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Sermon 31 – ARROGANCE

16 Jun

Q. What’s the most powerful weapon Satan has in His armoury to destroy you?

There’s probably a range of options you could choose, like fear or pride, but perhaps the most powerful one is ‘judge’. When you make a judgement against your fellow man from an elevated position and look down on Him for not doing it the way you think is right, you immediately fracture the law of God (James 4:11); you immediately set yourself up as God (James 4:12); and you immediately make God your opponent (1 Peter 5:5), and you’ve fallen for Satan’s trap.

In Matthew 7, Jesus said “judge not that you be not judged, for with the same measurement you judge, you will you be judged. That is, you’ll be judged by your own judgement. A hypocrite can’t see that they are actually the arrogant one.

Most people think arrogance is walking around with your nose up in the air, or thinking that you’re fantastic and better than everyone else, or always talking about how great you are. No one ever considers themselves as arrogant; it’s always the other person that’s arrogant. Everyone learns techniques and socially acceptable procedures to camouflage and annul any suggestion that they themselves could possibly be arrogant.

Arrogance can simply be defined as “when it’s not done the way I think is right, and I look down on you and judge.”

Arrogance is resistance against others from an elevated position. It’s often expressed as “I won’t, or you won’t tell me what to do, or I don’t like that, or I don’t want to, or you won’t do that to me”, but it can also be expressed as “do you like me?” when I’m worried about position and popularity.

Collins dictionary defines arrogance as … presuming on one’s rank or power; to elevate one’s self without authority.

Elevation = raising yourself, either in your level, or above your level.

None of us are born equal.

All of us are born with different characteristics and different abilities, so striving to be as good as or better than other human beings is a waste of time and envy. It’s best to be yourself and improve yourself for God’s purpose in God’s timing and by His faith, but being motivated to achieve by the envy of others, is evil and ultimately destructive.

The Bible warns “to not think highly of yourself, but to think soberly according as God has dealt to every man a different measure of faith” (Romans 12:3-6).

Upstairs / Downstairs is a tv drama about social classes and inequality. Although the class status of modern times has changed this format through education and the exposure to Christian morality, class status still does exist today and most are striving, or at least wishing, they lived Upstairs. No one wants to live downstairs and be the servant to the arrogant rich. On the contrary, Jesus, who came from the ruling class of heaven, deliberately chose the lower class as His lot and was satisfied where God had placed Him. Anyone who wants to be a follower of Christ must follow the same course. A Christian doesn’t seek to improve his position; he waits patiently on God for His call to serve Him. He’s not into position; he’s into death.

The fact is, every human being is arrogant, having been born with this inherent spiritual trait. Arrogance comes natural; you have to firstly see that you are arrogant and then learn to make choices not to be arrogant. If you make choices to be socially acceptable to people without first seeing that you are arrogant, you’re simply reinforcing and protecting your arrogance.

Q. What is God’s perspective of arrogance?

I think His perspective of arrogance is when you elevate yourself above your neighbour by making a judgement against your fellowman instead of making a judgment about them.

Q. How do you know if you are arrogant or not?
Signs of arrogance.
a. Having a mood when you don’t get what you want
b. Not liking being told what to do
c. Thinking about me first
d. Seeking to be liked
e. Jealous of others’ position
f. Intolerance of others’ weaknesses
g. Blaming others for your circumstances
h. Focussed and concerned about feeling good
g. Look down on others when they don’t do it right

h. When somebody shows a weakness and you then deduce yourself superior to them

i.  Glad when someone who has offended you falls off their perch

Elevated judgement is the worst thing you can do. It will activate your old nature and open the door for evil spirits to use you to destroy yourself and others (Hebrews 12:15, and King Saul). It’s elevation God hates, far more than any error. You can’t repent from a position of elevation. De-elevation must occur before you can find repentance. How can you say you are sorry and remain proud at the same time; it’s a contradiction? Taking responsibility for an error and genuinely repenting is only possible from a position of humility; it’s impossible from a position of arrogance. Thus, it’s not the infringement that blocks repentance, it’s the arrogance. Thus the arrogance is worse than the infringement. There were two thieves on crosses next to Jesus. They both committed the same infringement, but only one gave up his arrogance and was saved.

Jesus didn’t come to save you from your sin, He came to save you from the fatal penalty for your sin, and you can only find that salvation through humility; never through arrogance. Most Christians have come to Christ to be saved from going to hell, but never realising that it’s not possible without first surrendering your will to the will of God and then repenting of your sin. Without surrender, the repentance is from a position of arrogance, and therefore is not genuine. The problem is, you can’t tell an arrogant person they’re not saved; arrogance can’t be told. When you are arrogant you lose your rational thinking, but you’re adamant that you are thinking rationally. Thus arrogance can’t be told because it believes it knows.

People regard speaking “short” as a rude quality and arrogant, but Jesus was short with the Pharisees, short with his mother, short with His disciples, and even short with some He healed. He told Peter off for not walking on water, and he even called Peter, Satan, in front of all the other disciples. What’s the difference between ‘good short’ and ‘bad short’? Jesus never elevated Himself; He never spoke from a position where he looked down on people. It’s elevation that’s the crime, not speaking shortly. In Philippians 2, Paul teaches how Christ humbled Himself from His God position and not only became a man, he became a servant. It was from this servant position that God elevated Him, and it’s this same position that a genuine Christian willingly seeks. The price for this position is disrespect, unpopular, misjudged, put-down, and negatively spoken about, and even physical torture; that’s why few find it, and that’s why few find humility, and that’s why few find true salvation.

Humility is directly opposite to arrogance. Everyone born from the 1st Adam passes the blame onto others (Eve and Satan made me do it), whereas being born again from the 2nd Adam is confirmed by taking the blame. This is lowering your position. Until you willingly lower your position, you’re arrogant. You can’t have faith and position; they’re opposing forces. If you’re into position you are arrogant and position is only truly sacrificed by suffering devaluation by mankind. Humility isn’t bending you head or being nice, or being obedient. Rather, it’s not elevating yourself above your neighbour.

If you’re really grateful for what God has done for you, you won’t look down on people; you won’t seek elevation; you won’t seek what others have; you’ll be happy when others are blessed or rewarded; and you won’t feel sorry for yourself.

Love and faith doesn’t judge based on my ability or lack of it relative to someone else’s. If you have faith in God, you’ll trust His outcome and willingly lower your position. Self-humility is simply mind control, but genuine humility casts the issue, by faith, upon God’s outcome (1 Peter 5:7). Humility doesn’t judge, it trusts God’s outcome. No one is saying it’s easy or that there won’t be a struggle, but that’s the fight of faith (1 Peter 5:9). Arrogance says it has faith in God, but really it means faith in one’s own ability.

May God soften your heart to see your own arrogance and be truly saved.

Pastor John Crane

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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Elevation

 

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