SEEING OURSELVES CORRECTLY
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
How shall a follower of the Lamb properly view himself? Human nature tends toward sinful pride. The Bible has much to say about sinful pride. It is written, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18). Furthermore we are told, “The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory...” (Isaiah 23:9).
Paul's problem church was at Corinth. In dealing with their pride the Holy Spirit moved Paul to ask them the following three questions: “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?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
The first question asks who it is that makes you different from others. If you are a true follower of the Lamb, who brought you to that place? Who granted repentance and faith to you? Dare you boast that you are better or wiser than your friends and relatives who are yet in their sins? The answer must be that it is God who has made you to be different. The Bible says, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13).
The second question asks what is it that you have that was not bestowed upon you. Your gifts - physical abilities, mental prowess, oratorical skills, musical or artistic talents – even the ability to make money all were bequeathed to you before your birth. God spoke of forming babies saying, “Before I formed thee in the belly...” (Jeremiah 1:5). You may have improved upon your native abilities, but it is God who gave you your abilities. So it is if you have eternal life: spiritual life. Jesus said, “And I give unto them eternal life...” (John 10:28).
The third question says that since your talents and abilities were bequeathed to you – freely given without any act upon you part - why do you boast as if they were not gifts? Paul's point and that of the Holy Spirit in this verse is to show us that we cannot boast in natural gifts and neither can we boast in spiritual matters. Paul wrote, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” (Romans 8:9). Jesus said the new birth is accomplished by the Holy Spirit and likens the Spirit to the uncontrolled wind saying, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit,” (John 3:8). He also said, “...Ye must be born again,” (John 3:7). Spiritual life is absolutely necessary else you will perish – and it is bestowed as gift.
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726