Pride, Selfrighteousness and Humility



1. What does God think about pride?

A. He hates it:

                Pro.6:16,17             These...doth the Lord hate: a proud look

                Pro.16:5  Every one that is an abomination to Lord

B. We should hate it too:

                Pro.8:13  The fear of the Lord is to hate...pride & arrogancy

C. Pride is a sin, not a virtue:

                Pro.21:4a                An high look, & a proud sin

                Hab.2:4   Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright

                1Jn.2:16 not of the Father, but is of the world


2. Why is it wrong for us to be proud?

A. Because only the Lord is great; we are not:

                Psa.66:5-7              Come & see the works of God...He ruleth...let not the rebellious exalt themselves

                Psa.97:9  Thou, Lord, art high... exalted far above all

                Ezk.28:2  Thine heart is lifted up...yet thou art a man, & not God, though thou set thine heart as...God

                Phi.2:9,10               God hath highly exalted Him (Jesus), & given Him a name above every name...every knee should bow

                (See also Psa.21:13; 57:5,11; 108:5; Isa.2:11,17.)

B. God alone should get the glory:

                Acts 12:20-23        Angel...smote him, because he gave not God the glory

                1Cor.10:31              Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God

                (See also Jer.9:23,24; 1Cor.1:28,29.)

C. Pride makes us ignore & forget God:

                Deut.8:14               (When) thine heart be lifted up...thou forget the Lord

                Psa.10:4  The wicked, through...pride...will not seek after God

                Hos.13:6b              Heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten Me

D. God will distance Himself from & resist the proud:

                Psa.138:6                The proud He (the Lord) knoweth afar off

                Jam.4:6   God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto humble

E. Pride makes us rebel against the Word:

                Neh.9:16,17,29       They dealt proudly...& hearkened not to Thy (Word)

F. It gives us an exaggerated sense of greatness:

                Oba.3      The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, that saith, Who shall bring me down?

                Rom.12:3                (Thinking) of himself more highly than he ought to

                Gal.6:3    If a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself

G. It creates self-exaltation & a desire to be honoured:

                Pro.25:27                For men to search their own glory is not glory

                Mat.23:5-7             (Proud Pharisees) love...greetings (in public), & to be called of men, (Master, Master)

                Mk.12:38,39  seats...& uppermost rooms

                Jude 16   Their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration

H. When we seek to please men, we often displease the Lord:

                1Sam.15:30             I have sinned: [but] honour me...before the [people]

                Jn.5:44    Ye...receive honour one of another, & seek not the honour that cometh from God only

                Jn.12:43  They loved praise of men more than the praise of God

                Gal.1:10  If I pleased men...not be the servant of Christ

I. Pride makes us think we are "wise":

                Pro.3:7    Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord

                1Cor.3:18                Let no man deceive himself. If any...seemeth wise

                1Cor.8:2  If any think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know

J. Pride gives us a "know-it-all" attitude:

                Psa.131:1                [The haughty exercise themselves in great matters, in things too high for them]

                Pro.26:12                Seest thou a man "wise" in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him

                (See also 1Tim.1:7)

K. Pride causes arguments:

                Pro.13:10                Only by pride cometh contention

                Pro.28:25                He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife

                (See also Pro.14:3; 21:24.)

L. Pride corrupts us:

                Mk.7:22,23             Pride...(comes) from within, & defiles the man

M. Pride will bring about our downfall:

                Pro.11:2a                When pride cometh, then cometh shame

                Pro.16:18                Pride goeth before destruction, & an haughty spirit before a fall

                Pro.18:12a              Before destruction the heart of man is haughty

                Pro.29:23a              A man's pride shall bring him low

                Ezk.28:12-17           [The fall of Satan happened because he exalted himself in pride] (See also Isa.14:12-15)

                Dan.5:18,20, 21      God gave Nebuchadnezzar...majesty...& honour: But when his heart was lifted up...he was deposed

                1Cor.10:12              Him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall


3. Some causes of pride:

A. Beauty:

                Ezk.28:17                Thine heart is lifted up because of thy beauty

B. Material abundance:

                Deut.8:12-14, 17    Lest when full...& all that thou hast is multiplied; then thine heart be lifted up

