Summary: We need to examine ourselves from time to time to make sure we still understand where everything we have and everything we have accomplished comes from.
When I was a kid other kids that were “double-jointed” made me jealous. They seemed to be able to do so many cool things by the way they could bend their fingers backwards, contort their arms or legs in unnatural ways, etc. For someone whose joints seemed so stiff, I always wondered why God didn’t allow me to be able to do some of the neat tricks that they did. It didn’t seem fair.
I want us to do an exercise together this morning. Will you stand with me? Now, raise your right hand up in the air until your arm and hand are pointing straight up. Now turn your palm where it is facing behind you. Now allow your elbow to bend until your hand has come all the way down to where it is touching your shoulder or your back. Isn’t it amazing, none of us are double-jointed in our shoulders but we can all pat ourselves on the back without straining. You may be seated.
Isn’t it funny how easy it is to pat ourselves on the back? Psychologists and sociologists today teach us that we need to work on our self-esteem…..yhat we need to strive everyday to make ourselves feel better about who we are. I would disagree with that. As my exercise demonstrated, we are all made with the ability to pat ourselves on the back without straining.
Today I would like to talk about the issue of Pride and the need for us to work on our Christ-esteem, which involves removing the importance of “self” from the equation.
(Read the scripture reference.)
Pride, or self-exaltation, or self-reliance is the one virus that causes all the moral diseases of the world. This has been the case ever since Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because they wanted to be God instead of trust God. And it will be true until the final outburst of human pride is crushed at the battle of Armageddon. There is only one basic moral issue: how to overcome the relentless urge of the human heart to assert itself against the authority and grace of God. Why else would Paul write to spiritual people to bear the burdens of others and then spend most of the paragraph warning the spiritual people against the danger of their own pride?
I. It is easy to become prideful. Vs. 3
(Read the quote from Millard Erickson’s Systematic Theology book from page 1245.)
1 Corinthians 8:1-2 (HCSB)
We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.
2 If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it.
A. It is easy to become prideful as we walk away from the sinful life we once lived.
B. It is easy to become prideful as we start serving in the church and learning more about the Bible.
C. It is easy to become prideful when we see JC using us in a different way than He is using someone else.
II. We need to examine ourselves and use JC as the measuring stick, not other people. Vss 4-5.
A. Pride is the one that causes us to rebuke someone with arrogance.
B. Pride is the one that makes us mad and say that our sin is no one else’s business.
C. Pride is the one that causes us to compare ourselves to other people instead of JC.
D. We should accept the loving rebuke of our Christian brothers and understand our sin hurts other people.
III. God provided all the knowledge and ability we have.
1 Corinthians 4:7 (HCSB)
For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it?
The Wind of joy will blow most clean
When you and I have felt and seen
That sin keeps joy from being wide
And every sin takes root in pride. -----Author Unknown