The Problem Of Pride


"He who boasts,

Let him boast IN THE LORD!


1 Corinthians 1:31


"That No Flesh Should Boast in His Presence"--1 Cor. 1:29

The BOASTER is the person who praises himself and brags about what he has done. The Bible teaches us that we are not saved by "____________ of righteousness which ____ ______ ________" (Titus 3:5) but we are saved because of the work which Christ has done on the cross! Therefore, since salvation is not by human effort or works, it’s unthinkable and unfitting for a saved person to ____________ (Eph. 2:9; see also Rom. 4:2 where the expression "to glory" means "to boast"). Since salvation is by faith and not by works, BOASTING is________________ (Romans 3:27-28). The person who BOASTS has faith in himself; the person who is SAVED has faith in Christ alone.

Being saved is a very humbling experience! PRIDE  (large "I" in the middle) has kept millions of people from coming to the Saviour.

Read carefully the parable which the Lord Jesus told in Luke 18:9-14 and discuss the following questions.

LUKE 18:9-14:

  1. Why did the Lord speak this parable?
  2. Which man boasted and bragged about his accomplishments?
  3. Which man humbled himself before God?
  4. Which man thought he was saved?
  5. Which man really was saved?
  6. What is necessary before a person can really be saved?

Is It Always Wrong To Boast?

The Lord wants us to boast and to brag! He forbids us, however, to boast and brag about OURSELVES:

"But he that glorieth (boasteth; in the verses we will be considering in this chapter of notes, whenever we find the word "glory" in the King James Bible, it may be translated "boast."), let him glory (boast) ______     _______     __________" (2 Cor. 10:17; compare 1 Cor. 1:29,31).

BOASTING (bragging) in and of itself is not sinful. It quickly becomes sinful when we boast in ________ (1 Cor. 3:21) or in ourselves. When God created us He wanted us to be proud creatures--PROUD OF HIM!! There is nothing wrong with pride, but we must make sure pride is directed not toward self, but toward God. How we need to develop GODWARD PRIDE! Are you PROUD of the living God, the Creator of the universe? The following illustration will help us to see the difference between boasting in self (sinful boasting) and boasting in the Lord (righteous boasting).

Instead of wanting attention for myself, I want God to have all the attention! Instead of showing off, I want to show God off! Instead of proudly telling everyone about me and all my accomplishments, I want to tell everyone about Christ and all His accomplishments! Instead of seeking the preeminence (first place) in everything (3 John 9), I want Christ to have preeminence (Col 1:18)! Instead of having everything revolve around me, I want everything to revolve around Christ (just as in our solar system everything revolves around the sun, so spiritually everything should revolve around the Son of God! He is the Center!).

The Boasting Which God Hates


Notice the kinds of boasting which God hates:

1) Boasting in MIND POWER.
The wise man says, "Look how much I know! No one needs to tell me how to live my life!"
2) Boasting in MUSCLE POWER.
The mighty man says, "Look at what I have done. Look at what I have accomplished! I don’t need anyone to help me, I can do it myself."
3) Boasting in MONEY POWER.
The rich man says, "Look at all that belongs to me! Look at all that I have! I am rich and in need of nothing (Psalm 49:6 and compare Rev. 3:17)!

The Boasting Which God Loves

        READ JEREMIAH 9:23.

        What kind of boasting pleases and delights the Lord?

  1. The true wise man is the person who realizes how ignorant he is before a God who is all-knowing and all-wise (Isaiah 55:7-9; Romans 11:33-36).
  2. The true mighty man is the person who realizes how weak and needy he is before a God who is Almighty and All-Powerful (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  3. The true rich man is the person who realizes that he has nothing in himself but everything in Christ (2 Cor. 6:10; 8:9).

Boasting or Praise?

The Hebrew word for "boasting" is HALAL.  This word is also the Hebrew word for "praising" (compare the Hebrew expression HALLELUJAH" which means "Praise the LORD!"). Whenever we praise ourselves, we are boasting! When we say, "Look how great I am!", we are boasting! When we say, "Look how great God is!", then we are praising! Boasting in self is sin, boasting in God (praise) is our duty as creatures (Psalm 33:1; 147:1)!