                Ezk.28:5  Thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches

                Hos.13:6 They were filled, & their heart was exalted

C. Being overly secure:

                Psa.73:5,6a             They are not in trouble as other men...therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain

D. Being overly affected by exaltation:

                2Chr.26:15,16         He was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up

                Dan.11:11,12          [Victory over enemies causes heart to be lifted up]

                1Tim.3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall

E. Carnal mindedness (intellectual pride):

                Gen.2:16-17;[Eve, desiring to be wise, disobeyed God & ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil]



                1Tim.6:3,4              If any man teach otherwise (than sound doctrine)...he is proud, knowing nothing

                (See also Jer.9:23,24a; Rom.8:6,7; Jam.3:14-16.)


4. Warnings against pride:

A. We should avoid proud boasting:

                1Sam.2:3a               Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth

                Pro.27:2  Let another man praise thee, & not thine own mouth

                2Cor.10:18              Not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth

B. We shouldn't exalt ourselves:

                Pro.25:6,7               Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, & stand not in the place of great men

                Lk.14:10  When thou art bidden...sit down in the lowest room

C. If we're proud, we're in a dangerous position:

                Psa.18:27                Thou (God) wilt bring down high looks

                Pro.15:25a              The Lord will destroy the house of the proud

                Eccl.7:16 Be not righteous over much (overly righteous)...why shouldst thou destroy thyself?

                Jer.48:25,26, 29      [Exceeding proud, lofty, arrogant, haughty Moabites magnified selves against the Lord & were cut off]


5. Self-righteousness: Why is it wrong to think that we--in ourselves--are good & righteous?

A. Because we are not:

                Job 15:14                What is man, that he should be clean?...righteous?

                Job 15:15,16           The heavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable & filthy is man

                Psa.130:3                If Thou shouldest mark iniquities, who shall stand?

                Pro.20:9  Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure?

                Eccl.7:20 There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good & sinneth not

                Isa.64:6a We are all as an unclean thing, & all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags

                Rom.3:10,23           There is none righteous, no, not one...all have sinned

                Rom.7:18a              In me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing

B. Only God is good:

                Mat.19:17a             There is none good but one, that is, God

                Job 9:2b But how should man be just with God?

                Psa.71:16b             I will make mention of Thy righteousness, Thine only

C. Doing so causes us to be lifted up in pride:

                Pro.30:12,13           (They) are pure in their own eyes...O how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up

                Lk.18:11  God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men...unjust

D. It separates us from God:

                Rom.10:3                They...going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted unto the righteousness of God

                Job 13:16b             An hypocrite shall not come before Him

E. It makes us unable to see our sins:

                Job 32:1  Job...was righteous in his own eyes (See also Pro.16:2; 21:2 .)

                Pro.30:12                A generation that are pure in their own eyes, & yet is not washed from their filthiness

                Lk.6:41,42               Why perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

                Jn.9:41    Ye say, "We see"; therefore your sin remaineth

F. True righteousness means trusting God:

                Gal.3:6    Abraham believed God, it was accounted righteous ness

                Phi.3:9    Not having mine own righteousness...but...of God

                Tit.3:5     Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to (because of) His mercy He saved us


6. Self-righteousness: Why is it wrong to think we--in ourselves--are better than others?

A. Because we're not:

                Jn.8:7      He that is without sin...let him first cast a stone

                Rom.3:23                All have sinned, & come short of the glory of God

B. We shouldn't think we are better than others:

                Rom.14:2,3             Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not

                1Cor.13:4                Charity (love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up

                Phi.2:3b  [Not] vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves

C. A proud attitude displeases & angers God:

                Isa.65:5   (They) say, "I am holier than thou." These are a smoke in My (God's) nose

                Lk.16:15  Ye are they which justify yourselves...but...that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination (to) God

D. It makes us despise & be unmerciful to others:

                Mat.23:29               Ye have omitted the weightier matters...mercy

                Lk.18:9    (They) trusted in themselves that they were righteous, & despised others

                Lk.18:11  God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are... unjust...or even as this publican (tax collector)

                (See also Mat.9:13)

E. We only are what we are by God's grace:

                1Cor.4:7  Who maketh thee to differ from another? & what hast thou that thou didst not receive?

