The Message - Sermon

Confidence and Arrogance

Understanding Pride

If we submit to God, He will renew us and cleanse us with all unrighteousness and no residue of evilness will ever be left.   Our focus should stay in the presence of God to do the mission we are called for and likewise to obey the instructions He gave us.  Our strong relationship with the Father is already defeating the plans of the enemy to separate us from the love and care of the Father and whatever challenges he created to put us down, we cannot put the blame to the Father for our struggles.  

God’s love will continue to lift us up while we remain dependent on Him. The enemy of faith, the distractors, and the followers of the father of lies can only put barriers on our minds when we allow it. It fogs our vision, drains our inner self to extreme exhaustion until our body burns out, and gives up and affects our strength to fight a good fight of faith.

Do not let our hearts be troubled that the enemy will succeed because for every inch the enemy gets closer to the wall of our faith, the Holy Spirit will add two inches thicker, and the more they try to get closer, the more walls will be added. Believe in God, Jesus said, and also believe in Him (Jesus) that God is in Him and believe also in yourself.  Together,  when they are in us and we are in them, the enemy who is interested in putting us down will be powerless. We are protected from inside out. There is no situation bigger than God. The enemy can only attack our emotions and never can attack our spirit when we are already a partaker of the divine nature of God— the Holy Spirit.

They are limited only to our emotions but never can they position themselves in the place called holy of holies. When Jesus proclaimed His divine identity that He is God, stunned His accusers.  Jesus was charged with blasphemy and to defend himself He quoted a verse in Psalm 82, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High”.  If the Scripture called human, gods, He should not be misunderstood for calling Himself, god. As it is written human beings are gods. God after creating the animal and plant kingdom, it produces the same of its kind.  When Adam begot a son named Seth after his image and his own likeness, this revealed to us that God is reproducing His image and likeness to humankind which can bring to our understanding that we are children of the Most High.

For more explicit examples to lessen the conflict of the minds let us be more specific in dealing with this revelation.  When a person bears a child we are expecting a child will be born.  A person will give birth to a person, a sheep bears a sheep and the offspring will all be sheep and the offspring of a dog is a dog. Therefore,  we can call then the offspring of God are gods. Flesh gives birth to flesh and the Spirit gives birth to spirit. The two nature of the child of God John 3:6

We should be very careful to say something that we are not, something that we cannot even define.  Are we allowed by the Scripture to boast? What do we get from boasting? Is boasting a worldly act? What if we boast and turn into promises that we cannot fulfill? Is boasting about our accomplishments, not a good act? The nature of boasting determines the motive of the person; Is it an egoistic act or praising someone?  Boasting in Old English word means hallelujah which means to praise God. All the things that God created are beautiful and to be proud of it is our acknowledgment of His existence and greatness.  

Boasting is a widely accepted means of speaking with pride. Sometimes being prideful is offensive to others and sometimes even talking about our success to be an inspiration to others is being misjudged. If the intentions are purely self uplifting, self-centered, show off, and self-righteousness.  Paul wrote about this kind of person and the evilness of this work. In 2 Timothy 3:2 he said; “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”

If we expound  Paul’s letter to Timothy, these are people that are selfish.  Instead of serving others or work together for the common good, but the intention is just to serve himself/herself, his/her self interest among others. These people may also love to talk about their fortune.  

Having too much money can bring people to be proud of themselves and sometimes not even acknowledging the Giver of their success. God is a jealous God but never will be jealous of us having too much especially when helping the needy.

These people will realize in due time that God is the reason for their success and of course God will value their hard work and there is no doubt in my mind about it. Faith together with work goes hand in hand. There are people giving the tithes and offering showing how much they donate that in times they intentionally hold the money for a little longer before they put it in the collection basket so other members will see it. The scripture is very clear that do not let your left hands know what the right hands are doing.  In other words, make giving a secret, the Father sees in secret knows that it came from our heart.

It is more of testimony when we boast about God of His good nature, His deeds towards our well being and our testimony for answered prayers can serve as praise for His goodness and love to humanity.  We can also boast how He uses His power, His forgiving heart, His mercy, and grace. His presence can be felt everywhere.  He is able to do anything and everything under His infinite power. When we boast somebody’s work towards their advancement then we can describe it as a proper way of using boastfulness but when it is for self-advancement, doing harm to others that is definitely improper boasting.

