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Results of Receiving God’s Grace
Mankind has a problem that plagues him. This plague follows us wherever we go and threatens to cause us to stumble at any time. This problem is called pride. Our pride may cause us to push aside the only one who can truly help. This truth is amusingly illustrated in the following story.
Ill. A car skidded on some wet pavement and struck a telephone pole, injuring the driver. A woman rushed over to help, but was pushed aside by a man who barked, "Step aside. I’ve taken a course in first-aid." After a moment, the woman politely tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Pardon me, but when you get to the part about calling a doctor, I’m right here."
Even when reality stares us right in the face and we are confronted with our failure to control the circumstances in our lives, we still are hesitant to admit our defeat.
Ill. The lion was proud of his mastery of the animal kingdom. One day he decided to make sure all the other animals knew he was the king of the jungle. He was so confident that he by-passed the smaller animals and went straight to the bear. "Who is the king of the jungle?" the lion asked. The bear replied, "Why you are, of course" The lion gave a mighty roar of approval. Next he asked the tiger, "Who is the king of the jungle?" The tiger quickly responded, "Everyone knows that you are, mighty lion " Next on the list was the elephant. The lion faced the elephant and addressed his question, "Who is the king of the jungle?" The elephant immediately grabbed the lion with his trunk, whirled him around in the air five or six times and slammed him into a tree. Then he pounded him onto the ground several times, dunked him under water in a nearby lake, and finally dumped him out on the shore. The lion--beaten, bruised, and battered--struggled to his feet. He looked at the elephant through sad and bloody eyes and said, "Look, just because you don’t know the answer is no reason for you to get mean about it!"
Man’s nature leans toward worldliness and pride. God makes His grace available to us, however. It is this grace that enables us to be victorious over sin and Satan.
I. The Problem with Pride (vv. 1-3)
A. Pride ultimately places us in a terrible predicament.
1. Mankind wants things his way, in his time, and according to his rules.
a. The result is discord, disputes and disappointed desires. (vv. 1-3)
B. Pride puts us at odds with God. (v. 6)
1. The word “proud” translated here is a compound Greek word made up of two words meaning: “above”, and “to show ones’ self”. The picture in the word is that of a man with his head held high above others. It is the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man.
2. God opposes the proud. (v. 6)
a. The word “resisteth” is a strong graphic word. Literally, it means “setteth himself in array against”, as one sets up a line of offense for a battle. Pride calls out God’s armies.
The practical translation of verse six is “God sets up the battle lines against those who choose to do things their way, but gives grace to those who choose to do things His way.”
Doing things our way is assuming a position we are not qualified to hold. Our own stubborn pride keeps us from appropriating God’s power for our lives. The result is that we go through cycles of striving to have our desires fulfilled,
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