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July 30, 2021 9:00 am
You know we are in a series entitled people. Jesus met last week we watched as Jesus met a very arrogant and a very boastful Peter, and based on the conversation that they had we discussed three things that God wants us to know about our troubles. If you missed that message. I urge you to go over to the bookstore after were done today and get the CD or go to our website and downloaded a podcast. It today we want to look at the very same encounter that Jesus had with Peter, except that this week's we want to focus on a different issue this week. We want to talk about the dangers of arrogance and so this week we want to go back 2000 years and see what happened there with Peter and Jesus and then we want to scroll all that forward and talk about well, what difference does that make to your life in my life today so let's begin. Matthew chapter 26 is where were going to start in verse 31 then Jesus told his disciples this night all of you will fall away from me, but after I have risen I will go ahead of you into Galilee. And when Peter heard this Peter was outraged. Then Peter said Lord, even if every other disciple falls away on account of you. I will never fall away, Peter said, Lord, you need to realize that I'm a cut above all these other guys and when the dust clears Lord. All these other guys may have left you, but all Peter I'll still be standing there with your Lord and you can take that to the bank. Jesus. Jesus said to him, I tell you the truth Peter, this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times. Actually, Jesus says, Peter, you're going to do worse than all of these other guys there going to desert me but you are actually going to deny me. Not once.
You're going to do with three times what Peter declared Lord, even if I have to die with you. I will never deny you look at this Peter is so sure of himself that he actually argues with the Lord Jesus about this now, let's fast-forward this and see how it all turned out we switch to Luke's Gospel. Luke 22 verse 54 and having arrested Jesus. They led him away and brought into the house of the high priest and Peter followed at a distance and when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together.
Peter sat down with them and a certain servant girl saw Peter seated there in the firelight and looking closely at him. She said this man was with him that is Jesus and Peter said denied it.
Same woman I don't know him a little later, someone else saw him and said, you are also one of them. But Peter said, man. I am not in about an hour later another man began to insist certainly this man was also with Jesus, for he is a Galilee into what Peter said man. I do not know what you're talking about and immediately while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crow. Then the Lord turned and looked at Peter and Peter remembered the word of the Lord how we had told him before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Now that's as far as were going to go in the passage in the Bible today because now it's time for us to ask our most important question of the morning so Loudoun and Prince William in the edge around the world on the Internet it here Tyson's are we read a so here we go nice and loud want to pray yeah you say lawn.
So what say you know I've heard this story before. I know what Peter did he deny the Lord three times, but I you know I don't see a whole Lotta relevancy or my live. How does this apply to me. Well, let's talk about that we set a few moments ago that in Matthew chapter 26 Peter makes one of the most boastful one of the most arrogant declarations anyone has ever made.
Let me remind you what he said. He said Lord, even if every other disciple falls away on account of you. I will never fall away, even if I have to die with you. I will never deny you and as we just seen all of this ended with a catastrophic personal failure on the part of Peter now was interesting is that this is precisely what the Bible predicts will be the outcome of arrogance. This is precisely what the Bible predicts will be the outcome of sinful fleshly pride listen.
Proverbs 1618 says pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall. Proverbs 29 verse 23 says a man's pride will bring him low. So today what we want to do is ask and answer three questions about arrogance and here they are. Question number one. What exactly is arrogance. Number two. Why is arrogance so dangerous and number three how can we insulate our lives against arrogant so here we go. Question him or one. What exactly is arrogance and I was thinking this week that actually arrogance is the opposite of humility. Would you agree with that.
Yeah okay so if we can define humility. All we have to do to get arrogance is reverse it. So what is humility. Meanwhile, humility is an outlook on life that says three things. First, that everything I am and everything that I achieve is only because of God's mercy and grace to me. Number two.
It's an outlook on life that says I am weak and I need God's help in every way. And finally, humility is an outlook on life that says when I do achieve something good.
The credit belongs to God and not to me. Now, if that's humility to get arrogance. All we have to do is take it and reverse it so arrogance therefore is an outlook on life that says first everything I am and everything I achieve is because of me. It's an outlook on life that says I'm strong and I don't need anybody's help and it's an outlook on life is says when I do achieve something good.
