The Sin of Pride - A Sermon By Emilion Serrano
A sermon about pride - one of the seven deadly sins - by Emilion Serrano.
Is Pride A Sin?
A History Lesson
We have King Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34. He was eight years old when he became king. We are told that "He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right." So, he's doing right. The kings before him were pretty bad, actually they were downright evil. They prayed to idols, they sacrificed children, they practiced witchcraft and they blasphemed God and were in league with Satan in altering the image of God...evil! And during the course of all of this evil, the Law, our book of Deuteronomy was lost.
From my readings, the Law was lost anywhere between 60 and 80 years. Imagine, not having the word of God for 80 years? When Josiah is 26 years old he starts the process of rebuilding the temple. During the rebuilding process, while they are taking the money out of the treasury, the high priest Hilkiah finds the "Book of the Law of the LORD that had been given through Moses", the book of Deuteronomy. Hilkiah gave the book to the secretary Shapan who goes to the king and after giving him a report of the temple repairs, informs Josiah that the high priest gave him (Shapan) a book. Didn't tell him what book, just that the high priest gave him a book. Then he read it to King Josiah. And, "19 When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair." Josiah heard the Law, he saw the Law, the mirror that the Law is and what he saw and heard convicted him that his people were not right with God. That he was not leading like God wanted him to. That even though he was doing things right, it wasn't right enough, he was still found wanting in the eyes of Gods Law and he tears his robes. The tearing of robes was a physical act of astonishment, of horror and of humbleness.
We see this many times in the Bible, with Joshua when they got whipped by the men of Ai, with Ezra when he hears people are marrying unbelievers, they were shocked at what they were seeing; they tore their clothes in humble horror as they saw where they and their people were with God. Upon hearing the words of the Law being read to him, Josiah was in astonishment of what he was hearing, realizing that the people of Israel had strayed so far from the Law. "For the LORD's great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the LORD. We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do."
To go so long without the word of God to guide the nation, Josiah can't believe how far things really were from where they were supposed to be. All the years of evilness from the prior king had infiltrated their tradition of passing laws and stories down verbally. Horrified and humbled he tells his high priest and others to go and inquire of the Lord for him so they go and see a prophetess. What did the Lord say through the prophetess? "24 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the curses written in the scroll that was read to the king of Judah will come true. 25 For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.' Ouch…but she continues, 26 "But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the LORD and tell him: ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: 27 You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the LORD. 28 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people.'" Josiah then read the law to the nation and renewed the covenant and until his death, the Law of God was followed.
By being humble and realizing how separated from Gods Law they had become, a spiritual reformation overtook the country and they were put right with God. Any pride in Josiah? Did he try to blame someone else? Did he say, "Well, my parents said…" or, "well, it was my ancestors…", "well, it's not my fault", "well, it would upset my spouse."? No. He saw the wrong, he admitted to it, he humbled himself and allowed God to convict him and to take action. He didn't compare himself to others around him. He didn't look at other kings or other people and say, "well, I'm better than that guy over there so I guess I can take my time." Or, "Whoa, that guy is way better than me; I better get on it now." He didn't do that. Josiah took what God told him about where he was and he moved on Gods motivation and leading. He took Gods value and vision of what he was and where he was spiritually, not the worlds or self's. He didn't try to justify where he was at. He took what God said and moved on that. And he was saved because of his humbleness and the nation of Israel also benefited from it during his reign.
Here is a sermon in a sermon, this just jumped out at me while reading this story: Men, pay particular attention to this story, women too because everyone deals with pride, but, this story just screamed at me about men. Josiah was the king, called to lead the nation. You men are called to lead your homes and the church. Josiah was on cruise control, doing what he thought was right and leading his nation with that. And it says that he was a good guy, "He did not turn away from doing what was right.", so he's doing things right. With the prior king's evilness and paganism going on, lies got intertwined with truth, and the hearing and seeing of the Law woke Josiah up to what truth is, it convicted him.
How many of our homes are on cruise control? How many of our homes seem to be doing ok so we don't do anything different, we don't want to upset the apple cart even though things occurring in the home might run counter to what God wants…a little? We being sinful humans grow up in sin tainted homes, and just like the prior kings lies that got intertwined with truth, what we grow up with is tainted with sin and it might not be 100% truth, Gods truth found in His word.
What happened when Josiah found the Law, when he realized he wasn't really doing it Gods way? He didn't ignore what God was telling him. He didn't go about trying to shift blame or ignore what was going on. He went out; convicted of what was wrong and took Spirit led action to lead is country correctly, biblically. He humbled himself before Gods eyes and admitted the errors he made as a leader and as an individual; he took the responsibility of the nation upon himself, even though it wasn't his entire fault.