Boasting is profitable when nature or motive is to praise God, to honor someone for a job well done, and when boasting is not politicized.  Boasting can be good and bad.  It can be acceptable and it can be subject to rejection. It depends on how boasting will be delivered and how the person deserves to be praised. Praising God is the joy that we may experience His presence and His instructions to follow and accomplish His purpose and His will. If we boast about other people, be sure that we do not put them above God and Christ.

Old and New Testament encourage us to engage in proper boasting or praising other human beings.  Let other praise you and not you, praising yourself.  Boasting our own accomplishment instead of letting others do it looks improper.  Boasting of something that belongs to God and praising somebody or something above God and Christ is something that we should not do and should refrain from exaggerated boasting. Boast how we look better than the others instead of boasting what is inside us is taking away God of His work on us.

Proper or improper Paul said that boasting has its own limit.  “We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God Himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes us.” 2 Corinthians10:13(NIV). While James explicitly said: “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” “As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.”— James 4:15-16 (NIV).

Boasting about you is an expression of pride, something that God hates. Anything that we do that is against God’s will is a violation of His goodness and abuse of our free will.  As Paul describes; “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, and no mercy.” Romans1:29-31.

Prophet Jeremiah wrote in 9:24; “but let the one who boasts boast about this:  that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord  who exercises kindness,  justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.” Followed up by Paul’s writing 1Corinthians 1:31quote; “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  

Living in humility is living free from arrogance, conceitedness, and lifting our own self. We can be falsely judge of living in arrogance when it is supposedly being confident that we have God who provides everything we need.  If I said I can buy a mansion.  Is that arrogance or just being confident that I can buy a house. We may not be aware due to our excitement that we said something arrogantly that the hearer may base their quick judgment as boasting or showing off. Many people are judgmental due to jealousy, the pride of not accepting that we have what they don’t have.

Three factors to represent a godly work is base on our attitude, behavior, and maturity to deal with unexpected circumstances. If we do not want to be judged wrongfully, we should apply the act of humility. Humility is the best weapon against any situation when a disagreement arises. God is always delighted when His children humble themselves in a righteous manner. If the absence of darkness is brightness and arrogance is humility, then we can claim that our life is based in our meekness to God’s sovereignty and qualify us of His saving grace which is a favor from God. “These are the ones I look on with favor:  those who are humble and contrite in spirit:” Isaiah 66:2

Jesus spoke to a man who had called Him ‘good,’ asking him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.’ (Luke 18:19). And he said to him, ‘Why are you asking me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19:17)Some if not many would say that we are not literally God’s children because we are not directly created by God and God only created one man in His image and likeness who then caused the sin to enter the world and yet used by God to fulfill His purpose to humanity. The Bible is very clear “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Understanding HumblenessWhen Jesus responded in Matthew 19 that could only characterize him as a humble person. Though how much humbleness He will show to His accuser they will not change their mind to get Him for blasphemy, it is a done deal.  They do not have to listen; they don’t want the truth, they want to get him. Jesus responded not claiming for Him alone but to all that is in a position authorized by God. In John 10:34 “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?” Jesus based this response from Psalm 82   I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;”(Psalm 82:6)

If we practice humbleness and true to ourselves we may achieve it, as the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. If we keep on doing it, it will turn into the habit though it may take time it is better even to start slow than to wait for time to dictate which might not come. What you can do today, do it today for tomorrow is another day to celebrate. If the reason is slothfulness we have to be aware that it is a sin, to be lazy is one of the deadly sins and will deny you of precious wealth Proverbs 12:27.  While those who work will have plenty of bread Proverbs 12:11

Why put things aside that cause your idleness when your hands are ready to work that will make you rich— Proverbs 10:4. Do not let your hand refuse to labor for your mind controls the hand and do not let your mind dictate laziness that may result to be a habitual act. If you want to plant good seeds to others, why wait for tomorrow when you can do it today and the harvest will be sooner than later. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men—Colossians 3:23. A person with a kind heart is always the first to be approached in time of needs; a person that always says yes to the LORD; the kind of person that thinks for the well being of others.

