The Enemy Within

1 John 2.16

Is pride ever good? Yes, but here are the dangers and delusions that blind us to ourselves, cause us to resent the oversight of God, deform the character, spoil decisions, and take away our power to believe in Christ and gain eternal life.

‘For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world and the world passeth away.

And particularly, I’d like us to think about that little phrase, the pride of life. And my title is ‘the enemy within.’ Well, there are a number of enemies within us. That is, when it comes to going to heaven, when it comes to walking with God and having acceptance with him. But perhaps the greatest of them is the human problem of pride, the enemy within.

Now people like health assessments. They like to know what their prospects are. Their wellbeing will be their health conditions. But not many people, if any, want to know about their moral health or their spiritual health. They don’t want to know about these things. It’s not surprising by nature. We don’t want to be under the authority of God or his commands or his standards. his moral principles. We don’t mind a non-personal religion, a religion which gives us some credit for earning some sort of credit from God. A God who doesn’t make great demands. A God who is not personal does not require anything personal of us.

Well, such a religion is not necessarily objected to, but the religion of a personal god and a holy God and a God with standards and principles and requirements, well, we naturally speaking shy away from that. It would be unusual for people to say ‘tell me about my moral health, just how I stand. Give me some kind of an assessment about my integrity or my purity or just my temper. Give me a score, a rating, a health condition on these things, or my degree of greed in my mind and in my heart.’ Nobody is going to ask for that kind of information. Oh, no, let alone pride. ‘Tell me about my pride. How do I rate? What is its level? How many units of it are there inside me? How do I compare? How do I show?’ In fact, today, people will generally say that pride is on the whole a good thing.

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