Men, husbands, fathers; when the Holy Spirit brings things to your attention, don't ignore it. Don't let pride come up and harden your heart. Humble yourselves and take action upon the Spirits prompting. Lead your home like He is asking you to. Love your wife and kids like He asks you to. Correct and rebuke like He asks you to. Stand firm in sound doctrine like He asks you to. Be the spiritual leader for your family like He asks you to. Repent and forgive like He asks you to. Develop your own personal relationship with Him like He asks you to. Don't sit around and borrow your doctrine and theology from your parents or your wife or your religion; that's not ok. You are an example to your kids and if you aren't taking ownership of your own faith and belief, you are setting a pitiful example for your kids and you are putting an undue burden on your wife that is yours to carry.
Yes it will be uncomfortable, yes it will upset the delicate balance of luke warmness that we are all happy to be in, but what happened when Josiah went out and broke out of the box of normal? When he humbled himself and took action with what God showed him? He was saved. Because he humbled himself, the Lord heard him and saved him. Josiah went out and preached the law to the nation, the idols were torn down and the land prospered while he was king. Likewise in your home, God will save you. He will save your marriage, your relationship with your kids, your addiction problems, He will save you from anything through the power of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. And He will ensure that your household prospers spiritually, just like Josiah and the nation of Israel during his reign.
Joel 2:12-14 " 12 That is why the LORD says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. 13 Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. 14 Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before."
In the New Testament we have the interaction between the Pharisees and the sinful woman who anoints Jesus's feet in Luke 7:36. This woman from Luke, who from verse 39 very much infers that she was a prostitute or was known for some type of sexual sin, had no pride, zero. She realizes who Jesus is and what He is capable of doing and comes to Him, humble beyond belief, crying and kissing His feet and pouring perfume on them. She knew that she was a sinful woman, she saw how empty and pathetic she was and she knew she was doomed without Christ. So she humbled herself before Him and He forgave her of her sin. No pride, no self-worth or self-confidence, no blaming other people for where she was in life, just a humbleness to be loved and saved. Luke 7:47 47 "I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."
Pride Is A Sin
Can you forgive if you're prideful? That leads to the question, can you love if you're prideful? Conversely you have the Pharisee's example. Jesus goes to them and tells them that they are sinners, breaking the law of God in Matthew 15:1-9. That were substituting their own law in the place of Gods in how they were taking care of their parents. Jesus calls them out about misusing the Sabbath and not honoring God in Mark 3:1-6 "1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus' enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man's hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand "Come and stand in front of everyone." 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, "Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" But they wouldn't answer him. 5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Hold out your hand." So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus."
They had hard hearts. They had pride. They knew that Jesus was right and that He was doing good work, Godly work, but they would not listen to Him, they hardened their hearts. They plotted to murder Him. They didn't want to be told they were wrong; they didn't want to acknowledge that He was right. "What, sin in us? No way, we are holy because we know all the rules; we made most of them up". Legalism... check, check, check down the list. Look, I have my checklist done, I'm awesome. No you're not, your prideful and hurting other people. You really see the contrast here.
Pride lets us murder Jesus the Son of God because he told us what we really are. How dare you lecture us you crazy blasphemous sinner, how dare you show us up and show us what we really are, proud, heard hearted sinners.
The Solution to Pride
We were birthed to a reward and we deserve it no matter what. Humble. I see what I truly am because you've shown me, a sinner lost to death. I love that you will accept me and forgive me and live in me and change me. I love you and will submit to you. I wash your feet with my tears of love and joy.
Can you really love if you're prideful? 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Above we have 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Now, I read this in a book; wherever the word love is, put your name in its place. So, Emilio is patient and kind. Emilio is not jealous... The point the book made and the realization I came to when I did this is…I can't do it. Even before I get half way through it, I feel like I am lying. To myself, to God, my spouse…everyone. I can't in all honesty say I live up to this…at all!
It's easy as everyday life goes on to take a quick glance at Gods word and think, yeah, I am all of these things, I'm ok. But when I sit down and pray and ask God to humble me and ask for His assessment of me, I am not these things. He peels the pride from me and shows me what I really am and where my shortfalls are. He brings down the veneer that I put up and shows me what I really am: a pitiful person who can do nothing without Him. Yet at the same time He reassures me that He still loves me, He hasn't forgotten me. He reminds me that He saved me through His death and that He promised to help me get over my pride and to listen to Him, to better my life, my family's life to His glory and our benefit.
When the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, your shortcomings and reminds you that He misses you and that you aren't living the life He wants you to. When you're reminded that you're not loving or leading correctly, or that you're not submitting and helping correctly. When the Holy Spirit puts that mirror in front of your face and you see how far you have drifted from God in the course of a day, a week, a year, are you proud or are you humble? Do we get proud like the Pharisee and harden our heart? Pretend that everything is ok and ignore Him. Or do we throw ourselves to Christ and His gift of salvation, paid for by His blood and weep in gratitude for the chance we get to love Him again? Do we insist that all is ok and we are entitled to the reward? Or do we "tear our clothes" in horror, realizing that the Holy Spirit is right and that we need to have a personal reformation in our lives and get in the mindset again of submitting to His authority? Can you really love when your prideful?