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Sovereign Grace Church - Pride, Self-conceit, and Self-exaltation - by J.C. Philpot

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Apr 15, 2018
Preacher: J.C. Philpot
Passage: Proverbs 16:18

Pride, Self-conceit, and Self-exaltation

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall

(PROVERBS 16:18)

Pride, self conceit, and self exaltation, as they are the chief temptations, so they are the main [besetting sins] of those who occupy any public position in the church; and, therefore, where these sins are not mortified by the Spirit and subdued by His grace, instead of being, as they should be, the humblest of men, they are, with rare exceptions, the proudest. O did we but see what we really and truly are; had we a penetrating, abiding view of the depths of the fall, in which we as sinners are so fearfully sunk; did we carry about with us a daily, hourly sense of what our heart is capable of, if left of God to itself, and what but for grace we could say or do the very next moment; were we continually sighing and mourning over our ignorance, unbelief, ingratitude, shortcomings, and miserable unfruitfulness; did we bear in constant remembrance our slips, falls, and grievous backslidings; and had we, with all this, a believing sight of the holiness and purity of God, of the sufferings and sorrows of His dear Son in the days of His flesh, and what it cost Him to redeem us from the lowest hell, we should be, we must be clothed with humility, and should, under feelings of the deepest self abasement, take the lowest place among the family of God, as the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints. This should be the feeling of every child of God. But if, in His infinite condescension, the Lord has made any of us His servants, and has qualified and commissioned any of us to preach the gospel to His people, what peculiar, what additional self abasement does this call for! If we did not know the human heart, and how it takes advantage of God’s own gifts, and even of His very grace to lift itself up against Him, we should at once say, “A proud minister of Jesus Christ, self conceited servant of God! A man to preach humbling grace, and yet be proud of his way of preaching it! The thing is impossible; it is a self contradiction. Such a man is a monster, not a Christian, still less a Christian minister.” Truly he is a monster; and such the Lord makes some of his dear servants feel themselves to be when this accursed pride lifts itself up in their hearts, and they see in the light of His countenance what a hideous guest is lodged there. But till this pride be in some measure crucified, till we hate it, and hate ourselves for it, the glory of God will not be our main object, and we shall lie under the weight of that cutting reproof, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (JOHN 5:44).

(Excerpt from the Gospel Standard, Vol. XXIII, 1857)

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