The credit belongs to more and not to anyone else. Webster defines arrogance as being overly sure of oneself as being insolently self-confident and being defiantly cocky exactly like Peter was Lord every body else may leave you, but not all Peter now that leads to our second question and that is why is arrogance so dangerous and I've three reasons to share with you from the Bible. Number one because arrogance leads to humiliation. Proverbs 11 to says when pride comes when arrogance comes disgrace comes with it. And certainly I can say that looking back over my life. It's pretty much true that every embarrassing thing I have ever done to myself every humiliating thing I have ever done to myself began with some kind of arrogance on my part you my middle son Justin is an avid skier and so a few years ago. The two of us went out West to go skiing together and the one beautiful day. We were at the top of this amazingly long groomed slope and as we paused at the top. I turned to Justin and I said I said okay Justin I thought I'm going to show you now how it's done so on. Like in the Olympics. I said just stand back and watch the man and then I pull my goggles down and pushed off and away I went another. As I was flying down the slope I turned behind me to look back at Justin and to taunt him that I was in front of him and when I did that the front of my skis crossed my tips crossed and I went straight over onto my face directly over the skis but it gets worse, because I have a will that slinky clothing on, you know that you wear when you ski and so I'm on my belly. Now Emmett is no weight of all that there is no friction. I can't stop myself. I can't slow myself down, my skis came flying off the polls. When clients and I came down the slope barreling down the slope on my belly like a big old ski plow yelling at people get out of the way out of the way. Finally, I came to a degrading and humiliating stop at the very bottom of the slope right in front of the lodge. Justin, as I was lying there on the ground trying to pull myself together and skied up with my polls in my skis in his hand and I rolled over and I said to him I said so Justin, how would you score that Ron may be up a 6.1 and he said no dad. He said I score that 911 yeah what I say every embarrassing thing I have ever done to myself in my live started with some kind arrogance and this is reason number one why arrogance is so dangerous because it leads to humiliation in our lives.
But there's a second reason and that is because arrogance leads to self-destruction. There's an interesting book published several years ago by Harvard Medical School psychologist Stephen Berquist.
The name of the book is the success syndrome and in this book Dr. burglars analyzes some of the most self-destructive people in recent history. Names like Leona Helmsley Howard Hughes Dennis Levine Gary Hart a melter Marcos Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Baker, Pete Rose to know his book was first published in 1986. So we need to add a few new names to that list names like Bernie made off and Tiger Woods and Eliot Spitzer and Ted Haggard and John Edwards in South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and on and on and on and in the book burglars says and I quote he says one of the core attributes of people who achieve stellar success without the psychological bedrock to prevent personal disaster is what's the next word arrogance there you go. Isn't this interesting Harvard medical school is finally catching up with the Bible.
Isn't this wonderful because the Bible is been telling us for thousands of years that this is the way it is. Proverbs 1618 pride goes before destruction, and an arrogant spirit before a fall, and let me tell you why friends it's because arrogance makes us think that we are invulnerable. Arrogance makes us think that the rules are for every body else, not us. Arrogance makes us think that we are so smart that we can always be the system. No matter what, and the result is we get careless and the result is we get sloppy and the result is we get reckless and the result is we get decked. I mean, Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer. Bernie made off Ted Haggard, John Edwards Army. What were these people thinking with their public profiles. Did they really think that they could get away with their behavior will the answer is yes, they really did think it because their massive arrogance had blinded them and their arrogance had diluted them and their arrogance caused them to implode. Now listen folks arrogance to do the very same thing to you and me. Remember arrogance just doesn't destroy famous people's lives.
It destroys normal people's lives to this is reason number two why it's so dangerous because arrogance leads to self destruction. But there's 1/3 and final reason and that is because arrogance puts us on a collision course with Almighty God.
James chapter 4 verse six the Bible says God is opposed to the proud Luke chapter 14 verse 11 Jesus said for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled in Isaiah chapter 2 verse 12 God says, for the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning against all who are proud and arrogant and they will be humbled now.
Why is God so opposed to arrogance on the part of human beings, what the Bible answers that question the Bible says Isaiah 42, eight I am the Lord. That is my name.
God says, and my glory. I will not give to another. It is so important for us to understand that God is fanatical about his glory. It is important for us to understand that God takes it personally when anyone tries to infringe on his glory when anyone tries to exalt themselves above him or when anyone takes for themselves the credit that belongs to God and God alone. But as we said earlier, this is exactly what arrogance is all about, and when our arrogance drives us to do these things we offend God we anger God and God takes it upon himself to teach us exactly who's running this universe. When I think of this. I think of Pharaoh remember when Moses came back and said let my people go, and Pharaoh said Exodus chapter 5, verse two, he said, who is the Lord that I should obey his voice.