                1Cor.15:10              By the grace of God I am what I am

                2Cor.3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves


7. The humbling of the proud:

A. God can--& does--humble the proud:

                Dan.4:37b              Those that walk in pride He is able to abase

                Gen.11:1-8              [Men were building the tower of Babel in pride, so God confused & scattered them]

                1Sam.13:8-14         [Saul presumed to offer the sacrifice without waiting for Samuel, & lost the kingdom as a result]

                2Chr.32:24,25         Heart was lifted up: therefore...wrath (was) upon him

                Job 33:15-17          [God works on our hearts at night to remove pride]

                Psa.101:5b             Him that hath an high look & a proud heart will not I suffer (allow to continue)

                Isa.2:11   The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, & the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down

                Isa.2:12   Every one that is proud & lofty...shall be brought low

                Isa.13:11b              I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease

                Dan.4:30-35           [King Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up in pride, was deposed by God, abased as a beast, & learned humility]

                Dan.5:20,21            When his...mind (was) hardened in pride...was deposed

                2Cor.12:7                Lest I (Paul) should be exalted above measure...there was given to me a thorn in the flesh

                (See also Jer.50:31,32; Oba.4.)

B. It is a law of God: If we're proud, we will be humbled:

                Mat.23:12a             Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased

                Lk.14:11a                Whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased

                Lk.18:14b               Every one that exalteth himself shall be abased

C. Being humbled teaches us that God is in charge:

                Job 42:1-6              [After being humbled, Job said:] I know that Thou canst do every thing...I...repent

                Dan.4:32-35           Eat grass...until thou know that the most High ruleth


8. Why we should want to be humble:

A. Because God loves & delights in the humble:

                Psa.51:17                The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken & a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise

                Psa.138:6a              The Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly

                1Pet.3:4  A meek & quiet in the sight of God of great price

                1Pet.5:5b                God...giveth grace to the humble

B. He is close to the humble:

                Psa.34:18a              The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart

                Isa.57:15a               The high & lofty One that inhabiteth eternity (dwells) with him that is of a contrite & humble spirit

C. He requires us to be humble:

                Mic.6:8   What doth the Lord require...walk humbly with thy God

                Col.3:12  Put on, as the elect of God...humbleness of mind

D. Humility brings honour & blessing:

                Pro.22:4  By humility...are riches, & honour, & life

                Pro.29:23b              Honour shall uphold the humble in spirit

E. If we are humble, God will exalt us:

                Mat.23:12b            He that shall humble himself shall be exalted

                Lk.1:52    He put down the mighty...& exalted them of low degree

F. God helps the humble:

                Psa.9:12  He forgetteth not the cry of the humble

                Psa.25:9  The meek will He guide...& meek will He teach His way

                Psa.34:18                The Lord...saveth such as be of a contrite spirit

                Psa.147:6                The Lord lifteth up the meek: He casteth wicked down

                Isa.57:15b              (I) revive spirit of the humble, & heart of contrite ones

                Lk.1:48a  He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden

                1Pet.5:5b                God resisteth the proud, & giveth grace to the humble

G. Humility can spare us from trouble:

                1Ki.21:17,25-29      [Wicked king Ahab humbled himself before God, so God didn't bring judgment during his lifetime]


                2Chr.32:26              Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his that the wrath of the Lord came not

H. God gives the humble true wisdom:

                Pro.11:2  [Pride causes shame] but with the lowly is wisdom

                1Cor.3:18                Let him become a fool, that he may be wise

                (See also Lk.10:21)

I. Humility is true greatness in God's eyes:

                Eccl.7:8b                The patient in spirit is better than proud in spirit

                Mat.18:4 Whosoever shall humble himself is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

                Mat.19:30b            The last shall be first

                Mk.10:43                Whosoever will be great...shall be your minister

                Lk.22:26  He that is greatest...let him be as the younger

J. God uses & exalts the humble:

                1Sam.15:17             When thou wast little in thine own sight...the Lord anointed thee king over Israel

