It is difficult to recognize pride as sin when it is held up on every side as a virtue, urged as profitable, and rewarded as an achievement. What is described in Scripture as the basic sin, the sin of taking things into your own hands, being your own god, grabbing what is there while you can get it, is now described as basic wisdom: improve yourself by whatever means you are able; get ahead regardless of the price; take care of me first. For a limited time it works. But at the end the devil has his due. There is damnation.
Commentary from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Master Work Lessons Bible study, Fall 2020, by Eugene Peterson.
Through Christ and His provision of salvation, the believer is a victor (1 John 5:5) over the invisible system of demonic and human evil that Satan operates to capture men’s souls for hell. Faith in Jesus Christ and dedication of one’s life to Him make one an overcomer.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 John 5:4,5.
This signifies a great struggle against conflict. Entering through the narrow gate is difficult because of its cost in terms of human pride, because of the sinner’s natural love for sin, and because of the world’s and Satan’s opposition to the truth.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 13:24.
Paul’s answer to the pride of the more visibly gifted was to engage his analogy again and remind them that the more fragile and less lovely, in fact, ugly parts of the body which are not publicly “presentable” (v.24) are given the greater respect for their necessity.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 Corinthians 12:22-24.
In God’s eyes, anyone who sins is rebellious, and Scripture tells us we’re all guilty (Romans 3:23). Now, it makes sense that an unbeliever would choose to act apart from biblical teaching. But what about those of us who have committed to follow Christ – what would cause us to stray from the will of our heavenly Father?
There are two powerful human tendencies that lead to disobedience: doubt and pride. Both can be dangerously misleading.
Doubt is a mental struggle over whether or not to believe God’s promises. From our limited perspective, we cannot understand how the Lord works. Sometimes His way does not feel like the right path, so in order to obey, we must step out in faith. Then it can feel as though we are jumping off a cliff and trusting God’s invisible rope to hold us. If we listen to our doubt, we will surely transgress.
Pride is the sin that caused Satan to fall from heaven, and it is a deceptive obstacle for believers as well. Pride has to do with thinking that our way is best, putting more faith in our ability than God’s promises, and desiring praise. Anything we do out of pride is rebellion against the Lord.
Whatever the cause, sin never leads to the Lord’s best for our life. God’s way is the only road resulting in fulfillment and peace.
The enemy wants to lure us with doubt and pride – both feel right and are easily justifiable from our human perspective. But believers should follow Joshua’s wisdom instead: “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 21, 2017.
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector:
…because everyone who exalts
himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself
will be exalted.
Obedience to Christ always involves a change of attitude. When we are converted, a battle begins inside us as Satan tries to keep us from changing. I am all too familiar with this part of the journey. Our attitudes powerfully influence our behavior. Which of your attitudes would Jesus highlight as needing change? If you’re having trouble doing right in an area of your life, perhaps you need a change of attitude.
Portions of commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament.
You have said: “It is useless to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the Lord of Hosts? So now we consider the arrogant to be fortunate. Not only do those who commit wickedness prosper, they even test God and escape.” Malachi 3:13-15
“For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. But you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Hosts.