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ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Jonathan Edwards - Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

The first and worst cause of error that prevails in our day is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of Christ. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment, and the main handle by which Satan takes hold of Christians to hinder a work of God. Until this disease is cured, medicines are applied in vain to heal all other diseases.

Pride is much more difficult to discern than any other corruption because, by nature, pride is a person having too high a thought of himself. Is it any surprise, then, that a person who has too high a thought of himself is unaware of it? He thinks the opinion he has of himself has just grounds and therefore is not too high. As a result, there is no other matter in which the heart is more deceitful and unsearchable. The very nature of it is to work self-confidence and drive away any suspicion of evil respecting itself.

Pride takes many forms and shapes and encompasses the heart like the layers of an onion- when you pull off one layer, there is another underneath. Therefore, we need to have the greatest watch imaginable over our hearts with respect to this matter and to cry most earnestly to the great searcher of hearts for His help. He who trusts his own heart is a fool.

Since spiritual pride in its own nature is secretive, it cannot be well discerned by immediate intuition of the thing itself. It is best identified by its fruits and effects, some of which I will mention together with the contrary fruits of Christian humility.

The spiritually proud person is full of light already and feels that he does not need instruction, so he is ready to despise the offer of it. On the other hand, the humble person is like a little child who easily receives instruction. He is cautious in his estimate of himself, sensitive as to how liable he is to go astray. If it is suggested to him that he does go astray, he is most ready to inquire into the matter.

Proud people tend to speak of other’s sins--the miserable delusion of hypocrites, the deadness of some saints with bitterness, or the opposition to holiness of many believers. Pure Christian humility, however, is silent about the sins of others or speaks of them with grief and pity. The spiritually proud person finds fault with other saints for their lack of progress in grace, while the humble Christian sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He complains most of himself and his own spiritual coldness and readily hopes that most everybody has more love and thankfulness to God than he.

Spiritually proud people often speak of almost everything they see in others in the harshest, most severe language. They frequently say of an other’s opinion, conduct, or coldness that it is from the devil or from hell. Commonly, their criticism is directed against not only wicked men but also toward true children of God and those who are their superiors. The humble, however, even when they have extraordinary discoveries of God’s glory, are overwhelmed with their own vileness and sinfulness. Their exhortations to fellow Christians are given in a loving and humble manner, and they treat others with as much humility and gentleness as Christ, who is infinitely above them, treats them.

Spiritual pride often disposes persons to act different in external appearance, to assume a different way of speaking, countenance, or behavior. However, the humble Christian, though he will be firm in his duty--going the way of heaven alone even if all the world forsake him- yet he does not delight in being different for difference’s sake. He does not try to set himself up to be viewed and observed as one distinguished, but on the contrary, is disposed to become all things to all men, to yield to others, to conform to them, and to please them in all but sin.

Proud people take great notice of opposition and injuries, and are prone to speak often about them with an air of bitterness or contempt. Christian humility, on the other hand, disposes a person to be more like his blessed Lord, who when reviled did not open His mouth but committed Himself in silence to Him who judges righteously. For the humble Christian, the more clamorous and furious the world is against him, the more silent and still he will be, unless it is in his prayer closet, and there he will not be still.

Another pattern of spiritually proud people is to behave in ways that make them the focus of others. It is natural for a person under the influence of pride to take all the respect that is paid to him. If others show a disposition to submit to him and yield in deference to him, he is open to it and freely receives it. In fact, they come to expect such treatment and to form an ill opinion of those who do not give them what they feel they deserve.

One under the influence of spiritual pride is more apt to instruct others than to ask questions. Such a person naturally puts on the airs of a master. The eminently humble Christian thinks he needs help from everybody, whereas the spiritually proud person thinks everybody needs his help. Christian humility, under a sense of others’ misery, entreats and beseeches, but spiritual pride commands and warns with authority.