                Pro.15:33b              Before honour is humility

                Jam.4:10 Humble yourselves...& He shall lift you up

                1Pet.5:6  Humble yourselves... that He may exalt you in due time

K. Other blessings upon the meek:

                Psa.37:11                The meek shall inherit the earth; & shall delight

                Psa.149:4                The Lord...will beautify the meek with salvation

                Mat.5:5   Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth


9. Keeping a humble attitude:

A. Remind yourself that anything good is only Jesus, not you:

                Gen.41:15,16          Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer

                Dan.2:26-30a         God...revealeth secrets. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have

                1Cor.4:7  What hast thou that thou didst not receive [from God]? Why dost thou glory?

                1Cor.15:9,10           I am not meet (worthy) to be called an apostle...but by the grace of God I am what I am

                2Cor.10:17              He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (See also Jer.9:23,24)

                Gal.6:14  God forbid I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus

                (See also Rom.2:11; Gal.6:3.)

B. Read & obey the Word:

                Deut.17:19,20        [Read & obey the Word] that heart be not lifted up

C. Realistically admit your limitations:

                Rom.12:3                (Don't) think of (yourself) more highly than (you) ought to think; but think soberly

                Rom.12:16b            Be not wise in your own conceits


10. Humility with one another:

A. Follow Jesus' example of humility:

                Mat.21:5 Thy King (Jesus) cometh unto thee, meek...upon an ass

                Jn.13:5,12-15          He began to wash the disciples' feet, & wipe them...I have given you an example, that ye should do as I

                Lk.22:27  He that sitteth at meat (is greater)...but I am among you as he that serveth

                Phi.2:5-8 Let this mind be in you...Jesus made Himself of no reputation...(became) a servant...humbled Himself

B. Other examples of true humility:

                1Sam.25:40, 41       [Abigail, when asked to marry David, said:] Let (me) be a servant to wash the feet of (his) servants

                Mk.7:25-30             [Syrophoenician woman said:] Yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs

                Lk.7:2-7  [Pharisees said] he was worthy for whom He should do this. The centurion (said), I am not worthy

                Jn.1:27    (Jesus), Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose

C. Submit humbly to one another:

                Lk.22:25,26             Kings...exercise lordship. But ye shall not be so. He that is greatest...let him be as the younger

                Eph.5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in fear of God

                1Pet.5:5  All of you be subject one to another, & be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud

D. Love & honour others:

                Rom.12:10              With brotherly love; in honour preferring one another

                Rom.12:16              Mind not high things, condescend to men of low estate Phi.2:3a Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory

E. Be humble when pointing out other's errors:

                Lk.6:42b Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye

                Gal.6:1    Restore such an one in the spirit of meekness

                2Tim.2:25               In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves


11. The solution:

A. Confess your faults & inabilities & humble yourself before God:

                Jam.4:10a               Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord

                1Pet.5:6a                Humble yourselves...under the mighty hand of God

B. Ask others to pray for you to overcome pride:

                Jam.5:16 Confess your faults one to another, & pray one for another

                Mat.18:19,20          If two of you shall agree [in prayer] it shall be done

C. Examples of humbling oneself before the Lord:

                2Sam.24:2-4, 8-10  [In pride, David took a census of his kingdom to see how great he was, then repented & sought mercy]

                Job 40:1-5; 42:1-6  [Self-righteous Job--see 32:1; 35:2--humbled himself, confessed he was vile & repented]

                Psa.51:1-4              I acknowledge my...sin...that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest

                Dan.4:33-35,37      [King Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself & confessed that only God was great]

                (See also 1Sam.9:21 about Saul; 2Sam.7:18 about David; 1Ki.3:7 about Solomon; Mat.3:14 about John the Baptist.)


Special passages:

                1Ki.12:1-16             [Rehoboam "answered the people roughly"]

                2Chr.26:14-23        [King Uzziah, "lifted up", presumed to offer incense]

                Dan.4:all [Nebuchadnezzar's pride, humiliation & restoration]

                Lk.18:9-14              [The parable of the proud Pharisee & humble sinner]



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