OPPOSITION TO GRACE

faces of pride

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

What makes certain people feel more important than other members of the Body of Christ? What leads us to concentrate on our rights instead of our responsibilities? What is the root to all contentions which can also be the root to unforgiveness? It is pride which is the root nature of what led to the Fall. Pride is an over high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self esteem; and conceit. It is excessive belief in one’s own worth, merit, or superiority. It is the number one resister to the grace of God. God resists and opposes the proud. The word “resisteth” is a military term that actually means to set oneself in battle array against. We live under grace, yes, but we also have responsibilities under grace and that is to stay humble.

There are five faces of pride we should avoid.

RACE PRIDE
This is the belief in the superiority of one’s race over another race. That’s silly since we all came from Adam and Eve. Race pride leads to racism. Racism is the spirit of division that always magnifies differences but in Christ Jesus there is no difference among us. We are all one in Christ Jesus though our spirits may be clothed in a different physical body (Ephesians 2:13-14). Of course, we know the Word of God reveals three ethnic divisions of the human race, Jews, Gentiles, and Church of God (1 Corinthians 10:32) with regard to His covenant plans but I like what I heard a great evangelist say, “There’s only two races on Earth; the one racing toward Heaven and the one racing toward Hell.”

PLACE PRIDE
This can be seen when thinking more highly of our church or places of ministry than we ought to think. People who go to a big church where things seem to be happening and are getting all the headlines can think they are more special than other places, or that they are big because God is blessing them. Size isn’t always a determiner of the place where God is. Remember Noah was where God was and there were only eight souls with him. In the Book of Revelation, God not only commends big churches but small ones too (Revelation 2:19). He holds the pastor of a small church in His hands (Revelation 1:20). It’s funny that some who have place pride go to a church that was made fruitful and productive by other people’s sacrifices and labor and yet they use it to bolster their own self esteem as if they produced it. In the military there are not only “bases” but also “outposts” that certain soldiers are stationed at with their assignment. They are not there because of ability or lack of ability but simply because of placement.

PACE PRIDE
This can be seen by those who have had the opportunity to hear a lot of the teachings of the Word of God and developed as a result of the Word but hold themselves superior to those who are new and just don’t know much. Our maturity is nothing to glory in but all glory should go to God’s grace just like our salvation. There is no room for boasting for our salvation neither should there be boasting for our growth for we are who we are by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:10). We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak (Romans 15:1) so the real sign of maturity is how supportive we are of our weaker brothers not how much we know.

FACE PRIDE
This can be seen by how we carry ourselves when we make mistakes or do something wrong. Prideful people have a hard time admitting they are wrong about anything but will always try to save face, spin their wrong in the most positive way, or minimize the darkness of their deeds. What is wrong with saying, “I’m sorry, you are right, I was wrong, please forgive me. What’s wrong with calling our sins sin instead of “I got this problem, or I’m having a challenge, or I’ve got some issues.” If we humble ourselves God will lift us up in due time. Face pride includes the pride of ones heart reflected in a high look or proud look as pride is often reflected on ones countenance. Proverb 21:4 says, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing (freshly tilled/the whole of the field cultivated) of the wicked, is sin.”

GRACE PRIDE
This can be seen where a person gets an exaggerated opinion of themselves or overate their importance because of the gifts, graces, anointing, and privileged place of service God has given them. It is taking credit for what should be to the praise of the glory of God’s grace. Some believers worship the men of God in their life by thinking about them above what is written in the Scriptures holding them up as heroes, celebrities, and superstars. I’m not talking about giving proper honor where honor is due but rather glorying in men. First Corinthians 3:21 says, “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours,” and 2 Corinthians 10:17 says, “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” Who would any of us be without the grace of God on us? The more one knows of grace, the more it humbles you. Jesus surrendered His rights, made Himself of no reputation, and sought no recognition and that is the mind we are to have in us (Philippians 2:3-8).

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Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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