Mar 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Jesus here speaking in Mark 7 is listing the things which defile a man. There are some pretty bad things in this list. In this list is the word PRIDE. There is good reason for the majority of references to pride in the Bible being negative. God hates pride, Jesus taught about the evil of pride and to these teachings Paul agrees. We know this fact but inevitably fall prey to it. Pride works to hinder our growth and understanding of God’s word. Pride says; “I can’t be wrong.” Pride says; “my church can’t be wrong.” Pride says; “My pastor can’t be wrong.” Pride says; “My education can’t be wrong.” Obviously, we could go on for some time with this list. Pride drops an anchor in the form of our “beliefs” and we never learn beyond this pre-conceived set of doctrines. Pride keeps us from listening to teaching that sounds different. I see this pride creep up almost every time I try to share the blessing of the mystery of Christ. Almost every time I attempt to show another Christian how easily they could understand the Bible, the pride of education, denomination, and tradition show their face. I am willing to listen to any challenge of my teaching because I know how long I was wrong and how long I defended a denomination instead of the Bible alone. If I was wrong for so long, I understand how others can be resistant to any instruction from outside their church. As we know, the Bereans were complimented for the fact that they listened, then compared what was said with scripture. I have personally witnessed and experienced the fact that today Christians never get past the LISTENING. By and large Christians will not listen to anything outside their agenda. So they never experience the comparing to scripture part. They never dig in God’s word to search for the truth. Pride closes their ears to any challenge of their beliefs. THIS IS THE REASON God hates pride! Christians are so worried of being “indoctrinated”. Let me tell you something as clearly as I can; if someone can show in from the Bible with words spoken TO YOU why you should change your beliefs, YOU SHOULD CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS. When I found out the denomination I was part of DID NOT teach the Bible literally, I CHANGED. I was wrong and I changed. Did this hurt my ego? Probably. Was I disappointed that I had taught probably thousands of people tradition instead of a literal interpretation of the Bible? Yes I was. Did I ask myself over and over “How did I miss this?” YES! I cannot explain to you how thankful I am for accepting the fact that I could be wrong. I cannot express the joy you feel when you finally come to the realization that the Bible is meant to be understood and you DO NOT need to be a Greek expert, read commentaries, or go to Bible College to understand the Bible. All you need is a willing heart to let the Bible have free course and start following the example of the apostle that Jesus sent to you; the apostle Paul. Right division of the Bible answers all the questions you have. Will you listen long enough to hear them?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul