Forgiven: Evading the Grip of Pride

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But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 (emphasis mine)



Even when we were dead, (He) made us alive together with Christ. Have you ever used the phrase “full of life?” In terms of a believer in Jesus Christ, you’ve never met a person more fully alive. You’ve never met a saint who wasn’t becoming more beautiful in the Lord. You’ve never laid eyes on a repentant sinner saved by such irrepressible grace that wasn’t going from one degree of glory to another.



And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (emphasis mine)



As we live on earth we seek the things that are above and in Christ we are always receiving the things that are above, in fact we receive every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. To have an ounce of victory consistently in your life you must realize where you are seated. We are not working for our salvation, because Jesus gained us that. In Christ, like Jesus, just like Jesus,



We are seated.




If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (emphasis mine)



We are seated in Him. We are one with Him. We are becoming like Him. The place where He lives is our home forever. On this earth we are the dwelling place or house for the Lord. We are the temple and being so indwelt with the kind Spirit of Christ we may always have opportunity to know Him and inquire of Him.



The one thing David sought in Psalm 27 is the one thing we are never without, our God.



So when we speak of the hidden sins of the heart, there is no need to despair. The One who graciously gives us all things to enjoy and all things that we need to live godly in Christ is the same One who grants us repentance. There’s just no part of our salvation that we do in and of ourselves. If only we realized what still remained of flesh within ourselves. There’d be nothing more repulsive. Yet we are not called to condemnation or fear or anything like that. We are led by the beautiful kindness of God or the kind discipline of God into obedience. If our hearts are to be pure this is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit and through grace. Our salvation keeps working the same way it began and flourishes by the same grace. The Lord gently leading.



Secret Sins of the Heart #1 PRIDE



Pride can exist in the down and out person as much as in the over-confident person. It may or may not be easily identified, but the gracious work of the Holy Spirit reveals it. Pride may manifest itself in all sorts of ways: in dejection, in puffing up, in melancholy and happy tempers alike. Pride isn’t a personality type, but it sure can corrupt a personality to be sure. It is confidence placed in all the wrong places. Pride is confidence in anything other than God. We can usually find pride wherever security and self-assurance exists apart from Christ.



A simple example, a person may take pride in their looks. When someone offers them a compliment inwardly arrogance and self-satisfaction swell. This is to be distinguished from the gladness that comes from a surprise compliment. Remember pride puffs up. It brings self-satisfaction rather than sincere thanksgiving. It’s living on the praise of others rather than seeking the commendation that comes from God. Conversely, a person caught in the same trap of pride concerning physical appearance may disparage their clothing or their level of physical fitness because they are displeased by the state of things and are unable to satisfy their pride in that area. This person isn’t struggling with “low self-esteem;” they are disappointed that no one esteems them in this particular way. They are just as prideful as the former. The sin of vanity slips in in all sorts of ways. I’m sure pride conceived vanity. Sin, in all its forms, is deceitful. At the same time sin often works in a usual sort of way. We can kill it, because has shone the light of Christ into our hearts, and, unlike the unbeliever, we can actually see the sin through the illuminating and convicting power of the Holy Spirit. When we take God’s Word and allow our minds to be renewed in the truth; we are able to turn away from sin. The repentant one will live as free.



The repentant walk about the great commands of God in a spacious place not confined to the pen of pride and conceit.



A person may take pride in a great many things, anything, from their wealth, to their material possessions, biblical knowledge even,  to social circles they run with. This isn’t an exhaustive list by means, but chasing after pride, trying to satisfy it, will exhaust you. None of us is immune to it either. No one. The one who thinks they are immune to this sneaky sin has already fallen to it. After all, it is the sin that, in part, brought about all other sins… the lingering thought planted in Adam’s heart, you will be like God. It was a lie, but Adam took the bait. The enemy is always baiting us. Seeking to lure us into a place where there is disorder and every evil thing.




But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. James 3:14-16 (emphasis mine)



Earthly wisdom tells us that the ways of pride yield what the flesh desires and perhaps this way might yield some pleasure temporally, but the ways of pride do not lead to the satisfying ways of God. In fact, this way leads us into opposition with God. For God is opposed to the proud. Our God will not share His glory with another in any slight. The way to grace is low, for God gives grace to the humble. The way to humility is through repentance, through confession that we have not been made perfect yet. Humility delights in the exaltation of God and considers others better than herself.



Since we are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places, let’s seek the glory of Him who raised us up in the first. Live the truth that your life is hidden with Christ in God. 



STUDY Ask the Lord to reveal the hidden places of pride in your life. Ask Him to show you where you take confidence in anything more than Him. Take some time and read Ephesians 1-2. How does the counsel of Scripture lead you away from the grip of pride and into the humility that God esteems? What is one Scripture tucked within these verses that you would be willing to memorize and meditate upon to keep you on the peaceful path of lowliness?

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