Tuesday December 17, 2019
Pride is essentially competitive, only finding pleasure in having more than the next guy.
Pride is competitive by its very nature. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.
We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better-looking than others.
Pride has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began.
Other vices, wrong as they are, can sometimes bring people together: you may find a certain fellowship of jokes and friendship among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity - it is enmity; and not only between men, but to God as well.
And Christ comes into this world and crushes man’s pride.
Those who hold on to it will only find it slipping away until the judgment when it will be gone from them forever.
Christ came into the world with life that was the light of men. None of us, the best and proudest of us, ever imagined that such a life even existed, yet there it was in flesh and bone.
MAT 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
MAT 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
MAT 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
MAT 4:4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"
MAT 4:5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
MAT 4:6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written,
'He will give His angels charge concerning You';
'On their hands they will bear You up,
Lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'"
MAT 4:7 Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
MAT 4:8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory;
MAT 4:9 and he said to Him, "All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me."
MAT 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"
MAT 4:11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Bread to stone: feed your earthly kingdom.
Jump off: impress your earthly constituents.
Worship me: found the kingdom on Satan’s terms.
When He was tempted to make His kingdom of this world, He didn’t acquiesce and then ask for the best and brightest to be a part of it. Satan tempted Him with just this. Make bread out of stone (feed your earthly kingdom), jump off the pinnacle of the Temple (impress your earthly constituents with amazing feats), fall down and worship Satan and he will relinquish his earthly kingdom to You (it will be had on Satan’s terms).
Not by bread alone: not by the earth.
Not tempt the Lord: build only what He builds.
Worship Him: His choosing.
Jesus’ replies: You shall not live by bread alone (you shall not live by the earth). You shall not tempt the Lord (you shall not build what He has no intention of building). You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only (the kingdom, whatever it will be, will be of His choosing and not our own).
Satan wants to plant a kingdom in God’s kingdom (universe) to exist independent with God’s kingdom and in competition with it. Every man is born into this world with that very proclivity.
Kingdom not of this world: none of us are fit for it.
Pilate, finding himself to be the representative to the Creator of the greatest human kingdom to that date, heard Jesus say that His kingdom was not of this world, and that means none of us were qualified for it. None!
By having to die for us He revealed that none of us were fit for life.
By doing all the work and taking all the judgment, He revealed that there wasn’t even a little part of any man that could contribute to the building or maintaining of His kingdom. His life and His work made us all equal - equally bad, worthless, and lost.
Pride is not removed when material competition is removed.
If you took all materials from a village, they would not immediately and automatically resort to brotherly love. They might likely kill each other.
Christ didn’t strip us of our material. He stripped us of our natures. He tore from us our delusion of worth.
Remove our worth and still we can carry pride. We would be empty shells; afraid, alone, either becoming vicious or crawling under a rock. Christ did remove our worth, but then He gave us His own worth. He gave us His life.
The unworthy serve God by the grace they have been given. Knowing that truth, pride is removed and grace fills the void it leaves, changing the man from ugly to beautiful.
2CO 3:4 And such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
2CO 3:5 Not that we are adequate [sufficient in ability] in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
2CO 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
We’re not adequate, but God made us adequate to serve in the new covenant, by means of the Spirit of life. We are only adequate (empowered) in His way - holiness.
To receive God’s life and continue to live carnally is to misuse it, not use it.
Stripping us of our worth and graciously giving us His own through His own love for us, love openly exposed on the cross, we are overwhelmed by His love if we know this, and we will love others in the same way. Hence, we can say that we love by the grace, unmerited favor, of God.
Thus, you can see the terrible error of the disciples when on the last night of His incarnation, only hours from this terrible judgment, Jesus finds Satan sitting next to Him, plotting in Judas to betray Him, and eleven other men filled with pride. He is completely alone, but that will not encumber His mission.
There is a betrayer in their midst, but the biggest problem among the eleven is the betrayer within them: ignorance and pride.