The Root of All Sin
Updated: Jul 15
The pride of your heart has deceived you, Obadiah 1:3
Dear Lord Jesus,
I praise You for Your goodness! You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). You lead me in Your wisdom. You reveal the way I should go through Your Word, which I am so blessed to have in my possession. Lord Jesus, You are the Word, and the Scriptures are my precious guide in this life and the wisdom that leads to salvation in You, by grace through faith. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105). Jesus, when I keep my eyes on You, that means I'm keeping my eyes on Your Word. Lord, help me to fill my mind with Your Truth every single day so there is no room for Satan’s lies to creep in and rule over me. Finally, humble me, Lord. Humble me by reminding me who You are, what You did for me, and how immeasurably blessed I am to be in Christ. Lord, allow that humility and gratitude to spill over into every aspect of my life and permeate every relationship and encounter I have.
Faith Proven by Obedience
I know that my faith isn’t proven through mere words and verbal professions, but it's naturally proven through my actions and obedience to Your Word. It’s because I trust who You are, Jesus. I trust the finished work of Your life, death, and resurrection. I trust Your goodness and promises for my life, and I trust that Your commands will only lead me to joy, peace, and rest in my soul. True joy comes only from recognizing what Christ has done for me, and unlike my ever-changing circumstances and feelings, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, my joy in Jesus is a constant joy. If as a child of God I lose the joy in my heart, I don’t need to look at my fluctuating circumstances, but I need to closely examine my relationship with Jesus and my obedience to His Word. Am I submitting to Him in trust, or am I submitting to my own pride? Am I doing His will, or am I doing my own will?
Self-Love or Deny Yourself?
Lord, I confess that at times I stumble off Your path, and I take my own path because of my own pride. At times, I choose my own ways and fall for Satan's lies, and my faith fails in the moment of temptation because of my own pride. Like all sins, pride is a lie from hell that most of the world is self-deceived by, and it can still creep in and tempt believers to fall prey to it too. We live in a time where culture constantly bombards us with campaigns of self-love, self-care, self-sufficiency, and self-exaltation. We even see churches that promote the lie of self-love, which couldn’t be further from biblical truth. The world elevates, glorifies, and places supreme focus on self, but Jesus says, "Deny yourself." And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23). And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27). That includes denying myself whenever I feel deserving or entitled, knowing that I'm really not entitled to anything in this world, let alone eternal life. I must deny myself and put away my selfishness and pride because I believe in Jesus. As His child, I am to rejoice humbly over what He did for an unworthy sinner like me and to remind myself every day of the gospel. Jesus has allowed me to live forever by His grace. There is no greater gift! If anything is going to humble and soften me in times when I'm not getting my way or people are treating me unfairly, it is reminding myself of the free gift of eternal life that is mine in Christ; a tremendous gift that I do not deserve!
Don't Believe the Lie of Pride
It is pride that railroads us off His path of righteousness, slithering into our lives to steal, kill and destroy and manifesting into all sorts of sins. One sin always leads to another. Sin does not operate alone but in groups. If we surrender to one sin, expect more to come. If we give in to our pride, expect any of the seven deadly sins to occur. The lie about pride is that we believe it’s going to help us win something, protect us from losing something, getting hurt, or being seen as weak, cowardly, or stupid. In actuality, all pride does is put up a stone wall, as it pushes people away, brings division and destruction to our lives and relationships, and erodes away at our joy and peace. Pride also fools us into believing the lie that we are worthy or entitled to whatever it is that we selfishly think we deserve, whether that be recognition, praise, respect, rewards, or even eternal life.
In reality, our own pride destroys everything and everyone in its ugly path. Pride is the destroyer of all marriages, families, and relationships, and it’s the supreme killer of love, joy, and peace in the heart of any Christian. Pride is the foundation of all emptiness, worries, unrest, and sorrows. It is pride that causes all other types of sins to emerge in their ugly ways and rips us apart from the truth in Jesus and the ones we love the most. Not only that, pride is incredibly blinding. We often don’t know when we are being proud, especially when we are on the verge of an argument and in the moment of pride welling up in our hearts. Pride is ultimately what keeps billions of people from seeing the light of the gospel. That’s how much of a lie the sin of pride is because pride is deception at its finest. And at its deepest, most powerful, most deceiving level, pride blinds people from Jesus and the free gift of eternal life itself. Don't be self-deceived by pride and so trust in yourself. Trust in Jesus.
The Light Shines in the Darkness
A child of God will never be content or at peace while also feeling proud and entitled. As Christians, we sometimes allow pride to overtake us in weak moments, but we never allow pride to take over our lives or wreak havoc in our relationships. In reality, there really is no such thing as a "proud Christian." Pride and an unworthy sinner saved by grace do not even belong in the same sentence. A child of God will never truly be able to fully rest in the assurance of salvation if they continue to give in to pride and allow it to seep into their life. The sin of pride is serious and something we must cry out to God for, confess, and truly repent of.
This may not be the Christian's favorite prayer, but it's wise for us to pray for God to reveal our own pride and where we are most prone to it. We need God to shine the light on our sins for them to be exposed so that we can properly deal with them and understand their root cause - which is always pride. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overpowered it (John 1:5), But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light (Ephesians 5:13-14). We are then able to forsake those sins that are exposed by the light because we see them clearly for what they are. They are no longer hiding in darkness but exposed by the truth in Jesus. It's the truth that sets us free from sin. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). The only thing that can fight lies and win, is the Truth. It's not enough that we know the Truth. We must love and live the Truth too, which is an everyday decision that we make by God's grace.