The Apostle Paul’s Boasting

In Philippians 3:3 Paul wrote, "For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit and REJOICE (BOAST) in Christ Jesus, and have _____      ________________________  in the flesh. Paul would only boast in Christ Jesus! He refused to boast in anything that he was or in anything that he did. Read Philippians 3:4-6. What were some of the things that Paul could have boasted in?


According to Galatians 6:14 there was only one thing that Paul would boast about. Keep in mind that the word "glory" means "board"  Circle the correct answer:

  1. His Jewish upbringing.
  2. His education.
  3. His position as a Pharisee.
  4. His Saviour, and what He had done for him on the cross.
  5. His righteous living according to Jewish law.

Self-Magnification or Christ-Magnification?

Read Psalm 34:1-3 and answer the following questions:

  1. Who should I bless (speak well of)?
  2. How often?
  3. What should always be found in my mouth?
  4. In whom should I boast?
  5. What kind of people love to hear such boasting?
  6. Who should we magnify?
  7. What should we exalt?
  8. If a person does not enjoy practicing #1-7 (blessing, praising, boasting, magnifying, exalting), will he be very happy in heaven (see Rev. 4:8-11; 5:12-14)?

According to Philippians 1:20, what was Paul’s great hope and expectancy?
______________________________________________ When we look at an object through a MAGNIFYING GLASS, it looks BIGGER and it becomes more clearly seen. To Paul, Christ was so BIG and IMPORTANT, that when you looked at Paul’s life, who did you see (Philippians 1:21)? ____________

John the Baptist also wanted Christ to be magnified. In John 3:30 he said, "He (Christ) must ________________________  (become bigger and bigger!), but I must _______________________ (become smaller and smaller)."

Christ must increase; Self must decrease (compare the words of the hymn "Not I, But Christ")! The morning star at first seems very bright, but as the sun rises, the star fades until it is seen no more! Jesus is the " _________of righteousness" (Malachi 4:2) and He must increase!

"Less of me and more of Jesus; Less of self, O Lord I pray;
Till I am so lost in Jesus that I live like Him each day!"

Do You Think You Are Something?

What do you think of yourself? What is your opinion of yourself? What is your estimate of yourself--below average? average? good? great? the greatest?  How do you rate yourself?

Everyone wants "to be something." I want to be somebody of importance.  I want to be somebody that others notice and appreciate.  I want to amount to something! I want to be able to say, "I’M SOMEBODY!"  We are somewhat surprised, therefore, to read Galatians 6:3 and to discover that although we may think we are ______________, in reality (from God’s point of view) we are __________! We are not as important as we thought we were!

If you were to drop dead today (compare Luke 12:20), would the world be able to go on without you? Would you be long remembered as some great personage?

Often we think too ______________ of ourselves (Romans 12:3). Did Theudas (Acts 5:36) and Simon (Acts 8:9) think too highly of themselves? _________ Did Paul think too highly of himself (Ephesians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 12:11)?______

We think we are something; God says we are _________________ (Galatians 6:3). We want to be able to say, "I’M SOMEBODY!"; God says, "YOU’RE ____________." We think we’re a BIG NUMBER, God says we are ZERO!  This is humbling!

Don’t be discouraged at your own NOTHINGNESS and UNIMPORTANCE! The good news is that God in His grace is able to make something out of nothing! Martin Luther once said, "God created the world out of nothing (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3) and as long as we are "nothing" God can make something out of us!"

In and of ourselves, we are NOTHING, BUT. . .


How did we (believers) get to be so IMPORTANT (1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Timothy 1:14; 1 Corinthians 4:6-7)?   __________________________

God’s Perfect Pride

God is the only Person in the Universe who has a right to be PROUD and who can say, "I’M THE GREATEST!"  Why is it wrong for any creature to say this? Why is it right for God to say this (1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 145:1-3)?  ______________________________________________  God is the only Person who has a right to BOAST ABOUT HIMSELF and to demand PRAISE from others (compare Isaiah 44:6-8; 45:5-6; 45:21-25)!

