“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”
1 Corinthians 10:12
The Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah contains a stinging rebuke against Babylon, and yet the words of the text seem to point beyond Babylon, to the very person of Satan himself! In chapter 14, Satan declares five times that he will raise himself up, culminating in the words, “I will make myself like the Most High” (vs. 14)! But God declares, “How are you fallen from heaven … you are cut down … you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.”
Ultimately it was pride that caused Satan’s fall. And Adam and Eve, in their pride, trusted their own senses more than they trusted the Word of God in the Garden of Eden, and so ate the forbidden fruit. Their pride plunged all of mankind into the misery that marks our world today. And pride continues it’s ever destructive assault on relationships in our own generation. Long-held friendships are broken, close families are splintered, strong marriages are ruined – all because of pride.
The apostle Paul knows that believers are not exempt from this lethal sin, and so he warns the first-century believers in Corinth, as well as the twenty-first century believers in Newcastle, “Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” If you think that you are standing – know that the only reason you still stand is due to the overwhelming grace of God! As the hymn-writer put it, you and I are “prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love!” It is only as we see ourselves for who we really are: dirty, desperate, despicable rebels, in the light of His blazing glorious holiness, that our pride will begin to disintegrate.
The only reason that you and I are still standing, if we are, is because of the grace of God! The only reason that we have not yet permanently left the God we love, is because of His rich, rich grace in Christ Jesus! There is nothing in you and there is nothing in me that would commend us before a holy God! Grace is our only hope! That truth should serve to shatter our pride, and to cause us to bow down together in eternal worship and thanksgiving for the wonder of Gods amazing grace to us in Christ Jesus!