Pride Word Study
Written by: Kennedy, Tod M. Posted on: 02/26/2003
Category: Bible Studies
1. What is Pride? Definition and Description:
1.1. Dictionary definition: Pride is an
excessively high opinion of oneself. Conceit is too
high an opinion of one's abilities, worth, or
personality; vanity. An arrogant person is overly
convinced of one's own importance; overbearingly
proud; haughty (The American Heritage Dictionary).
1.2. When we look at how the Bible uses
the word pride we see that pride is substituting our
own authority, our plan, our greatness, our human
goodness in place of God's. The proud person looks
at himself differently than God looks at him.
1.3. Pride is mental attitude sin. It is
listed in Prov 6.16-19 ("haughty eyes" rum BDB 926,
be high, be exalted, rise ) as one of the seven
worst sins (Prov 8.13; 30.13; Ps 131.1; Mark 7.20-
23; 1 Tim 3.6).
1.4. Pride is a part of ungodliness (2 Tim
1.5. Pride is the opposite of humility
(Prov 11.2; 29.23; Dan 4.37; Jms 4.6; 1 Pet 5.5-6).
2. Bible words for pride:
2.1. A sample of Hebrew words include:
2.1.1. Noun ga'avah BDB 144, majesty,
pride, haughtiness (Ps 10.2; 31.18, 23; Pr 29.23).
2.1.2. Adjective ge'eh BDC 144, proud
(Job 40.11-12; Jer 48.29; Pr 15.25).
2.1.3. Verb gabah BDB 146, be high,
be exhalted, be tall (Ps 131.1; Prov 18.12).
2.1.4. Verb rum BDB 926, be high,
exalted, rise (Prov 6.17; Ps 131.1).
2.2. A sample of Greek words include:
2.2.1. Noun `uper8phania BAG 841,
arrogance, haughtiness, pride (Mk 7.22).
2.2.2. Adjective `uper8phanos BAG
841, arrogant, haughty, proud (Lk 1.51; 2 Tim 3.2;
Jms 4.6; 1 Pet 5.5).
2.2.3. Verb tuphow BAG 831, in the
passive, be puffed up, conceited, (1 Tim 3.6; 6.4; 2
2.2.4. Verb phusiow BAG 869, to blow
up, puff up, make proud or arrogant, become puffed
up or conceited, (1 Cor 4.6; 4.18f; 5.2; 8.1; 13.4;
3. Where does pride come from ? The source:
3.1. Satan introduced sin (and pride) into
God's perfect creation. Satan thought that he was
good enough to challenge God's authority and rule.
He was showing pride (Is 14.12-14 and 1 Tim 3.6).
3.2. After Adam and Eve sinned (fall of
mankind) each person's sinful nature became a source
of pride. Pride is an inner problem that tempts
man's volition like and overpowering desire (Mark
7.20-23; Gal 5.19-22 where "things like these"
include pride; Jms 1.14).
3.3. The sinful nature uses power, fame,
possessions, and other details of life to stimulate
people to become proud (Lev 26.19; 2 Chron 32; 1
4. Dangers that pride has:
4.1. The newer believer can easily become
proud (1 Tim 3.6, "conceited" tuphoomai, BAG 831,
is in the passive. It means to be puffed up,
conceited, blinded, be foolish). He makes the
mistake of taking credit for spiritual growth and
ministry. He forgets that he is a product of God's
grace (1 Cor 15.10).
4.2. Proud believers reject God's
authority in the church (1 Cor 4.6, 18 "become
arrogant" phusiow, BAG 869, to be puffed up,
4.3. Proud people can disrupt the life of
the church (1 Cor 4.6-7, "become arrogant" phusiow;
Jude 16;, "speak arrogantly" `uperogkos, BAG 841, of
excessive size, puffed up, swollen, haughty,
4.4. When you take yourself too seriously
you are proud (Rom 12.3 "to think more highly"
`uperphronew, BAG 842). 1 Cor 15.10 gives the right
4.5. Proud religious people will attempt
to change you away from grace (Col 2.18 "inflated"
4.6. Knowledge (gnwsis) that is not
understood, accepted as certain, and applied can
stimulate pride (1 Cor 8.1). Knowledge (epignwsis)
that is understood, accepted as certain, and applied
is needed for the Christian life (Eph 1.17; Phil
1.9; Col 1.9-10).
4.7. Pride can affect what you say (Jms
4.16). The result is a sin of the tongue which can
cause great damage to self and others (Jms 3.2-6).
4.8. Pride will eventually come back and
hurt you (Prov 11.2; 16.18; 29.23).
5. What God does about the proud person:
5.1. God rejects the proud (Prov 3.34;
Jms 4.6; 1 Pet 5.5).
5.2. God will discipline his people
because they are proud (2 Chron 32.20-26 and Heb
12.5-11 since pride is sin).
5.3. God can break our pride (Lev 26.19;
2 Chron 32.24-26; Dan 4.37).
6. How do we conquer pride? The solution:
6.1. The believer does not conquer pride.
The Holy Spirit, who uses Bible doctrine, conquers
pride through His work inside the believer (Gal
5.16; Phil 2.13; 2 Tim 3.16-17; Heb 4.12).
6.2. Spiritual growth through the filling
of the Holy Spirit and the learning of Bible
doctrine enables the believer to have a strong day
to day relationship with the Lord (fear of the
Lord/occupation with Christ). One expression of this
spiritual growth is that humility replaces pride
(Prov 8.13; 15.33; 22.4; Ps 131; Eph 4.1-2; Phil
2.2-6; Heb 12.1-2; Jms 4.6-7 ).
7. Who practiced pride? Illustrations:
7.1. Satan (Is 14.12-14 with 1 Tim 3.6).
7.2. Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4.28-37).
7.3. The Pharisees (Mt 23.1-12).
7.4. Believers that reject establishment
authority and spiritual authority (1 Tim
7.5. Diotrephes (3 Jn 9-10).
Copyright 1986 Tod M. Kennedy
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