There is danger is posting a series on something like the Christian’s battle against pride. That danger is that the reader take away the impression that the Christian life is a moralistic struggle to merit God’s favor or smile. Lest these be any misunderstanding, let me me perfectly clear: Not only is that sort of legalistic program contrary to what I have been trying to advance in these posts, it is an anti-gospel and hopeless pursuit which will get you nowhere.
While the battle must be waged, and we must be gaining ground, the fact is that pride is too great an enemy for any of us to kill off. Moralism and legalism are dead-ends because they always end in failure.
Our only hope is grace. That grace is found in Jesus Christ. He is the vital remedy we seek.
In the Christian’s battle against pride, Christ is both our pattern for success and our only hope in failure. He is our example and our redemption.
In Christ we find the ultimate pattern of humility, and the antithesis of pride. This in the one who is our eternal God, who is the second person of the Holy Trinity, who was not created and had no beginning and will have no end, very God of very God; and yet this is the one who became a man, who said in essence “I the Creator will enter my own creation, I will humble myself by taking on the flesh of men, I will walk among them and live among them and I will be one of them and I will do this to save them from their rebellion against me.”
Jesus Christ is the God who became man without ceasing to be God and the one who humbled himself to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
When we seek a pattern of humble living, there is none to look to other than Christ.
But that’s not enough! We need more than a pattern; we need more than an example, because we’ve already failed. And we’re going to keep failing. Even with his perfect picture of the life we should lead we don’t lead it. Our rebel hearts are too in love with themselves.
But Christ came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28)
The ultimately humble one has done that which our prideful hearts would have never considered, let alone gone through with. He has taken our sins, even the sin of pride, the sin which rejects him and spits in his face and scoffs at his love, he has taken all of those sins and he has endured an unthinkable level or torment on our behalf.
I wrote in an earlier post that the final effect of sin is an eternity in hell. I write now that Christ suffered on the cross what it would have taken you an eternity to suffer for. He has taken all the weight and pain and anguish of your hell for you. That is what the cross is. The cross is Jesus Christ suffering the pains of hell so that sinners like us will never have to go there.
And the perfection of his sinless life has been offered out to us in exchange for our filth. The gospel is that Christ takes all your sin away, having paid for it on the cross, and he gives to you his perfection, so that when you stand before God on the day of judgment, he will not see the angry, petty, vindictive, dishonest, and ruined life you’ve led. He won’t see your pride. He’ll see only the perfections of Christ.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus Christ is the vital remedy, not only for our pride, but for all our sins. There is no hope without Him. He is the resurrected, living Lord, he is King, it is his rule to which we crucify our pride and submit in humble worship, devotion, and total reliance for salvation.
Look to Him as your example as you seek to put this sin of pride to death, be serious, be tenacious, give it no rest as you seek to grow as a Christian, but never, never, never, never forget that only the blood of Christ can cover this or any other sin. Forgetting that will not only lead you away from the gospel, which is the very lifeblood of your faith, but it will cultivate in you that which you seek to battle against.
Forgetting Christ in this battle against pride will simply make you more prideful.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
But the very fall pride leads to can be a powerful means of grace. It weans us off of our false self-sufficiency. It exposes our pride and teaches us to rely on God. It corrects our view of reality, that it is not we who sits at the pinnacle of our universe, it is the Lord alone.
It brings us back to the cross as our only hope.
Nebuchadnezzar, after his pride led him to total destruction, after he had looked down on everyone and everything and had sought to look down even on God, after his destruction, he lifted his eyes to heaven, and blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. He repented.
And the Lord gave Him grace. And there is grace for us in Christ.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(By: Nicolas Alford)