Humility is acknowledging mistakes, apologies, and makes corrective actions. Do not think that practicing humility you feel low or less important.  Humility is an important quality that we must have. We have to think big because the One above has a big heart and forgives all our unrighteousness. God Himself would want us to be humble. The Prophet Micah tells us; “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8. It needs training and commitment to developing humility and devotion to His almighty that all the effort we do belongs to Him, not to ourselves. James specifically said; “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10

Without humility, pride will take over and that is not what we want.  Pride is a sin and when we sin, we disobey the purpose and will of God. This is a characteristic that is very important to God that without it, we can never repent of our sins and turn to God. Without repentance, there is no forgiveness and that is very clear. We need to humble ourselves before God.  Paul said all have sinned and short of the glory of God, this absolute means that all men are sinless.

God wants us to be like Him and to be like His Son. It doesn’t mean to be as big and as powerful as they are as we are not even in the level of Their supremacy. We have to take it by heart that if we are partakers of the divine nature of God.  We are part of the Godhead and in reality, we can be a witness of this truth but we should not boast for it as we do not have that authority to boast but instead to humble ourselves to God’s delight.

We should recognize our position being children of God in the Trinity as the third person and should be directly involved in spreading the work of His Holy Word. We are and we should acknowledge that rightly dividing the word of God, we should not be ashamed. Without humility, which is a disgrace will never allow anyone to be part of the Godhead. Some may claim that they are partakers of the divine nature of God and still doing wicked work.“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). There are so many hindrances but we must overcome it, we have to continue to fight the good fight of faith. Our confidence that we have God and His Spirit that will provide all the things we need to defend our faith but they will continue to attack and charge us as being arrogant.

As it is written both the Old and the New Testament that humility is of great importance for our walk in this journey. There are people of ancient times who showed humility and rewarded as heroes of faith and listed in the letter to the Hebrews and then will be rewarded on the last day. We can learn from these heroes how to be humble in the eyes of God; Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice which God commended as righteous; Enoch was commended as having pleased God; Noah became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith; Abraham obeyed God to go out to a place not knowing where he was heading.

Faith draws many things:  Humility, righteous living, dependence to God, Trust and confidence, submission to His will, acknowledging His infinite power,  merciful to forgive. Our weaknesses and susceptibility to temptations can be changed by faith.  God is in control all in all. Every good thing we possess,  talents, and gifts that came from God alone must be uplifted for His glory. God is our provider and no one else.

David’s humility brought in patience—He waited for God’s time to put him as king and never tried to overthrow King Saul; he waited for God to remove King Saul and eventually sat on the throne as Israel’s king.  Joseph’s leadership as administrator over Egypt after so many painful experiences never had thought of revenge against those who caused those pain but instead helped them in times of need. Joseph recognizes God in everything and through it all, his humility brought many people alive.

Paul is a learned person and we learn humility through his writings like his letter to Philippians 2 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.’ ‘Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)

The greatest example of them all when it comes to humility is the Lord Jesus Christ.  As presented by Paul in his letter to the Philippians,  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Therefore God also had highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(Philippians 2:5-11)

When you do a wrongful act, such as false accusation, making yourselves above others, never accept opinions or suggestions that you think will not get credit, always expecting rewards in return for any good deeds there many more we can mention about this type of person and you should know that you cannot please God with this kind of behavior? Not only that you sin to yourself and others but definitely you sin against God

We cannot be right all the time. We need to make a 360 degrees turn and need to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness, then open our arms in helping others. When we do that, we technically humble ourselves.  God can make us strong during our weaknesses and may give us the wisdom to do the right thing. Faith can move us from weakness to strength, from unrighteous to righteous, from arrogance to confidence, from pride to humbleness. Without faith, we cannot please God and so as without humility, so, faith and humbleness go hand in hand.

How can we say that we have faith and yet we are prideful? We can have faith and hope but without humility. How long are we going to wait for hope to come? How can we show humility when we only love ourselves? We have to understand that faith, hope and love come with humility.

Father, thank you for all the things you have given and thank you for the revealed word that we may use that Your word will be profitable to the hearer and push them forward to be a doer. Let Your word that will come out of our mouth and the writings may lead us to understand and be blessed.

You are our only source Father to spread the truth and for those who will cause confusion and disagreement, they will come into their senses that it is not from me but from you the Almighty one. The knowledge that will bring them will be justified and they will feel the righteousness of this work. May you bless the reader, the doer of your work, and those that heard that believing in your Son Jesus Christ, our 2nd and last Adam will give them eternal life.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, God bless us all. Amen.

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