In the Bible and in current days, we see various examples of arrogance. From Genesis to Revelation, we are shown examples of many insolent men. Genesis 4 lays out the arrogance of Lamech, a man that assumed that God would cover his sin. Asaph, in Psalm 73, describes those who live in rebellion, open mockers of God. Romans 1 shows us those that sin and approve of the sin of others, making a mockery of God’s holiness. But wait, let’s rewind for a moment and define what arrogance is.
Dictionary.com defines arrogance as making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud. We can look at Lamech, the wicked that Asaph observed, and the rebels in Romans 1, and say that yes, they are indeed arrogant. But what about now? Has man come so far that he does not show this arrogance now?
It still exists. It’s heard in the confident cries of “Well, God knows my heart”, “Well, only God can judge me”, “I’m a good person”, and many more. Culture as a whole, in our arrogance, we want to think that we’re good enough to gain right standing with God. We want to think that nothing we could do could warrant being damned to Hell. Hell is for those other people. And then there are those that would say, “Well I searched for God, and I found her, and she is me.” The acknowledgment of God is relegated to a false revelation of self. We who get sick, and need sleep, food, water, shelter, raiment… how could we be God? This is pure arrogance – an arrogance that assumes that God should accept us the way that we are, or that we ourselves are God. May we take a hard, long look at ourselves and see our flaws, fallibility, and finiteness.
But praise God that Jesus died for the arrogant. Romans 5:6-8 tells us that Christ died for the ungodly, the sinner. That’s me. That’s you, dear reader. That is everyone. God’s Gospel is not that Jesus died for the good enough, for the person that is barely a sinner. Yes, God does know the heart. He says it is desperately sick in Jeremiah 17:9. What a description! Desperately sick? Let’s unpack that word – desperate.
1.reckless or dangerous because of despair or urgency
2.having an urgent need, desire, etc.
3.leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous
4.extremely bad; intolerable or shocking
5.extreme or excessive
Our hearts are desperately sick. Excessively, hopelessly, shockingly, dangerously sick. That doesn’t leave us much room to boast there, does it? This is who we are. And in addition to us having desperately sick hearts, they are deceitful above all things! And with our desperately sick hearts, the same hearts that would cause us to deceive ourselves and make us believe that we are ‘in’ with God, or that we are God, there is only One Who can know our hearts! Jeremiah 17:10 shows us that it is the LORD that searches the hearts and tests the minds of man, and He gives to man what according to his ways, according to the fruit of their deeds.
Do we really want that? Romans 1:18-32 shows us what happens when the LORD gives to man according to his ways and deeds:
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Praise God that He would send His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for the arrogant, the ungodly… the sinner. In the Gospel, we see the wisdom of the only One that can truly boast – God Himself. In the Gospel, man is shown how wicked his sin is, and how it truly separates him from God. Because of our great sin, there is a wide chasm that we cannot cross on our own. There is only one way to cross this chasm and that is through Jesus Christ. God’s great love for His people is shown in the Gospel, that He would send His only Son, Jesus, to die for sinful man. If we confess our sin to God, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. When one confesses their sin, and places full hope in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin, they are made righteous because of the perfect life that Christ life. The perfect life that Christ lived, a life we have no ability to live, is made ours when we place faith in Him. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that amazing? This is God’s Gospel. When we stop believing the lie that we are God, or that we are okay on our own, when we humble our hearts before Him and realize that we have no standing before God on our own, then we can embrace the truth and strength of the Gospel. We are sinful, God is holy. Jesus lived a righteous life, our lives are unrighteous and ridden with sin. Let’s embrace this Gospel!!!