Message Notes | The Jesus Correction 4 – Spiritual Pride

Message Notes | The Jesus Correction 4 – Spiritual Pride

The Jesus Correction 4

Spiritual Pride

Worship

Indifference

Hypocrisy

Pride: misplaced sense of worth or value

Spiritual Pride: misplaced sense of worth or value of your spiritual understandings and practice

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Luke 18:9-14 (NLT)

Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector

9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

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9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

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By highlighting these two elements of pride, Jesus desires to correct two specific attitudes of our hearts:

1. When our confidence in/trust in/faith in ourselves grows greater than our confidence in/trust in/faith in God

2. When our confidence in/trust in/faith in ourselves grows to the point when we start looking down on others

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 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.

Jesus uses two men and two prayers to reveal some fundamental anti-spiritual pride corrections.

Jesus starts his story like a bad joke

“Two men walk into a bar – Two men walk into the temple”

He used to completely opposing characters

Luke and Darth Vader

Jim and Dwight

Chuck Norris and the rest of us

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“Going to the temple” was not “going to church”

Going to the temple was about stepping into the presence of God

2 Chronicles 7:1-2

When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 

Going to the temple reflected a spiritual encounter, not a religious practice.

When we encounter the presence of the Lord we can only but operate in humility. But if the product of our spiritual practice is pride, we have not encountered Him.

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11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 

Pharisees’ Prayer Reflects Much About Us:

I follow all the religious rules.

I do all the right things!

I follow all the rules

I am good!

I am better than everyone around me.

I am comparatively good

Thank you God that I am not like these others!

Instead of realizing what we have is a gift from God, we see ourselves as a gift to God or deserving of a handout from God

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Spiritual Pride creates:

1. self-sufficiency (I’ve got this)- I don’t need anyone else, have it all together, do right, good person

2. self-importance (I am valuable)- live in the right neighborhood, host team couldn’t run without me, right label on purse, glue to my life group

3. self-exaltation (I am better)- Everyone look at me, car has the right badge, tell me I’m great!

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Spiritual Pride – Self directed emotion that leads to promote self through outward directed actions.

We fall into the trap of thinking that our ultimate value is based on our accomplishments, gifts, rule following, comparison to others

We aren’t that different from the Pharisee- Pride- misplaced value

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1. Comparison

2. I am good – I don’t need God- I’m good, better than most Christians

3. Attention seeking- look at me- look around during worship, formatting Instagram post,

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Most who struggle with spiritual pride don’t think that they are awesome, they are trying to convince God, others, and themselves that “Everything is Awesome”

It is not about being haughty its about insecurity.

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Reverse Spiritual Pride (but it’s still pride)

Can’t receive a compliment

I could never…serve in leadership, God couldn’t use me, share faith at work

Woe is me- I deserve better

Don’t sound prideful but the value is still based on who you are or do!

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Jesus wants you to step into that presence of relationship with God.

So he needs to make some changes:

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1. When we are full of ourselves, there is no room for God.

Jesus Shows Us a Different Way:

13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 

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Jesus contrasts the heart of the tax collector:

Standing at a distance- unworthy to enter the temple – God could never love me

Couldn’t even lift his head

His prayer had confession and a genuine sought after acknowledgment of who God is

He did not rationalize or attempt to justify anything (no excuses)

Without God’s intervention, he was hopeless

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14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus shocks the hearers- the tax collector went home justified, not the Pharisee

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While the Pharisee was full of spiritual pride, the tax collector emptied himself with a humble heart.

Accurate picture of spiritual condition:

Purposeless, questioning faith, doubting your past and future

You should be encouraged, right where Jesus wants you!

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2. When we empty ourselves, we are in the perfect position to be filled by God’s grace! 

You do not have be the solution.

I didn’t know how to fix it!  I didn’t know how to fix the problem.

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Some of you have been there or are there now:

You have a child that is gone off the rails, you have tried everything, and you don’t know how to help.

You look up and your financial situation is a mess, and you don’t know how to dig yourself out of the hole.

Your marriage has been rough for years, you have tried everything, and you don’t know how to make it work, much less make it great!

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3. When we empty ourselves, we are in the perfect position to be used by God!

No matter how much we sometimes act like the Pharisee (I have it all together, self-sufficient, importance, exalted) – the truth is that we are also like the tax collector.

Fake Humility vs. Fear of God

We are standing at a distance, unable to look up, begging God to be merciful.

Humility takes its power when it is based on our fear (genuine awe) of God.

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Fake Humility: He could never love me.

Fear of God: He has loves me even when I don’t deserve it.

Fake Humility: God never answers my prayers

Fear of God: He has answered my prayers according to His personality

Fake Humility: Emotional because of difficulty

Fear of God: Emotional because of His goodness

Fake Humility: Praying that God blesses my plans

Fear of God: He can do whatever He likes with me

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When you empty yourself with a humble heart, you are in the perfect position to be used by God.

God has called you.

God has equipped you.

God will be glorified.

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God must work in you before he will work through you!

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“Pride is about my glory, humility is about God’s glory!”

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Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they

may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

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When we are full of ourselves, there is no room for what we need the most – God’s grace

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