I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go take you know how this ended. You saw the movie right yeah and have a Goliath out there on the hill with David Goliath says to David a David, my armor weighs 125 pounds. My spear weighs 25 pounds on 9 1/2 feet tall and sunny.
There is only one God on this hill today and the Almighty said really okay well we'll just see about that. And then this week I was thinking about Mohammed Ali, who was you remember once said I am the greatest when you're as great as I am. He said it's hard to be humble man I'll tell you it's tragic to see what's happened to this poor man today. I don't know if you've seen them recently has Parkinson's disease and the poor man can even speak and folks listed as followers of Christ. When you and I project the same attitude as these guys, we just talked about it forces God to teach us the very same lesson that he taught them. Now it's true that as followers of Christ, often God does that. A little more mercifully to us that he did it to them. But even getting hit by a merciful train still hurts asked me. I know this is reason number three why arrogance is so dangerous. It puts us on a collision course with Almighty God.
And so, in light of the fact that arrogance is dangerous because it's humiliating and because it also leads us to self-destruction and it puts us on a collision course to God, then friends we ought to ask the question how can we insulate our lives against arrogance. But before we do that, may I just say this one thing and that is it's my opinion that arrogance is the mother sin of all sins.
Think about it for a moment. Adultery, fraud, stealing, cheating, lying, scheming, treachery, betrayal, they all sprout from the same arrogant notion that it's all about me. If the mother sin of all of them. So how do we insulate our life from this dangerous thing.
Well I got three suggestions and were done.
Suggestion number one is by comparing ourselves to the right standard. My oldest son Jamie in 1995, matriculated to the United States Naval Academy and you know when Jamie was in high school I mean he's a pretty smart guy. He was always in the top 5% of his class.
The top 3% of his class and so when when he was in his first year at the Academy. I remember asking him how you do it. I mean, academically, are you keeping up how's it going and I'll never forget what he said to me he said dad.
He said you need to understand this is not a high school every body here is smart will. I watched as God through four years brought some true humility into the life of my son and you know it wasn't that my son was becoming less smart.
It was that he was now comparing himself to a higher standard of student he was comparing himself to a tougher standard of student and my friends. This same process works in life in general. When we compare ourselves to other people around us. It's really easy for us to be arrogant, but when we compare ourselves to a higher standard, a tougher standard. By that I mean when we compare ourselves to the Almighty sovereign, omnipotent, holy God of the universe. Well, then it makes us say like David said Psalm eight verse four what is man that you take thought of him who am I Lord that you take thought of me and who am I that you care for me. The bottom line is that the more you and I are in the Bible every day learning who God really is being impressed by his awesomeness and his holiness and his massive list. The harder it is for us to be arrogant about what we are in comparison to him number 11 insulate our lives against arrogance. The number one we need to compare ourselves to the right standard, not other people, but to the holy God of the universe. Number two. The second way we can do it is by actively giving God the credit for all that we are and all that we have in all that we achieve it over my 61 years of living I've observed that so often success in life is suspended on the narrowest of margins. I certainly know that's true for me. For example, in 1980 when this church congregation was voting on whether or not to ask me to come and be the pastor of this church. I made it I passed that muster by three votes. That's it.
You realize what that means. If two people had voted the other way. I would never been called here is the pastor, it would've radically changed my life would've radically changed my career would've radically change the history of this church to file notes, that's all.
And I'll bet if you look back in your life. You can also see that there are a lot of those small little things that if they had gone the other way instead of the way they went, oh my gosh how different your life would be enough of a good. Now let's ask the question what if some of those little items that fill your way had fallen.
The other way, is their will on. I gotta tell you I'm smart enough that I would've figured out some way to compensate really what what if your heart had stopped you smart enough to figure out a way to compensate for that and who kept your heart beating. All those years, the got you where you are today you didn't, and friends who caused all those little details to follow your way instead of falling the other way. You didn't and who gave you the gifts that you use in the talent you use to get to where you are today you didn't first Corinthians chapter 4 verse seven, Paul says, what do you have that you didn't receive.
And if you received it. Why do you boast as though you didn't receive it or that's a good question and it leaves the apostle Paul to say later in first Corinthians 15 verse 10, by the grace of God I am what I am, listen, you are what you are today by the grace of God and I am what I am today by the grace of God, you have what you have today by the grace of God and I have what I have the day by the grace of God and you have achieved what you've achieved in your life and I've achieved what I've achieved in my life, by the grace and the mercy of Almighty God and people who truly believe this Joan a calm arrogance and let me just say let me just say it's not good enough for us to act like we believe it on the outside, somebody gives us a compliment and we go O'Dowd is the grace of God. Forget that nonsense. The question is not what you say it on the outside.
