Pride, the Barrier Causing Spiritual Blindness

Sermon  •  Submitted
1 rating

Pride and arrogance is the barrier between God's church and a spiritual sight


Primary Scripture

John 9:13–41
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who was formerly blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also were asking him again how he received his sight. And he said to them, “He applied clay to my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?” And he said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews then did not believe it of him, that he had been blind and had received sight, until they called the parents of the very one who had received his sight, 19 and questioned them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God; we know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He then answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen; why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?” 28 They reviled him and said, “You are His disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 “We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.” 30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. 31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So they put him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

2020 Vision Re-Examined

January 2020, sermons all over the world spoke of having “2020 vision” for the new year. Clear insight to God’s plan for our lives. Deeper perspectives on our plans, gifts, talents, dreams and purpose. However, the year went a little bit differently for many.
2020 has truly been a year of 2020 vision but one of an introspective nature. Seeing clearly the status of our heart. Exposing the areas that we paid little attention too. The areas we assumed were in good condition and in good standing with God.
God has allowed various situation to arise to expose darkness and to separate the true warriors from those in name only. He has given us time to build up the areas in our lives that need attention because he is a gracious and loving father. We have seen people grow tremendously in Christ and those who tragically continue to fade and slip further into rebellion.
•When we observe our fellow church community, the body of Christ at large seems to have a palpable disconnect. Confusion has set in for what we should do as believers. This has been revealed through the handling of recent social issues:
Do we gather in person for worship or stay at home out of an abundance of caution and “wisdom” due to Covid-19? -Do we social distance and wear masks or not?
As a church, do we get involved with the social unrest in our communities due to racism and police brutality or do we just lay low and pray?
7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.(Mt 24:7).
Do we preach politics from the pulpit or not? Many christians believe in the separation of church and state while others believe both Jesus and God got heavily involved into political situations of the day and would require us to equally be involved.
Have we become no different than the pharisees arguing over what to do with Jesus? or become like the parents who denied the obvious and shifted the focus to their son out of selfish self preservation?
Just as the pharisees who threw the once blind man out the temple for recognizing Jesus as the messiah, we too have thrown people out of the church and our family circles for having a differing view and opinion on various social issues - often the views that challenged with biblical perspectives. Nearly having an utter refusal to go before God to sort it all out. Why, because you know better?
So after praying, petitioning to God as to why the body of Christ at large is so vastly disjointed, not on one accord and at times seem to preach varying gospels? The Lord simply responded - Pride and Arrogance is keeping my church from seeing clearly. Its the cancer growing from within causing spiritual blindness and separation.
This is the exact problem that the pharisees had. They were so enamored with their knowledge of scripture, that they became prideful and arrogant. This blinded them spiritually not being able to hear from God or recognizing the things of God happening right before their very eyes.

Man in the Mirror

Our posture SHOULD be as such:
Romans 12:14–21
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This scripture is exactly how we are to be positioned as a follower of Christ. Some of the items listed are quite easy to address and execute. However, others such as “do not be haughty in mind” or “Do not be wise in your own estimation” are a bit more difficult to identify when we may be missing the mark and need to take corrective action. If we don’t get this right, we shall be overcome by evil.
Arrogant/Arrogance is found 61 times
Haughty/Haughtiness is found 21 times
PRIDE (found 55 times in the bible) Undue confidence in and attention to one’s own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to oneself the honor and glory due to God alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward God finds expression in one’s attitude toward others, often causing people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to be sin in its final form. In either case, it is a grievous sin. - Holman Bible Dictionary
Pride and arrogance is one of the sins that God hates.
Pride is the root that clouded the mind of Lucifer which got him kicked out of heaven. Pride continues to cloud and delude his mind to this day because he honestly believes that he is like the most high and will over take God himself in the end.
Pride suffocates and eventually blocks spiritual sight. It becomes a barrier between you and God and leaves you susceptible to accept error.
Mirror Illustration
A 2-way glass mirror is what separates us and God. As long as light is present from behind the glass, both parties can see and interact with each other.
Pride represents the silver nitrate coating that is prayed on the glass that creates the mirroring effect. When the light gets dim on either side, is when the separation starts to begin.
The spirit of Pride is represented by the protective paint sprayed on the back of the silver nitrate to successfully make it a traditional one-way mirror where the only thing you see in the glass is a reflection of yourself.