The Lord Jesus once referred to "the city of the __________________ King" (Matthew 5-35; compare Psalm 48:1-2). Who is this GREAT KING (see Revelation 19:19; John 1:1,14; Revelation19:16-17)? _____________ Therefore, when Jesus spoke of "the great King" WHO was He referring to?  ______________________________  He called Himself GREAT!  Is He? __________

The World’s Greatest Jew

Suppose you were to ask your Jewish friends, "Who was the greatest Jew who ever lived?" How do you think they would answer? Would they say Abraham? Jacob? Moses? David?

As we study the gospel accounts, we discover that the Lord Jesus claimed to be the greatest Jew who ever lived! Let us consider these amazing claims:

1) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Abraham, the Father of the Nation (John 8:53-58).

Notice the question that the Jews asked Jesus in verse 53. Read the answer Jesus gave them in verses 56-58. Abraham lived about 2000 B.C. What would you think if someone came up to you today and claimed to be over 2,000 years old (though he only looked about 30 years old)?!  Yes, Jesus claimed to be far greater than Abraham! He claimed to be the ETERNAL GOD, the GREAT "I AM" (compare Exodus 3:14)!

2) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Jacob, the Father of the Children of Israel (John 4:12-14).

Notice again the important question in verse 12. Jesus answers this question by contrasting two kinds of water. The water which came from Jacob’s well could only satisfy man’s physical needs (verse 13). The water which came from Jesus well could satisfy man’s spiritual and eternal needs (verse 14)! Therefore, who is greater, Jacob or Jesus?_____________

3) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Moses, the Great Leader of Israel (Luke 9:28-36).

Moses himself predicted that God would someday raise up a Great Prophet and Israel was told to listen to this Prophet and hear His words (see Deut. 18:18-19). In Luke 9:33 two great Old Testament prophets appeared with the Lord on the Mount of transfiguration. Who were they? Peter, in his ignorance, wanted to honor all three EQUALLY (verse 33). God the Father had to teach Peter that only ONE of these three should be honored above all others! Notice in verse 35 that God did not say to "hear Moses." Therefore, who is greater? ________________________________

4) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Jonah, Israel’s Great Missionary Prophet (Matthew 12:41).

Jonah preached to Ninevah the capital city of the wicked Assyrian empire, and the people repented! Jesus, "a  ________________________ than Jonah," preached to the wicked Jews of His day and they failed to repent!

5) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than David, Israel’s Greatest King (Matthew 22:41-46; compare Psalm 110:1).

The Jews knew that the Messiah would be David’s Son (Matthew 22:42; 12:23). In Psalm 110:1, David referred to the Messiah as his Lord! How could David’s Son be David’s Lord? The answer is found in Romans 1:3-4. As perfect Man Christ was the son (descendant) of David (Matt.1:1). As the Son of God Christ was David’s Lord and Saviour! In John 13:16 Jesus said, "The ______________ is not greater than his ______________." Therefore, if Christ is David’s Lord and Master, who is greater? __________________

6) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Solomon, Israel’s Most Glorious King (Matthew 12:42).

Solomon was the wisest king who ever lived (1 Kings 3:12-13), but his wisdom was nothing compared to the wisdom of the KING OF KINGS who shall someday reign (compare Isaiah 11:2-3)! Solomon’s glorious kingdom was nothing compared to the future millennial kingdom of Christ (Isaiah 2:2-5; 9:6-7; 11:4-9; etc.).

7) Jesus Claimed to be Greater than Any Jew who Ever Lived Because He Alone Claimed to be GOD!   Study these amazing claims: John 5:17-18; 8:58-59; 10:28-31; 19:7.




Review Of Chapters 1-5

5 Christian Virtues That God Wants Us To Develop:


Do the following MATCHING problem:

1. _____  Worry A. 1 Peter 2:17
2. _____  Fear B. Ephesians 4:26
3. _____  Doubt C.1 Corinthians 7:32
4. _____  Anger D. 2 Corinthians 10:17
5. _____  Pride E. 1 John 4:1

