Tag Archives: pride

Bias VS. Boastful


Parson to Person

W.A. Dillard

The question arises from time to time, but recently more often: is there bias in Baptist churches and literature against baptism? The question does not mean to indicate that Baptists are openly critical of or disdainful of baptism, rather they purposefully push it into the background or omit discussing it to avoid conflicting discussions with others not of our stripe.  Think a minute!
One evidence is a lack of underscoring its significance from pulpits.  Ministers may feel intimidated by former waves of heresy surrounding the ordinance resulting in ministers being labeled in unfavorable ways.  That may not be the case also, but whatever it is, there is a widespread toning down of its meaning, importance, and beauty.
Another evidence shows up in literature.  The spiritual new birth is heavily emphasized, which is good, but to indicate that one has all that is important, or that there is full leadership accessibility of the Holy Spirit in rebellion or neglect of divine instructions regarding proper baptism and subsequent fellowship in a true New Testament church is to negate the very thrust of the New Testament itself.  Whom do we fear, God or man?  Whom do we seek to not offend by this subject, God or man?
When Baptists are biased against the joyful presentation of baptism are they ashamed of it, or do they think to win others by cunning deception in matters of truth?
Baptism has long served as the door to church membership predicated on the new birth.  If  Baptists are not seeking to win folks to proper New Testament church membership, they are not ministering the New Testament purpose.  The new birth is as old as Adam’s sin in Eden, and while the New Covenant is predicated upon it, so was the Old Covenant as well.  To fail in these matters is to fall into the practice of abandoning new believers to the clutches of heretical religious organizations as so many modern “evangelists” do.
It is important to emphasize the will of God for every new believer of the gospel.  Pentecost is fundamentally important.  There is an office work of the Holy Spirit to and in the Lord’s church whose benefit the unbaptized, unchurched miss.  If the ordinance were not absolutely important, it would not be the consistent teaching of the New Covenant.  Let such scripture verses as Luke 7:30,  Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38,  and Romans 6:1-5 be revisited, and indelibly impressed in hearts and minds.
On the other hand to be boastful tends to create carnal elitism.  There is a thin line but a definite line between a sense of thankfulness for one’s understanding and blessings, and a sense of arrogance or superiority that one may have over another.
Then let us witness of full truth in love for the Lord and His purpose, but be quick to attribute all of these things to the goodness of God which all may have who will believe and follow Him.

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APRIL 18 – Prosperity


APRIL 18 – Prosperity

2Chronicles 26:4  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. 

5  And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. 

How often today we hear of prosperity from the pulpit and the people. It is only natural for the ungodly to seek the money that most people consider prosperity. Some align themselves, in a religious manner, with prosperity being wealth and health. God’s Word addresses prosperity in II Chronicles 26. Here we find the story of Uzziah when he is made king. It is said of Uzziah that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. This is a tremendous commendation for a person to have. “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” Now here is the commendation from God. “… God made him to prosper.”

What does that mean? In what way did God make him prosper? The inspired word says that he “prospered in warriors.’ He prospered in battles. He prospered in building protection for the cities. He invented machines for the protection of the cities. He prospered in digging wells to sustain the people. I do not see anything about health or wealth and prosperity in this chapter. His prosperity was in caring and protecting the people.

Sometimes the benevolence and prosperity that God shows toward His people bring about a change in them. The Scriptures say that when he was strong his heart was lifted up. He had a moral failing called pride. What a terrible thing pride causes us to become. Because of his pride, he intruded in the office of the priests. He, apparently decided that he would burn incense upon the altar. What could possibly be the attitude here? Surely God would not reject my worship. Certainly, God looks upon my heart and sees my intent that I do this to worship Him and He will accept it. The pride fooled the mind of Uzziah and hid his eyes to the truth that God had prescribed a way for the incense to be offered and proscribed any other way.

The high priest and fourscore priests of the Lord withstood him. God punishes those that allow pride to cause them to sin against the plan and instructions of God. The king became a leper and was a leper till he died. Leprosy was a disease that called for a person to be ostracized from others. A Godly man that was made to proper in several areas of life was punished by God with a heinous disease.

God hates pride. God will punish pride. Let us prosper in the Lord, not health, even though we want good health, not in wealth, even though we want to pay our bills, but in obedience to God and helping others.

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The Destruction Pride Brings  


Proverbs 16:18
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:18.
The Pharisees were wealthy, prideful, self-righteous Jewish leaders who covered their sins with a thin veneer of pompous religion (Luke 18:9, 10). Jesus’ teachings made the Pharisees angry, and they finally plotted His crucifixion.
God has designed into the universe both positive and negative laws for checks and balances. When a plane leaves the tarmac, it must cross over into a new set of laws or gravity will bring it down. A child is born with a God-given, totally prideful, egocentric attitude toward his world. The entire world was created to care for his every need. All a child has to do is open his mouth and set off his alarm, and his world comes running to comfort him and turn off the alarm. Then, around six or seven years of age, he begins to realize that all those people who wait on him also have needs. The world is too busy to continue serving him, thus, a beautiful child who does not cross over into a new set of laws becomes a wretched, whining adult whom others reject. Gravity brings him down; he will never fly with the eagles.
Nero, a spoiled, indulgent, prideful emperor, built himself a treasure city, burned the slums of Rome, blamed it on the Christians and watched while he played the violin.
In Ms. Rainey’s third grade class, she told us of a prince’s mother who ordered the nanny of her spoiled prince, “He is your king! You give him anything he wants!” He wanted the pretty wasp, first pride then chaos.