As spiritual pride disposes people to assume much to themselves, so it disposes to treat others with neglect. On the contrary, pure Christian humility disposes persons to honor all men. To enter into disputes about Christianity is sometimes unseasonable, yet we ought to be very careful that we do not refuse to discourse with carnal men because we count them unworthy to be regarded. Instead, we should condescend to carnal men as Christ has condescended to us--condescended to be present with us in our unteachableness and stupidity.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/5/21 15:34Profile
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 Re: Jonathan Edwards - Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

Good word, I needed to hear this. Thanks for this post.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/5/21 16:09Profile
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Posts: 9192
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 Re: Jonathan Edwards - Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

Quote:
He who trusts his own heart is a fool.



Thanks Chris. Will make this 'sticky' as a fresh reminder. A needed article and right on target.


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Mike Balog

 2006/5/21 20:18Profile
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Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Pride

[i]One of the best temporary cures for pride and affection is seasickness; a man who wants to vomit never puts on airs.[/i]
-Josh Billings

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who made you to differ?

It is grace, free, sovereign grace, which has made you to differ!

Should any here, supposing themselves to be the children of
God, imagine that there is some reason "in them" why they
should have been chosen, let them know, that as yet they are in
the dark, concerning the first principles of grace, and have not
yet learned the gospel.

If ever they had known the gospel, they would, on the other
hand, confess that they were less than the least- the offscouring
of all things- unworthy, ill-deserving, undeserving, and hell-
deserving, and ascribe it all to distinguishing grace, which has
made them to differ; and to discriminating love, which has
chosen them out from the rest of the world.

Great Christian, you would have been a great sinner
if God had not made you to differ!

O! you who are valiant for truth, you would have been
as valiant for the devil if grace had not laid hold of you!

A seat in heaven shall one day be yours; but a chain in hell
would have been yours if grace had not changed you!

You can now sing his love; but a licentious song might have been
on your lips, if grace had not washed you in the blood of Jesus!

You are now sanctified, you are quickened, you are justified;
but what would you have been today if it had not been for the
interposition of the divine hand?

There is not a crime you might not have committed;
there is not a folly into which you might not have run.
Even murder itself you might have committed
if grace had not kept you.

You shall be like the angels; but you would have been like the
devil if you had not been changed by grace!

Therefore, never be proud- all the garments you have
are from above; rags were your only heritage.

Never be proud, though you now have a wide domain of grace;
you had once not a single thing to call yours own, except your
sin and misery.

You are now wrapped up in the golden righteousness of the
Savior, and accepted in the garments of the beloved!
But you would have been buried under the black mountain of
sin, and clothed with the filthy rags of unrighteousness,
if he had not changed you!

And are you proud?

Do you exalt yourself?

O! strange mystery, that you, who have borrowed everything,
should exalt yourself; that you, who have nothing of your own,
but have still to draw upon grace, should be proud- a poor
dependent pensioner upon the bounty of your Savior, and yet
proud; one who has a life which can only live by fresh streams of
life from Jesus, and yet proud!

Go, hang your pride upon the gallows, as high as Haman!
Hang it there to rot, and you stand beneath, and execrate it to all
eternity; for sure of all things most to be cursed and despised is
the pride of a Christian.

He, of all men, has ten thousand times more reason than any
other to be humble, and walk lowly with his God, and kindly and
humbly toward his fellow-creatures.

Charles Spurgeon
[i]"The Fruitless Vine"[/i]


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/16 0:33Profile
ChrisJD
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Posts: 2895
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 Re: Pride

Quote:
There is not a crime you might not have committed;



This seems like a hard thing for us to accept; I am continuing to come to a stronger confidence in the truth of it myself. How many wicked devices are hidden in the human heart, waiting to be uncovered, flushed out, by the smoke and fire of some burning trial?

