The Chameleon of Human Pride

Obadiah 3
      The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): This is true of all proud persons, for pride is self-deceit. There may be proud persons in this congregation.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): “Ah, yes, I’m the Christian that reads a lot. I am the man who knows the doctrine. I am the man who has read all the works of the Puritans. That other person over there, he knows nothing about it.” Pride of knowledge. “I am the great theologian. I am unlike that publican over there who has not got the brains, nor the understanding to grasp these things.”

A. W. TOZER (1897-1963): There is no pride so insidious and yet so powerful as the pride of orthodoxy.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Pride of knowledge, what an ugly thing this is also! Knowledge puffeth up, I Corinthians 8:1—of course it does. May God preserve us from it. And pride of understanding. “I have got it all. It is all plain to me, cut and dried. That other person knows nothing.”

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Never art thou less holy than when puffed up with the conceit of it. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright, Habakkuk 2:4.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: The Apostle uses the term “puffed up,” I Corinthians 4:6—What an expression! What does he mean? He is describing a proud man, is he not? Here is a man who thinks he really “knows it all;” he is not like those other people―he knows; he is a man of knowledge and understanding. He knows it all! He is not like those others who never read; he is a great reader. And, of course, as the result of this he has arrived, and he is proud of it. “Puffed up!” How do we know that he is proud of his knowledge? Well, he is always parading it. The heavy, important, Puritan gait! The way of speaking and so on! That is a part of the parading that is inevitably one of the manifestations of being “puffed up.”

JOSEPH ALLEINE (1634-1668): When men do not see nor complain nor groan under the pride of their own hearts, it is a sign they are stark dead in sin. Oh how secretly does this live and reign in many hearts, and they know it not, but are very strangers to themselves (John 9:40).

C. H. SPURGEON: A plenitude of grace is a cure for pride.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Pride was the sin that changed angels into devils…If we excel in gifts and graces, double caution is necessary; this is a real excellency (II Corinthians 12:7). It is a question, whether real grace may make men proud? Gifts, to be sure, may―Knowledge puffeth up; yea, [even] grace through corruption.

C. H. SPURGEON: Those who are sure that they have no pride are probably the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed…You may be sure that there is one idol of which we can never thoroughly cleanse our hearts though we try and though by God’s strength we give him a blow every day. It is the god of pride. He changes his shape continually; sometimes he calls himself humility, and we begin to bow before him, till we find we are getting proud of our humility. At another time he assumes the fashion of conscientiousness, and we begin to carp at this and cavil at the other, and all the while we are tampering with our own professed sanctity, and are bowing before the shrine of religious pride.

R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Pride never stoops but to take a higher flight.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): All pride is idolatry.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: All right, I know that I need to speak on both sides. The other person very often almost boasts of his lack of understanding. When I say a thing like that, I always think of a man whom I once met. I was due to preach for a weekend in a certain town and he met me at the station, and then, before I had had time to say almost anything to him, he said, “Well, of course, I am not one of the great people in this church, I am just, you know, a very ordinary, humble man. I am not a great theologian, I am not a great speaker. I do not take part in the prayer meeting―I am just the man who carries the visiting preacher’s bag.” “Oh, what a humble man I am!” I thought. To be proud of your ignorance is as bad as to be proud of your knowledge and understanding.

JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): To speak of one’s self in abasing terms is easy: and such language is often a thin veil, through which the motions of pride may be easily discerned; but though the language of humility may be counterfeited, its real fruits and actings are inimitable [not capable of being imitated].

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): Spiritual pride is a white devil.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Any form of pride is hateful and offensive in the sight of God.

C. H. SPURGEON: Be not proud of race, face, place―or grace.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): Unbelief was the first sin, and pride was the first-born of it.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): No sin is so deeply rooted in our nature as pride. It cleaves to us like our skin.

THOMAS HOOKER (1586-1647): Pride is a vice, which cleaves so fast unto the hearts of men, that if we were strip ourselves of all faults, one by one, we should undoubtedly find it the very last and hardest to put off.


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