Sin entered the universe when Lucifer harbored pride in his heart. He said: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; …I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Although he was created perfect, Lucifer took pride in the honor God had given him. This led to his fall. The Lord warns, “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud” (Proverbs 16:18-19).
After his fall, Satan tried to instill this same desire for pride in Adam and Eve and he enticed them to break God’s command promising them “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Unfortunately, pride led to their fall as well. Thus, the ruin we see in the world today is the direct result of that sin. For this reason, God declared, “Pride and arrogance … I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).
The desire for self-exaltation is against the very nature of God. Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). The supreme act of self-humiliation consisted in Christ’s voluntary submission to death for He “humbled himself… even to the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).
When people fully understand the humble nature of God and the prideful nature of sinful men, arrogance disappears. And like Paul they should declare, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Pride leads to self-righteousness and blinds people for their need to seek God’s righteousness and His salvation (Psalm 10:4). Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Those who do not feel their spiritual poverty and see themselves as “rich, and increased with goods” and in “need of nothing,” are, in the sight of Heaven, “wretched, and miserable, and poor” (Revelation 3:17).
To feel one’s need is the first step to enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus said that the publican in His parable “went down to his house justified” rather than the self-righteous Pharisee (Luke 18:9–14). There is no place in the kingdom of heaven for the proud and the self-righteous. And Christ invites the poor in spirit to exchange their poverty for the riches of His grace.
In His service,