Quote:
O! strange mystery, that you, who have borrowed everything,



[i][b]borrowed everything[/b][/i]

Interestingly, my mind was brought back to the article by Edwards tonight on my way home as I was reading from The Valley of Vision. The prayer I randomly opened to was [i]Longings After God[/i]
and it was this line that brought my mind back to this thread...

Quote:
My soul longs for communion with thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, [i][b]especially spiritual pride[/b][/i]



Bless you brothers.


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/6/16 23:41Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Pride

Quote:
should exalt yourself; that you, who have nothing of your own, but have still to draw upon grace, should be proud-



To go back Chris to;

[i]There is not a crime you might not have committed;[/i]

Those possibilites, absolutely ... to know they are still there ... [i]still possible[/i]

It is very much the same vein as 1Jo 1:8 [i]If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.[/i]

It's an important matter, the most important matter, pride, spritual pride.






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Mike Balog

 2006/6/17 0:01Profile
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Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Pride

[i]Do you seek you great things for yourself?
Seek them not![/i]" Jeremiah 45:5

O the pride of man's heart! How it will work and show itself even under a guise of religion and holiness!

Few can see that in religion, what are considered
great things—are really very little; and what are
considered little—are really very great.
How few can see that . . .
a broken heart,
a contrite spirit,
a humble mind,
a tender conscience,
a meek, quiet, and patient bearing of the cross,
a believing submission and resignation to the will of God, a looking to Him alone, for all supplies in providence and grace,
a continual seeking of His face,
a desiring nothing so much as the visitations of His favor,
a loving, affectionate, forbearing, and forgiving spirit,
a bearing of injuries and reproaches without retaliation,
a liberal heart and hand, and
a godly, holy, and separate life and walk—
are the things which in God's sight are great.
While a knowledge of doctrine, clear insight into
gospel mysteries, and a ready speech are really
very little things—and are often to be found side
by side and hand in hand with a proud, covetous,
worldly, unhumbled spirit, and a living in what is sinful and evil.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How many ministers are seeking after great gifts—
thirsting after popularity, applause, and acceptance among men! They are not satisfied with being simply and solely what God may make them by
His Spirit and grace—with the blessing which He
may make them to a scattered few here and there.
This inferior position, as they consider it, so beneath their grace and gifts, their talents and abilities—does not satisfy their restless mind and aspiring desires.
Their ambition is . . .
to stand at the very head of their peers,
be looked up to and sought after as a leader and a guide,
have a larger building,
have a fuller congregation,
have a better salary, and
have a wider field for the display of their gifts and abilities.
Gladly would they . . .
stand apart from all others,
brook no rival to their 'pulpit throne', and
be lord paramount at home and abroad.

And what is the consequence of this proud, ambitious spirit? What envy, what jealousy, what detraction do we see in men who want to stand at the top of the tree!

How, again and again, do they seek to rise by standing, as it were—on the slain bodies of others!

J. C. Philpot 1868


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/17 0:12Profile
ChrisJD
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Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Pride

Quote:
While a knowledge of doctrine, clear insight into gospel mysteries, and a ready speech are really very little things—and are often to be found side by side and hand in hand with a proud, covetous,worldly, unhumbled spirit, and a living in what is sinful and evil.



also brings to mind...

Quote:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations,..



Quote:
there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me



Quote:
lest I should be exalted above measure.



Seems too that this applies as well..

Quote:
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.



a warning against putting those, whose faith and heavenly vision have not been seasoned through testing and trial, into positions of authority over the house of God?

Quote:
stand apart from all others,



which harkens back to Spurgeon's refrence to

Quote:
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes;...



Quote:
that ye might learn in us not to think of men [i][b] above that which is written[/b][/i]



Quote:
that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

which turns back to this question of Philpot...

Quote:
And what is the consequence of this proud, ambitious spirit? What envy, what jealousy, what detraction do we see in men who want to stand at the top of the tree!



[i]For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?[/i]


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/6/17 10:25Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Pride

Quote:
O the pride of man's heart! How it will work and show itself even under a guise of religion and holiness!