The question is do you really believe it in your heart. I really believe that in my line number three and finally we insulate our life against arrogance number one, we compare ourselves to the right standard.
None of the people, the holy God of the universe. Number two, we give God the credit and we mean it for everything we have and aren't achieve in number three. And finally we do it by surrounding ourselves with friends who will rebuke us for our arrogance. Proverbs 27 verse six says faithful are the wounds of of a friend and folks, no matter how hard you and I might try to police our own lives. When it comes to this issue of arrogance look, we are all prone to deceive ourselves. The heart is this people above all things. Jeremiah 17 nine which means we all need friends who love us enough, and who love us so much that when they see us becoming arrogant. They will step in and they will rebuke us and call us on it.
As many of you remember a few weeks ago I preached a message from John chapter 8 the woman taken in adultery.
And the message was all about not judging other people will the very next week after I preach that Brenda and I went for a couple days to Chicago to visit my son Justin, his wife, Kim, and we were walking around downtown Chicago.
One day Brendan and I together and all of a sudden this person passed by and I said something that was incredibly arrogant and incredibly unkind and incredibly judgmental about this person said it out loud. Brenda and she said to me she said excuse me, she said, but didn't. I just hear a sermon last week about arrogantly judging people and I said well yeah and she said well don't you think that what we preach. We should live now in case you didn't catch it in her sentence. We met me. Did you catch that I got that loud and clear so I does one make sure you understood that and I was rebuked. I do apologize to her and the say Lord please forgive me. That was so wrong. You know what thank God for a woman like that.
Thank God for someone who loves me enough to step in and say no you go and thank God I've had the wisdom to give her permission to do that without retribution in my life, but that I tell her I appreciate that friends.
I don't know if you got people like that in your life but if you don't, you need to go out and recruit some and you need to say I am giving you permission.
I am asking you you see me get arrogant. You see me get haughty. I'm asking you to come in and hammer me please do that for me because folks left to ourselves, we will all delude ourselves. Believe me when I said it. I didn't have any buzzers go off, it made perfect sense to me what I said you know, I was like five okay well that's just the fact that I'm a sinner through and through and it didn't register. We need people around us who go ball. No, no, no, not in this universe you will say that Alonso you don't. So let's conclude Romans chapter 12 verse three. The apostle Paul said one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
He said I say to everyone of you do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment. Paul said don't get too big for your britches and watch out for arrogance in your life and I can't think of any city in America were this message is more needed than in this city where we live and what we talked about today we'd answered some questions why is arrogance so dangerous. We said number one because it leads to humiliation, number two, it leads to self-destruction.
It puts us on a collision course with God and then we said so how do we insulate our lives from it number one by comparing ourselves to the right standard to Almighty God and not people number two by actively giving God the credit and meaning it for everything. We are having achieve and finally number three by surrounding ourselves with friends who will rebuke us when they see arrogance growing in our life. Only close by saying I was in the lobby a few weeks ago between services, shaking hands and this gentleman came up to me and he said you know that was a great message and really appreciated that went on and on and on and I said I said Sir pray for me and he said, wanting you to say thank you and I said well because what I really need is not a compliment, but I really need is for you to pray for me because all the seeds for my own destruction live right inside of me. I don't even need anybody's help to self-destruct and do it all by myself.
I need you to pray for me and listen friends.
I understand that my arrogance is my worst enemy. And I hope that you understand that your arrogance is your worst enemy. And if you don't understand that then you are in worse trouble than I thought you were. We need to get that we need to understand we have met the enemy and the enemy is and that we carry the seeds for our own self-destruction.
Folks may God protect us from ourselves.
May God protect us from the sin and arrogance that lives in our life and I hope you'll take this message to heart and do some of the things that need to be done to insulate ourselves. Let's pray together.
Heavenly father, thanks for speaking to us today about a very real problem. In fact in this city.
I can't think of any problem that's bigger and so I pray Lord that you would protect us from the influence of this town and protect us Lord from the see the power of our own sinful fleshly nature that carries the seeds of arrogance and self-destruction everywhere we go, Lord, I pray that you would speak to us deeply and help us to put in the practice. The measures we need to insulate our lives from arrogance that would see to embarrass, humiliate and destroy us or change our lives because we were here today and we sat under the teaching of the eternal Word of God. We pray these things in Jesus name.
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