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  • Rev. Anthony Owens

Pride Before The Fall


I want to talk about the definition of pride. According to Lexham's Theological Workbook, pride refers to an unwarranted attitude of confidence. Although pride can have what we believe to be a positive connotation of self-worth or boasting, it is often used in the scriptures to refer to an unhealthy elevated view of oneself, abilities, or possessions.


According to the scriptures, pride is talked about when the prophets speak of Satan's fall coming from the book of Ezekiel, the 28th chapter, verses 14 and 15, and the scripture reads quote you were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you on the holy mountain of God; Amid the stones of fire, you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till unrighteousness was found in you. End of quote. Another scripture from the book of Isaiah, the 14th chapter, verses 12 through 15, reads, I quote how are you falling from heaven, oh daystar, son of the dawn! How are you cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God, and I will set my throne on high; I will set on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will extend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit—end of quote. So, my brothers and sisters, the attitude of pride is involved even though no words of pride are used in the scriptures sometimes. King Solomon, believed to be credited with much of the book of Proverbs, often addresses the dangers of pride and the consequences of destruction. We find him alluding to that in the book of Proverbs, the 11th chapter, verse 2. Solomon also alludes to pride in proverbs in the 18th chapter, verse 12. I quote that before destruction, a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor—end of quote.


In the New Testament, as in the Old Testament, the concept we see regarding pride is often easier to recognize through contacts than by searching for anyone's word. During Jesus' ministry, he often confronted the pride of the religious leaders of his day. And we find that in Luke's gospel chapter 14, verses 7 through 11. It reads now he told a parable this is the parable of the wedding feast to those who were invited when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them when someone asks you to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a position of privilege, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who asked you both will come and say to you, give your place to this person, and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest position. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place so that when your host comes, he may say to you, friend move up higher. Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sat at the table with you. Everyone who exalts himself or herself will be humbled, and he or she who humbles himself or herself will be exalted. Paul and other New Testament writers reinforce the concept by speaking against pride by admonishing believers to live in humility because of the gracious salvation of Jesus Christ. So we find in the first Corinthians, the first chapter starting at the 26th and reading down to the 31st verse, you will find these words I quote, for consider your calling, brothers; Not many of you were wise according to worldly standards. Not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even those that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. End of quote.


So, my brothers and sisters, what can we take away from this subject matter of pride goes before the fall? First, it is evident that we are to be humble in the presence of anyone and that we ought not to elevate ourselves but let God elevate us; scripture gives us many references to those who elevate themselves, even the great antagonist Satan who wanted to be like God and God kicked him out of heaven and so let us be humble not that someone will trample over us but that God will elevate us. So may God bless you, and may God keep you.

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