Quote:
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.



Quote:
a warning against putting those, whose faith and heavenly vision have not been seasoned through testing and trial, into positions of authority over the house of God?


Indeed.

Brother, think this is so important, that it be completely exposed and stripped of it's false front ... It is decimating us in so many various ways. What has the Lords church become with this element shot through it? It is seen here, in this forum time and again. I have fallen prey to it, even unaware.

A bit of an aside, have been reading E.M. Bounds, a section on answered prayer and it's challenging to contemplate the real substantive answers to specific prayer ... [i]The lack of[/i]...

Surely, this comes to mind;

Jam 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Something in all the still ongoing processing here that makes me wonder about this undercurrent of pride. Just at random, some musings;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To suffer ourselves some embarrassment and humility! It is the healing balm and cure to our pride. Trust that you will allow I speak from experience.

Pro 19:25 [i]Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.[/i]

Pro 21:11 [i]When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.[/i]

Yet ...

Ecc 1:18 [i]For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.[/i]

1Co 8:1 ...[i] Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.[/i]

Is there any resolve in knowledge?

2Co 10:5 [i]Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;[/i]

Yet, will we yet do this forever first? How is it that the very things that are to be applied to ourselves are used as proof text's for a stance, a position [i]against[/i] everyone and every exalted thing are still being clung to by our own unchecked, selfish hearts?

Mat 23:23 [i]Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.[/i]

Luk 11:39 [i]And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.[/i]

An inverse order.

The unthinkable is upon us.
The Christian exalted above His Lord

That which ought to be the strongest
characteristics
Of humility
Of giving place to others
Of lowering ones self
And dying to ones self
Meek and humble and contrite
Of becoming like a child
In the spiritual heart

Of admittance of failure
Of being wrong
Of apology
And correction
Of seeking and asking for
Forgiveness
And forgiving others

Are we yet teachable
And pliable
In Gods mighty hands?
Or unbending
And unyielding
A change of mind
And a change of heart
Possible?
Admitted
Expressed
Printed
For all to see?

The rarity of charity and in it's place ...

How offended
And resentful
Compulsive
And contentious
Divisive in manner
Accusative and suspicious
Of a million notions

Un Christlike
Careless and care less
That we are

The stench in Gods nostrils

This pride

It will have none of suffering
Wrong
Or misunderstanding

But must defend!

It,

Takes no correction
And gives no quarter
Has 'rights'
But no 'wrongs'

Willing to bend honesty
To dishonesty
To justify it's ends

Is the substance of pragmatism
And heartbeat of humanism
The sewer that runs below
Every evil
Every sin

It is death
And why death comes

Is rare to admit
And to submit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And yet, we would still have the world believe us
And believe our Lord
Our aped conduct
And lifeless form

For thou shalt [u]be[/u] his witness
.. [u]be[/u] ye thankful.
so [u]be[/u] ye holy in all manner of conversation

[i]Fulfil ye my joy, that ye [u]be[/u] likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.[/i] Phi 2:2,3

Will we start over again
Today?
Recognize this pride
And repent of it
Forever

Cast it down on it's way up
Before it takes form

Tell ourselves:
Do I have a right
To be angry?
To be thinking ill will?
To harbor bitterness
And resentment still?

[i]Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.[/i]

Col 3:12-17

How can pride stand, look, speak or even think before Jesus Christ?

And yet ...


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/6/17 11:20Profile









 Re: Jonathan Edwards - Undiscerned Spiritual Pride

This is good. I've been praying that the Lord would purge me of all my pride and make me a vessel that can be used for His glory. I can relate to this. Pride will kill you spiritually if it's not dealt with. If you think about it, what do we have to be proud of anyway? The process of braking ones pride is very painful, but it's soooo needed if we are to grow spiritually.

J-bird
:-D :-D

 2006/8/3 14:10





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