Battling Unbelief – A Proud Spirit Pt.2 Daily Devotion

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)

So what I want to do is to begin at 1 Corinthians 4.7" rel="nofollow">1 Corinthians 4:7 and then look at several other passages about pride. All these passages contrast pride with something. They show something that is the opposite of pride. And I want you to see that in each case what is the opposite of pride is of the essence of faith. In other words I want you to see from the Bible that pride is a form of unbelief, that its opposite is faith, and that the way to battle pride is to believe in all that God is for you through Jesus Christ.

And my prayer at every point is that your appetite for God be made insatiably strong.

1. 1 Corinthians 4.7" rel="nofollow">1 Corinthians 4:7

Who sees anything different in you? [Better: who makes you different from others? Or: who gives you your distinctives?] What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?

What is the opposite of boasting in this text? The opposite is recognizing the truth that our distinctive abilities are gifts of God. The Corinthians were caught up in playing one person”s strengths off against another (1:12). Paul says, that kind of boasting in man would be impossible if you really savored the truth that abilities are the gift of God and no ground of boasting in man.

So the first way to battle the unbelief online casinos of pride is to get very clear this biblical truth and to rest in it and enjoy it: that God gives us our powers; so let him who boasts boast in the LORD not man.

2. James 4.6-8" rel="nofollow">James 4:6-8

[God] gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

The opposite of pride here is submitting to God and drawing near to God. Pride wants to be independent, self-governing, autonomous. Therefore it inevitably comes into conflict with God. This is why people who do not love to submit to God”s teachings stay as far from God as they can.

If they come to church and hear God confront their lifestyle, they will go away and not come back, because they enjoy calling the shots themselves and pulling their own strings. But James says that such people should stop running and draw near. They should stop rebelling & submit. Because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (v. 6).

So the way to battle the unbelief of pride here is to stop delighting in self-determination and distance from God and start delighting in God”s right to tell you what is best for you and in the close fellowship he offers those who will draw near in faith (Hebrews 10.22" rel="nofollow">Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 11.6" rel="nofollow">11:6).

John Piper

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