JUST SAYING
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of our selfish pride is the result of being pampered and spoiled as a youth?
Robert Brock

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OUTLIVING THE WORLD


By – William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person

The world prides itself in terms of excellence in science, arts, education, sports, etc. Perhaps the highest accolade bestowed on an individual, organization, or product is the label of “world-class.” That term strongly connotes, excellence, the top rung of the ladder, professionalism, expertise. The person or thing to which it is applied finds ready acceptance among men, and an abundance of favors from the same. Therefore, personal encouragement and educational processes are fashioned to aid and to promote individuals to that level, and most often at great cost. But one may ask, “Is that not what life is all about?” Please think with me about this!

Certainly, it is good to fulfill one’s talents since from the casting down of the order in Eden, it is established that men will eat their bread by the sweat of their brow. The critical error is focusing on that one thing exclusively. The story is told of a young boy impressed with the actions and appearance of an older man. He asked the man, “What do you do?” The man replied, “I am a Christian.” The boy replied, “No, I mean what do you do?” The man replied, “You mean what is my line of work?” “Yes,” the boy answered. “Well,” said the man. “I am a pharmacist part time so I can be a Christian full time.”

Here then is the proper perspective. The first great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength. It is sad, but too many today want to be labeled a Christian in name only in hopes it will increase business at the store…. or… in commissions or whatever the business may be.

The scenario has not changed. Was not our Lord tested of the devil immediately following His baptism? If Jesus came to win the kingdoms of this world through righteousness, He would not have to suffer and die. The devil had those things and freely offered them all to the Son of God if He would but worship him. Have you ever wondered how many modern day “Christians” would make the same choice that Jesus did?

The last chapter of human history is revealed in prophecy. The world and all that is in it will pass away, but the Word of God abides forever, and so do those who love the Lord, and seek His holy will for their life. Here then is peace profound that the world does not, and cannot know because of the blindness of sin. Here is the great blessing of God that allows His people to outlive the world, and to survive the world in the heavenly environment of life where time is not known.

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Pride [and] Proud


gā’āh [and] zēḏ
The English proud appears some forty-two times in the OT (AV) and pride another forty-six, both of which are a translation of several Hebrew words. One such word is gā’āh (H1342), a verb primarily meaning “to rise,” with the added ideas of “exalt” and “lift up.” In the literal sense, for example, it pictures stream waters rising (Eze_47:5), the proud (or “frothing”) waves of the sea (Job_38:11), or plants growing (Job_8:11).
It is the figurative meaning, however, that is most significant. It is God alone who is to be exalted. Another form of the word (gâ’ôn, H1347), for instance, speaks of the “LORD, and for the glory of his majesty” (Isa_2:10) and “the voice of his excellency (Job_37:4). Significantly, the Septuagint usually renders these and other related words as doxa (G1391), which speaks of “radiance” and “glory.”
Most significantly, it is the negative use of gâ’ôn and related words that stands out, and such negative use is always of man. “I will break the pride of your power,” God said to His people (Lev_26:19), for “the fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Pro_8:13), and, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Pro_16:18).
Likewise, Isa_13:11 declares, “I will cause the arrogancy [gâ’ôn] of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible,” while also introducing another word. Proud here is zēḏ (H2086, from ziyḏ, H2102), which appears some thirteen times, most often in the Psalms. Its basic idea is “pride and a sense of self-importance, which often is exaggerated to include defiance and even rebelliousness.” Jer_50:31-32 is especially graphic on God’s attitude toward pride: “Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud [zāḏôn, H2087], saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.”
In a day when pride is cloaked with high-sounding terms such as “self-esteem” and “positive pride,” we do well to remind ourselves where pride will take us, as it was the ancient sin of Satan before his fall and the one that brought him down to hell (Isa_14:12-15; cf. 1Ti_3:6). Pride is never positive.
Scriptures for Study: Note the following uses of zēḏ: Psa_19:13 (“presumptuous”); Psa_86:14; Psa_119:21; Psa_119:51; Psa_119:69; Psa_119:78.

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Glorified in His Saints


 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

 

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day,” 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

 

 

If you are a parent then you have probably experienced moments of extreme pride in your children. When your child learns to walk, learns to read, excels in a sport, graduates, or achieves significant recognition, these are moments when moms and dads can be seen beaming with pride, grinning from ear to ear. These are moments when parents proudly claim ownership of their child because, in many respects, a child’s success reflects honor to his parents. Most of the time, when a child is successful, it is because of diligent parents, and moments of success symbolize a return on an investment.

 

God has made a significant investment in His children: His Son, Jesus. He has diligently and faithfully arranged our future and, as a perfect Father, provided everything necessary for us to experience success. We don’t always reflect honor back to God. There are times, I am sure, when God is not pleased with the way His children behave. But, there is coming a day when Jesus will return to earth and claim His children. On that day, God will transform us as His children into the perfect image of His Son and give us glorified bodies. Then, God will look upon us as His children with the utmost pride because we will most perfectly embody and reflect His image. Jesus invested His life into purchasing this glory for us, so He is worthy of our eternal praise.

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you thank God today for being your perfect Father?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

 

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