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spiritual pride
by paul hoffmaster
08/04/12
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SPIRITUAL PRIDE
Spiritual revelation brings spiritual growth which in turn leads to Christian humility. Whenever we do not respond to Devine Revelation with humility, problems will arise. So many Christians come to the point of believing that their “spiritual maturity” should be displayed for all to see. Many people have been turned off by the arrogance and pride of some Believers who have received revelation from God and have put themselves on display for Christian understudies to see. Christian irresponsibility has led to many stumbling blocks to potential and new believers. One of the signs of true spiritual maturity is a decrease of yourself to the point of preferring others before yourself. (Rom. 12:10) The Apostle Paul stated that you are not to think more highly of yourself than you do of others. (Rom. 12:3) He also proclaimed that he was crucified with Christ and that it was no longer him that lived, but Christ in him. (Rom 2:20) Peter said that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. (I Peter 5:5) Not only does the concept of humility deal with horizontal relationships, but also to our vertical relationship. John the Baptist said that he must decrease but Jesus must increase. (John 3:30) The Scripture reinforces the concept that if a Christian wants to be part of the Kingdom of God, he must become as a little child. (Mk. 10:15, Luke 18:16, Matt.19: 14)
Peter is an example of one who received revelation from God and then, within hours, turned from being blessed with spiritual understanding to rebuking the One that was revealed to him. When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was, Peter spoke up and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16) Jesus told him how blessed he was because God had revealed that to him. (v.17) It is truly a great joy when we receive revelation from God, but we have a responsibility to respond to that truth with humility and thankfulness. Revelation is given for the understanding and promotion of the Kingdom of God and as one receives that truth, there is a greater display of Christ in him.
When Jesus shared with His disciples that He would be crucified and that He would rise again the third day, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him by saying that His crucifixion was unacceptable. (Peter did not even take into consideration that Jesus said He would rise the third day.) Peter had received revelated knowledge but instead of being humbled, it puffed him up. (1 Cor. 8:1) Peter was so prideful that he thought he knew what was best for Jesus and being crucified was not the answer. What Peter had done was to exercise his mind on the natural instead of the supernatural. (v. 23) Jesus pointed out that it was Satan who was behind Peter’s response. May every believer be aware of Satan’s tactics.
How many Believers have received revelation, but have responded to it in a carnal (human) way? Many people have experienced Christians that have displayed a holier-than-thou attitude. Dialogue with those individuals is always short lived. They love to hear themselves talk and have little tolerance when it comes to listening to others. We need Christians who hear from God and then decrease in self promotion. We need Believers who let Jesus increase in their lives to the point that it is no more them, but Christ reigning within them.


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