CHRIST OR SELF

One of the greatest sins of this age is pride. We try to magnify ourselves above others. This inclination to pride is displayed the most when we see someone displaying the same kinds of things that make us proud. What pride hates the most is pride in others because their pride competes with its own self-worth. Pride also manifests itself in self-sufficiency, and in exaggerated ideas of one’s own virtues, abilities or importance. We creatures even magnify ourselves above our Creator, making ourselves supreme (or the end goal) in our thoughts, affections, goals etc…
The down side to pride is that God detests the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Thus, for us to receive grace from our grace-supplying God, we must be humble. Martin Luther said, “We were made out of nothing, we must remain nothing and God will make something out of us.”
We must always remember that once we were not a people and God made us his own, we were dead in our trespasses and sin and God made us alive (1Pet 2:10; Eph 2:1). The meaning of the passive verb “made” in this last sentence is to silence our prideful hearts. Only God should boast about who we are because he made us who we are. “What do you have that you did not receive, and if then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1Cor 4:7). Christ and self cannot be exalted in the same individual; one must be exalted and the other debased. Let us learn from John, who after confessing that, “a person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (John 3:27), resolves that “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

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