If you are a Christian, you know what it feels like to reside with a madman. “The hearts of the youngsters of man are complete of evil, and madness is in their hearts though they live” (Ecclesiastes 9:three). If we really feel prone to doubt such a bleak judgment, one particular sin in distinct need to convince us that Solomon was suitable: pride.
We are, every single one particular of us, creatures of the dust. But we somehow obtain a way, overtly or subtly, to strut by way of the streets of the earth as if our strength have been not fragile, our information not narrow, our lungs not increasing only mainly because God offers us breath. Madness is the suitable word.
“Eventually, we need to come back to saying, ‘I am a Christian mainly because God produced me one particular.’”
To be positive, every single Christian has received a new heart — clean and pure, rather than evil and insane (Ezekiel 36:25–27). But we are not but by way of with the madman. Pride, although forgiven, defeated, and doomed, nevertheless follows at the elbow. We wake, operate, speak, play, and sleep with madness in our flesh.
Lately, the apostle Paul has been assisting me to argue with my pride. In 1 Corinthians 1–4, he reminds us once again and once again of the madness of pride and the delighted sanity of humility.
1. The pride of man murdered God’s Son.
We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed ahead of the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians two:7–8)
Paul would have us keep in mind, 1st, that the pride of man murdered God’s Son. The “rulers of this age” contain not only Herod and Pilate, but also these Paul calls the “wise,” the “scribe,” and the “debater of this age” — in a word, the proud (1 Corinthians 1:20). When individuals like this meet a Savior like Jesus and a message like the gospel, they attain for wood and nails.
If we would see pride rightly, we will need to keep in mind the physique count in its wake. After completely grown, pride does not balk at murder — in the heart, if not with the hand (Matthew five:21–22). These who nurture and relish their personal pride stick to Cain into the field (Genesis four:eight) they ask Jezebel to advise them (1 Kings 21:5–14) they dine with Herod the Excellent (Mark six:25–27).
The beginnings of pride appear harmless adequate — a posed shot on social media, a hidden hunger for approval, a contemptuous believed toward these whose opinions differ from our personal. But right here Paul shows us the beast all grown up, unable to recognize the Lord of glory although he stands ahead of our face.
Possibly, then, we will not begrudge the bluntness of this Puritan prayer:
Destroy in me every single lofty believed,
Break pride to pieces and scatter it
to the winds,
Annihilate every clinging shred of
self-righteousness. . . .
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up.
two. Pride can’t survive the cross.
Jews demand indicators and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. (1 Corinthians 1:22–23)
“Pride reigns only exactly where the cross has been forgotten or distorted. Pride can’t breathe Golgotha’s air.”
Prideful guys may perhaps have murdered Christ, but they achieved only what God’s “hand and . . . strategy had predestined to take place” (Acts four:28). In God’s smart providence, pride crucified Christ — and the crucifixion of Christ destroys all pride.
All through 1 Corinthians 1–4, Paul requires us to the cross, bidding us to really feel the splinters of the wood and the steel of the nails. “I decided to know practically nothing amongst you except Jesus Christ and him crucified,” he says (1 Corinthians two:two). He knows that pride reigns only exactly where the cross has been forgotten or distorted. Pride can’t breathe Golgotha’s air.
But how does the cross destroy pride? Initial, by reminding us that ours was the sin that nailed him to the tree. “Christ died for our sins” — our toxic mouths, our secret lusts, our strutting shoulders, our lofty eyes (1 Corinthians 15:three). John Stott writes, “Before we can see the cross as one thing accomplished for us, we need to see it as one thing accomplished by us” (The Cross of Christ, 63).
Second, the cross destroys pride by placing a superior boast in our mouths. Christ crucified does not take away our boasting, but rather redirects it from ourselves to him. “Let the one particular who boasts, boast in the Lord,” Paul writes (1 Corinthians 1:31). Make your boast in sins forgiven, devils defeated, death undone, wrath removed, righteousness offered, heaven opened. Breathe in the enjoy of Jesus Christ, and breathe out the sanity of praise.
Christ was crucified for me consequently, I can’t boast in myself. Christ was crucified for me consequently, I have every single purpose to boast in him.
three. You are a Christian mainly because God produced you one particular.
Since of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
After, Jesus was just one more name from history, the gospel just one more memory from Sunday college, salvation just one more religious thought. Till I became a Christian. Then, Jesus became the sweetest sound, the gospel the finest news, salvation a present superior than all the world’s wealth. How did that come about?
“Pride presents us one thing, only in exchange for all points.”
We are in Christ Jesus, Paul reminds us, not in the end mainly because we have been born into a believing family members, nor mainly because we have been sensible adequate to discern Jesus’s accurate identity, nor even mainly because we have been self-conscious adequate to see our will need for a Savior, but rather “because of him.” Behind any outward circumstance that led us to repentance and faith is the Father who referred to as us, the Son who sought us, the Spirit who claimed us. Ultimately, we need to come back to saying, “I am a Christian mainly because God produced me one particular.”
And, as Paul goes on to say, the middle and the finish of the Christian life stick to the starting. We plant and water in ministry, but “only God . . . offers the growth” (1 Corinthians three:7). We labor for holiness, but every single exertion comes from “the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). We think mainly because God offers us new birth we mature mainly because God grows us we attain the finish mainly because he keeps us (1 Corinthians 1:7–9).
When pride deludes us into pondering we are the author of some present or victory, one particular query can snap us back to reality: “What do you have that you did not obtain?” (1 Corinthians four:7). When we can’t take ultimate credit for something, we can ultimately give thanks for every little thing. All of life becomes a present of grace, a purpose for praise.
four. All points are currently yours.
All points are yours, no matter if Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the globe or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians three:21–23)
We obtain pride persuasive for a purpose. For a moment at least, pride offers us what we’ve grasped for: the admiration of our peers, the eyes of passing admirers, the laughter of the crowd, the pleasure of becoming portion of the in-group. But the acquire is costlier than it seems, for pride presents us one thing only in exchange for all points.
D.A. Carson explains the startling logic behind Paul’s very simple statement “all points are yours”: “If we genuinely belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God, then we belong to God. . . . Anything belongs to our heavenly Father, and we are his youngsters so every little thing belongs to us” (The Cross and Christian Ministry, 87).
When pride tells us that we are deprived of some fantastic point, Christians keep in mind that our Father owns all points, and will so arrange our situations so that we can say with David, “I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). When Christians indulge their pride, we are like a prince who scrambles for a two-acre lot in his father’s kingdom, forgetting all that his father owns is currently his.
Pride presents us one thing, but only for a moment. God presents to operate all points now for our fantastic and, in the finish, to give us the complete earth (Matthew five:five Romans eight:16–17). For we belong to Christ. Christ, as the Son of the Father, belongs to God. And God owns the globe. “Let the humble hear and be glad” (Psalm 34:two).