7 Symptoms of a Prideful Heart

Pride is at the root of fear and anxiety, when we refuse to humbly rest in God’s sovereign care. Fear simultaneously reveals our lack of trust and our poisonous self-reliance. We fear because we don’t have faith in the Lord, we are enormously preoccupied with ourselves, and we don’t have control.
When Peter stepped out on the stormy sea to come to Jesus, he was walking in humble faith. But when his gaze shifted to his circumstances and self-preservation, he trusted in himself, became afraid, and began to sink. It was Jesus who saved him, while admonishing him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
Self-sacrifice stems from a humble heart. Entitlement is rooted in a prideful heart. The core of the gospel is that we are not entitled to anything, except just punishment for our sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Yet we deceive ourselves into thinking we’re better than we are, so we deserve better than we have. We think we deserve God’s mercy. We think we deserve people’s praise. We think we deserve love, success, comfort, accolades. We certainly don’t think we deserve suffering, heartbreak, or discipline.
But when we do experience these things, we grow bitter, frustrated, and disturbed because we believe we’re entitled to more. We forget that apart from Jesus Christ we are sinners who deserve condemnation.
The disciples wrestled with entitlement many times. On one occasion, they were arguing about who was the greatest. They selfishly thought they deserved honor and glory. But Jesus’ response to them was a rebuke: “Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves” (Luke 22:26).
Our proud hearts say we are good, that we should get what we want, and if we don’t, we’re justified in our ingratitude. If we’re uncomfortable or inconvenienced in any way, we can complain. It’s our right. Humility recognizes that God is good, that he gives us what he knows we need, so we have no reason to be ungrateful. There is nothing we lack (Deuteronomy 2:7; Psalm 34:9).
The Israelites’ grumbled in the wilderness, though God fed, clothed, and led them through it (Exodus 16:2; Deuteronomy 8:2). Their stubborn hearts rejected God’s daily mercies out of a foundation of self-idolization. But God’s Word rebukes our proud grumbling with this command: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:14-15).
Pride is self-worship and self-preservation at all costs—and people-pleasing is the direct result of pride. Some think people-pleasing is a positive trait because they’re so clearly concerned with serving others. But that belief is nothing more than a sneaky sheepskin we put over a wolfish habit. People-pleasing is all about self-satisfaction—fearing man more than God—and seeking the fleeting happiness that comes from man’s approval.
The apostle Paul knew human approval was a pointless and prideful pursuit. Because of that, he could say, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
Pride deceives us into thinking we can “do life” on our own—that we’re capable, independent, unstoppable, and self-reliant. We think we don’t need God every hour, that we don’t need his help, grace, mercy, courage, and hope. So, surely, we don’t need to pray.
But a humble heart submits itself to God in prayer because it knows it can do nothing without him.
When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah’s response was not to go to God in prayer. Instead, he fled, his heart furiously and arrogantly silent (Jonah 1:3). When God humbled him in the belly of a great fish, Jonah finally cried out in prayer (2:1)
When you’re proud, you elevate your status, forgetting the mercy God has shown you. You think you’re better and holier than everyone else, and you easily find fault with others. Pride produces a hypocritical spirit.
The Pharisees’ hypocritical pride blinded them to their sin and to God’s mercy—which made them cold-hearted and cruel toward others. Jesus had harsh words for them: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).
Rebellion against God manifests itself in resistance toward the Word and the spiritual leaders he has placed in our lives. It is the reflex of a prideful heart. It also shows itself in a lack of submission—wives, to your husbands; children, to your parents; employees, to your bosses; citizens, to your government. Rebellion says, “I know better than you, God,” when you don’t.
We see rebellion in the first people God created: Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). Even though they had all they needed for life and joy, out of pride they rebelled against God’s good decree, thinking they knew better than him. And this rebellion brought pain, suffering, and death—for them and for us.

Who are You to Council Me?

We as a church body have become polluted with wordly philosophy, that we can no longer distinguish truth from error. You have allowed the business of life to consume you and your actions say that you prefer the prophets of baal (the media) over me. Your TV’s and cell phones have become idols which has opened the door and paved the way for strong delusion. Return to me - says the lord
Just as Job had to be put in his place - so to speak, body of Christ, God is also reminding us who he is just in case you forgot.
God says - I am the creator, you are my creation. Who are you to council me? Who are you to make decisions and then say it came out of my mouth?
I am the alpha and the omega - the beginning and the end.
I am Jehovah-Jireh - the lord that provides
I am Jehovah-Nissi - your banner
I am Jehovah-Shammah - I am always with you
I am Jehovah-Rapha - I am the lord who heals
I AM, says the Lord
Proverbs 6:16–19
16 There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
We are Christians have to learn to detach from the platforms we love to partake in. The majority of them are full of prideful people, lies and those who support the shedding of innocent blood (aka abortion). These platforms are full of strife and violence that dictate how we see the world. Its a cancer that needs to be mitigated or even eradicated from our lives.
Proverbs 8:13–14
13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. 14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.

Prayer for Deliverance and Humility

We have to align ourselves with God as much as possible, especially during this season. Self examination needs to take place to identify if we (from the pulpit to the door) have a pride issue. Part of the sneakiness of pride is to delude you in thinking that there is no problem.
Fear, entitlement, ingratitude, people- pleasing, prayerlessness, hypocrisy and rebellion.
The Lord is more than willing to help if we but ask. In the end, God is looking for a church without spot or blemish and the Lord is letting us know today that his church has a few more things to clean up.
Our prayer for today should be for the deliverance of pride and a heart of humility. God says that he has scattered those who were proud in their thoughts of their heart. Luke 1:51-52
God says that he gives GREATER GRACE to those who are humble. James 4:6
We need to fight for truth in all things. This will surely go against our sinful nature and at time will prove to be difficult - THEE Truth (Jesus) should always be our guide.
Psalm 40:4
How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more