  Neither do we see how our relationships affect our daily lives as the grace given to us, reflects the grace we have given.

If you see how Christ viewed the relationship amongst the trinity and between the Godhead and man, plus man and man; it would open the door to law and grace. It would shed light on not only fruit bearing but its execution through branches.  These branches are connected to the vine as well as the other branches. What does this mean to us? A branch that is against another branch will eventually kill itself by its own strife.  The branch who maintains its meekness, humility and connection to the vine will be restored naturally by the source. The encouragement given to seek retaliation will bring death to both.

““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18 NIV

John 15:1-6

1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

The ability to control ones self is drawn from the vine and the vine alone. The vine is rooted and stable drawing the power that holds all things together. The vine displays a humble power which should be reflected in the branches. The vine has victory already having nothing to prove. The vine dresser, with love and long-suffering removes those branches that disrupts the community. They are removed as they prove to not be of the vine. As branches we are to mimic him in all things.

Israel was always reminded of their time in Egypt as slaves and God did this to keep them humble in their dealings with other people.  God wanted them to show mercy and grace just as they sought mercy and grace.  Christ came not to condemned but to redeem the lost.  Christ loved his enemies to the point of abused by their hands without saying a word.  Some of us think this is crazy and truly believe that God would not require us to do this in our culture.

Romans 5:9-11

9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

So, I sincerely ask you where would we all be if Jesus Christ’s pride got in the way of him loving his enemies?  Where would we be if Christ did not turn the other cheek?  Our pride is so dangerous and we don’t even see.  Our pride stands ready to rob us of our salvation at any cost.  Pride hates everything that is not of its own.  Pride is boastful and puffed up as well as against all reason that opposes it.  That is why the way God saves a man is so important and critical to the building of his kingdom.  Not only did God save through election and that salvation is a gift but even our faith in Christ is given to us.  Christ completed the law so that human works can not earn it.  The process of being born again cannot be done by flesh, only by the Spirit.  We are all saved the same way and no one is above anyone.  God does not care how much you pay the church or how well dressed you are.  Yes, some people in the church do care a lot but they are not the ones writing in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Pride kills community but not in a instance, not at all.  Pride kills like a slow leek and the only way to stop it is to surrender all to Jesus Christ.

James 2:1-10

1My brothers,[a] show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

8If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

James 4:1-12

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[c]

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Matthew 5:21-26, 38-48

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[b] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[c] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[d]

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[a] let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers,[b] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

When we think about the two commandments Christ gave, we should take a long look at pride.  We should think about the law and how the first tablet addresses man’s pride against God or his love of God.  The second tablet addresses man’s pride against man or his love for mankind.  We should see how our lives are greatly effected by our love for God and each other.  We should see how God makes the complete connection of the community of believers with the following verses:

1 John 2:9-11

9Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him[a] there is no cause for stumbling. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes

1 John 4:19-21

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Pride would never allow such a thing to exist in a man’s heart.  Only by being regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit would a man’s heart change.  Only this type of heart change would bless us with the power to live in Christian community to bring glory to God the Father.

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