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Doctrine of Pride


1.         What is pride?  Definition and Description: 

1.1.            Dictionary definition:  Pride us an excessively high opinion of oneself.  Conceit is too high an opinion of one’s abilities, worth, or personality; vanity.  An arrogant person is overly convinced of one’s own importance: overbearingly proud; haughty (The American Heritage Dictionary).

1.2.            When we look at how the Bible uses the word pride we see that pride is substituting our own authority, our plan, our greatness, our human goodness in place of God’s.  The proud person looks at himself differently than God looks at him.

1.3.            Pride is mental attitude sin.  It is listed in Proverbs 6:16-19 (“haughty eyes” rum BDB 926, be high, be exalted, rise) as one of the seven worst sins
(Proverbs 8:13; 30:13; Psalms 131:1; Mark 7:20-23;
1 Timothy 3:6).

1.4.            Pride is a part of ungodliness (2 Timothy 3:2).

1.5.            Pride is the opposite of humility (Proverbs 11:2; 29:23; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6).

2.            Bible words for pride:

2.1.            A sample of Hebrew words include:

2.1.1.   Noun ga’avah BDB 144, majesty, pride, haughtiness (Psalms 10:2; 31:18-19, 23;
Proverbs 14:3).

2.1.2.   Adjective ge’eh BDC144, proud (Job 40:11-12; Jeremiah 48:29; Proverbs 15:25).

2.1.3.   Verb gabah BDB 146, be high, be exalted, be tall (Psalms 131:1; Proverbs 18:12).

2.1.4.   Verb rum BDB 926, be high, exalted, rise (Proverbs 6:17; Psalms 131:1).

2.2.            A sample of Greek words include:

2.2.1.      Noun uperephania BAG 841, arrogance, haughtiness, pride (Mark 7:22).

2.2.2.      Adjective uperephanos BAG 841, arrogant, haughty, proud (Luke 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:2; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

2.2.3.      Verb tuphow BAG 831, in the passive, be puffed up, conceited (1 Timothy 3:6; 6:4;
2 Timothy 3:4).

2.2.4.      Verb phusiow BAG 869, to blow up, puff up, make proud or arrogant, become puffed up or conceited (1 Corinthians 4:6; 4:18f; 5:2; 8:1; 13:4; Colossians 2:18).

3.            Where does pride come from?  The source:

3.1.            Satan introduced sin (and pride) into God’s perfect creation.  Satan thought that he was good enough to challenge God’s authority and rule.  He was showing pride (Isaiah 14:12-14; and 1 Timothy 3:6).

3.2.            After Adam and Eve sinned (fall of mankind) each person’s sinful nature became a source of pride.  Pride is an inner problem that tempts man’s volition like and overpowering desire (Mark 7:20-23; Galatians 5:19-22 where “things like these” include pride; James 1:14).

3.3.            The sinful nature uses power, fame, possessions, and other details of life to stimulate people to become proud (Leviticus 26:19; 2 Chronicles 32:24-26;
John 2:16).

4.            Dangers that pride has:

4.1.            The newer believer can easily become proud
(1 Timothy 3:6 “conceited” tuphoomai, BAG 831, is in the passive. It means to be puffed up, conceited, blinded, be foolish).  He makes the mistake of taking credit for spiritual growth and ministry.  He forgets that he is a product of God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10).

4.2.            Proud believers reject God’s authority in the church (1 Corinthians 4:6; 18, “become arrogant” phusiow, BAG 869, to be puffed up, inflated).

4.3.            Proud people can disrupt the life of the church
(1 Corinthians 4:6-7, “become arrogant” phusiow; Jude 16, “speak arrogantly” uperogkos, BAG 841, of excessive size, puffed up, swollen, haughty, bombastic).

4.4.            When you take yourself too seriously you are proud (Romans 12:3 “to think more highly” uperphronew, BAG 842).  1 Corinthians 15:10 gives the right attitude.

4.5.            Proud religious people will attempt to change you away from grace (Colossians 2:18 “inflated” phusiow).

4.6.            Knowledge (gnwsis) that is not understood, accepted as certain, and applied can stimulate pride (1 Corinthians 8:1).  Knowledge (epignwsis) that is understood, accepted as certain, and applied is needed for the Christian life (Ephesians 1:17; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 1:9-10).

4.7.            Pride can affect what you say (James 4:16).  The result is a sin of the tongue which can cause great damage to self and others (James 3:2-6).

4.8.            Pride will eventually come back and hurt you (Proverbs 11:2; 16:18; 29:23).

5.            What God does about the proud person:

5.1.            God rejects the proud (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6;
1 Peter 5:5).

5.2.            God will discipline his people because they are proud (2 Chronicles 32:20-26 and Hebrews 12:5-11 since pride is sin).

5.3.            God can break our pride (Leviticus 26:19; 2 Chronicles 32:24-26; Daniel 4:37).

6.            How do we conquer pride?  The solution:

6.1.            The believer does not conquer pride.  The Holy Spirit, who uses Bible doctrine, conquers pride through His work inside the believer (Galatians 5:16; Philippians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12).

6.2.            Spiritual growth through the filling of the Holy Spirit and the learning of bible doctrine enables the believer to have a strong day to day relationship with the Lord (fear of the Lord/occupation with Christ).  One expression of this spiritual growth is that humility replaces pride (Proverbs 8:13; 15:33; 22:4; Psalm 131; Ephesians 4:1-2; Philippians 2:2-6; Hebrews 12:1-2; James 4:6-7).

7.            Who practiced pride?  Illustrations:

7.1.            Satan (Isaiah 14:12-14 with 1 Timothy 3:6).

7.2.            Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:28-37).

7.3.            The Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-2).

7.4.            Believers that reject establishment authority and spiritual authority (1 Timothy 6:1-4).

7.5.            Diotrephes (3 John 9-10).