Security Vs. Assurance of Salvation
The security of a believer's salvation is different than the believer's assurance of salvation. The security of salvation for a believer is fixed for eternity and never falters, and a believer can never lose his or her salvation. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27-28). The security of a believer's salvation is totally and utterly dependent on Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross and resurrection. However, the assurance of a believer's salvation is a feeling that depends on our speech, actions, behavior, responses, and how we live the Christian life. If we allow pride to well up time and time again and manifest into anger, bitterness, jealousy, fits of rage, dissensions, or factions, we will never feel a solid assurance of salvation.
Jesus wants us to enjoy our lives and live in abundance. That means an abundance of peace and joy knowing and feeling we are eternally secure in Him! That's the greatest joy and the ultimate peace! That's a sad Christian life to live every day wondering if we're truly saved or not. Unfortunately, some believers go through the whole Christian life like that, and it's because they are simply lacking knowledge and with further understanding and clarity of Scripture comes power and peace. Or they are lacking a good Bible-believing church, a good pastor, and good Christian fellowship, which are all extremely vital to our spiritual growth in Jesus. Open your Bible, dear Christian, and allow the Scriptures to renew Your mind and grow You spiritually. When we read God's Word, it literally renews our minds and literally transforms us. That is not just a symbolic way I am speaking. It is a literal transformation and a literal heart transplant when we are born again and when we pour ourselves into God's Truth on a daily basis. God's Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12). In other words, God's Word is incredibly powerful with the ability to literally transform you from the inside out. The only way anyone can be transformed is by believing in the gospel and by filling our minds with the Truth of God's Word on a daily basis. The Word of God is the answer to all our life's problems and difficulties, namely sin.
Wondering if we're saved or not, is not how Jesus wants us to live the Christian life. He wants us to feel confidence in Him by living the Christian life to the fullest with total assurance! That means taking up the whole armor of God every day to protect us from the lies and pride, which includes the belt of truthfulness, the breastplate of righteousness, and shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the Helmut of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. We must wear that armor every day, prepared to fight the good fight of faith every single day. The Christian life is a daily battle and one we can win because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
The thing is, as children of God, do we not know that we have the power within us?! We are not fighting sin on our own strength. We are no longer in bondage to sin! We have the gift of the Holy Spirit! We are set free from sin in trusting in Jesus as our Savior, and we are no longer under Law but under grace. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace (Romans 6:14). God’s grace is not given to us just so we can live however we please. God’s grace is given to those who trust in Jesus so that we have the power to choose that which is good, right, and true. God’s grace is given to us so that we may turn from our own pride and turn to Him. The Holy Spirit will not condemn us but convict us and make us turn from our sin. We must never forget that we have the power of the Holy Spirit as children of God! Of course, we are far from perfect, and yes we will mess up. However, He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4). Don't forget that vital truth, Christian! Let that truth comfort you and empower you!
Righteousness Produces Peace
Contrary to pride, it is humility, meekness, and righteousness that produces peace in our souls and assurance of our salvation where we can bask in that glory of knowing our souls are eternally secure in Christ. And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:17) Humility comes from knowing that we are undeserving of eternal life and that we all deserve hell. But by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, He has granted us eternal life! Simply amazing! True humility and meekness come by truly understanding the profoundness of that truth that is ours in Christ. While pride is the root of all sin, humility is the foundation of all virtues. Humility is at the heart of trusting in Jesus from which all other virtues flow, abound, and grow us in grace.
Lord, I pray that You may give me the grace to walk on Your path humbly, with gratitude for all that I have and all that I don’t have; for all that I lack in myself but all that I possess in You. How could I ever be selfishly angry in any situation with anyone when I have been gifted the tremendous free gift of eternal life by God’s grace? Please help magnify that astounding truth deeper into my heart as I grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus through reading His Word daily. Help sharpen my eternal perspective on life so that I may see that this present suffering cannot compare to the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18). I did not choose Him. But He chose me (John 15:16). That is the truth that should crush out my own pride, humble me beyond belief, and bring me to a height of joy that I cannot put into words.
Help me always to take Your path, Lord because that's the only right path to take. And I know where to find Your path for me. It's found in Your Word. Knowing the will of God for my life begins by opening my Bible. Help me to open my Bible more every day and renew my mind and continue to transform me as I fill my mind with the truth in Jesus. Lord, as I delight myself in You, give me the desires of my heart! Your desires for me are the desires I desire to have! Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18
All glory belongs to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, I pray Amen.
You may like to follow up this reading with the piano hymn, Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride (At Calvary) Recorded by Concert Pianist and Follower of Jesus, Andrew Remillard.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 16:5
One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
Both gentleness and meekness are born of power, not weakness. Jerry Bridges
Gentleness is an active trait, describing the manner in which we should treat others. Meekness is a passive trait, describing the proper Christian response when others mistreat us. Jerry Bridges
The man who is meek is not even sensitive about himself. He is not always watching himself and his own interests. He is not always on the defensive… To be truly meek means we no longer protect ourselves, because we see there is nothing worth defending… The man who is truly meek never pities himself, he is never sorry for himself. He never talks to himself and says, “You are having a hard time, how unkind these people are not to understand you.” - Martin Lloyd-Jones
Remember that if you are a child of God, you will never be happy in sin. Charles Spurgeon
“For we are not saved by believing in our own salvation, nor by believing anything whatsoever about ourselves. We are saved by what we believe about the Son of God and His righteousness. The gospel believed saves; not the believing in our own faith.” - Horatius Bonar,
“We are no more secure in Christ with a strong faith than with a small faith, so long as that small faith is true faith.” - Jared C Wilson
“It is true that we need to make a one-time decision to follow Jesus. But a true one-time decision is followed by the everyday decision to follow Jesus.” - Mike McKinley,