Review Questions

  1. What, are some of the things that we commonly worry about?
  2. Why is worry disobedience?
  3. Why is worry a form of unbelief?   Why is worry a form of atheism?
  4. Why is worry illogical?
  5. In Matthew 6:27 was the Lord Jesus speaking of the length of a person’s height or the length of a person’s life? What are some reasons for saying so?
  6. When does planning for tomorrow become sinful? Instead of worrying about tomorrow’s troubles and problems, what should we do TODAY?
  7. Why should we cast our care upon the Lord?
  8. How does a dead bird remind me of God’s loving care?  How can the hairs on my head remind me of the same?
  9. What does the word "careful" mean in Philippians 4:6?
  10. In Philippians 4:6, what is the significance of the expression "unto God"?
  11. What does the New Testament term "PRAYER" really mean?
  12. How does a knowledge of WHO GOD IS help me in solving my daily problems?
  13. What does the word "supplication" mean in Philippians 4:6?
  14. In Philippians 4:6, why is the word "thanksgiving" a faith word?
  15. What are the 5 steps that I should follow in applying Philippians 4:6?
  16. What are some examples from the Scriptures of people who had peace in the midst of problems?
  17. Can worry ever be healthy and helpful?
  18. What are some of the things that the unsaved should worry and be concerned about?
  19. What does the word "phobia" mean?
  20. Does God ever want people to be afraid?
  21. What are some ways in which fear can serve as a friend?
  22. Where is the first place in the Bible that fear is mentioned? Was this a healthy fear?
  23. What are some of the reasons why the believer does not need to fear?
  24. How does knowing WHO GOD IS relate to the problem of fear?
  25. What is the King of fears?
  26. Why does the believer not need to fear this greatest of all fears?
  27. Can you think of some examples to show that love can overcome fear?
  28. What is the fear that conquers all other fears?
  29. What is the fear of the Lord? What is the fear of men?
  30. If a person really fears the Lord, how will his life show it?
  31. Who should our close friends and companions be?
  32. What are five things that every believer should be afraid of?
  33. What does Genesis chapter 1 teach us about God’s faithful Word?
  34. What are some examples of fulfilled prophecy?
  35. Does Satan have anything to do with the fact that men doubt God’s Word?
  36. What does the name "Isaac" mean?
  37. What was Peter’s great sin in Matthew 16:21-22?
  38. The person who disbelieves God is actually accusing God of what?
  39. Is it ever right to doubt? Can you give some examples from Scripture?
  40. On what basis can a person KNOW that he is saved?
  41. What are some ways in which we can tempt the Lord today?
  42. What are two things that God tells the believer to do with sinful anger?
  43. According to James, what is the difference between man’s anger and God’s anger?
  44. What are the two ways in which people often express sinful anger?
  45. What kind of anger primarily hurts OTHERS?
  46. What kind of anger primarily hurts SELF?
  47. How do we know that it is possible to control our temper?
  48. Is anger always a vice?
  49. Did the Lord Jesus ever get angry? Give some examples from the Scriptures.
  50. Does God want believers to BE ANGRY?
  51. Consider Moses, King Saul, and the Apostle Paul. When were each of these men angry in a righteous way? When were each of these men angry in a sinful way?
  52. According to 2 Samuel 12:1-9, who should David really have been angry with?
  53. How can anger be re-directed to solve life’s problems?
  54. Will any man be able to boast before God?
  55. If salvation were by works, what could a person then do?
  56. What has kept millions of people from coming to the Saviour?
  57. What is necessary before a person can really be saved?
  58. When is it wrong to boast? When is it right to boast?
  59. What is the difference between selfish pride and Godward pride?
  60. What does the expression HALLELUJAH mean?
  61. What was the one thing that Paul would boast about?
  62. As we grow in the Christian life, who should get BIGGER AND BIGGER? Who should get SMALLER AND SMALLER?
  63. What are some examples from the Scriptures of men who thought too much of themselves?
  64. Who was one man who had a correct opinion of who he was?
  65. Is the believer an important person IN CHRIST?
  66. How did the believer get to be so important?
  67. Who is the only Person in the universe who can BOAST about Himself?
  68. Did Jesus ever call Himself great?
  69. Who was older, Abraham or Jesus?
  70. Why was Jesus greater than Jacob? than Moses?
  71. Why should the Jews have repented at the preaching of Jesus?
  72. The Jews knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of whom?
  73. How could David’s son be David’s Lord and Master?
  74. Flow would you compare the kingdom of Solomon with the kingdom of Christ?
  75. Did Jesus ever claim to be GOD? What did the Jews try to do whenever Jesus made such claims?


The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, Conn. 046570

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