Summary: In this sermon we try to learn from five Biblical examples of the destructive nature of pride.
A. There’s a story told about Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers who was named "Coach of the Century" by ESPN.
1. Late at night, after coaching one of his greatest playoff victories, he tried to climb into bed with his wife without waking her, but his cold foot brushed up against her leg.
2. His wife said, “God, your feet are cold!”
3. Lombardi replied, “Honey, when we are in bed, just call me Vince.”
4. Some people certainly do have an inflated image of themselves.
B. Maybe you’ve heard the story of a certain pond, where there were two ducks and a frog were neighbors and the best of friends.
1. They played together all day long during the summer time.
2. But as the cold drew near and the water dried up, the ducks realized they would have to move.
3. This would be easy for them, but what about their friend the frog?
4. Finally it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck, and then the frog would hang onto the stick with his mouth and they would fly him to another pond.
5. And so they did.
6. As they were flying along, carrying the frog, a farmer looked up and said to his wife, "What a great idea! I wonder who thought of that?"
7. The frog opened his mouth and said, "I did…!"
C. What’s the moral of the story? The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
1. I like the way The Message renders this verse, “First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.”
D. Throughout the Bible we see this fundamental principle repeated: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1. Proverbs 3:34, “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.”
2. Isaiah 13:11, “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless.”
3. Isaiah 23:9, “The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all glory and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.”
4. 1 Peter 5:5b-6, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
E. Before we go too far it would be good for us to define what “pride” really is.
1. Pride can take many forms.
2. It is such a subtle sin, that many times we don’t even recognize it in ourselves.
3. And lest I be misunderstood, there is a good pride and a bad pride.
4. The good pride is a desire to do our best, to work hard and to take pride in our work.
5. The good pride is the feeling we get when we see our children doing well, we are proud and thankful for them.
6. The good pride says, “God made me, God has gifted me, I’m valuable and useful. I can and should feel good about myself, in light of all this.”
F. Pride becomes bad and destructive when it leads us to turn away from God.
1. The wrong kind of pride is simply our refusal to acknowledge God as we should.
2. It is a failure to fully realize that all our abilities, achievements, possessions, and relationships are not due to ourselves, but to the gifts and grace of God.
3. The wrong kind of pride causes us to act arrogantly, to have an inflated view of ourselves, to be conceited, and judgmental.
4. Someone has said, “Pride is the idolatrous worship of self. It is the national religion of hell.” (Mary Lewis)
G. Let’s take a brief survey of some of the stories of the Bible and find some good, bad examples.
1. As we’ve been saying in this sermon series, “Let’s try to learn from the mistakes of others.”
2. So, let’s see some examples of what happens when a person makes the mistake of pride.
I. Example #1 – The Pride of Eve
A. We don’t have to go very far from opening page of the Bible to find our first example.
1. In Genesis 3 we learn the story of the sin of the first woman and man whom God created.
2. As you know, God put them in a beautiful garden, with lots of freedom, and only one restriction. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)